Designing Folk Blossoms Fabric Collection
Folk Blossoms 1-01-01

Folk Blossoms Fabric Collection by Connecting Threads. Inspired by traditional Russian folk art.


Kachka Restaurant in Portland, Oregon

My inspiration for designing the Folk Blossoms fabric collection for Connecting Threads began with a great meal. There is a wonderful restaurant here in Portland called Kachka. In general, there are not very many restaurants out there serving up Russian cuisine, so when I find one I want to go eat! I myself do not have Russian ancestry, but my grandparents emigrated to the USA during WWII from Latvia. While being decidedly different from one another culturally, there IS an undeniable similarity in cooking flavors from the neighboring countries. My family introduced me to lots of Latvian specialties at an early age. Pickled fish and caviar were regular guests on the Thanksgiving table, and I like them a lot.


Inspiration Board for Folk Blossoms Fabric Collection. Khoklhoma Painting in vibrant colors.

I had this great meal with friends at Kachka the same week I was just starting to develop a new traditional fabric collection for Connecting Threads. The very next day, while researching traditional textiles to determine the direction of this new collection, I googled “traditional Russian folkart.” What I found was the name of a style of painting I had always admired – Khoklhoma Painting. Khoklhoma painting is the name of a Russian wood painting handicraft style and national ornament, known for its vivid flower patterns, and red and gold colors over a black background. After creating my inspiration board full of Russian Folk Art, I purchased a large piece of artwork from The Design Library to use as the focal fabric.

Purchased artwork used to create the focal fabric of Folk Blossoms fabric collection.

Everyone really liked the red ground of this design; it was striking and different. However, I decided to go with a more traditional dark ground to make a more versatile and user friendly fabric. I chose Rich Navy rather than Black to give it a softer look and bring out the vivid blue color used in the petals.

Old World Blooms. Focal Fabric from Folk Blossoms Collection.

Old World Blooms.
Focal Fabric from Folk Blossoms Collection.

One of my favorite fabrics I designed for this collection eventually was changed so much it is almost unrecognizable!  I altered the original multi-colored design into a tonal fabric.  Sometimes you need to do what is best for the collection, even if it means changing something you really like about the fabric itself.  That is one of the biggest challenges of designing entire fabric collections.  It’s a very good thing I love a challenge! 🙂


Folksy Fabric from Folk Blossoms. Original design on the left, revised design in tonal colors from collection on the right.

I hope you enjoy working with Folk Blossoms fabric collection.  Please share your projects with us!  One of the best parts of my job is seeing what you make with the fabric I design.


Happy Sewing!




  1. Rita S - February 10, 2016

    It’s a beautiful collection! Looks like some of the colors are rich and vibrant!

    • Winthur - February 11, 2016

      Thanks Rita! Youi’re right, the colors are very rich and vibrant. I’m glad you like it!

  2. JENNA - February 11, 2016

    beautifully written! love the design processes. 🙂

  3. Lisa - February 12, 2016

    I love this collection so much Winthur! I find it super versatile and of course I love the palette with the rich traditional colors.

  4. Ann - February 16, 2016

    Thanks for sharing your design process; it is interesting to see how a fabric collection evolves. You doing a terrific job!