Flipping through swatches from Jennifer Paganelli’s collections can’t help but make you smile. Sporting names like Happy Camper, her fabric designs are splashed with brilliant colors and have been crafted into quilts, clothing, and home decor for decades. With her new Lovely Day collection launching this summer and her love of painting blooming into an expanding art collection, Paganelli’s passion is as bright as the fabrics she started designing
40 years ago.
She began a career in the textile industry in New York in 1983 and started collecting vintage fabrics on the side. “They were document fabrics, which are fabrics that are 100 years old or older that have been brought back to the market,” she says. Using a light box, she would trace the designs and recolor them, putting her own spin on things. When she discovered the babysitter she had hired to watch her two kids while she worked was experienced in sewing, the two began working together to create vintage fabrics. Paganelli began selling them out of her home, and in 2001, she launched her company, Sis Boom. Four years later, she introduced her first fabric collection, Girlfriends, with fabrics named after all her best gal pals.
Paganelli moved to Jupiter in 2018, bringing with her a newfound love of painting. Her signature colorful flowers now bloom in acrylic paint on canvas as well. Of course, she continues to create fabric patterns, which are sold locally at Red Thread Studio in Palm City and The Inspired Sewist in Jupiter.
As she watches crafts like quilting become trendy, Paganelli takes pride in the authenticity of her creations. “I see a lot of prepackaged stuff…but quilts are meant to be made from spare parts, like someone’s old shirt,” she says. “They are not intended to match. My collections are intended to be fun and to let you do your own thing.”