Hi there! Today we are continuing our 5 Things series with the talented Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique.
Vanessa is the talent behind Lella Boutique! She started designing quilts and producing patterns in 2010. She has since then started designing fabric for Moda! She has designed two collections so far, and we are in love with her style and the lovely color palettes in her work! Her newest collection is called Gooseberry and it is absolutely charming!!
|Pre-order Gooseberry HERE|
Before we get to the five things, I asked Vanessa a few specific questions about her work and inspiration! I hope you enjoy getting to know Vanessa as much as I have!
Where do you get your inspiration from? A lot of the time, I get ideas for designing quilts by spending time examining the fabric itself. Each group has a personality of its own and I really think about how this personality and how it might want to be used in a quilt. I often find myself drawn to happy and fresh color palettes so I guess it would only be natural that the quilts I design have a whimsical, happy feel to them as well. In other instances, I might have a specific concept or object I want to design around. For example, my Social Butterfly quilt came about because I wanted to design a butterfly quilt. I've only really seen quilts with lots of small butterflies or one giant butterfly, so I wanted to see if I could design a mid-size butterfly block that could be made with jelly roll strips. I got to work and played around a lot until it was just right. (I tested about 8 different blocks until it was the look I wanted.) Unfortunately, I couldn't quite get it to work with a jelly roll, so I changed it up a bit to be made with fat quarters instead.
What is the first thing you designed? The first quilt I designed was actually the first quilt I made. (Well, in part.) One afternoon when I was 14 or 15, I found my mom working on a sunflower mosaic block and really fell in love with it. I decided to make one as well, but it wasn't nearly big enough to be a quilt on its own. As I thought about what I'd like to do, I thought it might be nice to make a border of small (more simplified) sunflower blocks to form a border around the main sunflower block. I got out some grid paper and mapped out my own sunflower blocks and made them. From there, the quilt-top assembly was all over the place--improv quilting at its finest! I guessed at the sashing and border strip sizes without doing any kind of calculation so it ended up being pretty uneven and messy. But did I care? Not really. I had such a fun time doing my own thing and it was such a marvelous realization that I liked making up my own designs. I wasn't really concerned about my piecing techniques, I was just having fun playing with fabric.
What are you currently working on? Oh goodness I've been swamped with a lot of really great things, some of which are SUPER TOP SECRET :) But I can tell you that I've got a new line showing at fall market in Houston, so I've finished writing patterns for that. And I'm also working on another line. On top of that, I've got two young children at home and they really keep me busy during the day.
|Kaleidoscope Pattern - Order here|
What does your creative space look like? It's a small, transitional sort of space at the moment but the key for me is to keep things minimal and uncluttered. Most of my supplies and fabric stash are organized into cute cupboards and bins but I try to do it in a way that is pretty to look at. From where I'm sitting right now, I notice a cute rabbit ceramic jar (from Target) that holds my safety pins, A garden pot holding my pens/scissors/rotary cutters, a couple super gorgeous notebooks laying out from Rifle Paper Co., pretty fabric stacks, and sketches all over the table. I also recently bought a cute little framed piece of chicken wire that I use as an inspiration board for designing fabric. Right now I have color swatches pinned up on there. It's a bit messy at the moment as I'm trying to get reorganized to make room for quilt market yardage.
1. My family calls me "Banana..." When I was little and just learning to talk, my mom tried to teach me to say my name. I kept saying "Nana," so she tried to emphasize "VA-nessa," and I said "BA-nana."
2. I worked at Gap all through high school. Spent waaaaay too much of my paycheck there. I don't shop there too often anymore, though their jeans are still my favorite to wear.
3. I have performed in a dozen musicals since graduating high school, but my favorite role was Grandma Tzeitel in "Fiddler on the Roof."
|Vanessa performing in the play: Le Mis|
4. My mom played a lot of classical music in our home when I was young. I developed a love for it because of that and listen to Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole probably once a week.
5. Fall and winter are my favorite seasons. I'm all for layered fashion trends, comfort food, and excuses to snuggle up in a quilt by the fire.
I want to thank Vanessa for sharing a little bit about herself with us!! I always enjoy getting to know the person behind the fabrics! :) You can find Vanessa: