Thursday, March 20, 2008


It’s confession time. I have a soft spot in my heart for textile designers. Some of you who are familiar with my work might have wondered why over the years I have featured so many fabric folks, fabric collectors, and pattern profiles in my magazines and blog.

Now, it’s time to let you in on my secret. Before accidentally becoming an editor and writer, I had intended to make textiles my career. I was studying weaving and textile design at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, when one fateful day in April, I was “discovered” by a magazine editor.

She found me at crafts fair; bought lots of my creations; and did a feature on me in her magazine. Several months later, when I showed up at her office to collect a check, she offered me a summer job. The rest, as they say, is history.
(I would have shared more old photos, but my scanner is still out of order.)Anyhow, all of the above is an introduction to my blog series on textile designers.

Today, I’d like you to meet Jennifer Paganelli, alias Sis Boom.

All of the patterns featured today are her designs. Aren’t they gorgeous?
Jennifer resides in Connecticut with her husband and two children and has had her work featured in various decorating and crafting magazines. Her fabrics also occasionally turn up in unexpected publications.According to Jennifer’s blog, her company’s name, Sis Boom, is the childhood nickname given to her by her twin brother.
Jennifer’s fabrics are hard to categorize. Romantic? Vintage? Whimsical? Perhaps her unique vision comes from spending her youth in the Great Lakes region, her adolescence in the Caribbean, her college years in New England, and her early career days in New York City.
In addition to selling her fabrics on her company’s web site, Jennifer designs exclusive collections for Free Spirit Fabrics, an amazing resource for unique textiles.
On Free Spirit’s designer page, Jennifer is quoted as saying, “My designs are rooted in the things I handled as a child.” She goes on to say that she also uses tag sales, flea markets and European sources as a starting point to create her art. You can read more about what inspires Jennifer in an interview by Kari Ramstrom (aka Artsymama) at Just Be Connected.

IN THE SPIRIT OF MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS: And now for something completely different... My First Backyard Bouquet of 2008

MYSTERY PROJECT UPDATE: We're making progress. Draft 2 of the Introduction is handed in.

I also handed in Draft 2 of the first chapter (of eleven) for Part 2 of the book. I sent it to the editor on Monday. Late Wednesday afternoon, she came back with some suggestions, "It’s too long and it’s too focused on XXXX in the beginning, but the ending is great. It just needs a little cutting and refocusing."

I re-edited the text and sent it back this morning. It's been approved and I quote,"Well, that was quick. The revised text is perfect! Love it!"

One down... ten to go.


greta said...

This was SUCH an inspiring post...thank you for sharing your story. I am looking very much forward to your book(s)!

Alison Gibbs said...

Great post.
Love Jennifer's fabrics, so alive!
Happy Easter

Kathryn Bechen said...

Love Jennifer's fabrics--yummy colors!! It was fun to hear how you got your start as a writer/editor! Cute photo of you from way back when.

Marcela said...

Hello Barbara
Thanks for stopping by my blog!!!
I wish you a wonderful weekend and Happy easter.

Jennifer Paganelli said...

Ally McGraw is all I'm saying...thanks for writing about me I sooo appreciate it.....Got to get you on my blog roll..thanks for reaching out to me....all the best to you Barbara...

Barbara said...

Liked the photo. And the fabrics.A lady of many talents.

Michelle said...

Wow. Do you everlook like your father! Look at those beautiful eyes!

Anonymous said...

Oh I love your picture. You are a true example of how life takes its turns and not always according to our plans...:)

I'm weak at the knees looking at all the wonderful fun fabrics. I AM a MATERIAL girl!!!


NeereAnDear said...

Ok you paint water colors... write books and was almost a textile designer too? Along with being a comedian..!! You are a lady of many talents!!

Loved the "how I got my start story"... LOVE LOVE the fabulous fabrics... one of my passions also... and

Congratulations on getting things moving with your Mystery book..



rochambeau said...

LOVE fabric too!! Thank you for this post Barbara. It's interesting learn your journey. Recently I've become familiar with Jennifer Paganelli and her work because of the land of blog. I admire her work greatly.
Have a nice Easter.

rochambeau said...

Congrats on realizing your book dream.

Vintage Rose Collection said...

Happy Easter to you and your family Barbara!!!
Love that photo of you :)

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

I am loving Sis Boom! What great fabric. And I loved learning your history and how it relates to textiles. Do you ever think you will go back into it?

Sounds like The Mystery Project is moving along nicely.

Have a wonderful Easter Barbara!

Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Barbara, you are gorgeous in that pic! You look like Ali MacGraw :) I love these fabrics and have been a fan of Jennifer for awhile. LOVE this post!

You are so lucky to have REAL LIVE flowers!!! I am so jealous :)


Cottage Magpie said...

Love it! I adore fabrics of all kinds and I've always daydreamed of designing them. I'm so excited that you're doing this theme, and I adore these fabs, especially in that first photo. Fun!
~Angela :-)

Siobhan said...

Hi Barbara,
Just stopping by to wish you and your family a Happy Easter.
Loving that fabric!!!
Siobhan xo

Gail McCormack said...

That certainly was a random fact we didn't know about you Barbara. I've also had an interst in textile design, doesn't seem enough hours in the day to take it further at the moment. I love Jennifer Paganelli's work, I think you've described it well, thanks for introducing her to us. Good luck on your Mystery Project.

Lisa said...

Fun post on Jennifer. Her fabric lines are gorgeous and her blog is a wonderful place to visit to soak up lots of eye candy and beautiful projects.

What a great photo of you too.

Catherine Holman said...

Sis Boom is one of my favorite fabric lines! Thanks for sharing that with us. Also, thanks for sharing your start in fabric design. Love the photo!

Sue said...

I just love Jennifers fabrics. A few months ago I ordered some and for the life of me now can't find them. Thanks for the post that reminds me to look for them more diligently.

Susie Q said...

Congrats on the text being perfect! None of us would have doubted that for a second!

I adore textiles...and what sweet serendipity in YOUR life! Just such fun and that picture is fantastic! So cute. Very, very Ali McGraw...

Jennifer's are glorious. I love them all but there was one that had MY name all over it! : )

And I always love a Monty Python reference!! The bouquet is beautiful. Our gardens are still asleep but the warmth is IS!

Happy Spring dear Barbara!


Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Beautiful inspiration fabrics you've shown! Thanks for sharing. Best to you on the new book.


Shabbyfufu said...

Weren't you the cutest thing wayyy back when we were all so young (you still are:-). Thanks for your condolences Barbara....I appreciate you thinking of me.

~ Junkyard Jennifer said...

Barbara ~ It was fun to read about how you got your start. I'm a fan of Jennifer's work! Love her fabric designs and all that color!

~ Jennifer