Friday, January 01, 2010
Favorite Fabrics 2009
Last year, Kim asked me for my picks for the best fabrics of 2008 on her awesome True Up fabric blog. She's opening up the list-making meme this year, and I decided to once again round up a list of some of my favorites from the past year.
Favorite overall designer:
It is probably a predictable choice for me, but I find her latest fabric collection, Hope Valley, to be quite inspiring in terms of colors. It makes me want to use hues and combinations that I would not otherwise be initially inclined to use. Her quilts and her fabrics are always an inspiration. (Be sure to check out her website for a cool free pattern for a Scotty Dog pillow as well as pictures of her new quilt patterns.)
Favorite New Designer:
I really like her Wonderland collection, for the colors as well as the designs. Like the Hello Betty collection last year, it's a line of fabric that wish I would have bought some of before the good prints became scarce. But my fabric closet thanks me for the breathing room, I suppose.
Favorite novelty fabric:
This number print from the Call Me collection from Luli Sanchez for Timeless Treasures is so rad. Love the 80s colors and I have a soft spot for number prints. I bought a yard or two just to have, with only the vaguest idea of what project to use it for. Also a contender for the sleeper/under the radar category.
Favorite collection of fabrics:
Rainbow Gardens by Prints Charming for Marcus
This is a group of fabrics where there are not really stand-out prints, but a lot of interesting prints that work well together. I have almost bought a stack of yardage of this fabric a couple times, because I really like the colors and designs. I just don't have any projects to use them in at the moment. I like that they are bold and bright, but not busy. I think there are a lot of possibilities for larger scale prints in quilting.
Favorite juvenile print:
Ring around the Rosie by Michael Miller
I love the illustration style on this as well as the unexpected black background on a children's print.
Runner up for favorite juvenile print:
My Kingdom, also by Michael Miller
Fun to look at, great colors.
Favorite floral print:
Pretty Bird Singing in the Garden by Sevenberry.
I think this is a great design. Sevenberry fabrics are an import from Japan, but they have a more traditional flair than a lot of imports, plus more subdued colors. Their fabrics are hard to find (Etsy's the best bet) but usually quite neat. This tree print from Sevenberry is great, and I stocked up on a bunch of these over the summer.
Linen Textures by P&B Textiles.
I ran across these earlier this year and thought they had a lot of potential. I tend to like solids and small scale prints for my sewing, and avoid those with hue variation like batiks or 'tonal blenders'. These fabrics make me reconsider my avoidance of textured fabrics - I love the linear printed linen look.
Favorite under the radar/sleeper collection:
Germania by Jay McCarroll for Free Spirit.
When I first saw this collection, I didn't really think it was my style. There are a lot of contrasting colors and jangly prints in the collection. But upon later inspection, I realized there is also a lot of awesomeness to be found in some of the smaller scale prints, and the larger scale circular prints are pretty neat.
Favorite trend in fabrics:
Fabric designs from scrapbook paper designers.
Many of the designs from Riley Blake are from people who specialize in scrapbooking paper designs. These are from the Sublime collection by Doohickey Designs. (Simple and striking.)
Cosmo Cricket has done a couple of collections for Andover - these are examples from the Hey Sugar and Girl Friday collections. (That graph paper fabric has a lot of potential for applique or embroidery.)
Besides for vintage fabrics, I have a small collection of vintage wrapping papers. And every once in a while, I'll run across an overlap - a vintage illustration that was produced both as a gift wrap paper and as a fabric. So it is neat to see the same cross-over today, where illustrators are producing designs for both textile and paper media. I like the aesthetic of scrapbook paper designs for fabric as well - many feature the kinds of small scale prints that I like to use in my sewing.
Biggest fabric news of the year:
(Arbitrary picture from Joel Dewberry's fab new Modern Meadow collection)
A responsive fabric market. The rise of interest in sewing and crafting has been met with a rapid rise in the number of interesting and modern fabric prints. I've been blogging here for almost five years, and I think this year more than ever before, I've been surprised at the number of great fabrics that are available - not just imports, but also stateside. You used to have to really hunt for neat fabrics - as the market tilted toward traditional sorts of prints. It's part of the reason why I became really interested in vintage fabrics - to find the kinds of designs that I couldn't find in quilt shops. Today though, it is much easier to locate just the kind of fabric you are looking for. An abstract plaid? Sure. A dot with yellow and orange? Yes. A simple print in spring green? It's out there. (What remains surprisingly hard to find, however, are diverse colors - there are quite distinctive color trends that remain in fabric sales and it can be hard to find modern kinds of prints in atypical colors like mustard, peach, mint, jade, putty, etc.)