Bunnies Birds & Blooms

Marian ParsonsArt, Artistic Endeavors, my business story, Popular114 Comments

I have been keeping a secret for almost two years and now, finally, I can spill it!

I am so proud to introduce my very first fabric line – Bunnies Birds & Blooms presented by Free Spirit Fabrics!  Whew!  It’s good to get that one out into the world.

So, for those who aren’t familiar with Free Spirit Fabrics, it’s a quilting fabric company owned by Coats (as in Coats & Clark thread).

And, you might be wondering, how I got connected with a quilting fabric company.  I’m not a quilter.

Well, to make a long story short, one of my readers has a sister who started a fabric company – Free Spirit Fabrics.  When they would get together for vacations, my blog reader would tell her sister all about Miss Mustard Seed.  Fast forward to a couple of years ago and her sister (who retired, but she was working as a creative consultant) reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in designing a fabric line.

I felt a mix of elation and fear.  I have long-loved textiles and designing my own fabrics seemed like a dream.  I could see it all in my head.  But, the fear was stoked by the fact that I had never, ever designed textiles before (or even anything similar, like papers, stationary, etc.).  We talked on the phone about all of that and later had the chance to meet in person.  I shared some rough ideas and color palettes and received some direction on designing fabric.

While I was intimidated, I felt like I was ready to tackle this new project.

It was a long, on-the-fly learning process and I had to design and redesign and redesign again as I worked on learning and creating a design work flow.  There were times I was so frustrated with myself!  How does one learn to design fabric (short of attending design school for four years)?  I was actually running Google searches trying to figure out what software I should use to create digital designs and repeats.

In the beginning, I was hand-drawing everything and using a copier to print multiples of a design that I would spread out over my studio floor to make a pattern.  It was ridiculous.  I’ll share more about my design process in another post, but I did get some things figured out and I started designing digitally.  And, I have to say, I would absolutely not be able to do this without my assistant, Heidi.  She was able to take my ideas and put them into larger repeats and multiple color ways.  She is amazing and I have told her she can never “grow up” and get a real job.  (In actuality, she is grown up and manages several real jobs!)

The result of all of the work and learning is a finished fabric collection that hit in the retailer quilt market in January 2018.  It will be available in stores this spring.

And, just to show the collection “in action”, these are some pretty things made with the fabrics by Susan Dunn of Dunn by Designs.

Aren’t these fabrics happy?  I just love how everything came together and I’m so glad I can now share it with you!

You can see the Bunnies Birds & Blooms look book HERE and the promo video below…

As I said, I will share a lot more about the design process, as well as what I’ve learned, in future posts.  I have already taken what I’ve learned and am working on a second collection!

When I was editing the collection promo video, I actually smiled and thought to myself, this business just keeps on surprising me…

Bunnies Birds & Blooms

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114 Comments on “Bunnies Birds & Blooms”

  1. I just opened my email for this post because I’ve been sewing. I look forward to some projects with your fabric. I’ve been reading about digitalizing designs because I have a computerized embroidery machine that can handle it. Best of luck…

  2. I am still a fairly new self-taught quilter, and these fabrics are fabulous! I have trouble finding unique patterns, and the colors are great! Another issue is that often the pattern does not follow the grain, so it’s impossible to cut nice pieces that aren’t crooked, which makes the quilt look wonky. I hope I will be able to find your fabrics in the Dallas area. Thank you so much. You’re a design genius!

  3. Here is one excited quilter! I am a fiber artist who uses traditional quiltmaking skills coupled with vintage linens, photos, and ephemera to create memorable stories in cloth. The recent focus on vintage bits means that my stash of commercial fabrics is not getting replenished as often as it once did. But your collection will change that. I can’t wait to add these fabrics to my quilts. More about my traditional and new art quilt side can be found at my blog.

  4. Love what I’ve seen if your fabric line here! I look at one print and think that’s my favorite, then up comes another and I have the same thought!
    I can’t wait to see them in the stores so I can pick some up and sew with them!

  5. I love your designs with a white background! Will definitely be looking for these at my local quilt store!

  6. I love your fabrics, and have always wanted to design fabrics but have been too intimidated by the process!!! Have you thought about making a tutorial?

  7. Hi Marian,
    I hope everyone there is well and staying safe! I happened across your site and products this winter and was inspired. I am also a mum of boys, almost grown (them and me!), a frequent acquirer of “someone else’s rubbish” (i come by it honestly – my grandfather would frequently take on treasure hunts to the dump in our little town in BC) and painter of os said rubbish. years ago i found two vintage arm chairs at a trading post , similar to white recovered one I’ve seen in some of your posts with the lovely stuffed seat. I would really like to tackle recovering my old chairs and would love any tips or a full tutorial you might be able share. Things like the, and pardon me you’ll have to guess at what I’m referring to because one thing i am not is a sewer, the fabric “tape” , not piping, that is applied over the area where fabric nails might have been used-the seat back or arms where the cushioned fabric area meets wood. Does that make any sense at all?
    Love your videos, tutorials and your products!
    Thank you so much !
    Love Nicole

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