Designer Select: Thomas Knauer - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Select: Thomas Knauer

The Fat Quarter Shop is excited to welcome Thomas Knauer to the Jolly Jabber. Thomas’ latest fabric collection is Savanna Bop from Andover Fabrics.

Q: What or who would you dedicate this Savanna Bop collection to? Do you have an inspiration board?
A:This collection is absolutely dedicated to my wee daughter: I call her Bee. Savanna Bop is actually the first collection I designed for Andover, but we decided to not lead off with a juvenile collection.

I really wanted to design a collection that would be great for girls and boys. I didn’t want to avoid colors normally associated with one gender or the other; rather I wanted a line that would encourage people to use all the colors together for boys and girls, just the way I do for Bee.

That being said, there isn’t so much an inspiration board as a set of ideals I wanted to bring together (I’m a total idealist). I was thinking a lot about kids flannel pajamas a lot when I was designing Savanna Bop, from back before the era of fleece. Oh, and old school Garanimals …Those rocked!!! I miss children’s stuff having great graphic qualities rather than product tie-ins… (There is that idealism again).

Q: What is your favorite project using this collection?
A:U.R.N.H. (You Are An H) is by far my favorite Savanna Bop project, not so much because of the quilt itself (though I am really happy with it), but because of why the quilt exists. One day Bee and I were holding hands while walking to the neighborhood coffee shop. Suddenly she stopped, looked up at me and said excitedly, “We are an H, Papa!” At first I was confused, but then I saw the shadow we cast on the sidewalk, and she was right, we were an H. (Clever little three-year-old). My favorite part is that she didn’t say, “We make and H!” She and I are an H, and when I finished the quilt and showed it to Bee she said, “It is us, Papa! It is H’s!!!”

Q: If time travel became possible, what year would you want to be in?
A: I would want to be in the year after humanity figures out how to stop being mean to each other. Yeah, I want to be alive when we are finally nice.

Q:If you had to change your first name what would you change it to?
A:Ragnar. There is an incredibly minor character in Njal’s Saga, a great medieval Icelandic saga, named Ragnar Shaggy-Breeches, and I have been in love with that name ever since reading the book.

Q:What was your favorite childhood TV show?
A:I love Land of the Lost. I think just about everything Sid and Marty Krofft did was genius (as one might guess from my design aesthetic), but the Sleestaks were definitely the bee’s knees…

Q:Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
A:Mel Chin. He may not be famous to the rest of the world, but in art land he is a rock star. I had the best critique of my life with him, really learned a lot in a matter of a half-hour (he actually let others talk for 25 minutes of it and then just nailed it). He also organized my favorite art project ever in conjunction with Melrose Place. The man is a genius!!!

Q:What is your favorite App to play on your phone?
A:My phone can’t even vibrate. Well, maybe it can, but I haven’t bothered to find out. It is rarely on.

Q:If you could marry a technology, what would it be?
A:The fork absolutely. I think it may be the single most civilizing invention ever. Before that we used our fingers or just stabbed stuff with a knife. I love you, fork!!! Also, if it weren’t for the fork the classic Fork in the Road gag from the Muppet Movie would make absolutely no sense…


  1. What a delightful interview! Thomas sounds like someone I'd love to know. I'm not familiar with his fabrics, but will look for them on your site. Many thanks!

  2. So nice to "meet" you Thomas….you sound like a wonderful person to know. Love the humor, the quirkiness, and crazy about the Muppets – especially the portion of the movie where you see "a bear in his natural habitat, a Studebaker!" LOL Off to the site to see your fabrics….

  3. Not to quibble, but shouldn't those Hs be lower case? Considering the height difference and all?! Just kidding! Cute interview.