Welcome to another fabric filled edition of Fat Quarter Shop Friday where we bring you information and insight from some of your favorite fabric designers!
Today, we’re welcoming husband and wife design team Jason Rector and Cynthia Mann. Together they collaborate under the name Jay-Cyn Designs (what a clever name!) and have just released their second line with Birch Fabrics, Storyboek!
You can check out their first line, Avalon here.
A fun and fantastical children’s line, Storyboek draws on Cynthia’s childhood memories and mixes Dutch themed artwork with playful images of children and wildlife. The line is printed on 100% organic cotton.
RWQ: Welcome Jason and Cynthia. Its nice to speak with you both today, please tell the readers a little bit about yourself. How long have you been designing fabric? What is your design background?
Jason Rector, the “Jay” behind Jay-Cyn designs, my husband has been a graphic and multimedia designer for the past 15-20 years, he’s worked on many projects that include companies large and small. He started out in his early twenties with his own screen-printing business, and has a long history of design. His strength falls in the computer and design category.
The “Cyn” behind Jay-Cyn Designs, is myself, Cynthia Mann, my design background is nothing in comparison, however I have had a long history of love for all design, especially print, and especially anything mid-century. Our tastes and styles are so similar that we felt it a natural fit to design together, and since we’ve been married for 9 years, we know how to work well together too! My strength falls in the knowing what is marketable and having a finger on the fabric industry pulse. When I created Birch Fabrics in June of 2009 the goal was to bring organic quilting cottons to the mainstream for modern sewers, and hope to make an impact with great designs on organic fabric, to provide a more eco friendly option. We initially licensed designs from designers such as Monaluna and Dan Stiles, and then decided to try our own hand at it.
Jay-Cyn Designs has only been designing fabric for about a year. Our first collection Avalon for Birch Fabrics hit the stores in May 2011, and our second collection Storyboek will be in stores in August 2011.
RWQ: I think it’s wonderful that you both can work together so well and I enjoyed the few minutes we spoke during Fall Market 2010. I really appreciate the business model Birch Fabrics represents and feel organic/pesticide free fabrics are an important contribution to today’s fabric market. Where do you draw your inspiration from when designing your fabrics?
Both Jason and myself draw our inspiration from our childhoods and our love for past trends and styles, especially those from the fifties and sixties. We are especially passionate about Scandinavian, Danish and Dutch styles.
RWQ: What was your inspiration for Storyboek?
The inspiration for Storyboek was definitely my childhood, from the wallpaper on my walls, to the stories that I loved. The palette was drawn from things I remembered from books and my room. My favorite book as a child was Robert Louis Stevenson’s “A Child’s Garden of Verses” and the verse “Foreign Lands” had always struck a cord with me. My parents had a set of Encyclopedias, and I was always looking up countries and looking at the pictures and dreaming of what it would be like to go there. Holland was always my favorite, and when I was 5 years old, I was a Dutch girl for Halloween. I thought it would be fun to do a sort of play on a Dutch countryside and throw a little fairytale, woodsy theme in the mix. My mom had a lot of American folk art around the house, and made wood decorations that she cut out and painted and most of them were Dutch inspired, so I was familiar with a lot of the designs and just kind of ran from there.
RWQ: Do you have a favorite print in the collection?
It would be a toss up between both cheater prints, I love how they incorporate the other prints and especially the “Gone Fishin’ Cheater”, since we have two boys who love to fish, it’s really special to us!
RWQ: Since this is your first time as a featured designer, can you briefly tell us about any other lines you have released?
Avalon by Jay-Cyn Designs for Birch Fabrics was our debut Collection that was released in May 2011. It was a collection that featured beach cruisers and birds, and was inspired by sixties beach vacations, renting cruisers and riding along the boardwalks of southern California beaches.
RWQ: Do either of you quilt? How would you describe your quilting “style”?
No, I wish I could say I was. I really love the idea, but I’m not a very patient sewer, and as much as I’d love to learn, I think I might myself crazy trying to make a quilt!
RWQ: Do you design quilting patterns for your fabrics? If so, please tell us about your patterns.
No, wish I could 🙂
RWQ: What methods do you use to design your fabrics?
For Storyboek, Jason and I collectively drew everything first in pencil. We then scanned our drawings and Jason did all the computer design work from there.
RWQ: Thanks for speaking with me today Jason and Cynthia! Can you please tell my readers how they can find more information about you and your company?
If you are interested in finding out more information about Jay-Cyn Designs or Birch Fabrics, you can reach both Jason and Cynthia through email: Cynthia@birchfabrics.com and visit our website: www.birchfabrics.com
To enter for your chance to win some Storeyboek fabrics donated by Jason and Cyntha, please leave a comment on this post. Feel free to let us know what you’d like to make with it! Only one entry per person. All duplicate entries will be deleted!
I will draw several winners using the Random Number Generator and announce them here in an upcoming post!
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