Designer Spotlight: Cathe Holden - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Spotlight: Cathe Holden

Fabric designers sure do make our world go ’round! We are starting a new series here on the Jolly Jabber, where we shine a light on some incredible designers in the quilting realm to learn about how they work and what feeds their inspiration.

Today Cathe Holden is taking us into her vintage-inspired world as she shares about designing fabric, the inspiration behind her newest collection, and more.

Q: Tell us about your background. What led you to quilting, and what drew you to fabric design?

A: My art career began at 17 in the art department of an advertising agency. I went on to own a successful graphic design firm specializing in branding and product packaging before choosing to become a stay-at-home mom. As my kids became more independent, I went back to work in branding and on a whim dipped my toe into the craft industry, ultimately leaving corporate work behind. I wrote projects for magazines, taught creative workshops, and began designing my own branded products. I approached Moda with my ideas for fabric design at a time when they were extending into digital printing, a fantastic process to best feature the intricate details of my design aesthetic.

Q: What is the most challenging part of the design process?

A: Much of my fabric design is rich in vintage and vintage-style graphics. Often my challenge is the time it takes to shop for and procure the multitude of lovely items I want to include in my collections then digitally retouch, mend or recreate, and design additional faux-vintage pieces to coordinate.

Q: What is your favorite part of the fabric industry?

A: My favorite part of working in this industry is collaborating with the amazing people of Moda– from conceptualizing collections and scheming colors, patterns, and project ideas, to gift item conceptualizing. I have loads of fun marketing my fabrics and get my biggest kick seeing the spectacular projects being made with them.

Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for this collection?

A: As I was finishing up active breast cancer treatment last year, the beautiful people of Moda asked if I would like to be a part of their Stitch Pink Program to bring awareness to breast cancer by designing a fabric or collection to be included. I jumped at the opportunity, knowing how much I wanted to have access to fabric that somehow represented my experience, but featured something other than the traditional pink ribbon icon, and could be used for any other theme of sewing project. The collection also represents to me living with something awful while still trying to blend in to the normal– a breast cancer collection that doesn’t’ look like a breast cancer collection. It was a wonderful challenge.

Q: To what or whom would you dedicate this collection?

A: The collage in this collection, though it subliminally refers to my own personal journey, is my attempt to bring beauty through awareness of just some of the many facets of going through or living with breast cancer. I dedicate this collection to all who have had or are currently going through treatment for breast cancer and to the lovely souls who help them through.

Q: What projects do you have on the horizon that you can share?

A: Next January is the release of my Junk Journal fabric collection with the theme of Friendship. Junk Journaling is a popular papercraft and collage movement that also includes the use of fabrics and notions. The name, theme and designs are my way of marrying my two favorite creative passions and encouraging more papercrafters to embrace the fun of fabric.

Share with FQS

We hope getting to know Cathe Holden inspires you how she inspires us! If you share this Designer Spotlight on social media or want to share any ideas of other designers you’d like to see in the future, then don’t forget to use #FQSDesignerSpotlight and tag @fatquartershop.

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11 comments

  1. Thank you for featuring Cathe! I absolutely love her designs, they touch my heart! My own journey with breast cancer began this year. Blessings to you Cathe! I treasure each of your fabrics and plan to add more to my collection!

  2. Love reading about the designers. Great addition to the blog. Cathe is such an inspiration. I’ve been thinking of doing some designing myself but have no idea where to begin. I have so many things I want to do. Thanks again.

  3. This was such a great feature on @catheholden. She inspires me on a daily walk through her craft and classroom. She is a very gifted designer and her spirit shows through in her fabric designs.

  4. Why am I not more familiar with this designer and her work? I absolutely love her collage work. How brilliant that she designed a beautiful feminine fabric that doesn’t have a pink ribbon. I’ve often wondered if a breast cancer patient might not want the reminder of the pink ribbon? I am crazy about Cathy’s work. I’m cheering for you and your health, Cathy! Thank you for spotlighting this amazing artist!

  5. I’m having so much fun creating with Cathe’s Flea Market collections. I can’t wait to have Junk Journal on my work table. Cathe’s designs and Moda’s quality are a perfect match.

  6. Very nice feature! Her fabric is beautiful! Yes thank you a strong and feminine collection. Also a breast cancer survivor and the pink ribbon is just to much sometimes. Especially my daughter was diagnosed

  7. What a great idea – and you picked a great designer to start with!! Having survived breast cancer twice, her designs remind me of the courage it takes to fight the fight and the joy of surrounding myself with a soft landing – Meadow Robin.

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