Monday, March 16, 2009

The Fabric Game

Last August, as I was working away in the shop, there was a knock at the door around 3:00. I was working with Casandra, and I told her that I would see who it was and let them know we were just about to sit down and finally eat our lunch. Maybe they could come back later? It turned out to be Cheryl and Lissa from Moda Fabrics and the very talented Joanna from Fig Tree and Co.
They looked around a bit and then somebody finally said, "You know, we should work together!" - at that point we all sat down at the back table in the notion room and began plotting out how FG was going to start designing fabric for Moda.
That was over six months ago, and finally, on Friday, I saw the fruits of our labor! Over 50 scraps of printed florals and solids came in a large overnight envelope - I had to quickly sort through each one and determine which ones I loved and which ones I could live without. We had given Moda all sorts of small scraps of inspiration and color ideas and they had taken the old French rural look and ran with it. I wasn't sure if they would be able to really make new fabric look and feel old - as if it had been around forever. I am happy to report that they can! Some of the samples looked identical to the 100 year old pieces we had given them.  Although not home decorating fabric, Moda has printed one pattern, our Oiseaux Bleu, on a 56" wide enzymed washed cotton - in thee color ways: red, pink and chocolate. The rest of the fabrics are 44" wide cotton - perfect for crafts, quilts and clothing! I didn't have much time with the fabric swatches - I had to pack them up and return them so they could go back to Japan and be tweaked a bit - to make the colors perfect. The fabrics will premiere in Pittsburgh at the International Quilt Market in May and be available in sewing and quilting shops around the world in the Fall. 
And to think I almost didn't open the door that day in August!


Floss said...

These look wonderful! What a great opportunity to see the designs 'come back to life'.

Sheri Howard said...

Congratulations! I think your fabrics will be fabulous! I will look for them in Pittsburg!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a quilter who heard about your fabric venture and decided to see what you were all about. Now, because of your website, I'm spending less time quilting and more time making bracelets! Thanks for all the inspiration. I really look forward to seeing your new fabric line, and I'm pleased that it might include some solids. (Will it?)

edina said...

Oh...{swoon}...I can't wait to see your new fabulous fabric line!

The Joy of Nesting said...


How exciting!! Things do have a way of working the way they are suppose to :) This will be soooo wonderful. I can find many beautiful fabrics here in Mexico, but tickings,and fine printed cottons are impossible to find :( I can see now that our guests will have to bring FG fabric down inorder to redeem their guest privleges ((G)) :)

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx

Rose Brier Studio said...

What a wonderful rose! I love the graphic quality. Can't wait to see the other patterns you have designed!

Gretchen C. said...

I can't wait to see the collection! You're right- it's so hard to make new fabric look old- something always gets lost in the translation. When can we see more?? :)

Anonymous said...

Nothing like the old designs - charm and nostalgia - I have had to of my original 'document' finds copied by others ansd they are as good as ever - spacing and shading slightly different for every generation of copies but they stand the test of time!

Anonymous said...

I've wondered why there isn't more of a market for French fabrics, because some of them are really wonderful. And ticking and linens are amazing. I just went to the market today and I saw so many amazing things.

Keep up the great work. I'm looking forward to seeing your fabric line!

kat evans said...

Finally! I love the look of vintage
French textiles. To know that
a new line of these "old" fabrics
is in the works is exciting! And
to know that YOU had a part in it
is well, fabulous! I know we will
all be on the lookout for them in
the Fall!

P.S. Your books are wonderful.
Thank you so much for the

somepinkflowers said...




i just love stories like this
that make
you think
every knock
at the door
could lead
to international adventure
of the artistic

{{ this is why
we should never cry
over tipsy shelves
full of bead jars.


good things can
just walk right in your door }}

Christine Kalina said...

Just beautiful! I can't wait to see more!

tam said...

That is fantastic-congratulations! I'm so excited-I can't wait to see all of them!~Smiles~Tam!

Anonymous said...


I am so impatiently waiting for these to come so I can mix some of them in with my own collections. I am so glad we made it to your store that day... and to think we almost gave up because we couldn't find you!

Talk to you soon,

Jeanne Oliver said...

I love this story! Isn't it amazing how one thing can so beautifully lead to another. Congratulatons and I can't wait to see the new fabrics.

Niki said...

Sure wish I had seen about the trip to France before it was sold out!! Boo Hoo! If there happens to be a cancellation let me know. The fabrics sound fabulous.

Anonymous said...

Congrats!! I will hurry and learn to sew by fall so I can stock up on all your great fabrics! Thanks for sharing them with all of us!!

Cheryl Carey Bass said...

YAY! I simply CANNOT wait! Please tell me that you'll link to where we can purchase online?!

Constant Quilter said...

Lissa at Moda told me a couple of months ago to be on the look-out for French General's collection later this year. Needless to say, I was thrilled as I have a link to your website via my own blog at That's what is so wonderful about life - the hills and valleys take us to the most rewarding places! I eagerly await your fabrics as I will make beautiful quilts from them and sell them to my customers for the holidays! Thanks and congratulations!
Wendy @ Four Seasons Quilt Shoppe

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Oh Thank you, thank you~ ~ ~This is wayyy over due. Repro old French, very exciting. How will we know when the fabrics will be released? Keep me posted.~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

French Fabric said...

Great post and nice design.I have noticed that people like French Fabric due to its various beautiful designs and varieties.