hello, Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic
I remember the first time I came across Zen Chic. Designer Brigitte Heitland released a collection called Comma in 2013 with Moda. It was rather popular, and I purchased several prints.
There was one print that I always reached for, called Periods in Chalk. It’s a basic black on cream polka dot print, but something about the scale and structure really worked for me. I ordered and reordered and reordered that fabric until it wasn’t to be found. Periods turned up everywhere in my work for years to come. In a generous moment, I even used it as the background fabric in this Clamshell quilt (free tutorial series here).
Maybe Brigitte will release it again someday!
So over the years I bought Zen Chic fabric, and she read my blog, though we didn’t make a personal connection. It was only after I made public my family’s plans to move overseas that we started exchanging emails.
I asked Brigitte some questions about life in Germany as a quilt professional. We bonded over our shared website platform - Squarespace - and realized that we would enjoy working together.
Brigitte is a strong, independent woman who was “discovered” by Moda the first time she took out a booth as an independent fabric designer at quilt market. She came to this profession in a round-about-way, as most of us do. But, her love of sewing was gifted by her grandmother, who taught her to sew as soon as her feet could reach the pedals.
With a background in interior design, Brigitte’s designs have a confident, modern simplicity. Now that I've met her, I can attest that they reflect her personality. She has an honest, down-to-earth friendliness that made me instantly comfortable. She doesn’t act like a star, though she certainly is one, and has been very generous with her time and connections. I love that the quilting community is full of many such people. It makes our industry one of the nicest places to work.
In her many years as a Moda designer, Brigitte has created lots of beautiful fabrics that have appeared in my quilts and probably in yours as well. She’s the designer behind many of my favorite text prints from collections like Modern Background Paper and the beautiful Spotted palette that’s been recently released:
Along with her fabrics, Zen Chic creates quilt patterns to compliment every collection release. She’s really built up an impressive collection of patterns, which I could surely get lost in for months and months. And, guess what? I now have the inside view! I find myself with the honor of editing and co-writing Brigitte Heitland’s quilt patterns for Zen Chic, and quilting some of her quilts for market. I’m very grateful for the opportunity. Lucky me!
Today on the Zen Chic blog you can find my guest post about my latest project for Brigitte. I share my approach to quilting her Moda Blockheads sampler quilt. I hope you’ll stop by to see the custom quilting and hear why I made the decisions I did, when finishing such a quilt precisely to my liking.
Thank you, Brigitte, for your friendship. And thank you, readers, for allowing me to share her with you. Happy quilting, all!