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Pat Bravo

"I see the world for its beauty and majesty. The intricate, the ornate, the royal... All of this catches my eye. You can say I have soulful eyes."

My passion for sewing materialized at the age of 9, when I sat down at my mother's sewing machine for the first time. At the age of 13, I joined a sewing school in my native Buenos Aires, learning everything about fabrics, dressmaking, and patterns. For many years I lived in this wonderful world, until it was time to go to college. I decided to study law and sew on the side, but soon realized that this was not my dream. I dropped out and took three years of painting classes and around this time, I met the love of my life, Walter Bravo. Twenty-seven years later, we're still married and have a beautiful son together. He is my friend, my confidant, my everything… and my partner in our company, Art Gallery Fabrics.

In 1989, we moved to the United States and I became pregnant with my son, Alex. My life changed radically after the move. Everything was completely new for me: the people, the culture, the food, the city. It was such an intense period of adaption, that for a good amount of time, I had no energy to do the things that I loved and cherished. That all changed when Walter got me my first sewing machine! With that, I immediately came back to life!

I fell in love with quilting, sewing triangles and squares together, eventually teaching myself everything that could be achieved using traditional quilting techniques. Throughout the years, my taste started evolving and I began to cross the bridge towards art quilts. First, I started with landscapes and with time my style became more abstract. I hard a hard time finding color variations in batiks and that's when I decided to paint my own fabrics. I began to see that quilters loved them, and not too long after that, Walter and I founded Art Gallery Fabrics.

I am convinced that everybody is born to do something in life. This is what I was born to do and I am sure that this is what I will do for the rest of my life.

 

Bari J.

“Color is of the utmost importance in design.”

I was born and raised in Chicago, but decided to move to Scottsdale, Arizona with my two teenage daughters: Anna and Emily, and my husband Kevin to stay closer to my family.

I have been passionate about design for as long as I can remember. As a child, my mother would paint and craft, so it was only a natural progression that I would inherit her love of crafting. I began crafting and creating jewelry, but when I first learned to sew I knew I had found my passion. I was hooked on it. That obsession is what inspired my own handmade handbag business and my first book: Inspired to Sew.

My style is rather eclectic, and has grown over the years into what you see today. While I love vintage and soft designs, I am constantly drawn to color and bold prints which are very modern, as well as mixing the two for surprising combinations. I don't hold back when it comes to mixing fabric prints and colors. The world around me inspires me…. I look at photos and imagine faraway places. I see a color and that inspires a whole collection. I am a color junkie.

It was my love for fabric that got me back into graphic design and specifically textile design. In 2009, I created my first fabric line, Full Bloom. Since then, four additional lines proceeded. Due to their popularity, they were featured in magazines including Accessories, Romantic Homes, Quilts and More, Studios, Belle Armoire, and many more. LillyBelle being my first one with Art Gallery Fabrics.

 

Jeni Baker

“We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry." - E. B. White

I have been sewing since I was 11, but crafting nearly all my life. From mud pies to friendship bracelets and collages made from magazine clippings, I’ve always felt a strong urge to make things. I taught myself to sew with the help of my mother, who always encouraged craftiness. Throughout high school I sewed tote bags and small projects, but eventually other hobbies took precedence. When I went away to college, I dragged along my trusty sewing machine and sewed off and on when I found time between classes. Finally, I moved into an apartment and made my first quilt. I have been hooked ever since!

My favorite part of the sewing process is fabric and color selection, I love nothing more than to be surrounded by fabric. It feels natural to be entering into the realm of fabric design with my first fabric collection, Color Me Retro.

I’m still trying to find my style. One side of me loves clean, minimalist designs with limited colors and patterns. The other side loves patchwork goodness, sweet vintage florals, and an explosion of color. One thing is for certain; I love a bit of whimsy!

In addition to sewing, my hobbies include photography, baking, and collecting vintage kitchenware and linens. I currently live in Wisconsin with my pet bunny, George.

 

Angela Walters

"Quilting is the funnest part! My biggest goal is to encourage quilters to get over the fear and jump into free-motion quilting!"

For as long as I remember, I have always loved to draw. Nothing is more exciting than the unlimited possibilities of an empty notepad and a brand new pencil. I never took formal art lessons, I mostly just sketched things that I saw and “doodled” obsessively. But I put aside the pencils and paper when I became addicted to machine quilting.

My husband’s grandfather taught me how to quilt when I was 21, and he is the person that encouraged me to buy a quilting machine. Soon I was “drawing” with thread instead of pencils, and using my quilting to add a layer of art to a different kind of canvas, a quilt. I have been machine quilting ever since, honing my skills and reveling in the quilts that I am so fortunate to work on.

But my pencils were never too far away. In order to practice new quilting designs, I would draw them over and over again, filling sketch book after sketch book with different designs. Soon, it was less about practicing and more about creating new and different quilting designs. As that evolved, so did the little whisper in the back of my mind, “could these be fabric designs?” That little whisper became louder and louder until I finally used my quilting inspiration to create works of art that were able to stand on their own. 

I so completely fulfilled, being able to express myself creatively through my quilting and through surface design. When I am not working away in my quilting room, I can be found with my husband and three kids. They keep me busy and laughing...sometimes at the same time. I am excited to travel down this next step of my creative journey with them. My life motto.....”The best is yet to come!”

 

Bonnie Christine

"The patterns of our lives have the capacity to connect deeply within us. They are simple expressions of our joy."

I grew up snuggled back in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, where my love for patterns started a very long time ago. I spent countless afternoons at my mom's creative quilt shop, sewing, crafting and falling in love with fabric. A childhood spent with hands in my mother's fabric stashes quickly turned into dreams of designing my own fabrics.

My husband and I spent a few years tucked away in a little vine covered cottage on the central coast of California, but have recently returned to our roots. We are so happy to be back in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, where we are expecting our first baby this Fall!

I am mostly inspired by the great outdoors, from the largest of trees to the tiniest of leaves. Creating patterns with summery sweet hues is my happy place. I thrive on botanical gardens, sunshiney days, and nature walks- camera in one hand, sketchbook in the other. My goal has always been to create patterns that are organic and natural, joyful and lovely.

I believe patterns are one of the ways that we can express ourselves and make our spaces beautiful. I love to weave parts of my life into each one of them, making the design process and end results very personal and meaningful.

 

Leah Duncan

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” - Audrey Hepburn

I was born and raised in small town South Carolina by an engineer and a schoolteacher. I was always a creative mind and loved playing with paints and made various collages out of scrap paper. I ended up with a Bachelor of Science in college and after college, I was lucky to find a job as a Graphic Designer, where I honed my skills working for an advertising firm and a screen-printing company.

When my husband and I moved to Austin in 2008, I took the opportunity to refresh my career. I began to draw again and put my screen-printed illustrations on Etsy. With a lot of hard work, my business took off and I felt a need to expand. That's when I dusted off the old sewing machine and started to create my own textiles, which turned into a successful home goods line. Austin was the perfect place to develop my style with influences from nature, my east Austin neighborhood, and my Native American roots. I'm incredibly grateful and lucky to make a living doing what I love and with every piece I create, I hope to bring a small feeling of that love.

I currently live in Brooklyn with my ever-so-supportive Chef husband and our animal family. We love exploring the streets of NYC, eating hand-pulled noodles in Chinatown, and going for "squirrel chases" in the park with our dog, Oslo.

 

Frances Newcombe

“Fabric design is a different form of story telling. With each choice the designer makes, they are telling a unique story. In turn, the quilter will rearrange those fabrics to tell their own story.”

I have loved fabrics and sewing for as long as I can remember. When I was 6 years old, I snuck into my mom’s closet with a pair of scissors and cut up one her shimmering evening gowns to make doll dresses. When I was in the 9th grade I took a sewing class and was hooked for life.

I grew up in Los Angeles in the shadow of the film industry. My father has been a film composer for over 50 years. In many ways, sewing was an escape to a simpler life from the high-pressure world of show business. After I graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in illustration, I returned home and began working in Broadcast Design for television. For over twenty years I have created on-air graphics, promos, and main titles for the Discovery Channel, TLC, E! Entertainment, Buena Vista Television, as well as all the major networks, CBS, ABC and NBC where I currently work.

After getting married, my husband and I moved to the foothill area above Los Angeles. It was there I discovered a wonderful local quilt shop. This rekindled my passion for sewing and quilting and I began collecting all kinds of fabrics -- my husband would say at an alarming rate. We have one son, our miracle baby, and two little dogs.

For me, fabric design is the synthesis of every aspect of my life: sewing, painting, graphic design, collage and ultimately story-telling. Fabric design is simply another form of story telling. A good story causes us to escape our world for a moment – only to bring us back to it with a greater understanding of it, and hopefully helps us to live, love and appreciate it more.

 

Katarina Roccella

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way - things I had no words for.” - Georgia O´Keeffe

I was born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, where I live with my husband, who is Italian, and our three kids that are the true inspiration for my work. I have a Masters degree from the Faculty of Applied Arts, and have started on my PhD thesis in Applied Arts and Design, through which I get to explore even more within the fields of painting, graphic and textile design.

I was raised in an artistic family, so being "crafty" and creative is something that kept me company since my early childhood. My father is a painter, my mother is a ceramic pottery artist, and my sister is a production designer. Growing up in such environment, I often had opportunities to create and design and have continued throughout my life with an array of mediums like drawing, illustrating, calligraphy, graphic design, linoleum printing, photography, and more recently, sewing. I find inspiration everywhere and I love taking many pictures of things that move me, either by their shape, texture or color.

When I took the role of a mother, I found I had very limited time to dedicate to art. So, being home often and with a need to create, I discovered the world of fabric. I began to sew after repairing my mother's vintage sewing machine and soon upgraded to a Serger. The first results were encouraging, pushing me forward to try more complicated techniques and garment pieces. In a few short years, I was led to drawing and making my own patterns after much practice with making unique and fun pieces of clothes for my daughter. My pattern label, “Like Flowers and Butterflies”, was born in 2006. Lately I am lured by quilts and quilting. I love making quilt blocks and having made a few quilts on my own has given me the desire to try and experiment much more in this field. I blog about my creative adventures at Like Flowers and Butterflies.

 

Sharon Holland

“Whatever you do, do it with all your heart.”

I've been quilting and sewing clothing, crafts, and home accessories for over thirty years. While raising three children with my husband, I owned a small business selling new and repurposed merchandise. That venture provided me with constant creative challenges for how to reuse, display, and market everyday items. A move to a new state meant closing my business, but opened new doors by reconnecting me with art and photography.

I dusted off my paintbrushes and camera lenses and began selling my canvases in galleries and photos as greeting card designs. "One road always leads to another," and the natural progression was to turn my art into textiles. Designing four collections for a fabric company and appearing in numerous quilting magazines with both my textiles and quilt designs, brought about a career in the magazine industry as an Assistant Editor, graphic designer and photographer. Even though I am interested in knowing and working in every aspect of the quilting and sewing industry, my heart is in design—especially textile design. After two plus years as an Assistant Editor, it was time to find my artist's voice again. I set to work drawing and creating a group of prints--something I would like to sew with. Joining the Art Gallery Fabrics family of talented designers brings my life full circle, infusing my design aesthetic with the creative artistry behind Pat Bravo's credo to bring beautiful prints on quality fabric to life. I feel I've come home.