Designer Tidbits: Caroline Simas - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Tidbits: Caroline Simas

The Fat Quarter Shop is excited to welcome Caroline Simas to the Jolly Jabber. Caroline’s latest fabric collection is Finally Free from Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

Q: What was the first seed that grew into the Finally Free collection?
A:The best way for folks to understand the inspiration behind this collection is to read my blog post HERE about why the collection is called Finally Free. I am constantly inspired by our four children and everything in nature. Our own backyards are sanctuaries with endless dreaming possibilities. I am passionate about incorporating my faith into my art and although fabric is not covered in scripture, this collection is very much faith-based.

Q: If your collection had a soundtrack what would be on the list?
A:Finally Free by Nichole Nordeman…yep, the name came to me for the collection before the song came to mind but I did listen to this in the studio much of the time I painted the art for the Finally Free collection.

Q: What single print/SKU in the collection is your favorite?
A: Difficult to choose but I’d have to say the earthtone colorway Birds, Butterflies, Flowers on Ecru. So many sewing and crafting possibilities for this!!!

Q:What is your favorite project you have made using this collection?
A:I hate to admit it, but I don’t sew…Mom said when I was young, I wouldn’t put down the paintbrushes and crayons long enough to learn. However, I do make some projects with my fabrics like this mini mason jar pincushion sewing kit. (We’re going to give away THREE of these!)

I also have a few mixed media pieces incorporating some of my fabrics which are in progress. I am fortunate that my mom has gotten her sewing machine back out in the last few months and is sewing up a storm..she’s promised a few skirts for my twin girls and some pillow projects soon!

I am also blessed to have a dear friend, Lillian who helped me sew and prepare a few fun things for Surtex, the art licensing tradeshow where I exhibit each May. Lillian made these darling Finally Free fabric birds and this precious apron with the giant flower on the shoulder…Looooove!

Q:What is your favorite part of working in the fabric industry?
A: I have really enjoyed meeting other talented fabric designers and working with the team at Robert Kaufman. They were so wonderful to walk me through the process of development since it was my first time designing fabric. They also released another collection I did called Save the World….colorful patterns peeking through peace and recycle symbols.

Q:Can you give us a sneak-peek of your next fabric collection?
A:I have so much art…so many art collections available for licensing. I hope there will be more fabric collections soon, but I have been so busy with design deadlines for home decor and accessories which are launching soon.

Q:What is your absolute favorite thing in your house?
A:This January a large collection of inspirational home and gift products with many of the Finally Free patterns and designs will be launched by Demdaco in their showroom in January at AmericasMart. These products will be sold to retailers worldwide and should be in many Hallmark stores in early 2012. You can also find some of my Finally Free patterns on skins for technology devices for Skinit. You can purchase them online here. And some of these designs are also on my designs for Tiny Prints here.

Q:Which project stands out in your memory as your all-time favorite?
A:Yes, but they were not made by me. Somehow some sweet ladies in the Czech Republic got an early hold of some Finally Free fabrics and started sewing and selling their goods on Fler which is similar to Etsy. They were kind to contact me and let me know they have sold out of everything quickly and plan to order more….a good sign!

Q:Where do you do your best thinking? Can we see a photo of your studio?
A:Of course I think best in my studio when all is quiet and I can concentrate on design rather than dishes and laundry. My studio is always a work in progress …I have a drafting table, a computer table and a table to create messy mixed media. It’s usually a mess but that means things are being created so I love that! This is just one side of my studio…it will change again when we do the renovation.

Q:What is your favorite snack food? Can we see a photo of your fridge or pantry?
A:Homemade pizza…with garlic, spinach and artichokes…. Sorry, no photo, it’s a small pantry and a mess…crammed with food for four kids, ages 13, 11, 7 and 7. We are in the process of finalizing plans for a big home renovation…exciting and scary!

Now, let’s have a giveaway! I will giveaway 3 mini mason jar pincushion sewing kits!

#1 Leave a comment here letting us know what you’d like to create using any of the Finally Free fabrics.
#2 Leave a comment here letting me know you subscribed to my blog DESIGNING FOR THE SOUL
#3 Leave a comment here saying you liked Multiple Blessings by Caroline Simas on Facebook.

Contest closes one week from post date. Good Luck!!


  1. Thanks to the kind folks at The Jolly Jabber for featuring me here! And many thanks to all the sweet new followers and so thrilled to hear you love the Finally Free fabric as much as I do.

  2. I love the fresh vitality and the delicate motifs of Carolines's faric design Finally Free. Most of all I love the inspiration and story behind the images and would love to make all kinds of useful items to make sure my home was filled with her work. Practical items in the kitchen aprons and ovenmits pillows and table linen, runners. I could use it for trims and highlights on bags from phone to totes. Incorporated in quilts and bedrunners. Caroline's birds and butterflies give me a lovely feeling of joy and peace!

  3. I am so into cool funky pillowcases right now and that's what I would make. There's a perfect pink in there for a cute little girl case!

  4. I would love to make a tote bag (for quilt nights) and a wall hanging with pockets, out of the Finally Free fabric (especially love the "White Birds of a Feather").

  5. Well…I would make maybe a quilt, or a pillow, or a table topper, or what ever I was in the mood to make, after I fondled the fabric for a bit of course. But the possibilities are endless aren't they??? Thanks for a chance. Hugs…

  6. The panel would be perfect for a lap quilt (saw some interesting patterns in quilting mags just today), and then make some pillows to match similar to those shown. Thanks for the giveaway. If win, this will be my first pincushion that I've ever made.

  7. I love this fabric range but I am struggling to come up with one single design for the fabrics. I think I would have to start with a quilt for my little girls bed and then move onto framing some in hoops for the walls. Then I would make a chair pad for myself and maybe some sewing accessories.

  8. I love your fabric, "Finally Free". I think I'd love to make a table runner and some new placemats. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway.

  9. I am not very creative, but I took one look at the fabric with the birds and thought it would make wonderful curtains for my laundry room-you know, a touch of spring all year round! Love those pincushion jars!

  10. I would love to make a bag with this. Also pillows for sure. The fabric would go great with my dark chocolate furniture. Thanks for the giveaway. Those jars are just so darn cute!

  11. The bib and pincushion ideas are so cute–I might have to make both of those, and I think I would also frame one of the larger units from the panel to make a little wall art to brighten my sewing room (Girl Cave).

  12. I believe I would make some coordinated things for my studio: a valance for the window, a sewing machine cover, a new cover for my ironing board and a nice sized bag to for traveling with projects! Have a blessed day!

  13. Oh that's just beautiful fabric. It would make such a cute baby quilt for our Granddaughter who will arrive in Feb. And fussy cutting the awesome Canaries onto Bibs and Burp clothes would be super cute as well.

  14. I can see this fabric in a baby quilt for my future Grand Niece due April 1st. Can't wait to see her and can't wait to get my hands on some FF fabric.

  15. Ya'll are the sweeeeeetest commenting women ever! Wow, so blown away at the kind messages and responses. You make me want to plan a new fabric collection right away! Many blessing to all of you sweet people! xoxo Caroline

  16. I think it would be a beautiful apron or bag to carry things back and forth to school.
    Thanks for the chance to win your pretty pin cushion.
    Regards from Western Canada,

  17. I make Christmas ornaments for my grandchildren every year and would like to make the birds for next year. I will be subscribing to Caroline's blog. Thanks for your generosity.

  18. I follow Caroline's blog, and would encourage anyone who wants to find the beauty and grace in this life to visit Designing for the Soul.

  19. I have been looking for cute bird fabric and I have found it! My best friend and her husband are bird owners and they are expecting their first baby girl in a couple months. I would love to make some bibs and burping cloths with this fabric!

  20. I just subscribed to her blog – LOVE her title and as my daughter is preparing to go to Fashion Design school, I will definitely share this blog with her as well. Thanks so much for linking us up!
    sharonhuismith at yahoo dot com

  21. I liked you on FB – and am excited to follow your journey! What an amazing story about Sloan and how God orchestrated your relationship with them! I loved your comment "designing (or doing art) with a purpose" – that is our prayer for our daughter as she pursues a career in art. You are a wonderful witness to young artists and the artists community as a whole! Praise God!

  22. Comment #1 – I would sew something for my mother with the Finally Free fabric, because she loves birds.

    laurascontests at hotmail dot

  23. Well, that was me above posted as "anonymous"….I don't know why i keep having trouble posting responses. Sharonhuismith at yahoo dot com

  24. wow! what choices to make. I just love what the ladies in the Czech Republic are making and selling! ESPECIALLY LOVE LOVE the girls purses. Would be great to make FOR my 12 yo twins as gifts, or for THEM to make as gifts for friends, OR to teach them to sew and GIVE them to our local pediatric hospital filled with art supplies….yes, i'm SOLD on the last idea! We've had our own experiences with staying at the Peds Hospital and have wanted to find a way to give back….this is PERFECT! Thanks so much for sharing! sharonhuismith at yahoo dot com

  25. I think I would make a wall hanging – the fabric is just so lovely to look at every day. And perhaps an apron, I do still use those every day too!

  26. What fun and happy fabric!! I think I would first make some tote bags with this collection, ooohh or some travel type bags 🙂

  27. I would love to make journals from the Finally Free panel. I also subscribed to your blog. I can't wait to read it. I love the Bohemian Birds fabric with one of my favorite scriptures that I quote often.
    Merry Christmas!

  28. This collection is amazing! Love, love, love the sweet birds. It's perfect for summer dresses for my 3 DGDs, and a lovely purse for their mom.

  29. Love the birds and butterflies in Finally Free. I have a sun room that I have been wanting to make curtains for. I think i've found the fabric!

  30. I would make pillows or a table runner – love anything that adds a fresh new look to my home.