Oui, oui! Billet-Doux by Verna Mosquera has arrived. Doesn’t this romantic collection have you feeling decadently French? Verna Mosquera is here on the Jolly Jabber to “parler” about her latest, French inspired collection. Keep reading for a dose of romance!
Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for Billet-Doux?
A:One day while shopping an open market in Montevideo, Uruguay, I came upon a vendor with a few vintage items. I fell in love with and purchased a small booklet with a message inside. When I took it home I came to realize the written words were a love letter a man had written to his one true love. I have kept it ever since as I am a true romantic and knew that I would treasure the message even though it was meant for someone else. I’ve often wondered if it was ever read by its intended recipient. Inspired by this lovely booklet, my new collection Billet-Doux is full of romance and timeless elegance. Bouquets of roses, dainty dots and delicate stripes coordinate beautifully in a color palette of rose pinks, berry wines, pearl whites, emerald greens and smokey greys.
Q: What would be your collection’s theme song?
A:Billet-Doux by Romane. The French guitar is so sweet. The instrument needs no words.
Q: Tell us about your background. How did you get into the fabric and quilting industry??
A:I started quilting as a New Year’s resolution. I was unchallenged in my job and decided I wanted to be more creative. Once I took my first quilting class I was totally hooked. I began to make numerous quilts. The shop where I took the class asked me to teach. That soon led to working in the shop and really beginning to understand the quilt industry. I began designing patterns in 2002 and started The Vintage Spool in 2004. It wasn’t long after that I attended my first Quilt Market. It was there that I was approached by previous owner of FreeSpirit, Donna Wilder. She really loved my patterns and wanted me to take my aesthetic and put it into fabric. Not long after she sold the company to Westminster. I have been designing fabric for FreeSpirit ever since.
Q:What projects do you hope to see using Billet-Doux? Quilts, apparel, accessories, home décor projects?
A:I think it is wonderful for quilts, little girls’ dresses, pillows, and so much more. The reds and greens are terrific for holiday projects, and the greys and plum are sophisticated and perfect for home decor. It is a very versatile line. I’m anxious to see what everyone does with it.
Q:Does your family give you input on your designs?
A:Only if I ask for it. My husband and oldest son Milo are pretty quiet; they don’t give much creative input. My youngest son Nico tends to notice my work and comment more often. He will walk by and say “Mommy that is beautiful” or help me name a quilt pattern if I ask him to. My mom is my biggest fan so she says she loves everything I do, which just cracks me up because it reminds me of being younger and thinking no matter how ugly she’d still hang my paintings on the refrigerator.
Q7:What is your design process?
A:I never seem to have a lack of ideas only a shortage of time. Many times collections and patterns are created within tight time constraints. Both due to Market deadlines and personal family obligations. This can often seem stressful and at times blocks my creativity. Taking long walks and a lot of deep breaths help. Also knowing fellow designers go through the same thing makes me realize I’m not alone and it happens to all artists.
Q:What is your favorite print in the collection?
A:Full Bloom in Lace. There is something about the scale of the roses and the combination of red and green that I just love. I found myself constantly using it in my projects. Funny how every collection has a favorite print but it happens every time.
Q:What do you plan to make using Billet-Doux?
A:I’ve had my yardage for some time with this collection, so I’ve been lucky to have been able to work with it quite a bit. I decided to do many of the projects from my book A Sewn Vintage Lifestyle. It was fun to do them out of a current collection. Some of my favorites were the Apron, Dish Towel, Patchwork Picnic Quilt, Welcome Wall Hanging, and Garden Tote Bag. As the collection was sitting in my studio I began to focus on the reds and greens. I now have the itch to do a Christmas piece. My plan is to do a wall hanging called Visions of Sugarplums. It will be the pattern for my November workshop called Joy to the Girls. You can read about it here.