Designer Tidbits: Jane Sassaman - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Tidbits: Jane Sassaman

The Fat Quarter Shop is excited to welcome Jane Sassaman to the Jolly Jabber. Jane’s latest fabric collection is Early Birds from Free Spirit Fabrics.

Q: What was the first seed that grew into the Early Birds collection?
A:Mother Nature is always my design mentor. But I am also a devotee of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement. This season the signature print in Early Birds is a homage to one of my favorite Morris designs called the Strawberry Thief. My design is called Strawberry Serenade. All the designs in this new line are inspired by our garden in the spring and early summer. I can see all these characters from my studio window.

Q: If your collection had a soundtrack what would be on the list?
A:Early Birds is very fresh and optimistic so its sound track would have to be very upbeat… perhaps Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” or “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah” would best interpret the mood of these designs.

Q: What single print/SKU in the collection is your favorite?
A:Well, I’m really pleased with the new Berry Patch Border print in this collection. It has fun potential for much more than quilts. It is perfect for home dec projects like curtains, bed skirts, tablecloths and pillows. I am also delighted to have several pieces of oil cloth in this collection, too.

Q:What is your favorite project you have made using this collection?
A:My favorite Early Birds project so far is definitely the wonderful party dress that we made for our booth at Houston Market. It’s a 50’s style dress with a fitted waist and a full skirt. The Berry Patch Border print is put to perfect use in this Vintage Vogue pattern. The scooped neckline is made with the Lime Curlicue fabric. And the gold sequin in the center of each sprinkled daisy really puts it over the top!

Q:What is your favorite part of working in the fabric industry?
A:As an artist, the freedom to explore and play is quite important. That’s why Free Spirit is the perfect company to work for. They were founded to present invigorating, original and heartfelt fabric designs for creative use. Free Spirit is also committed to printing on high quality goods and for a designer this is the best of both worlds.

Q:Can you give us a sneak-peek of your next fabric collection?
A:Ha! I wish!! Every year I think “this will be my fruit and vegetable collection.” And every year that theme has been overtaken by another idea. But the veggie designs are piling up, so who knows… this could be the year.

Q:What is your absolute favorite thing in your house?
A:I love the location of our house, which is surrounded by conservation forests and farm fields. But inside our brightly painted home, I guess one of my favorite things is the baby barber chair that my husband found before we even had kids. Every haircut happened in that chair for many years and the chair has followed us from house to house. Needless to say, it is upholstered in Sassaman fabric. In fact, the entire house is a laboratory for Sassaman designs.

Q:Where do you do your best thinking? Can we see a photo of your studio?
A:As an artist, it is my duty to have my “feelers up” all the time. Inspiration can come from anywhere and at anytime. I will admit to being a “morning” person. I finally have a separate studio to work in. It is painted golden yellow and this is where you will find me 8 hours a day, seven days a week when I’m home.

Q:What is your favorite snack food? Can we see a photo of your fridge or pantry?
A:Buttery popcorn is definitely one of my comfort foods because my dad made popcorn all the time when I was growing up. No way am I showing you the inside of my fridge!! I’d rather be quilting than cooking or cleaning. In fact, if no one mentions dinner, I’m certainly not going to bring it up!

Q:What is your one guilty pleasure in life?
A:I treat myself to a Starbucks coffee after I go to the gym… just for being such a good girl. I also have a weakness for art books, and Amazon and I are pretty tight.


  1. Jane's fabric lines are amazing and the dress is beautiful. I wish that I could find some of her old lines as I love her designs. I'm so glad that you featured Jane in your blog.