Designer Tidbits: April Rhodes - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Tidbits: April Rhodes

Good day everyone and welcome back to the Jolly Jabber! We’re so excited to have April Rhodes join us to talk about her second collection from Art Gallery Fabrics, Wanderer. We are absolutely head over heels with her new collection and we know you’ll be too! Read on to learn more about her inspirations. 

Q: Tell us about the Wanderer Collection. What was your inspiration?
April: My inspiration for Wanderer was based off my dreams of travel and adventure. We all dream of an escape from time to time. I wanted to compile a collection that felt discovered over time: searched out. I used many images and items from my own little collection and past. All of the photographs in the Wandering Lands prints were taken over the last 8 years while exploring with my family. Serape Dream is based off some of my very favorite possessions, my vintage Turkish Kilim rugs and the Temple print is a collection of my sketches and embroideries. Also, the Crocheting print is based off a crochet blanket my mother gave to me. 

In the end, I wanted Wanderer to express the need for finding oneself, finding one’s place in the world, and collecting happiness. 

Q: What is the best part about being a designer?
April: Definitely being a part of other people’s artistic process and seeing them create with my own artwork. That is by far the best part!! Knowing that my fabrics are inspiring others to make things they feel proud of is a huge honor. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what it would be like to have people sew with my fabrics.

Bucket Basket Tote by Very Shannon

I remembered the first time I met Anna Maria Horner and I was so star-struck that I tripped over a sample in her booth and could hardly introduce myself. Her work has had such an impact on me. Now it feels almost surreal to be amongst her (in a much smaller way) as a fellow designer. There is nothing I’d rather do.

Sew Together Bag by Holly Gets Quilty

Q: What is your favorite project you made with the Wanderer collection?
April: Oh my. It’s hard to choose a favorite! A few come to mind: I made a quilted rug that was a lot of fun. I gave it a fringed edge from yarn and the mix of textures makes me feel so happy! I also made a bag with Sylphs Freedom Flower. It’s a single sided border print and I placed the border on the top so that it flaps down. That combined with leather and big gold hardware, makes me feel pretty proud. 

But by far, my favorite things is a little Sally Dress I made for my daughter in my Sacred Seeds Brittle print. I designed this specific print just for her, because golden yellow is so perfect with her blonde curls and she is my planter. She loves to sprinkle the zinnia seeds in our garden and I can’t wait to fill the pockets of this dress with seed packets and plant with her in the Spring! 

Sally Dress

Q: What is your favorite print from the collection?
April: That’s another tough question, but instead of rattling off all of my faves and why I love them, I’ll say that Wandering lands is my number one! I came into this industry as a buyer from my mother’s shop, Sew To Speak. I still hold that title and I love looking at collections and searching for unique fabrics for out store. That being said, I always try to ask myself, whether designing fabric or sewing patterns, “What haven’t I seen yet?.” I strive to offer the industry something new and inventive with every collection I design.

Zippy Top by Delia Creates

In this collection, Wandering Lands is that print. I see myself inside of it. it’s made up of moments and memories. There is a photograph from a field near my in-law’s house. I remember stopping the car so I could get out and cross the road to capture those horses in the meadow. There are other photographs from trips with my husband and our daughters. There is, however, also an indistinct quality about them. These places could be anywhere. They aren’t necessarily unique to us. Others have traveled these paths and seen these scenes.

Knotted Pillow by See Kate Sew

I hope this collection intrigues people. I think it may shock some, or others may like it, but not know how they would use it. I imagined whole cloth quilts as well as patchwork pieces, bags, pillows, and apparel. I’m excited to see what people create with it! 

Downtown Tunic by Sew Caroline


  1. The story of April's seed print and gardening with her daughter is so adorable! I love to garden too and have to get out of the car to take photos a lot. It's great to hear how her fabric design dreams have come true, so inspiring! 🙂

  2. Really pretty fabrics.

    When talking about AMH, I'm pretty sure you meant "surreal" instead of "serial." 🙂