Zen Chic style: an apt app for relaxation

“Orange Brick” by Brigitte Heitland is one of her favorite modern quilts. She says her intention is not to overpower the viewer with busy patterns, but to allow the viewer’s eye to linger and feel a sense of harmony.



This fabric is part of textile designer Brigitte Heitland’s new “Juggling Summer” collection for Moda Fabrics. She describes the color scheme as “a taste of strawberry ice cream mixed with vanilla, pistachio and blueberry.”



Brigitte Heitland designs patterns, kits and fabric for the modern quilter through her Zen Chic business in Werther, Germany. Visit her online and link to her blog at http://www.brigitteheitland.de.



A commercial booth display for Zen Chic, a company in Werther, Germany, shows modern quilts in a sophisticated, minimalist setting.



Do you find a good portion of your time — both day and night — filled with emailing, texting, Googling, Twittering and Facebook interfacing?

Is all this high-tech tedium starting to take its toll? Maybe you’d really appreciate an app for relaxation?

An interior designer from Werther, Germany, may have the application for which you’ve been yearning. Brigitte Heitland, who also is a textile designer and quilter, has developed a brand she calls Zen Chic.

“Calmness, clarity and peace of mind” describe the zen lifestyle, she says. Heitland combines simple, contemporary design with the essence of chic: “high-quality elegance and beauty.”

Because our lives today so often are overwhelmed by streams of information and images from the Internet and social media, Heitland says a longing for quiet times of restfulness and peace is growing.

Hence, she creates her modern quilts as eye-catchers that fit perfectly into a minimalist environment.

In one of her favorites, titled “Orange Brick,” soft-edged squares are freely arranged on “an energetic red background and enhanced by some eye-catching prints.”

Heitland doesn’t intend for the pattern to overpower, rather to allow the viewer’s eye to linger and feel a sense of harmony.

Heitland’s approach differs from the typical American’s, she says, because quilt making is not a German tradition.

“I don’t have a grandma, aunt, or sister-in-law who knows anything about quilting” who can transfer that knowledge or experience to her.

Instead of assembling traditional quilt blocks, she makes quilts “the same way I would create a huge painting for a room or as I would design a carpet or a cabinet,” she says.

Heitland has no interest in shopping for a fabric palette first.

She starts with a complete scene of a room in mind, its colors, style, “the language of its existing shapes,” and those determine the quilt pattern she develops.

“I plan a quilt for a room,” Heitland says.

Despite her aesthetic perspective, Heitland says she is an experienced patchworker who can construct complicated blocks as well.

She won a designer’s choice award from Robert Kaufman Fabrics for a kaleidoscope quilt, for example.

And she is an experienced longarm quilter.

Heitland has designed a fabric line for Moda, “Juggling Summer,” to debut this spring. It features circles and balls in a color scheme she describes as “a taste of strawberry ice cream mixed with vanilla, pistachio and blueberry.”

A second collection will be introduced in the fall, showcasing classic fine-lined geometrics, graphic style and a large-scale avant-garde print.

Her “Juggling Summer” fabric line, used in a quilt titled “White Labyrinth,” also is shown in the March/April 2012 issue of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine.

Free patterns for Heitland’s “Puzzle Box” quilt can be found at http://www.modabakeshop.com and for “Stony Snippets” on her website, http://www.brigitteheitland.de. She writes a blog, as well, showing readers how to get from an inspirational scene to colors and patterns. Link to Heitland’s blog from her website.

Finally, although she lives in Germany, Heitland describes her personal style as “New York Loft: contemporary and simple, but elegant and generous.”

If you’re looking to kick back, simplify your life and maybe even “unwire” a few gizmos from time to time, I’d have to say that Heitland has invented the perfect app for that.

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