Designer Tidbits: Erin Michael - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Tidbits: Erin Michael

Lush Uptown by Erin Michael for Moda Fabrics is back by popular demand. Taking color cues from home decor and fashion, the re-release of Lush Uptown is more stunning than ever. Erin is here to chat with us about the re-release, so keep reading for a closer look at Lush Uptown, round two!

Q: We are so thrilled for the re-release of Lush Uptown. Can you tell us a little bit about the original collection? Where did you find your inspiration and how did you decide on coloring?
A:I really was drawn to put something together that personally spoke to me and not influenced by the whole marketplace. I have always loved the mixture of vintage and modern so I thought, “I dress this way, my home is this way, my iPod is even this way, shouldn’t my fabric be this way too?” At the time I was obsessed with collecting vintage paint-by-numbers for my house. I loved the idea of leaving areas of the fabric blank so that people could use the fabric as another medium- filling in areas with embroidery, appliqué, etc.

Q: How did you approach the idea of re-releasing Lush Uptown? What gave you the idea and why did you decide to re-color the prints?
A:We had so many people sending requests to us here at Moda Fabrics over such a long period of time. After ample requests, the creative department agreed to put the original collection into reprint. Of course I jumped at the opportunity but it had been 4 years since the first release. Looking at it with fresh eyes, I wanted to update the colors a bit.

Q: Where did you get your color inspiration for the re-print?
A:Ha –well one thing about me, I’m a total slave to home décor and fashion. I mean I go week in the knees drooling over Kelly Wearster’s interiors and apparel, so naturally all my color since is completely inspired by that industry.

Q:What is your design process? (paint, draw, illustrate, digitize)
A:I always start sketching by hand with graphite and tracing paper. I like working with these mediums because it allows me to sketch and erase very cleanly as opposed to conventional drawing paper. Once a good part of the design is complete then I scan the drawing into Abode Illustrator and convert the drawings to vector, play with the repeat, adjust scale, and then peg out color ways.

Q:What is your favorite thing about working in the fabric industry?
A:The amazing creativity of everyone involved. My father started Moda/United Notions when I was 4 so I grew up around fabrics. I always appreciated the creativity of everyone here at Moda and after attending shows and meet customers, I was so amazed at how much people put into their projects- no matter the size. I am always so proud and humbled whenever I meet someone who is familiar with Moda. They are always so passionate and their creativity & diversity blows me away. It NEVER gets old. I consider it truly an honor to work in a company that produces such a high quality product that inspires people to be creative. Sewing is an art and it’s never boring to see the wonderful things people create.

Q:What is your design aesthetic?
A:In the moments in life when you get to be free to create I think your personality and life experiences come though in your art. So I guess I would have to say my design aesthetic is… little ole, boring, unique me.

Here’s a little about who I am. Hopefully this comes though in my fabrics??? I’m quirky. I have a childlike since of humor. I am always trying new things and pushing creative boundaries in all areas of my life. I love the music, the fashion and home décor from 1940-1950’s. Grew up in the 1970’s totally wearing striped knee high socks while roller skating to Zanadu. I have a hysterical 6 year old boy named Finn and we live in Dallas Texas.

Lush Uptown was super popular in our shop and we sold out of several bolts before the collection even arrived. So if it isn’t online I am sorry to say we sold out. Which SKU was your favorite from Lush Uptown, and what will you be making with it?


  1. Nice to read about you, Erin Michael! Your brother Josh led our tour at MODA this a.m. When he mentioned you were his sister, I made me want to look for your fabrics. Cool to see it here the very same day!

  2. Erin, I love the fabrics! Trying to find a pattern that will do them justice. Do you have a favorite pattern for Lush Uptown?