Today's designer spotlight is all about Sarah Jane! Her charming designs for Michael Miller Fabrics are some of our favorites for creating quilts, apparel and so much more.
Let's get to know Sarah Jane!
About Sarah Jane
Sarah Jane is a textile designer and children’s book illustrator, but most importantly, mother to 4 ambitious and creative children. From her love of childhood, her designs evoke the essence of childhood with simple, whimsical and almost nostalgic illustrations. With her motive of cultivating the wonder of childhood, Sarah Jane has built a business offering her embroidery designs, artwork, wallpaper and paper toys online as well as collaborations with Ralph Lauren, Paris Ritz, Land of Nod, among others. She has designed fabric for Michael Miller Fabrics for 7 years.
Most recently, she and her husband have joined creative forces to become an author/illustrator team, creating the new children’s book series and character, LOLA DUTCH, which released in January of this year. Lola Dutch is a character who embodies curious and creative childhood and will be a multiple book series with book 2 and 3 coming soon!
Sarah Jane and her husband live in the mountains of Utah with their 4 children.
When did you realize you had a passion for design?
As early as I can remember! I remember being 2-3 years old and being stunned by the color of the ocean in Hawaii where my mother is from. I can still see it in my mind! From then, I don’t remember a time where my hands weren’t holding a pencil, crayon, or creative utensil of some kind.
Describe your aesthetic in 3 words.
Simple, charming, classic.
You partnered with Michael Miller to launch your line of fabrics. What made them the perfect partner for you?
They approached me, but I would have approached them first if I had the chance. I can’t imagine working with a better partner. They completely trust my design approach, they truly value creativity and exploration. And because they have a relatively small team for how big their market is, they are like a family: approachable, willing to explore new ideas, open to changing with the market, and the best part…they are a lot of fun! I have felt so supported in my design journey, and they have been 200% supportive, which as a designer is so paramount!
Michael Miller is like a family to me. They have always been on top of market shifts, and in my opinion create some of the top quality product in the industry. Quality has always been their #1 and as an artist and designer, I’ve really truly appreciated that. But bottom line, they are just so much fun to work with, and so easy as a client. I’m truly grateful!
If you had to choose one favorite fabric or product that you’ve designed, what would it be and why? *Please select something sold on fabric.com
How could I choose one! If I had to choose one, I’d choose either “Magic Parade” because it’s so versatile, and depicts each one of my kids. Also, “Plockade”, which is Swedish for ‘gathered’ because it reminds me of my Grandmother of Scandinavian decent and her incredible love of being outside and gathering flowers.
What are your current favorite trends in sewing / quilting?
I love the low volume quilting trend as well as the trend towards simple classic clothing. I’m thrilled to see more clothing designs that aren’t about the complicated layers of clothing, but about the fabric quality, function and design.
What do you love most about creating a DIY project with your fabric (or seeing customers creating DIY projects with your fabric)?
I absolutely love watching others be creative with my creative offering. To see sewers use my fabric as an inspiration to inspire their own creative projects is incredible! Little girl dresses and bedroom décor are probably the #1 creation used with my fabric, and so I absolutely love seeing mothers and grandmothers sew for their children and decorate their rooms with my designs! I love witnessing that creative process between mother and child, grandparent and -grandchild. It’s so incredibly fulfilling. I’m very involved on Instagram and Facebook, and when people share their projects and their personal stories behind them, it’s incredible. I’ve heard stories that have brought me to tears, and it makes what I do so worth it.
What projects are on your “must make” list right now?
I am currently making (well, someone else is making them, because I’m not the best seamstress) some lovely vintage dresses as well as some new quilts for my kids. I’m working on my next collection, and I’m redoing my kids rooms with the new designs! They are pretty lucky that they get new bedding and clothing every season it seems!
What other blogs/brands/designers inspire you most?
I mostly look to my favorite designers from the past for inspiration. I absolutely adore the French Textile Designer Paule Marrot, illustrators Virginia Lee Burton, Ludwig Bemelmens and Gyo Fujikawa.
What’s coming up for you in 2018? What’s next?
2018 has been so full already! I’ve just finished illustrating the second book in the Lola Dutch Series, and I’m finishing up the 3rd. I’m releasing a new Fabric Line, Peter Pan, this summer with Michael Miller Fabrics and will be launching another fabric line soon after that! 2018 already feels like it’s over with how much we are producing this year, but it’s all so much fun.
What do you love to do when you aren’t designing and creating?
Just being with Kenneth, my husband, and the kids. It doesn’t matter where we are, we just absolutely love spending time together.
Tell us one thing people might not know about you:
I’m horrible at science (flunked physical science in college…twice), but I got an A in Honors Chemistry in high school because my final research paper was on the chemical reaction between paint and the fresco process during the Renaissance, a topic which I am pretty sure the teacher was clueless about, but the only thing that excited me about chemistry...which was a stretch…but it got me an A and it taught me the most invaluable lesson: if your curious about it, and truly love it, you will go far.
Click here to shop all of Sarah Jane's collections!