Designer Tidbits: Rae Hoekstra - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Tidbits: Rae Hoekstra

It’s time for a parade! Fanfare Flannel by Rae Hoekstra of Made by Rae is perfect for fun quilting and sewing projects for your little ones. Decorate your nursery with playful elephants and sly foxes! Rae is here to tell you more about Fanfare Flannel, so keep reading for a closer look!

Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for this collection?
A:My two children, Clementine and Elliot, are always my inspiration. I’m constantly designing prints that I want them to wear. I love it when they wear simple, modern designs. The repeats in Fanfare are very basic, and I think that’s what I love the most about them. While I am very fond of beautiful and intricate fabric designs as well, I think simple works really nicely for childrenswear because it distracts less from the garment and the child. Also, Elliot loves elephants, so that design was originally intended for him.

Q: What was your “aha” moment in designing this collection?
A:My “aha” moment with this collection was when we decided to go with a pastel color theme. Originally the colors were much deeper and bolder. You can see an example of what I originally had designed in this blog post; my son Elliot is wearing a tee made with a navy and orange fox print (in a much bigger scale than Fanfare) that I had printed out on Spoonflower to test out the colors and scale. Soon after Michelle (of Cloud 9) and I started working together on the collection last spring, we turned toward pastels instead. As soon as we started working with the pale aquas and light greys and yellows, it just clicked for me. I’m so happy with how they turned out!

Flannel Elephant Jubilee Pillowcase featuring Fanfare Flannel

Q:Tell me about your sewing machine(s). What kinds do you have and how many?
A:I have two Bernina machines that I do most of my sewing on; they’re both fairly basic machines but they are good workhorses. I love how reliable they are. I also have a Brother serger, which I use for seam finishing and sewing with knits, which I do quite often since I primarily sew clothing.

Q:What is your favorite part of the fabric industry?
A:My favorite part of the fabric industry is seeing all the new collections at Quilt Market. It’s so fun to see them displayed so creatively!

Animal Fair Quilt Kit featuring Fanfare Flannel

Q:What is your design process?
A:I sketch little doodles all the time. They turn up on pieces of paper all over the house. Sometimes I doodle in Paper, which is an iPad app. Once I find a sketch I want to turn into a design, I take a picture of it and trace the image outline in Illustrator. From there it goes into a repeat.


Q:What is your favorite print in the collection?
A:My favorite print is the little foxes, available in blue, gold, and pink. Those will always steal my heart. 

Q:What is the most challenging part of the design process?
A:The most challenging part of the design process for me definitely relates to color. First, deciding on colors…it’s easy to get two or three prints to coordinate, but getting a whole line to coordinate with just a few colors is like putting together a puzzle. And then getting the colors just right during the strikeoff phase was tricky. Little tweaks in color make a huge difference, and I found this to be very challenging since I’m new to all this!

Q:What are your favorite and least favorite colors and why?
A:My least favorite colors are purples (I’m a bit hard-pressed to find a purple I love) and some greens. My most favorite colors are yellows, pinks, oranges, and reds. I guess I lean towards the warmer side of the color spectrum when it comes to my preferences.