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Meet Moda designer Vanessa Goertzen

Meet Moda designer Vanessa Goertzen

Written by: 
Linzee McCray
There are a lot of memorable firsts in life: first kiss, first car, first job, first home. But first charm pack? For Vanessa Goretzen it was a big moment, and she even remembers just which one it was: It’s a Hoot by Momo.
“I just love Moda and I always have since I came across that charm pack,” says Vanessa. “I love the variety of precuts and the fact that you get 42 coordinating prints.”
Those prints provide fuel for Vanessa’s creative fires when she designs quilt patterns under the name Lella Boutique. "Whimsical, happy fabrics inspire my designs," she says.
“I keep my patterns fairly simple because I’m a busy mom and I know a lot of quilters are, too,” says Vanessa, who has a three-and-a-half year old daughter and year-old son. Almost every one of my patterns uses precuts—charm packs, jelly rolls, and some fat quarters.”
Her love affair with Moda fabrics will come full circle when her first fabric line, Into the Woods, debuts in April. “I drew a lot of inspiration from my wonderful, magical childhood,” she says. “My mom would tuck me in at night and read stories and a lot of them were classics—Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel—that were placed in the woods. I’d snuggle under my quilts and imagine that enchanting backdrop. My fabrics will include a lot of woodland elements—pine trees, wood grain, woodland blooms.”

The quilts Vanessa snuggled under at bedtime were made by her “extremely talented mom,” doll maker and craft book author Miriam Gourley Rawson.

“While some moms brought cupcakes to school, my mom would bring cloth dolls to decorate,” says Vanessa. “From her I learned to be creative in all aspects of my life.”
Vanessa started sewing at a young age and always hated following patterns. “I liked making changes to patterns or coming up with my own designs,” she says. “And I felt like fabric focused me.” Though she took some years off from sewing after high school, her interest reemerged when she stayed home with her children. She started her blog as a way to focus her creative efforts and included tutorials “to help spread the addiction to sewing.” She sewed projects for fabric companies for Quilt Market and created patterns and projects for Moda’s Bake Shop, McCall’s Quilting, and McCall’s Quick Quilts. “Soon I realized I’d become my mother,” says Vanessa with a laugh. “I never imagined I’d be doing what she does.”

Though we have to wait til spring to glimpse Vanessa’s Into the Woods fabric, her patterns are available through United Notions. And you can find her Bakeshop projects here, here, here, and here. Get out those precuts and get stitching!

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