Designer Spotlight: Tanya Whelan - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Spotlight: Tanya Whelan

Where would we be without fabric designers? Today we have another Designer Spotlight for our series here on the Jolly Jabber. We are taking the opportunity to shine a light on some incredible designers in the quilting realm to learn about how they work and what feeds their inspiration!

Today Tanya Whelan is taking us into her world of pastels, florals, and vintage nostalgia as she shares about designing fabric, the inspiration behind her newest collection Posie, and more.

Pin Cushions made in Tanya Whelan's Posie collection
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Q: Tell us about your background. What led you to quilting, and what drew you to fabric design?

A: My mom is a quilter. She hand quilts the entire quilt which I always found amazing and inspiring. I came to fabric design by accident. I sold handmade baby blankets and baby quilts and could find enough of the kinds of fabrics I loved at reasonable prices. At the time, the quilting industry wasn’t really doing fresh vintage type designs so I decided to try my hand at designing which eventually led to me producing my own fabric lines.

Tanya Whelan Graphic

Q: Tell us about your sewing machines. What kinds do you have and how many?

A: I have a very basic $100 sewing machine that I got from Walmart. It works fine for everything I want to do with it. I used it to sew samples for the two sewing books I wrote and use for all the samples I make with new fabric collections.

Pillows made in Tanya Whelan's Posie collection

Q: How do you describe your style and how has it evolved over the years?

A: My style is definitely fresh vintage nostalgia. That hasn’t changed over the course of my career. I love pretty, fresh, cozy designs with a vintage vibe and roses are always an inspiration for my designs. 

Bolts of Tanya Whelan's Posie collection
Posie features gingham checks, stripespaisleysflorals and dots in pretty pastels.

Q: What is your favorite project using this collection?

A: I love the quilt designed by Linda Lehn using Posie! You can find the free pattern on my website (

Pattern made in Tanya Whelan's Posie collection

Q: What projects do you hope to see made with this collection?

A: Pajamas! I plan to make pajamas with Posie as soon as I get a chance. I’d also love to see a baby blanket and little girls dresses made with Posie. I’ll probably be making some aprons for Christmas presents using Posie and I made a really cute tote using it.

Tote bag made in Tanya Whelan's Posie collection

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We hope getting to know Tanya Whelan inspires you! 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.

Happy quilting!