A Mary Fons Fabric Line: Conversational Prints + Shirtings For Quilters

posted in: Quilting, Work 8
The little kittehs!
Look at teh little kittehs! I recently purchased a very small amount (all that was available) of this fabric on Etsy.

I have a dream.

This dream involves tiny little kittens drinking milk (see above), ships with wee flags flying, and very small dots and chits and needles and spools printed in blacks, blues, and reds on yards and yards of snow, oyster, and cream-colored cotton fabric. In short: I want to design a line of conversational prints and shirting prints for quilters. Definitions:

Conversational prints: also called “I spy” fabrics; any fabric printed with a small-scale, recognizable picture in it, such as cats, dogs, gondolas, paperclips, etc. — something you might strike up a conversation about, as in “Hey, is that a tiny pegasus on that fabric?”

Shirting prints: cotton printed with small, usually simple figures. Typically grounded in whites (or, with a white or off-white background.)

Brothers and sisters, it’s killin’ me! More than anything in the world, more, even, than one meellion dollars, t’would be my heart’s delight to design a Mary Fons line of conversational and shirting prints for quilters. Because I love them. I use them. I seek to find them.

Conversational prints and shirtings with darling design, they delight and inspire. They feel like a surprise. “Oh! Look at that little kitten drinking milk!” converts to, “I love this quilt!!” There’s a quilt in my book called Whisper that is made of conversational prints and shirtings. So far, I have heard more people say Whisper is their very favorite quilt in the book. I’m not surprised at all.

So I’d love to curate my very own line and share my love with all my fellow quilt geeks. But I can’t. and it’s okay, at the end of the day, because it’s for solid reason: I’m a magazine editor.

I can’t have a line of fabric with a fabulous, incredible, amazing fabric company because then the other fabulous, incredible, amazing fabric companies that advertise in the magazine I edit will rightfully be annoyed. In publishing, “annoyed” quickly leads to “see ya later” vis a vis advertising and sponsor support and this is bad for everyone (me, fabric company, consumer, etc.) So for now, no fabric for me and, painful as it is, I understand and respect the problem. I’m not whining. For me to do fabric, I’ll either have to stop being an editor, or we’ll all have to start living in a world where media and advertising are not interrelated and interdependent. Neither of these options seem terribly likely. And that is okay.

Until something changes, my quilting friends, do this for me:

1) please send me any hot tips on great conversationals to me — I’d love to do some shopping
2) post your favorite conversational prints (and shirtings) on my FB page — that would be so fun!
3) keep quilting, no matter what fabrics make your “favorite” list

8 Responses

  1. Dawn
    | Reply

    It has been far, far too long since a great conversational line has been out. Seems like they would be prints many genres of quilters/sewists would buy.

  2. David
    | Reply

    I’ve used that exact print in several quilts, including the one I am currently working on. Love conversational and shirting prints!

  3. Lisa D.
    | Reply

    Mary, This is Lisa, your cosmic twin. I must have the fabrics you mentioned here. You can design these fabrics and use your new pseudonym….you can have a pen name.. no one will know..the designs will be so good they will sell themselves… oh please, please, get drarwing. …said with an English accent.

  4. Jody
    | Reply

    I adore that kitten fabric! So sweet and so simple! Just darling!

  5. Susan
    | Reply

    You can design and print your on fabrics on Spoonflower instead! 🙂 Love that little kitty fabric. My fave source for interesting & funky prints are thrift stores. I find lots of random & vintage stuff that way.

  6. Pam Pollock
    | Reply

    I did not know you had a facebook page. How did I miss that? Love your posts!

  7. Becca
    | Reply

    What you need is a “pen name” for your fabric line.

    But I do see the dilemma.

  8. Briana Sprecher-Kinneer
    | Reply

    What is the nom-de-plume equivalent in the quilting world? You should be the Mark Twain of conversation prints. Do it!

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