Thursday, August 30, 2012

Meet Judy Hansen

 Judy Hansen has the right idea—not only does she design fabric for Fabri-Quilt, but she owns The Quilt Shop of Deland in Florida. Talk about having built-in focus groups as she dreams up a new fabric line!  I get a wealth of ideas listening to my customers," she says. ''They are my inspiration, and [seeing what they like] helps me know what it takes—usually just one focus fabric print, and then blenders—quilters love blenders."
And don't forget stripes. ''Stripes sell and sell. I always have them in my line."

Customers at the shop serve as Judy's inspiration for designing fabric.
To the quilt shop owner experience, Judy adds in twenty years as a school teacher and a degree in art—all three make a powerful combination. ''I have drawn, painted, and sewed my whole life,'' Judy says. However, ''I am left handed and right moused, so [making art] on the computer is difficult. I like pen and pencil, and paper and watercolors. I think the painterly look brings a freshness to my lines."

That painterly quality was particularly evident in her first collection, Bella Flora, which was inspired by Van Gogh paintings.
Judy's first collection, Bella Flora, in all its Van Gogh-inspired glory
In addition to Bella Flora, Judy's lines to date include: Christmas Memories, Radiance, Christmas Traditions (available now), Garden Whimsy (available now), and Cook's Helper (available in October).

''I still tingle thinking about the day Fabri-Quilt asked me to design fabric. I don't take it for granted. It was a great moment."

Next up: A look at Garden Whimsy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Marblehead: Inspired by a Bath Makeover

A few years ago Ro Gregg started researching different types of marble for a master bath addition at her house. The choices—both color and style—seemed limitless. 
Photo: The Warwick Hotel, Seattle (website)

The marble idea moved from Jacuzzi tub to cotton. Many marble samples later, she had a new fabric line in the works, Marblehead. ''I wanted to do a special tribute to the environment,'' Ro says.

She introduced print based on five different types of natural stone: texture marble, multi-granite, alabaster, granite, and a cracked marble. The line began with ''just'' 55 colors, ranging from earth tones to more vibrant shades. ''It's a new mutli-dimensional basic—quilters can use it across the board for color'' she explains. ''It'll work with everything." Each print has areas of lights, mediums, and darks for greater variety.
A small sampling of Marblehead swatches

Ro didn't stop there. The Marblehead collection expanded to include a Christmas line called Metallic Christmas, Global Brights, and coordinating Stained Glass/Tuscan Tile patterns. The collection now numbers over 200 prints, and growing! We'll be introducing some additions to the line this fall.
Metallic Christmas prints

Global Brights

Metallics and Tile Prints

Stained Glass

Oh, and Ro's bathroom makeover that inspired this whole line? Well, rumor has it the project isn't quite finished. But luckily for us, we've got all these marble-inspired fabrics to play with! Thanks Ro!

p.s. If you're inspired by these gorgeous prints, head on over to our website to download the free quilt patterns using this fabric. If you're already registered, simply log in and click on "Free Patterns." If you're not yet registered, please sign up!

Here's a sneak peek at two of the patterns showcasing these fabrics:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Meet Ro Gregg

If you've noticed a little extra sparkle recently in your local quilt shop, chances are you've been admiring the work of fabric designer Ro Gregg. Well known for her romantic, traditional style of florals, lately she has been focusing on a more cutting edge, modern style. Recently, we talked with Ro about her work, what inspires her, and what's coming next.

Q. Give us a quick snapshot of your background.
Ro: After college, I moved to New York City and got on-the-job design experiene with Concord Fabric. Later I worked as vice president of design for Springmaid Wamsutta, traveling to Europe extensively for design, home furnishing, and fashion shows. In 1997, I started my own business, Ro Gregg Inc. Designs from the Heart. I design mainly fabric, giftware, bath, table top items, gift wrap, floor mats, etc. I've designed thousands of patterns for quilters; fabric is my main interest.

Q. What do you like best about designing fabric?
Ro: My favorite part is visualizing a concept and then developing it into a collection—turning an intangible idea into reality. I like identifying trends and designing quilts.

Q: How does your background in home furnishing make you a better quilt fabric designer?
Ro: When I'm designing the different collections, I try to consider trends as well as good design—something that will always stay in fashion. I think of all the end uses of how the fabric pattern can be used in the quilt—not just for blocks.

Q: When you're not designing fabric, where can we find you?
Ro: I'm a beach bum. I love nature, the beach, and boating. I also love to antique, refinish furniture, and decorate homes. I love spending time with my two shih tzus, Marco and Polo.
 Marco, at Ro's beach house

 Polo, also at the beach house. 

Next up: Ro's 200+ piece fabric collection (no, that's not a typo!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


We're so glad that you stopped by to visit our blog. Like you, we're fabric lovers, and we love dreaming up sewing and quilting projects to stitch with our fabric, and seeing what ideas others come up with as well. We can't wait to share all kinds of fabric-related news and stories, including:

  • new fabric lines currently available in shops
  • sneak peeks at upcoming prints
  • tutorials and patterns--both quilts and small sewing projects
  • fabric sightings in magazines, on blogs, and out in the world
  • giveaways and contests
  • and so much more! 
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