Designer Tidbits: Holly Holderman - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Tidbits: Holly Holderman

Craving something sweet? We definitely have you covered! Sweet Things by Holly Holderman for LakeHouse Dry Goods has arrived and is ready to sweeten up your stash. Whether you crave doughnuts, cupcakes or cherries, this bright and cheerful collection will have just what you need. We gave you a peek after showing off our final Back to School with Pam Kitty Love quilt, and today Holly is here on the blog to give you a closer look!

Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for Sweet Things?
A:I have always had a love of color & pattern. As a young child my mother was very careful with our diet & keeping our teeth cavity-free. We also lived pretty far away from the shopping area of the town I grew up in. I’ll never forget going to Van Driel’s Drug Store with my friend Gail. I was about 10 years old. They had a huge display of penny candy, in all shapes & sizes. It was mesmerizing, and something I will never forget. Roald Dahl, who wrote Willy Wonka, had a similar experience as a child, and wrote about it in his book “Boy”.

Q: What was your “aha” moment in designing this collection?
A:For me design is in large part an editing process. I start out with “exhuberant abandon” this involves shopping to get out in the world and see what’s going on in pop culture and then wading through my archives. I’ve been collecting inspiring things for all of my adult life…

Q: What TV show or movie does your collection fit best in?
A:That would be Willy Wonka, of course! The first version with Gene Wilder is a personal favorite.

Bonus applique templates by Holly Holderman available for free download HERE

Q:Tell me about your sewing machine. What kinds do you have and how many?
A:I learned to sew on a Singer Touch & Sew. I loved it, because it was so easy to wind a bobbin. Later on in high school, I got a really nice Singer as a birthday present from my dad. In high school I sewed down ski bunny outfits, bikinis, silk dresses, my first quilt…that machine was amazing. Unfortunately, it was dropped & broke into two pieces during one of my many moves. Now I only have a loaner from a friend, and unfortunately I don’t have that much time to sew right now.

Q:What is your favorite part of the fabric industry?
A:Wow, that’s a tough question. Love, Love, Love seeing new things at our trade shows and meeting interesting & talented people when there. I have to remember to tone it down with new fabric & quilt designers I meet, because I can be an overly-gushing fan.

Pennants Quilt Kit by Holly Holderman, featuring Sweet Things

Q:From what aspect of your life do you draw creativity?
A:Anywhere, anytime, I just keep my eyes open. That said, Paris will always be my very favorite place to re-charge my battery.

Q:What is your design process?
A: I used to paint everything myself, gouache paints in hundreds of tiny jars, expensive sable brushes & papers, the works. But then I hired friends to help, and over time with the crazy pace of today’s design world, that all sort of slipped away. Now we do almost everything on our computers in the studio.

Snow White Quilt Pattern by Holly Holderman, featuring Sweet Things

Q:What is your favorite print in the collection?
A:Oh, that’s like telling you who my favorite child is…that wouldn’t be right would it? Well, I do love me some donuts, available in black, lime, purple and white.

Q:What is the most challenging part of the design process?
A:Harnessing all of my ideas & designing a cohesive collection. My collections are frequently larger than most quilt fabric groupings, with 60 to 120 skus.

Q:What are your favorite and least favorite colors and why?
A:Favorite color HANDS DOWN: Periwinkle. Least favorite: mauvey, dirty purple-y pinks.

Be sure to pick up some Sweet Things over at Fat Quarter Shop, and download the FREE PDF cupcake applique templates here!


  1. Thanks for the cupcake templates!
    I love everything designed by Holly Holderman, and the Sweet Things line is no exception. Love it!

  2. I just love this line of fabric and the patterns are just as great cant wait to try them and maybe get some of that material…

  3. I LOVE this collection. It is so playful and fun. Those quilts are so amazing. Congrats that all of your hard work and great imagination paid off.