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