Welcome Fancy That Design House's Stephanie Sliwinski

Welcome Fancy That Design House's Stephanie Sliwinski

Written by: 
Linzee McCray

You’ve heard the saying that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree? That’s certainly the case for new Moda designer, Stephanie Sliwinski, whose love of all things vintage is a family legacy.

 

Stephanie’s grandfather was mayor of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, a town about 40 minutes north of where Stephanie lives today. While mayor, there was a push to modernize the town but he held strong, believing that a gas station had no place on the town’s picturesque main street. Today, out-of-towners visit Cedarburg for its old-fashioned charm. It’s a perspective that resonates with Stephanie. “I love to walk around antique stores and flea markets if I’m in a creative rut,” she says. “I’ve become the person in the family that everyone gives their old stuff to.”

That “old stuff,” along with nature and a deep faith, inspired Songbook, Stephanie’s first line of fabric. Flowers, leaves, and affirming messages form the basis of the collection, which includes panels with inspirational banners that are perfect for fussy cutting.

Stephanie Silwinski Songbook fabric 

“I incorporate hymns in my work because I love the stories behind them” says Stephanie. “The composers often experienced a tragedy before writing them and the hymns are about a faith that’s so deeply rooted. They speak a truth about my life.”

 Stephanie Silwinski tea towel 1

Inspiration also comes from the Wisconsin countryside and her own backyard, where Stephanie grows vegetables and flowers and raises chickens. “I add to my garden beds every year and we always have fresh eggs on the counter,” says Stephanie, who enjoys using her home-grown goods to cook healthy meals for her family of three boys, ages 11, 10, and 8, and husband Chad, an artist who works in product development.

Stephanie Silwinski family

Stephanie met Chad during the 12 years she worked as a graphic designer. After marrying, and with a goal of working from home once she had children, Stephanie shifted to part time at the office and opened her Etsy shop, creating and selling art prints that reflected her values. “My art is faith-based, on trend, and I have a goal of making people smile,” she says. Eight years ago, she named her business Fancy That Design House and took it full time.

Stephanie Silwinski Songbook totebag

A love of textiles, especially vintage linens, gave Stephanie the idea to translate her art prints to tea towels and their success led to her aspirations to create fabric. This past year she took a class on how to design a fabric repeat. “I fell in love with the process—it’s like solving a puzzle,” she says. She is delighted to connect with Moda and though her sewing skills are basic at this point, she plans to learn to quilt someday.

 

Stephanie Silwinski Songbook fabric line

For now, learning to quilt may have to take a back seat to raising chickens and boys. Stephanie involves her sons in the garden and encourages them to participate in breadmaking sessions. Her parents come by every Friday to help with the boys’ lessons—they’re being home-schooled during the pandemic—and Stephanie cooks breakfast goodies for them all. She continues to create and license her art, which appears on calendars, wall hangings, mugs and more. And she’s thrilled with the possibilities that working with Moda brings. “It's my hope that the collection brings quilters joy, and that the Songbook panels truly put a song in their heart as they create a piece to pass on for generations to come.”

iStephanie Silwinski doorway Songbook fabric

 

To see more of what Stephanie is up to, visit her on Instagram at @fancythatdesignhouse and her shop at www.fancythatdesignhouse.com.

Photos of Stehanie by Colleen Kubiak photos; photos of Stephanie's family by Holen Photography; product photography by Fancy That Design House.

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