Featured Designer: Ana Sanfelippo

You’re going to want to grab a seat for this post. The work of Ana Sanfelippo is so swoon worthy that you might stumble a bit.

Ana Sanfelippo is an illustrator, with a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). She creates artwork for books, magazines, patterns, and products, while also enjoying lecturing at the University of Buenos Aires.

Ana’s passion shone when she shared this with me: “I like being genuine with my work, make the things more special, to transmit emotions through simple and daily objects.”

I believe that this goal of transmitting emotions through simple and daily objects is what makes Ana Sanfelippo’s work so captivating. The pieces she creates are inspired by her personal experiences. For example, her cat, Sumi. It’s the openness and subtle vulnerability, combined with her exceptional creativity and artistic talent, that make that swoon worthy combination.

Recently, Ana was kind enough to walk us through some of her recent work, which was created using acrylics and inks.

03-Astral Love

The pottery belongs to one of Amazonica’s collections. This images represent a trip on the coast, along with birds, plants, and some special characters that are related with some astrological matters.

Ana Sanfelippo on Pattern Observer

The notebook belongs to Monoblock. They have collections from many places in the world and the artwork has some details with gold ink.

Ana also said, “I also enjoy drawing botanical sceneries. Such as some fabric samples with forests and floral ambients with birds and butterflies. With the home collection for Oliverta, the story is about the autumn. I like to tell a story with the illustrations, not only make them decorative. You can see some characters enjoying a nap on the fallen leaves; a dog and cat with scarves, feeling the wind on its faces, and so on.”


Visit more of Ana’s captivating work at her website.


The Repeat Downbeat

Yesterday we had the honor of welcoming Evonne Cook into the Textile Design Lab. She shared her experiences with vintage textiles and how she turned her passion for vintage quilts into a thriving business. It was an inspiring chat and needless to say, quilting and craft fabric have been on my mind.

Movement and perfect motif placement are so important to fabrics used in the quilting industry. This is because the fabrics are often cut into very small pieces and then pieced together to make the final quilt. If motifs or colors are spaced too far apart they risk being lost in the piecing process.


Found Pattern by Maryana ButarButar

In fact, piecing and color blocking are trends we’re seeing across many markets, such as home decor and apparel. Sometimes color blocking is done with solids – for example, piecing a bright blue with a bright red – but often times you’ll see textural patterns pieced with solid fabrics or solid fabrics pieced with detailed patterns, such as florals or geometrics.

Krista Pattern Observer

Quilt piecing by Krista KL

This idea of piecing subtle textures together to create a final product that is definitely not subtle is what drew me to this found pattern by Maryana ButarButar, a menswear designer in Jakarta. I love the bold color contrast that we see between the grey, brown and black, that are then softened by the detailed woodgrain textures. This idea of creating an extremely bold pattern, only to soften it, or make it slightly more understated in some way, is interesting to me.

The same concept can be seen in this piecing work by Kritsa in Finland. She is using a very bold radiating diamond quilting pattern alongside solid fabrics that have a great deal of color contrast. She then softened the overall feel of the quilt by using a gorgeous textural fabric. Take note of the way it blends the two solids together in a more cohesive manner. This would be such an interesting concept to try within a textile or surface pattern design.

Miksa Designs on Pattern Observer

Textile Design Lab Member: Miksa Designs

I love how Textile Design Lab member Miksa Designs explored this idea of piecing and combining textures with solids in this pattern. She created this after watching one of our recent pattern design tutorials and I think it is a beautiful concept for the quilting market.

Are you interested in quilting and craft fabrics? If you are, you likely realize that the International Quilt Market is right around the corner. For those of you who have the privilege of attending this event I encourage you to stop by Booth 2416 and see all the stunning collections created by Monaluna. Monaluna is a small, independent organic fabric company based in Walnut Creek, CA. The company is owned and operated by Jennifer Moore and her husband David Miguelucci, with assistance and inspiration from their young daughter Anabelle.

Monaluna was started in 2010 by Jennifer, a designer and textile artist, out of a desire to bring more sustainable alternatives to the fabric marketplace. “I have always loved sewing and creating with fabric”, Jennifer says, “but as I learned about the environmental impacts of fabric production I became committed to making more environmentally-friendly options available to sewists and quilters.”

Monaluna's Haiku Collection

Monaluna’s Haiku Collection

In addition to being a more sustainable option, the colors and patterns are gorgeous. The type of prints that you just want to wrap up in and forget about all the troubles in the world. They are comforting, rich, and inviting. And who doesn’t need a little more of that in the world right now?

Quilting is such an exciting craft and it’s easy to see why those who prefer it are so passionate about it. A story, a life, and a beautiful piece of artwork can all be relayed through the creation of a quilt. This past week, in particular, I have held the world of quilting and craft fabric close to my heart in honor of Jane Lewis. If you haven’t already had a chance to do so, I encourage you to download her insightful PDF training on creating fabric collections for the quilting marketplace. It is free for all to share and enjoy in her honor. Just click here to download, and please make sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about our next repeat downbeat post!

















Guest Expert Interview: Evonne Cook

EvonneCook200x250This month we have the privilege to welcome Evonne Cook, founder of Clothesline Quilts, to the Textile Design Lab as our guest expert. She’ll be speaking to our members about vintage textiles and how she turned her passion for vintage quilts into a thriving business.

Evonne’s journey into the reproduction world began over 25 years ago when she opened a quilt shop. While running her quilt shop, Evonne began to design her own quilting patterns, and then began designing her own fabric collections which consist of reproductions of vintage fabrics and are produced in partnership with P&B Textiles.

It was an exciting opportunity to get to ask Evonne a few questions.


How did you become interested in vintage fabrics and in reproducing them for today’s consumer?

Antique quilts have always intrigued me, especially the fabrics within those quilts. And then there are the quilt patterns and how the quilters from the past were able to design and sew them without all the tools we have today.

In the beginning, I was not at all interested in reproducing vintage fabrics because I believed one would have to be an artist & be able to actually draw the designs. My interest in this process was piqued when Mr. Roby, an authority on old fabrics, called me about working with him. A Clothesline Quilts pattern design of mine had caught his eye and he explained how I could reproduce these vintage fabrics that I am so passionate about with the help of other artists and designers.

Evonne Cook Collection for P&B Textiles

St. Louis Collection for P&B Textiles

What period of vintage fabric are you most drawn to? Why?

At this time I am concentrating on cottons (often of English and French origin) from quilts from the time period of approximately 1830-1890, an era that includes the Civil War. I have been very interested in the history of the Civil War and have designed two series of patterns, one based on 12 battles of the war and one on 8 generals of the Civil War.


What items other than quilts have you seen reproduction prints used for?

Reproductions are used for a lot of home décor, including curtains, dust ruffles, chair pads, table toppers/runners, tablecloths, appliqué on towels, etc. They are also used to sew all kinds and sizes of totes, purses, billfolds, cosmetic bags, luggage bags, kleenex covers, etc. The fabrics are also sold for clothing sewn for people who do reenactments of the battles and events of the Civil War. These reenactments are especially popular at the historical parks of the battle sites.

EvonneCook-St.Louis Collection

St. Louis Collection for P&B Textiles

For students interested in the reproduction of vintage American fabric, do you have any advice?

My journey into the reproduction world began over 25 years ago by opening a quilt shop; basically, this happened because I love the fabric and the art of quilting. From the quilt shop I began to design and write my own pattern line Clothesline Quilts. Again, this was because of my love of the fabric and quilting.  So I believe you have to have a feel for and love of the fabric of that era. I’m sure that many students of textiles find that path in their educational studies; they do not have to go the long way as I did.  So I say to nurture that love and keep on studying the textiles.

Throughout the years of owning and operating a quilt shop I attended many quilt markets held every spring and fall where we shopped for the fabric that we would eventually receive and sell at our shop. At these markets we were offered the opportunity to attend marketing workshops that helped us find ways to market the fabric and everything that went into quilt making. These markets were our inspiration—and, of course, the fabric itself was wonderful inspiration! So I think that attendance at such markets would be a very good opportunity for students to see how it all works and comes together.

Also, do visit the fabulous museums where old fabrics and quilts are displayed. The Shelburne in Vermont is one such museum and The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado is another. Really, there are many others throughout the US and overseas, as well.

Want to learn more about reproduction prints and collections? Join us for Evonne’s presentation in the Textile Design Lab on Tuesday, September 26. Join us here.




Found Color Palette: Harvest Hues

Autumn is upon us here in the U.S. and there is nothing cozier as the air starts to get crisp and the days start to get shorter than soaking up the warm palette of the season. Whether admiring the golden tones of a hay field, a swath of maple trees turning orange and red, or the rainbow of apples at an orchard, the fall landscape is awash with color inspiration that could inform your next pattern collection. Happy harvest!


All images CC0 Creative Commons via pixabay.com

In Memory of Jane Lewis

jane lewis_collection

Jane Lewis in her home office

On August 24, 2017 we lost Jane Lewis, one of the most talented and knowledgeable textile designers in the quilting industry. Jane had been battling lung cancer since 2015 and through all she had to endure she was still committed to her contributions to our industry. Her ability to inspire those around her through her work has never gone unnoticed or unappreciated. For those of us at Pattern Observer, we were particularly amazed with her work as an Art Director at P&B Textiles, and most recently, as an industry expert within Pattern Observer’s Textile Design Lab.

I first met Jane Lewis in 2005 when I applied for a freelance design position at P&B Textiles through Craigslist. P&B textiles was my first freelance client and working with Jane would forever shape my outlook and perspective on the industry.

  • Knowing to tuck the end of my flower stems behind over motifs to give patterns more movement and flow… Jane taught me that.
  • Knowing to always tilt paisleys to avoid straight horizontal or vertical lines within your repeat… Jane taught me that.
  • Keeping freelance clients in the loop about the number of hours you had invested in a concept or repeat… Jane taught me that.

She taught me countless lessons on designing layouts, preparing patterns for production, and running a professional freelance business.

Jane truly loved the textile design industry and it always showed. She was so grateful to rise up and lend a helping hand to other designers. While at P&B Textiles she helped countless artists and designers craft brilliantly curated collections. She loved discovering new talent within the industry and helping designers find their way. This work and passion continued within her work in Pattern Observer’s Textile Design Lab and so many students have benefited from it. She was so passionate about the TDL community, attending our weekly art critiques, giving detailed feedback on our forums, and creating a guest expert training on Developing Quilt Fabric Collections. Her words and insights were cherished by everyone, and all who received them are better in their craft because of it. Yes, I’m biased, but I am sure of it.


Jane’s collection for Modify

There is no doubt that Jane was taken from this world too soon, but her positive impact and influence will live on forever. She will be there with us in every art critique and every quilting collection critique. Reflections of her will not easily fade.

Countless designers will continue to work through her TDL training and go on to create more impactful collections because of Jane’s thoughtful insight and guidance.

And now even more designers will have the opportunity to join the Lab. Soon after Jane’s passing her friends and family established the Jane Lewis Textile Scholarship to help students trying to learn the craft of textile design. We are pleased to announce that Pattern Observer will be matching all funds donated. We are still working through the details of how the scholarships will be distributed, but will be releasing more information in the future. It’s important to us that we take this process slowly and get it right.

In celebration of Jane’s life, we have posted Jane’s exclusive TDL training, Developing Quilt Fabric Collections with Jane Lewis, for all to download for free. Just click here to download.

Please share this training with anyone who you think might benefit and help us to celebrate Jane’s life and her impact on our industry.

I know so many of you worked with Jane and have similar stories to share. Please, open your heart up and share them so we can celebrate what she brought our community. Through her, we can all become stronger mentors to new designers and better designers in our individual pursuits.

Much love and gratitude,
Michelle Fifis




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At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and private design community, The Textile Design Lab.