Hello Designers! Libs Elliott

I first met Libs when we were both in our previous careers. We were working for competitive digital agencies. It was almost 10 years ago but I remember our first meeting because Libs makes an impression. She is friendly and warm, creative, humble, and very completely herself. The tattoos also stand out, even amongst a population of well inked colleagues. 

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February 06, 2019

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Hello Designers! Erin Dollar

I had the chance to exchange some lovely and entertaining emails with Erin Dollar. She's a talented designer with her own home decor company Cotton and Flax. Erin designs one of a kind fabric for her home products using traditional printing methods and inks.  She has a beautiful spare and modern style. Her latest collection, just arrived in the shop, is printed on Essex linen/cotton fabric from Robert Kaufman and it is GORGEOUS!
Erin answered all of my questions with her characteristic thoughtfulness and care. 

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December 30, 2018


Creative Goals for 2019

I am hoping that by writing them down and sharing them, I might stick to one or two of these at least past Valentine's Day.

1. Sew at least once every week

2. UFOs - Finish at least two of my unfinished quilts, and finish my pants, dress, and the other stuff on the back of the laundry room door.

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May 11, 2017


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Hello Designers! Carolyn Friedlander

I'm so happy to bring you the second instalment in this series of conversations with our favourite designers.  I remember my excitement the first time I saw Carolyn Friedlander's fabric. Everything about it appealed to me. It was finely detailed, looked like it had been drawn at a drafting table, it was uniquely cartographic, (and being a former geographer, maps are my favourite language) and it reflected her architecture roots, without looking like a blueprint. 

Carolyn's style has grown and evolved but these elements remain. She's a master at blending deep intense colour with stark and pale prints. She also has a singular style for mixing hues.

There is something else that I really appreciate about Carolyn. Like many designers she demonstrates her amazing attention to detail, but in her case, this has extended to an appreciation for "slow sewing" and her influence has been spreading. Her book, Savour Each Stitch, and Slow Sewing Studio projects reflect this.

Here are Carolyn's engaging answers to my questions. And, a lovely surprise...

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March 30, 2017


Hello Designers! Rashida Coleman-Hale

I love great design, especially surface design. I have an enduring curiosity and love for well executed colour and pattern. It's fabric is a muse for me or the creative "spark" in my sewing. The designers whose fabric you see at Fabric Spark are all super talented, inventive, and have the ability to get our imaginations firing because of their work.

Hello Designers! is a chance to get to know some of them a little better. I started by reaching out to one of my all time favourite fabric designers, Rashida Coleman-Hale. She very generously agreed to answer a few questions designed to give us a little more insight into how she works and who she is.

You can tell from her responses that she is charming, dedicated to her art, has a great sense of humour, and is generous (look how much time she spent on this!). Please read through to the end where I've posted some of my favourites of hers, and the reasons you will always find lots of her fabric at Fabric Spark.

Click to read more!

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March 24, 2017

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Open Sewing and Sewing With a Coach

We have opened our big beautiful new sewing space and we are launching Open Sewing sessions on Wed. and on the first and third Wed of every month we are going to have "Sewing with a coach". Bring your project and your sewing machine and get tips, problem solve, share ideas and get unstuck from a problem with the talented, friendly, and expert Shirley Dawson.

Shirley is our sewing coach in residence starting April 5th and on the first and third Wed of each month following. 

Details are here. 

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Ombre, borders and awesome garments


One of the nicest things to happen to fabric design in the last many years is the use of the full width. Selvedge to selvedge design means you have no "horizontal repeats" in the fabric.  Japanese designers have been doing this for a long time (think Echino, Nani IroKoseki Suzuko.  We're seeing more and more of it in North American modern fabric design, with Jane Sassaman and V and Co exploring ombres last year, and several of the Art Gallery designers adding a border print to their collections. 

This season Melody Miller channeled her Japanese influences (she used to design for Kokka fabrics) and created "Confetti" in three beautiful colours for her Jubilee collection. These prints are striking and start you thinking about your patterns in totally different ways.  Iron out the fold from the bolt and lay out your pattern pieces horizontally instead of vertically to take advantage of the fabric pattern and you're cooking. You can use a really simple pattern and let the fabric do all the work. The sample in the picture is from Melody's booth and has a great vintage vibe, but you could also make a simple shift dress or little a-line sleeveless for summer and the colour bands would create an excellent profile. 

Lots of fabric inspiration this winter!

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