The Fabric Maverick says... Put on your track shoes to keep up with Ro Gregg!
October 8, 2009
I recently caught up with Ro Gregg. This was no easy task! This grande dame of quilting designers is always on the go! Let's see what goes on in the world of Ro Gregg.
Fabric Maverick; "Ro, you have been in the fabric design business for a long time. How do you keep reinventing yourself? In fact, how long have you been designing fabric?
Ro Gregg: "I have been designing fabrics for more than two decades and have designed thousands of patterns. I am a romantic at heart and have collected antique china, vintage fabric and heirloom quilts. These are a true source of design inspiration. I am inspired by the world around me. I have had the great fortune of travel at an early age. My parents took us across country to just about all of our national parks. I have traveled to Europe and as a designer it developed my talents and my love of color. I, also, come from a long generation of gardeners and love Mother Nature's most precious gifts of flowers especially roses- all colors and shapes. This is evident in my rose designs and my flower of the month collections. The last two years my family has been blessed with the addition of five new babies so I am busy designing children's patterns and crib quilts. I am never at a loss for ideas. On the contrary, I seem to run well on overload. I also am inspired by what is happening in the world globally. I love the mix of traditional and Asian. I call it Asian Fusion and the bright pop of color blocking in the modern mixing of patterns."
Fabric Maverick: "What did you do before designing fabric?"
Ro Gregg: "I actually went to college to become a teacher. I studied English, Spanish and Art. When I graduated I moved to NYC. I moved into an apartment with my college roommates. I was one of the few offered a job teaching High School Spanish. The commute from the city was two hours and I decided to decline the job. My first job was a merchandising trainee for a textile company where I received on the job training and became the liaison between the production department and the studio. Everything fast forwarded to designing which was just second nature to me. I have received over 15 design awards and over 50 nominations for excellence in design of quilting, home decor and crafts!"
Fabric Maverick: "Do you ever wish you had become that teacher?"
Ro Gregg: "I wanted to be a teacher but once I became involved in textiles designing it came natural to me. I especially enjoyed working with color and trend forecasting."
Fabric Maverick: "Do you feel that you have a signature style? I have seen you design everything from florals to oriental to tweens.
Ro Gregg: "My signature style and first love is a romantic cottage chic look mostly roses and other nostalgic florals and china tea cups, but I enjoy inspiring the quilters with new themes as well."
Fabric Maverick: "Northcott Fabrics has been a strong supporter of the Quest for a Cure. Are you the guiding factor behind this commitment? I love your "Passionately Pink" collection."
Ro Gregg: "Northcott was a front runner in the Quest for the Cure project long before I joined them. However for me personally, one of the nicest and rewarding parts of my designing is designing fabrics that can make a contribution to breast cancer research. It's sort of two-for-one as quilters can buy beautiful fabric from Northcott and as a result of their purchase a donation is made for cancer research. In my new collection, Passionately Pink, the panel showcases Northcott and my quest to find a cure. I used a decorative mix so that the quilter can make a quilt easily with the panel and its coordinating patterns for their home or gift giving."
Fabric Maverick: "I know this collection will be a huge hit with quilters everywhere. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?"
Ro Gregg: "My mother has been the biggest influence in my life. She was truly a Renaissance woman! She was one of the first women buyers for Bloomingdales. She was a mentor, a wonderful role model and a fabulous business woman. She also loved to cook and travel!"
Fabric Maverick; "No wonder you have achieved so much. Is there anything you would like to change in your life?"
Ro Gregg: "This is a difficult question as I have been blessed by God in many aspects of my life and have a wonderful husband, family and two Shih Tzu dogs -Marco and Polo and friends. I love what I do as it truly is a God-given talent.
Fabric Maverick: "What do you do when you are not designing?"
Ro Gregg: "I like to give back to my community and I am active in my church and the Ladies' Auxilliary. I love the outdoors, gardening, swimming, boating and taking long walks with my dogs. Summer is my favorite time of the year. My husband and I have two dogs and that takes up a lot of tiime. We entertain a lot with friends as well. My favorite hobbies are antiquing, swimming, boating. I love to just hang out at the New Jersey shore relaxing with friends-no make up, no fuss.
Fabric Maverick: "After everthing you do , I do not know where you find the time to relax."
Ro Gregg: " My days are extremely hectic as I work from home and it is hard to run it off. Usuallly I start early and walk both dogs a mile or two. Check my emails as I usually alsways have early morning emails from Korea about the differen fabric samples.Once 9:00 A.M. rools around, it's non-stop.... the phone about 30-40 calls easily a day. Designers come in and out, needing direction. 5:00 P.M. rolls around and the dogs are walked and if I do not have late day appointments I try to go swimming or take in a yoga or water aerobics."
Fabric Maverick: "I feel like a slacker compared to your schedule. We will be looking forward to your new collections. I would not be surprised to see some juvenile themes dominating your interest! Thank you again, Ro."
As a special treat to our readers Ro is sharing one of her favorite recipes and a project. Look for these tomorrow.
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