Say Hello to Brigitte Heitland’s
Playfully Modern Frisky
The trend toward minimalism can sometimes feel cold: think living rooms with stark white walls stripped of ornament and kitchen countertops so empty they look like airport runways.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Brigitte Heitland is a fan of “clarity” in a room, but the inviting colors and organic shapes of her newest fabric line, Frisky exude a comfortable modernity. “I wanted something fresh, but still cozy and warm,” she says of the inspiration for this new line. “And while developing the fabric designs, I found that they turned out to be quite fun and young and playful, like a child, which is how the name Frisky came about.”
A Lifelong Love of Textiles
Brigitte’s love of textiles stems from her own childhood, when her grandmother sewed clothing for Brigitte and her three siblings. When she was six and her legs were long enough to reach the foot pedal, her grandmother taught Brigitte to sew. She says it was one of the best gifts a grandmother could give.
When it came time to choose a career direction Interior Design seemed a practical choice, but Brigitte eventually switched to Textile Design, lured by the hands-on work it involved. Then, despite her interest in fabric, she wound up as an accountant.
But life came full circle when she stumbled upon a quilt book. She’d never even heard the word “quilt” but was fascinated and jumped right in, eventually opening an online fabric store and purchasing a longarm. And finally, it was time to return to the world of textile design. In 2012, under the name Zen Chic, she created her first line for Moda, Juggling Summer. Since then she’s designed nearly 30 lines of fabric, including her popular Spotted lines and Modern Paper background fabrics. Each line, and the quilt patterns she designs to accompany it, has a modern appeal while still maintaining that warm and cozy ambience.
Quilting Cotton…and More
Frisky features fabrics in a variety of substrates, making it perfect for all sorts of sewing projects. “I loved the idea of dressing myself in Frisky fabric and prefer rayons for my dresses, so I suggested that we print some,” she says. “Then Moda took it a step further and decided to go with linen, too, which is a nice substrate for bags, tablecloths and other home décor.”
Will Frisky show up in Brigitte’s own home? “Every one of my fabrics would match my home décor because I design what I live,” she says. “But I don’t change the colors of my home as often as I do with lines of fabric, so I’ll likely pick one or two prints and make pillows.”
Brigitte’s home is also where she works, and her studio contains the computer and tablet she designs on, as well as sewing machines, a cutting table, and fabrics. “I make samples on the go so I can share on social media how the fabric will look sewn up in projects.” (You can follow Brigitte on Facebook and on Instagram @zenchicmoda.)
Zen Chic’s Online Offerings
During the pandemic lockdown, Brigitte missed connecting with students through classes and decided to start a YouTube channel. There she shares tutorials on subjects like the perfect ¼” seam and sewing Compass blocks. She also hosted her first quilt along, the Spring in Paris quilt. “It was a huge success and currently we are doing my Bauhaus quilt as a sew along,” she says. “This fall we will be doing a sewalong featuring Pluses pattern..”
To learn more about this QAL , Brigiite breaks it all down in this video.
Though she may have come to quilting later in life, Brigitte is certainly making up for lost time, and quilters and sewists alike who appreciate a clean, contemporary perspective are grateful for her efforts. Frisky, like all her fabrics, will appeal to minimalists, maximists, and everyone in between.
Zen Chic’s Newest patterns
Stock # ZC SUQP 61″ x 82″
DOT TO DOT
Stock # ZC DOQP. 64″ x 64″
Stock # ZC HWQP 82″ x 82″ and is LayerCake friendly.
PLUSES will be featured in Brigitte’s upcoming QAL
Stock # ZC PLBP
82″ x 82″ and is LayerCake friendly.
And a little extra something for you, courtesy of Brigiite.
A fun tablerunner pattern.
To download this pattern, click here.
To see the entire Frisky fabric line along with some of Moda’s newest collections for additional Moda designers, see our catalog, PIECE 50 CATALOG.