Designer Tidbits: Michelle Engel Bencsko - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Tidbits: Michelle Engel Bencsko

Michelle Engel Bencsko, co-owner and designer at Cloud 9, has made quite a splash with her new collection. Simpatico is trendy and beautiful, incorporating chevron prints, geometrics and light colors. Simpatico means likable, easy to get along with, and this collection is just that. These prints are lovely and very easy to fall for.

Q: To what or whom would you dedicate the Simpatico collection? 
Simpatico was sparked by all the recent trends of triangles and chevrons and so many of the pretty color combinations (many of which are on my Pinterest boards). It’s really just something I wanted to do in reaction to what I was seeing almost everywhere I turned. I developed the entire range in a day, which is rare, but because it’s so simple it just flowed. I think the appeal of simpatico is its “current-ness”.

Q: What is your favorite project using this collection?
A:I really love the Ditto quilt (by Jaybird Quilts) that I made, with cutting help from Julie Herman, herself. It’s very different and the balance is somewhat thrown off by the rhythm of the prints, but the result is really pleasing and I don’t feel like photos do it justice. I can’t wait to see what other people make with it. That always excites me.

Q: If time travel became possible, what year would you want to be in?
A:I’m going to go with the early 60’s. My analytical brain won’t let me go much deeper into the past as I’d have a hard time living without certain amenities. And to be honest, I would hope the time travel could also alter my current age. I think the thrills of that time would revolve around being a youth of the era. If I had to time travel at the age of 42 I’d rather just stay put and travel to exotic lands here and now.

Q:If you had to change your first name what would you change it to?
A:Simone. I’m not sure if personally evoke the nature of a “Simone”, but I truly love the name.

Q:What was your favorite childhood TV show?
A:If I had to name one single show it would be Sesame Street. It began the year I was born and I watched it evolve my whole life (not necessarily in a direction I can still appreciate). I really enjoy my earliest memories of it. I particularly loved the short animations revolving around letters and number and any of the musical segments. Looking back, they were a prelude to music videos (I was an MTV junkie when it first came on the scene).

Q:Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
A:I feel like everyone I know has met wildly famous people, except me. I guess that’s not really true: I did have Ed Emberley in my kitchen! That was something quite exciting. I think the most random brush with greatness was when I was a teen and I went traveling to Arles, France. My mom and I were walking down a cobblestone road and passed Ray Charles who was playing at the ancient Roman amphitheater that night. My New Wave teen self was not that impressed, but now I can see it was actually a pretty cool thing.

Q:What is your favorite App to play on your phone?

Q:If you could marry a technology, what would it be?
A:I had to really think about this! My conclusion is I don’t think I’m ready to settle down with any one just yet. It’s clear I have total commitment issues. I have an on again/off again with Adobe Illustrator: it’s pretty passionate at times, but eventually we tire of each other and have to take a break. My smart phone is super cute and always there for me, but we’re really just friends. I have a total crush on the iPhone but I’m too nervous to make the first move so I just flirt with it. My iPad and I have fun in bed together, but we keep it kind of light. In terms of technology, I guess I’m just not the marrying type.