- The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

We are so excited to introduce today’s author, Joel Dewberry. Who hasn’t heard of him! Read on to see how this “eclectic modern” designer finds inspiration in nature and how his newest collections reflect that spirit.

My ideas and inspiration for fabric designs come from a number of different sources. As an artist and designer I make a habit of observing what is going on in the world around me. Two experiences in particular that inspire me are (1) Walking through a park, garden or nursery. Nature is at the heart of my design collections and my process. There is an unending supply of content and energy there. (2) I enjoy the experience of walking through a shopping mall. From window displays to fashion to home interiors, I use this opportunity to keep current on trends and styles. Another source of inspiration for me is design antiquity. I have evolved as a designer through my study of the many genres of design, everything from Victorian to Post-Modern.

My design process for my current fabric collections (Aviary, Manzanita and Chestnut Hill) was the same. I addressed each of these three collections in a similar fashion. I developed a recipe that I then applied to each to deliver my final designs for each group. In addition to the traditional contrast of scales, I wanted to incorporate something unique and memorable. I decided to begin with a delicate and beautiful silhouetted floral print (ie. Lily, Blackeyed Susan and Sparrow on Cherry Blossoms). These prints brought an organic quality that made them feel familiar. I then worked on supporting floral prints to complement the larger main design (ie. Manzanita Branches, Chestnut Branches and Wood grain). I next introduced a range of historic, geometric and modern inspired prints. This final step was a bit unexpected and I feel it helps to differentiate my collections from others in the same genre. The seemingly incompatible mixture of design styles was then harmonized through the application of color. The end result is an eclectic mix of patterns that create personality, drama and just make me happy.

The Aviary collection was my attempt at recreating the beauty and spirit that are synonymous with a relaxing garden setting. From the cherry blossom and sparrow motif to the rich wood grain texture, Aviary transports the elegant design of nature to the luxurious medium of fabric.

The Chestnut Hill collection permeates the rich flavor and beauty found in the Tuscan countryside. Signature prints like the chestnuts and chestnut branches and architectural details like the scrollwork pattern help initiate a return to historic and timeless beauty. This collection, in particular, was inspired by a recent trip my wife and I took to Italy. We were swept away in the history and beauty that we found in Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Venice. I could not think of a better way to capture the magical beauty we experienced there than to dedicate one of my collections to our trips memory.

The Manzanita collection achieves a successful harmony between urban couture and bold floral and fauna motifs. The collection’s distinct color palettes help to further soften the transition from a modern style to organic beauty. The “Manzanita” name is derived from the raw, but elegant manzanita branches which I devote a pattern to within the collection and while it wasn’t my intention, an Asian influence seems to have emerged.

While I am a relatively new fabric designer and have just recently been introduced to the industry, I have been a crafts“man” for sometime now. In addition to my numerous other branding and design activities, I have been invested in the crafting industry for nearly 10 years. I have grown to appreciate, respect and recognize the potential that exists in this exciting industry. I hope to be a part of its continued evolution and look forward to contributing new and unexpected designs.

On the horizon, I will be launching my next fabric collection sometime early 2008. Speaking of new fabric, I better get back to designing if I am going to make that deadline!

Joel Dewberry

PS: Don’t forget that the Middle Name contest (from yesterday’s post) is still on!


  1. It is so fun to learn more about Joel Dewberry- he is so talented!! Great to hear about the design process too. I really love Aviary-in fact, that might be perfect for something I have in mind…

    Thanks, and best of luck to you Joel!