Designer Tidbits: Nancy Mink - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Tidbits: Nancy Mink

The Fat Quarter Shop is excited to welcome Nancy Mink to the Jolly Jabber. Nancy’s latest fabric collection is Cafe Americano from Wilmington Prints.

Q: What was the first seed that grew into the Cafe Americano collection?
A:Living in the northwest, coffee houses are on every corner. The rich aroma, taste and bustling shops are enticing on rainy Oregon days. My inspiration for Cafe Americano came from these shops and a visit to our American coffee plantations near Kona, Hawaii.

Q: If your collection had a soundtrack what would be on the list?
A:I’d like to choose Hawaiian music to accompany a cup of Joe as the morning sun rises over the Pacific…like this music video:

Q: What single print/SKU in the collection is your favorite?
A:It would have to be the “Cafe” cup panel; there are so many quilting/crafting possibilities with this one!

Q:What is your favorite project you have made using this collection?
A:I actually have two. One is a gift set; a fabric gift box that collapses and an apron. You can get the directions and pattern for this fabric box HERE.

The second is my Cafe Americano quilt with hues of espresso brown, swirled cream and ripe coffee bean red.

Q:What is your favorite part of working in the fabric industry?
A:As an artist for home decor, it is interesting to see how my paintings are transformed when applied to fabric. It’s always a bit of a surprise as to how the final fabric looks. My favorite part is getting that first fabric sample. My creative thoughts go into overdrive with all of the projects I want to design and make.

Q:Can you give us a sneak-peek of your next fabric collection?
A:I can only give you a quick peak with a hint; it is wintery fun!

Q:What is your absolute favorite thing in your house?
A:That would have to be this little corner of our sunroom. It is cheery all year. We eat a lot of our meals there, play board games there and sometimes I take it over for sewing projects.

Q:Which project stands out in your memory as your all-time favorite?
A:I wish that I had a photo! My favorite sewing project was my first quilt that I made while in college (dare I say about 30 years ago?) I had a dingy one-room inner-city apartment and no money. I learned to sew clothing when I was young, so I decided to make a quilt out of some scraps and old clothes to cheer up the apartment. I’d never quilted, but thought to myself, “How hard can it be?” I soon found out! The quilt was made with only a needle and thread and was scrappy, but colorful. It did the job of cheering me up and keeping me warm on lonely, cold nights. I’m sorry to say that I tossed the quilt when I graduated and finally earned a bit of money. Moral of the story…don’t ever toss out anything homemade from the heart!

Q:Where do you do your best thinking?
A:I love my studio, but I have to warn you that these pictures are as-is as I finish a fast-approaching project deadline. My studio looks out over towering pines, a blueberry patch and a small pond. Wildlife is a frequent visitor.

I reupholstered the chair in the reading corner, which I bought for $10 at a thrift shop, and the mirror behind it is made from an old window. The large design wall is covered in black bulletin board material. I would like a sewing area much larger than I have; for now I just take over our sunroom on big projects. There are rumblings that we could add on to make a larger studio. I have my fingers crossed!

Q:What is your favorite snack food? Can we see a photo of your fridge or pantry?
A:When young, my dad would take us fishing and always bring along Big Hunk candy bars for a snack. It was quite a treat, since we didn’t often get sweets. I miss my dad, who is in heaven with our Lord now. So, when I want a small celebration for something like signing a nice contract or finishing a large project, I reach for the stash of Big Hunks that are hidden in my stationary drawer. (Thinking of you, dad!)

Q:What is your one guilty pleasure in life?
A:Our annual trip to Kona.


  1. Nice getting to know you. I did chuckle at your apololy regarding your studio. On a good day my sewing room. Ever looked half as good! lol

  2. I have to agree with Dawn's comment – I'd consider myself blessed if my sewing area looked remotely that good! LOL I absolutely love that Cafe Americano fabric!

  3. And I love that "corner of your sunroom" that looks sooo cozy! I also like the cafe cup panel and apron. THANKS NANCY!