I am so excited that my first line of fabric, good neighbors, has finally made it out into the world!
Back in the spring of 2014, Alisha, who is the director of marketing, and I started talking about the possibility of me designing a line of fabric for Connecting Threads. My initial thought was, “There is already sooooo much fabric out there, what would I have to offer?” At the same time, I was a little giddy (and let’s face it, nervous) at the thought. I consulted “my people” (my husband and my good friend Tara) and I got the same response from both of them: “You might as well give it a shot.” So, with that, I set out to design fabric that I wanted to sew with.
At this point, I didn’t really think about fabric in terms of a line, I was just dreaming up random designs that I thought would be fun translated into fabric. I did a lot of doodling. A LOT. On paper and in Adobe Illustrator. I came up with at least 50 different designs-some of them good, some of them not so good. (It’s interesting to look back on some of them a year later. It offers such a different perspective!) I worked with both Teri, the director of Connecting Threads, and Winthur, the in-house fabric designer at Connecting Threads, and they helped me narrow things down. They also encouraged me to design a few additional prints to fill in the gaps. I am so thankful for their expertise-it helped so much!
Picking out the colors was part of my favorite part. I had a printed swatch of every color that Connecting Threads uses and I cut them apart and played with them like paint chips. I had to laugh the day I had the colors all spread out on the keyboard of my laptop and I saw that they match my blog header perfectly. I guess it’s good to know that I like what I like!
The fabrics in this line are very true to my style…most are small scale prints that can be cut into little bits and will blend with so many different styles and fabrics. They would work in ANY scrappy quilt! 🙂 A lot of the prints are just one color plus white. That’s what I gravitate to all the time when fabric shopping, and in my work, so it made sense that a lot of the fabric that I designed followed suit.
The flowers in the round print was probably the biggest stretch for me, design wise, because it uses 5 colors and it’s larger than a 2” square. I do like it though! This design is available as yardage, and it has been printed on 108” wide fabric for easy, non-pieced quilt backs. I’m can’t wait to use it and see it all quilted up!
Naming the fabric line was probably the most difficult part of the process. A good name is so important to a line of fabric. It has to be easy to say, spell, pronounce and it should be catchy, but definitely not cheesy or obscure. I have a difficult time naming anything…quilts, especially, and the name of a fabric line has even more importance. So, my family and I spent several nights at dinner brainstorming. My friend Tara and I spent several days on the phone brainstorming. Nothing was hitting the spot. Finally, Tara suggested “good neighbors” and I knew that was the one. I liked the name good neighbors because it implies that this fabric will get along with others, and will be harmonious with many other prints and many different kinds of fabric. That was the goal!
It wasn’t until the day that I opened the box of strike-offs that I finally saw all the prints together as a fabric line. What a journey it was to get to that point! I have to say, even though they are one line, I encourage you to break them apart and use them in many different projects. That’s ultimately what they were made to do!