When I think of Bari J. Ackerman,  my brain goes to layers and layers of loveliness. Her work is so intricate and her use of color so joyful that looking at her blog is often my reward after a day of stressful work (her logo alone calms and inspires me).
Her first book, Inspired to Sew, (Stash Books) came out earlier this year (do you have it yet? Why not?! Go order right now!). In addition to her line of patterns, she also designs fabric (her next line, Paris Apartment, will be available in July). What I particularly love about Bari J. is that she has this terrific eye for vintage that just feels right and feels real and usable (she talks about this in her Q&A—I love what she says about vintage purses). When I look at her stuff, I am reminded that color and texture and playfulness and nostalgia aren’t just concepts for Milan runways or boutique windows: they can be tenets of everyday life.

Bari J. is generously offering one of her gorgeous patterns (the winner can choose any one of her patterns, all listed here) and a stack of 8 fat quarters (it will be a random mix), which might look something like this . . .

So, enjoy the Q&A with her (it’s very insightful—especially for people who dream of designing fabric), and enter to win Bari's stuff, as well as a copy of Sew Retro, by leaving a comment between now and Thursday, June 16th, at noon EST. I won’t disqualify you if your comment is just “hey, cool,” but in the spirit of Bari J’s story (see question #1!), I’d love to know what goal (sewing-specific, business, design, personal—whatever) you still have for yourself, whether you’re 23 or 35 or 64 or 82.

Q: I’m always fascinated how people come to fabric and pattern design. What is your background, and what made you switch from just making bags to designing fabric and patterns?

Bari J.: Just out of college I worked as a copywriter and graphic designer in advertising. After I had kids and stopped working I started puttering around making jewelry and collage art from found objects, which I sold to local boutiques. Soon thereafter I found sewing and was immediately hooked. Once I had my website up and going I found I was doing a lot of graphic design again and that’s when the idea for surface design, and in particular fabric design, began. It was also pretty clear to me after I started my blog that although people loved my bags and accessory line, my readers were DIYers. I can’t even tell you how many times I was asked for a pattern. The next logical step really was sewing patterns.

Truth told, making the jump to fabric design was not easy. I’d done graphic design and I knew the computer software, but I had no idea where to start. I didn’t know how to make repeats and I didn’t trust my drawing skills. It’s funny because my mother painted my whole life. But having come from a large family, each sibling sort of takes their role and sticks with it. My brother and sister drew and painted a bit, so I was the actress/singer in the family. It’s interesting how family dynamics work. It never even occurred to me that I could draw until I finally tried at 35 years old. In order to design fabric, I had purchased a graphics tablet for the computer. Once I picked up the pen and got going, the ideas kept coming. I can’t even tell you the number of hours I practiced drawing or the number of designs I erased, but eventually I had a collection ... and I’d figured out the elusive pattern repeat.

Right about that time, Spoonflower, started its beta program. So I wrote them and asked to be a part of it. They digitally printed the first collection for me, I made a quilt and other items and off I went to quilt market with several appointments ahead of me with fabric companies. At the time it was still unheard of to have actual fabric samples (now it’s old hat, everyone is digitally printing), so it was a blast to show what you could actually do with the designs I’d done. Everyone wanted to know how I got the fabric printed. Things sure change fast, huh? That was October 2008.

Q: Paris Apartment is your next collection, correct? I love the previews I’ve seen! What inspired this collection, and when (and where) will it be available?

Bari J.: Thank you. I’m thrilled with this collection. It really came about just through doodling and daydreaming. I have always wanted to go to Paris, but I’ve never been. As I was drawing bits and pieces out, I realized it all was part of my elaborate fantasy. This collection is how I imagine I might live if I were to have my own Paris Apartment. It is printed by Lecien and will be available in stores in early July all over the world.

Q: I’m also fascinated with how people arrive at writing a craft book, especially since it’s usually a labor of love. Inspired to Sew is so beautiful. What’s the backstory?

Bari J.: Thank you again. When I arrived home from that very first quilt market, having just sold my first line, Full Bloom, for licensing, I received an email. I was riding pretty high on the success, so in all honesty I was waiting for the sky to fall. You know? That feeling of, it’s all so good, something bad is bound to happen any minute. (Is that just me?)

At any rate, I received an email from the acquisitions editor at C&T that she’d been reading my blog and it turns out I live nearby and would I like to meet for lunch and chat. I was so completely convinced that it was a joke, I nearly deleted the email. I went back to read it a couple days later, and responded, “sure, I’d love to meet and talk about it.” And with a laugh, I forgot all about it. In the end, obviously, I did end up taking that meeting. It turned out C&T was about to launch their Stash Books imprint and it was just the absolute perfect opportunity.

It was, in fact, a labor of love for me. I, again, had no idea how I’d proceed, or if I could even do it, but it all turned out just exactly as I’d imagined, and as an added benefit, it is what propelled me into producing my line of sewing patterns.

Q: I love your tagline: Vintage inspired design for your modern life. What does that mean for you—in both your day-to-day life (what I like to call “the slogging through”) and your creative life?

Bari J.: Throughout my life, I’ve had a love of old things. I think I arrived at it through my mother who also has that aesthetic. However, you just sometimes can’t live with old stuff. In fact, old handbags are most seriously one of those things that are hard to live with in. They can be smelly for starters, something that always bothered me. And for another, they just don’t have modern conveniences. So, the tagline came from the desire to make handbags that were vintage modern. Something with an old-world feel, but with modern conveniences such as added pockets, etc. And that of course easily translates across all of my design whether it be fabric or sewing patterns.

Q: I love your post about the Springtime in Paris clutch, and how many tries it took to get it right. Often times, people don’t see all the work that goes into getting something right (and the mistakes made!). What is your process for developing patterns? Do you see it all in your head, or get your best ideas in the shower, or sketch it out, or just start cutting fabrics, etc.?

Bari J.: I’d say all of the above although I have been know to cut straight into fabrics without a plan which is something I have to force myself not to do.

I do see what I want in my head but sometimes it just doesn’t make sense in reality, so for me, I try to always make a muslin version first after I sketch and work out the measurements, etc. A little restraint in diving right into the real fabrics tends to go a long way for me.

Q: Your work is so rich in color and layers. Does it get tempting to keep adding more, especially when you are working with fabric you love? How do you edit yourself?

Bari J.: Oh boy, I have a terrible time editing. I think it’s just an instinct as to when to stop. I hear my mom saying: “Don’t you think that’s a little bit ‘unga-patchkie’?” Which is Yiddish for over the top or over done.

I do think more is more though. I’ll always say that.

Q: I find that designers are super friendly and the crafting community is a warm one. Still, there is a lot of competition these days as more and more independent designers are producing lines of patterns and fabric. Does it ever feel overwhelming? How do you stay focused?

Bari J.: I’ll tell you what, it IS overwhelming, there IS a lot of competition, but it also is a very warm community and I do think we all try to support one another. There are people who are very giving who have helped me along the way, and I try to give that in return. I do also try to stay out of the blog-o-sphere when I get that overwhelmed “I’m never gonna make it feeling.” And I had a designer say to me once that she just tries to “stay in her lane.” I’ve adopted that attitude.

Q: Lastly, what’s next for you in the short-term and the long-term?

Bari J.: I’ll be working on a new fabric line in the coming weeks for next spring and also a book proposal. And I’ll be teaching at the Sister’s Outdoor Quilt Show’s, Quilter’s Affair next month and then I’ll be in Utah teaching at the Sewing Summit in October.

Long term, I intend to license my designs on other surfaces ... hopefully some home goods and paper. All fun stuff. I really love my job.
6/9/2011 01:51:44 am

I loved reading the interview! thank you!

My goals really are just to enjoy sewing and improve my skills. It would be lovely to eventually be good enough to support my fabric habit with my sewing, but really, I'm still okay if that doesn't happen. :)

6/9/2011 01:52:18 am

I, too, am in graphic/web designs in college. I just transferred colleges, so I'm hoping a lot of classes will transfer.

I am up in the air with what I want to do with my degree when I'm done with school. I want to be creative, and work with my hands. I'd love to be able to make a living doing what I love.

6/9/2011 01:57:46 am

awesome story!

6/9/2011 02:34:26 am

Oh my gosh, what a fantabulous giveaway! I am so excited for Paris Apartment to be released I can hardly stand it! Thanks for the chance. :)

6/9/2011 03:19:16 am

Great interview and beautiful fabrics. I am just relearning sewing, now that my children are out of the busy toddler stage. Thanks for the giveaway!

6/9/2011 03:26:51 am

I love Bari's work and dream of designing for a living as well (a big dream)

6/9/2011 03:57:28 am

Ooooh, pretty. I'd love to get my hands on these fabrics!

Peggy O'Connor
6/9/2011 04:05:26 am

6/9/2011 04:37:19 am

A wonderful interview that helps one get to know the designer of fabric they love. At 63 my life is full of the colors and prints of fabric that inspire me on to make totes or quilts or clothes. I'm expressing these feelings to my grandaughters and teaching them to sew. Life is wonderful. Thank you Bari J.

6/9/2011 04:56:00 am

BariJ is one of the busiest most devoted people I have met, if you will, in the blogging/twitter circle of quilters. Her book Inspired to Sew is a true testament of BariJ, she is definitely inspired and she inspires me and so many others. I am content in my retired life to just quilt for my family and friends, with the occasional 10-50 quilts I do each year for others to support my habit. My oldest Son has told me I am quilt obsessed, so be it LOL! I just organized a group of quilters and we are devoting our community support project to St. John's Hospital "nursery" in Joplin, Missouri as they are rebuilding from the tornado in May of this year. If you would like to see some of our planned projects, please see my blog The Learning Curve
http://jeannegwin.blogspot.com Thanks for the opportunity to win.

6/9/2011 05:47:26 am

What a great interview! Thanks for the intro to Bari's work. I love the More is More philosophy:D I work in glass and try to incorporate fabric design patterns into a lot that I do; and I often have trouble stopping.

I have a huge stash of fabrics to choose from in the "quilt room," and my goal is to start sewing and learning how to make bags and clothing (specifically skirts). I need to hop on over to Bari's site and check out those patterns, huh? :)

6/9/2011 05:56:41 am

I love Bari J! My main goal right now is creative, but not sewing related. I want to finish and self-publish my first novel. Thanks for the chance.

6/9/2011 06:04:48 am

Fabulous interview - thanks for sharing BariJ! My plan is to finally try to sew myself some simple tops for summer. I'm a clothes-sewing chicken.

6/9/2011 06:21:05 am

Love your fabrics. I am a quilter and do some sewing for grandchildren.

6/9/2011 06:36:17 am

So glad that you love your job Bari because we love what you do!!
Keep up the great work Bari and SewRetro!

6/9/2011 06:54:31 am

Fab interview. My goal at the moment is to enter more fully into my life - too long I've been a work to sleep to work girly, I lost sight of where I wanted to be, more importantly of who I wanted to be.

I'm girding my loins and launching myself into the world of internet crafting - in just a few days I've seen and read so much to inspire me - such pretty things and fantastic people. I already feel like half the weight of the world has been lifted from me!

dana schardein
6/9/2011 06:55:32 am

Love retro material.. collecting to make a wedding ring quilt.. for my son's wedding present! The material listed would fit in beautifully! thank you for such a chance!

6/9/2011 07:10:12 am

My quilting dream is to design my own patterns, do a book and the real probably not going to happen but makes me happy to think about it anyways is too design fabric one day.

Karyn Ashley-Smith
6/9/2011 07:24:42 am

My goal is to explore each medium I find interesting to see which ones suit me best. I am endlessly facinated by fabrics. Love the look of Bari J. Headed to check out the links now.

6/9/2011 07:39:40 am

What a great interview!
Im only young but i've already achieved so many personal and career goals (house, husband, moving up the career ladder, further studies...). My new goal is to chill out a bit and work on some of my more creative stuff.Clean out my craft/sewing/knitting stuff and finish some of those old projects finished!!

6/9/2011 08:47:56 am

Thanks for this interview! I'll definitely check out her blog. I'll be 60 at my next birthday and after not sewing for almost 20 years have gotten the bug again. So my goal is to make myself some clothes-dresses, shorts, even pants that are hard for me to fit in ready to wear and have FUN doing it! I love the attitude I see in blogland among the young women, that sewing one's own clothes as well as crafting is reallly fun.

6/9/2011 09:48:27 am

Great interview. I have admired Bari J's style. I feel now I have a deeper understanding of her process. Thank you.

Patricia Hersl
6/9/2011 09:49:10 am

I want to go out with my boots on. I hope I can continue teaching until I can stand upright no more. Now, can I just love the fabric?

6/9/2011 10:19:31 am

Great interview and love the fabrics. thanks

6/9/2011 11:23:35 am

Well, I just got an unexpected promotion at work as a supervisor so my goal for the next two years is not to suck at it. And, as a newbie sewer I want more time to improve my skills.

angela d.
6/9/2011 11:26:57 am

Thanks for a great interview! I love sewing and making quilts. I;m working on learning how to make clothes now too. I'd love to improve on my garment making skills.

6/9/2011 11:40:41 am

Thanks for the contest! My goal is to stop talking myself out of moving forward!

6/9/2011 11:48:23 am

My goal is to not be so much of a procrastinator. Nice interview! And great giveaway.

6/9/2011 12:46:53 pm

Paper, Paper, Paper ...... love your designs

6/9/2011 01:26:16 pm

My sewing goal and personal goal intersect - I can't wait to have a child or two and make a good bit of their wardrobe(s) myself! :)

6/9/2011 04:17:12 pm

My personal goal is to make a success of my brand new little shop. Short term just get my 4 commitments for the month sewn.

6/9/2011 09:20:19 pm

Ultimately I wold love to become a fabric designer. BUT there is so much talent out there I'm not sure it will haappen.

So I matain I'll keep creating art and you my cyper friends and other wise can decide what to make of it.

6/9/2011 10:08:36 pm

Thanks for the interview. It's interesting to see how far things have come in just 2-3 years: not just in technology but also how many more quilters/sewers/pattern makers are making it big and bigger. It's nice to read about how someone is dealing with "competition".
I recently started my first quilt but don't seem to be progressing much: my goal is to finish it soon! I also want to grow personally and learn to deal with my "competitors" and "naysayer".

Best wishes

6/10/2011 12:03:12 am

My sewing goal is to makes tons of kick butt things for my nephew to be :D There's a stuffed turtle or two (I love turtles), some crib sheets, a few appliqued onesies, and if I'm feeling particularly adventuresome/masochistic ...I *really* want to sew him some clothes. Yup, gonna be the best auntie evah :D

6/10/2011 12:11:20 am

I'm just a newby to the whole sewing business... I want to figure out how to make my current clothes fit better, repair those things that have worn out, and eventually I'll replicate those pieces that fit me well. :)

Hadessa Mullane
6/10/2011 12:19:34 am

I'll be thirty years old this summer and finally decided to get over my fear of the sewing machine! I'm teaching myself and have found the blog tutorials both pictures and video have helped me a TON to just jump in with both feet! I really want to try couture aprons and love the idea of making things out of vintage tea towels and sheets (I made a simple purse out of a tea towel)

6/10/2011 12:33:33 am

My long term goals are to learn how to use my sewing machine, so I can make more quilts and clothing. My short term goal is to create and practice my skills and see where it takes me.


Phyllis Finger
6/10/2011 12:33:33 am

Great interview. I'd love to win the book and fabric.

6/10/2011 12:36:54 am

Love it!
I'm new to sewing, but am quickly becoming obsessed! My current goal is to make a mini-quilt - learn the art of precision!

6/10/2011 12:38:50 am

Hi, my name is lena and I am 19.I think my goals are various, I want to found a family, and study to do a great job. And in my freetime I want to be creative, sing, dance and sew. In genereall I like to enjoy life and learn a lot about the world we are living in. :-)
PS: the designs are gorgeous.

6/10/2011 12:40:12 am

Thanks for the lovely article. I have so many goals and dreams. They range from the short term - learn more skills such as quilting and making clothes, to longer term - set up a small on-line shop, to long term - make craft my career.

6/10/2011 12:54:11 am

I just relearned to sew at age 38 and am finding I have much more patience for it now than I did when I was young. One of my short term goals is to open an etsy shop with my creations in the next few months. :)

6/10/2011 12:56:03 am

So very interesting and inspiring. I have been sewing for most of my life. My grandmother was a seamstress and wold take me "window shopping" and go homw and cut a pattern out and make it. I have been toying with the idea of pattern design. But mainly I hope to pass the art of sewing down to my grand daughters. BTW awesome interview and giveaway:)

6/10/2011 12:58:24 am

Loved the article. My business partner and I are working on opening an art club in our city. Articles like this help is in our journey to keep going and moving forward.

6/10/2011 01:01:09 am

I never knew there was a whole industry behind those fabrics! Very interesting. My goal is to find a way to incorporate creativity in my life, since I'm still at university, my days are too much filled with studying :(

6/10/2011 01:03:24 am

Wow I just hope I win...I love her fabrics so much..

6/10/2011 01:05:43 am

Thanks for the great interview. I have always been into quilting and craft sewing, but my summer goal is to attempt to make clothing. I have never used a pattern and made a complete outfit. Wish me luck!

6/10/2011 01:05:46 am

I am so excited to discover your lovely fabric and patterns. What a fun story to get the behind-the-scenes! Thank you so much for sharing.

6/10/2011 01:13:50 am

Beautiful fabrics. Thank you for the introduction to Bari J.

6/10/2011 01:15:57 am

Great article. My goal is to be able to set aside time each day to sew or stitch or otherwise have a peaceful moment with my thoughts and some lovely fabric or thread in hand!

6/10/2011 01:20:40 am

I'm at 33 yr old Brit, SAHM + living in Bangkok, I first used my MIL's machine to attach a cut up scarf to a dress for my DD's halloween costume, it was instant addiction! that was 2 1/2 yrs ago and not a week has gone by where I haven't sewn s'thing! I love all the blogs, tutes and giveaways!

6/10/2011 01:39:32 am

My sewing goal is to sew more! I have tonz of projects but barely find time to do any. I want to try out making my own patterns, as tutorials on the internet make is look so easy!

I would love to try out projects with fat quarters (never did before), and the patterns I'm seeing here are simply gorgeous!

6/10/2011 01:45:34 am

Great interview! It's interesting to read how fabrics are designed! I have a hard enough time combining fabrics for a project (especially when they're not from a single collection), so I can only imagine the challenge of creating those collections from a blank slate! Very cool!

Dell Mitravich
6/10/2011 01:48:34 am

As an older mom to a 14 year old daughter, I have decided to start a Grandmother Chest for future grandchildren. Just in case, I can't sew for them later.

6/10/2011 01:48:35 am

Great interview! I'm actually just starting to sew and i love all these patterns and fabrics! I'm not really sure in what 'sewing-direction' i'm going but i do like all the usefull things i could make, like bags. great to read about other peoples projects, really inspiring!

6/10/2011 01:54:14 am

Interesting. I'm realizing that I don't have a goal for myself right now. I think I got bogged down in motherhood and lost something. Thanks for inspiring introspection.

6/10/2011 02:12:41 am

I found some retro sheets at the thrift store so now all I need is the inspiration and perhaps a pattern. :)

6/10/2011 02:25:27 am

Those fabrics are so beautiful and would like great in a retro quilt!

6/10/2011 02:52:43 am

My goal is to become really good at sewing. I've only been sewing with a machine for a couple of months so I have a long way to go.

6/10/2011 02:52:59 am

If I win, I would use the material to make something for myself. I purchashed my first sewing machine about a year ago with the goal of sewing for my daughter. [I finally have a girl after three boys! so much fun : ) ] anyway, I always sew for her and my next goal is to sew a dress for myself..

Vanessa B
6/10/2011 02:56:31 am

I love the interview! Im a vintage kinda girl too :-)

6/10/2011 03:01:59 am

i love love love to sew! I don't really have any goals except to have fun!

6/10/2011 05:02:57 am

I want to get to the point where people do not ask if I made my daughter's clothes.

6/10/2011 05:08:47 am

I love that pattern of the little stuffed dog! izzy is so cute! (I'm a dog mom!) The interview was nice. I love reading about how others get into sewing. My goal (this year I hope!)is to make a quilt! My mom is the quilter and I want to make one with her. I love to sew smaller things. Thank you for this awesome giveaway!

6/10/2011 05:14:23 am

I used to sew and do so many things when my kids were small. It has been many years but recently I'm getting back into sewing and embroidery. I love retro/vintage and am constantly inspired by the crafting blogs. I looked at Bari j patterns and fabrics a couple of weeks and love them.

6/10/2011 05:31:54 am

My sewing goals are to keep my grandson in shorts and stuffed animals. :) I also would like to start selling my scrap monsters and other kids stuff. I seem to be sewing like crazy lately and I need an outlet to get rid of all the over flow. :)

6/10/2011 05:38:39 am

It's truly amazing how things change fast. Congratulations for your fabrics, for your work. Dreams are always building themselves, growing, changing and its important to give them an opportunity.
Sewing is like building dreams. Oh, if I could get my hands on those fabrics, I would build so many dreams...

6/10/2011 06:02:20 am

Hi, I love your work. If I could win one of your patterns. I would love to have "gracie girl pincushion and needlebook'. I really enjoy making toys and little stuff items like pincushions. HOPE I WIN!!!

6/10/2011 06:12:46 am

My goals?

To be really honest I try not to think of that very often, I've been so busy lately and my life so crazy, that I am not even sure about the direction that evertyhing is taking right now...

One thing I know for sure, sewing keeps me sane!

Natalie Q.
6/10/2011 06:19:34 am

My goal for myself at this point in my life is to make time for myself and the things I love to do, like sew. My kids are all teenagers and I've taken a job that is a bit less demanding than my last, so hopefully I can find more me time in the next few years.

6/10/2011 07:04:46 am

my goal this year is to be brave enought to sell some of the things I've made/will make at our local festival at the end of summer! (and 8 FQ would go a long way in sewing some cute stuffs!)

6/10/2011 07:45:32 am

Great interview! My aspiration is just to become better at sewing. When I was a child my mom was very crafty and I loved it. Now that I have a daughter of my own I want her to grow up learning these crafts as well.

6/10/2011 07:47:47 am

Write a sewing book!

6/10/2011 08:06:04 am

My goal is just to finish a couple of skirts and dresses for me and my daughter. I have so many pretty fabrics and neat patterns (including Bari's book) that I would love to stitch up but don't have the time. :)

6/10/2011 09:42:06 am

I want to improve in a few area and be able to sale a few things in a local shop, a little extra $ is alway nice ;)
Thanks for sharing.

6/10/2011 11:29:15 am

My goal would be to learn more as i have never been shown how to sew properly its all be hit and miss lol, but i really do enjoy it so much. If i ever get good enough i would love to sell some things but for now is all made with love for family and my little girls who are so beautiful to wear and play with my "home made" stuff :)

6/10/2011 11:31:25 am

I'm 23 and right now I'm just sewing whatever I feel like at the moment.I've made a few clutches, quilts and baby dresses. thanks for the giveaway!

6/10/2011 01:37:10 pm

I'd love to get more comfortable sewing apparel for myself. Thank you!

6/10/2011 02:28:13 pm

this is a fantabulous giveaway ...
i sew for my kids and love to do so ...
roycedavis @ gmail dot com

6/10/2011 02:29:50 pm

sorry the email id posted earlier had a small mistake

roycedavids @ gmail dot com

Brittany Gale
6/10/2011 03:24:09 pm

I'm working on my first quilt right now. My goal is to finish it so I can use it on a picnic this summer!


6/10/2011 03:49:17 pm

Fantastic interview. It's always interesting to hear about how someone has become successful doing what they love. Crafting/Sewing goal has always been to be able to incorporate more of it in my daily life. Slowly getting there, but I still have weeks when I am not able to do ANYTHING creatively.

6/10/2011 04:18:21 pm

What a great interview!!! I sew and craft for fun. Someday I may start to turn it into a business, but for now running one business is enough.
Happy sewing everyone!

6/10/2011 05:29:52 pm

love your patterns very inspiring I teach sewing so your book would be well used

6/10/2011 06:10:21 pm

What an inspiration!
I have just returned to quilting and crafting after retiring from 9 to 5..... and I love it!
Your understanding of fabric and colours are truly a gift and a gift I would love to share /(*_*)\

6/10/2011 08:39:09 pm

i also happen to be a Graphic Designer with a profound interest in pattern/textile design. Would love to win this prize, the book and fabric would be put to very good use!

Lori Beams
6/10/2011 08:44:20 pm

It's great that you found something that you were just "meant" to do! I always hated sewing but I was convinced quilting was different and tried it and got hooked. Now I sew (not clothes!) too.

Candy s
6/10/2011 09:44:16 pm

Great interview! My current goal is to finish a dress for myself...I've gotten comfortable with simple quilting, simple bags, and dresses for my daughter, so I'd like to make something I'd actually wear in public. I have 3 little kiddos, so small goals are all I can focus on right now!

6/10/2011 10:09:03 pm

Thanks for the interview - very enlightening!! Keep on creating those awesome designs, you were meant for this!!

6/10/2011 10:12:49 pm

I love Bari J's fabric lines - so rich and alive!! Thanks for the chance to win this awesome giveaway!!

Shelly E.
6/10/2011 10:13:43 pm

I recently bought material to make my own diaper bag for my first child Ia m expecting in November. I have taken a few sewing classes, and tried to amke a few things on my own, I am no where aree good at sewing as my Mom and Aunts, but hope to get close to it some day! Thanks for the interview and the beautiful fabric collections!

6/10/2011 10:14:15 pm

Even though I have sewn for years, I have never made a quilt. That is a goal that has been nagging me for years.

Linda Meyers-Gabbard
6/10/2011 10:29:50 pm

Beautiful fabric. Great interview

6/10/2011 10:33:59 pm

My goal is to have child(ren) that I can sew for!

Julie Witt
6/10/2011 10:53:17 pm

I am a knitter and crocheter, as well as a sewer (that doesn't look right, does it?!), so my goal is to write my own pattern in any one of the above! Thanks for a great giveaway!

K Kelly
6/10/2011 11:25:20 pm

I am in love sewing. As a gramma, I will be sewing my granddaughter's christening gown as my next project. Would love to be a winner!

6/10/2011 11:34:06 pm

My goal right now is to pay off my house. I am trying to put anything extra I have on my mortgage. :)

Deloris Sherman
6/10/2011 11:47:15 pm

What a great interview, and what a delightful lady.
The fabrics are beautiful and I would love the opportunity to use them in my sewing. I haven't been doing much sewing for the past 3 years. I lost my sewing room when a grand child need to come live with us.
Bari J. fabrics are just screaming for me to make something. Being 63 they bring up wonderful memories

6/10/2011 11:57:21 pm

Loved the interview! You are a very talented designer and all these vintage and retro things are right up my alley... I am a grandmother of 4, but still a child at heart and I have always loved the toys, fabrics and such from my past. I love to find an old wool sweater and felt it and make it into wonderful purses, flowers for the hair and even Christmas stockings.
Great Giveaway. Thanks for giving me the opportunity.. Nettie

6/11/2011 12:31:06 am

Pretty fabrics! Great giveaway!

6/11/2011 12:34:34 am

Thank you for the interview and the giveaway - which is lovely. My goal is to work in my retirement helping students get through college.

6/11/2011 12:35:42 am

I love her patterns - the zig zag quilt is great! thanks for the interview!

6/11/2011 01:10:40 am

My goal is to build and grow our pattern/teaching company to something my family can be proud of and my children and continue after me.

6/11/2011 01:36:05 am

Current goal is to start making craft patterns again. Long term, I hope to get a book published.

Nancy B from Many LA
6/11/2011 02:37:04 am

My goal is to get my sewing studio finished so I can use it - everything is in storage and it's killing me!

6/11/2011 02:48:55 am

I love her patterns. They are so sweet. I like too many to choose. I like the springtime in paris, doggie pin cushion, and the flower market tote...

6/11/2011 02:50:52 am

I love to make gifts for friends. I also sew wedding dresses.

6/11/2011 03:54:52 am

I would love to win this giveaway for my daughter. She would be thrilled and since she also loves vintage aprons, that would be the pattern I'd pick! Thank you for the chance to win!!
Christy botm2@yahoo.com

Kim R.
6/11/2011 04:15:00 am

I'd love a chance to enter - my goal is to challenge myself to more difficult projects.

6/11/2011 04:33:07 am

Awesome Rockin interview! I hope one day to have my own pattern line and publish some books!

6/11/2011 04:40:11 am

Goals? Are we supposed to set goals? Someone looking at my sewing room would say my goal is to see how many projects I can start. That said, my goal is to learn to focus and complete projects.

Thanks for the wonderful interview. It is always nice to get a peek into the lives of such awesome creative people!

And thanks for Sew Retro! It is such great eye candy, and I love learning about the past and working it into the future.

Lisa Garrett
6/11/2011 06:51:11 am

My goal is to retire, move to the beach, and quilt all day long!!

Elizabeth McDonald
6/11/2011 07:20:56 am

My goal is to keep on making quilts, and quilt blocks and pass my passion for it to every person I can!

Evelene Sterling
6/11/2011 07:39:47 am

I loved the interview. My goal is revisit my creative side by sewing, crafting and drawing. I love that one can design their own fabric and have it created by Spoonflower. What an age we live in.

6/11/2011 09:54:53 am

I loved this interview, you asked some great insightful questions. I'd love to make bags and toys to sell at a market stall. I've even told one or two friends and it seems I might have a few takers to join me...we'll see if this flies!

Jane T
6/11/2011 10:03:22 am

Enjoyed reading the interview! I am 66 and I am interested in quilting and sewing for my two small great granddaughters. Thanks.

Jane T
6/11/2011 10:06:24 am

OK Let's try this again. Didn't realize I had to signup for something to be seen. I enjoyed reading the interview! I am 66 and am interested in quilting and sewing for my two small great granddaughters. Thanks.

Jane T
6/11/2011 10:08:49 am

If it doesn't work this time, I will just leave the giveaway to someone else. :-)
OK Let's try this again. Didn't realize I had to signup for something to be seen. I enjoyed reading the interview! I am 66 and am interested in quilting and sewing for my two small great granddaughters. Thanks.

6/11/2011 10:22:44 am

I would like to regain my confidence in the use of a sewing machine. I have grandchildren now and making clothes & toys for them is something I would like to do so that I can pass along my love of stitchery to them. Thanks for the opportunity to win this wonderful giveaway package.

Becky Stancill
6/11/2011 10:23:22 am

I am 51 and have been sewing since I was 10. I enjoyed this interview so much. I just started selling my aprons at craft shows last year and am hoping to sell many, many more this year........

Linda Wright
6/11/2011 11:07:43 am

I dabble in it all. I've made several simple quilts (around the world mostly) and have several cute, kicky skirts I made that are good enough to wear for casual day at the office. I want to be good enough to make a retro dress (I have one in mind :)) that everyone will think I bought!

6/11/2011 01:16:46 pm

Great interview! I love Bari J.'s bag patterns. I think I've made at least a dozen of the State Street Totes! :o)

I'm a self-taught sewer, and I've done pretty well, but I would love to take some "real" sewing classes to learn how to read clothing patterns, and to learn more about ZIPPERS!

Thanks so much for the opportunity to win this fantastic giveaway!



Priyeni McLeod
6/11/2011 09:40:24 pm

I'd love to have some of those fabrics. I do lots of sewing projects mainly gift items - table runners, totes, pouches etc. big plans to have a sale at the end of the year, so thank you for the chance to win.

6/11/2011 11:17:45 pm

i would still love to open a sewing teaching business with a friend. And more immediately, finish my first quilt which just needs to be basted, quilted and bound... If only all that were so simple.

6/12/2011 01:52:36 am

I want to learn how to do pretty much everything craft related - sew more and better, knit, bake bigger and better things, everything.

6/12/2011 07:10:25 am

Loved the article and JBari designs and fabric. Great colors and fabric

Emily C
6/12/2011 08:26:26 am

My sewing goal is to finish a quilt i am designing. it is in memory of my mother who passed a few years ago. It will most likely end up being a crazy quilt, as i am adding a lot of applique. I have finished the pattern sketch and I am currently picking out fabric patterns and colors.

6/12/2011 09:17:23 am

What a great interview. Your answers were great and informing they tell a lot about you and your work. You design beautiful fabrics and what a nice giveaway It would be great to be able to make some thing with them. Have a great day.

6/12/2011 10:43:20 am

I just sewed a retro apron, and I'm loving the whole retro idea!

6/12/2011 11:17:13 am

I'm new(ish) to sewing. This was such a fun interview to read! I completely identify with the need to edit yourself; it's so difficult for me to know when to stop. My newest goal is to make a padded iPad cover, and a matching bag to go with it.

mitch j
6/12/2011 11:36:52 am

inspiring interview. I'm a beginner sewer. I've recently started dabbling in sewing Hawaiian style clothing sink my husband pants tikis that inspired me to get into the whole Hawaiian themes.

6/12/2011 11:55:22 am

The goal I have for myself is to get back in school so I can become a high school art teacher.

6/12/2011 01:14:18 pm

The timing of this giveaway is incredible. Bari's Springtime in Paris Pocketbook pattern is on the top of my wish list.
Add in those gorgeous prints and this is a true treasure trove. when talking about ambitions I'm still trying to achieve my first goal. That is, making time everyday to work on my goodies. Eventually I'd like to sell a few things but I'd be thrilled just to make for myself and as gifts.

6/12/2011 02:53:25 pm

How lovely! I've often wondered about Spoonflower as a springboard.

My kids are grown and gone now so I have *time* to sew again! It's exciting. My goals now are to have quilts made for each of the kids and grandkids, starting with the daughter getting married in November. =)

6/12/2011 03:13:32 pm

beautiful fabrics!

6/12/2011 03:25:42 pm

What a wonderful interview! Loved reading it, love the fabrics too!
My goals are to keep trying new projects, boy do I have a bucket list.....

Dulce R
6/12/2011 03:52:46 pm

Great Interview! I have sooo many goals for the future but my most important one is to just start sewing! I've been putting it off because of school but now that its summer, I literally have all the time in the world :D


6/12/2011 07:01:58 pm

Great Q & A and thanks for linking to the book! I am always creating goals and striving to better myself - A constant work in progress! Sewing-wise, I am brushing up on technical skills and though I've done patchwork, I've never quilted. This is my goal for this year, as well as Sashiko.

Thanks again!

6/12/2011 08:31:37 pm

Great interview! I hadn't heard of Bari J before but am now off to expore her website!

I guess my goal at the moment is to rejuvenate my creative mind. I've spent the last few years building my technical skills and now whenever I sit down intending to create I feel rusty and everything I design is cliched and boring...

6/12/2011 10:51:55 pm

I'd love to improve my sewing, quilting and crochet skills. And would love to have my own, shop one day, as well :D

Thanks for the chance!

6/12/2011 11:40:19 pm

I know it may sound silly, but my goal is to empty the current fabric stash by making the many projects that the fabric was purchased for. To be truly honest, I'm just not sure there are enough hours in the day for my goal. I also need to stop purchasing fabric just because "I love that pattern"!

6/12/2011 11:42:09 pm

I'm very much into fashion. My goal is to design sewing and knitwear patterns. From handbags, to sweaters.

I've really enjoyed reading this interview, thank you for the giveaway!


6/12/2011 11:46:19 pm

Wonderful interview with Bari. Great questions. Adore the fabric and thanks so much for the chance to win it.
Patti xxx

6/13/2011 12:28:36 am

I've sewed on and off forever but the last few years I've been doing a lot more to sell. I love making little girl and baby items for markets and shows. I'm a stay at home mama with a 5 year old and 9 month old so sewing is a great outlet for me!

6/13/2011 01:02:28 am

Great interview! Thanks for a chance at the giveaway!

6/13/2011 01:23:28 am

I do embroidery and am just getting ready to design a quilt, these fabrics are so beautiful and Girly love them. Very inspiring story of how Bari got started, great interview thank you for sharing her story :D

6/13/2011 03:35:52 am

Goals, huh? I dream of owning a fabric store one day but it's so huge...I may just have to keep working on my etsy shop. :)

6/13/2011 06:36:49 am

Lovely post! Lovely giveaway!

Goal for myself...to convince my daughter's, now 9 & 11, to love sewing/fabric as much as I do!!! So far so good! I would love for us to share a creative biz together one day...dream for sure! :)

Thanks for the fun!

6/13/2011 07:58:59 am

I love seeing how others do it. But I am warned...with all that are making it, there are those that quit as well. I try to glean all I can from everyone and just do what I love. Hopefully it will serve me well in the end with a successful business, too.

6/13/2011 01:35:25 pm

I always enjoy interviews. I think a sewing goal for myself would be to finish what I've started! I have some long ago UFOs in my life that I think would be a big accomplishment to have finished. I'm not a garment sewer--just quilts...and think I can have all I can handle with quilting. Thanks for the giveaway.

6/13/2011 02:28:22 pm

What a great interview, thank you! My goal is to collect less 'stuff' but really like what I have. This translates to sewing clothes from my stash and I think this prize would help a lot! Thanks for the chance to win.

Marcia W.
6/13/2011 03:16:32 pm

There are a few goals that I have in mind
-- learn to machine quilt on our domestic sewing machine -- maybe even learn FMQ
-- learn needle turn applique
-- make a quilt with circles
-- make a log cabin quilt
-- learn to machine embroidery
Make lots more quilts -- meaning actually finish the quilts so can use them

6/13/2011 06:55:23 pm

I loved the interview! My first goal is to improve my sewing skills. It's a slow process since I have so little time to dedicate to sewing but I'm always learning new things with online tutorials and also with my onw mistakes.
Thank you for the interview and the giveaway
ap_lemos at yahoo dot com

6/13/2011 11:35:02 pm

Sewing goal... I'd like to take a free motion quilting class. Business goal... do an open air market (farmer's market or craft show) THIS summer. Personal goal... finish the couch to 5K program :)

6/14/2011 12:40:37 am

Beautiful fabric! My goal is to get better at sewing.

6/14/2011 07:44:33 pm

my sewing goal is to actually FINISH a dress for my 4 yr old daughter! I cut them out but they dont get made! WAAA
So my goal this summer is to finish 3 and make 1 new one!

6/14/2011 10:49:52 pm

Loved the interview! My goal is to sew outfits and quilts for all the new babies coming next year. I want all of them to have a little bit of Nana with them all the time!

6/14/2011 11:33:40 pm

Great interview, love hearing about the design process, gives me a greater appreciation for finished goods.

My short-term goal is to finish a patchwork receiving blanket for a friend's grand-daughter (ack .. surprise, she's a preemie .. and here I thought I had a few more weeks to work on it! LOL).

Long-term goal is to be able to sew as well as my mum. :-)

Julie Andrea

6/15/2011 12:25:25 am

my sewing goal is to set up a regular tutorial post on my blog

Homemaker Honey
homemakerhoney @gmail .com

6/15/2011 02:59:33 am

Great interview. My goal is to do my first memory quilt although I have done many quilts. I want to have a mamory quilt for myself.

6/15/2011 04:25:47 am

right now, my goals are to make things that i love, make things my son is going to love, and make things that are comfy and fit well. i dabble in a lot of different areas, so i don't have incredibly defined goals for my crafts, i just know i do it to make myself and others happy :)

Rosanne Derrett
6/15/2011 07:08:41 am

I want to sew better. I have the full complement of techniques but I need to refine them, make them better and more consistent. I make the things I love and love the things I make and that makes me happy.
Thanks for the opportunity

6/15/2011 10:33:25 am

My sewing machine has not been opened in a long time, but I still love to see all these ideas! Thanks for a chance too.

Gayle Jones
6/15/2011 11:58:50 am

What a great post.I love your patterns and materials. My goals right now are to make an apron for my 22 yr old daughter that she requested. My husband and I just moved from an apt. to a small house, so Ive been quite busy unpacking and getting a garden in. Now that Im basically settled in, I will have sometime for sewing and other crafts. Would love to win this. It will give me some inspiration. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

Vanessa B
6/15/2011 01:05:43 pm

Great interview with Bari J :-) Id luv her vintage style and Sew Retro! Thanks for the chance to win!!!

6/15/2011 01:54:33 pm

I would love to be able to design and print my own fabric. But the there is much cute stuff around...

6/15/2011 04:28:27 pm

I just love these fabrics and keep doing what you do!

6/15/2011 07:08:36 pm

I really wnat to make a SHE ART quilt

6/15/2011 10:07:46 pm

I would really like to design a fabric or ribbon or masking tape!

6/15/2011 10:36:45 pm

In reading about your family and how you thought painting wasn’t your forte for a long time, it occurred to me that your fabrics are like an artist’s palette to us! Using great fabric on a project gives us the chance to add color, tone and texture to our sewing projects the way an artist uses paint.

I’m working on being more adventurous with my fabric choices, and combine both prints and colors in ways that add excitement to what I sew. Your fabrics are an obvious asset to that goal for me and for everyone else too. Thanks for stretching your gift with color and design so we can stretch ours with your creations.

6/15/2011 10:42:32 pm

I've just purchased a sewing machine and am determined to learn to sew for fun.

6/15/2011 11:09:10 pm

Nice interview! When I read that she had comments about vintage purses, I wasn't expecting what she said! Pretty funny. My sewing goals - to be more patient when it comes to cutting and getting things precisely sewn.

6/16/2011 01:39:08 am

Thanks for the interview!
My goal is to continue to enjoy designing and coming up with new things. I have a small at home business making mom and baby items.

Joyce Adams
6/16/2011 09:50:51 pm

The fabric is beautiful. I am not good at sewing with a machine but I do include fabric, ribbon, and buttons on my scrapbook pages.

6/21/2011 07:37:31 am

My personal goal is to make a hexagon quilt by hand!


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