Bunnies Birds & Blooms

Marian ParsonsArt, Artistic Endeavors, my business story, Popular112 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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112 Comments on “Bunnies Birds & Blooms”

  1. I can hardly wait to find this fabric for sale to use it to make a quilt. It is fresh, adorable and fun! Congratulations! Your story continues to amaze me! I keep watching for an event you might be having as you are now only 5 hours away.

  2. I am a quilt maker and designer and I can’t tell you how excited I am about your fabric Marian. I love the colour palette and am really looking forward to sewing with it! Congratulations!

  3. How exciting! As a fellow fabric lover, I am looking forward to working with these prints, They do “look” like you! All these blues and greens, just perfect for a spring collection!

  4. Congratulations on your newest milestone! The fabrics are lovely….now I want to make a quilt even though I’m not a quilter. Love all of the patterns.

  5. This is wonderful !! so proud of you and yes,, your business keep us all on the look… 🙂

  6. Congratulations Marian! You are such an inspiration. These colors and patterns are just beautiful. Please let us know know some of the stores where these fabrics should be available. I’d love to purchase some of them. As I say that, I’m heading to Hobby Lobby this morning to scope out your signs. Have a great day!

  7. You amaze me! Wow, this is actually my dream…not that I am pursuing it, but I LOVE TEXTILES, being raised by a seamstress I have always it seems had fabric in my hand….I will be looking for this…CONGRATULATIONS!

  8. Congrats on your textile design getting to market! 🙂🙂🙂 You have several businesses in one. I would like to know how you work your time management? You have family, home, blogging, several design businesses and artist. You mentioned your helper, Heidi. But other than hiring a helper, how do you find time to do all? If you’ve already done a post on this, please share a link to it. If not, I would like to see a post on how you manage your day to day life. I admire people who have “pulled theirselves up by the bootstraps”. A very old fashioned quote but so very apt for today’s blogging moms!

  9. This has to be one of the most beautiful collections of fabric I have ever seen. I want some of each! Could I ask a question? How wide will the fabric be? Will some be wide enough to make a table cover?

  10. OH. MY. GOODNESS. Your fabric line is absolutely gorgeous! I’m love your designs and style and have enjoyed watching your business grow in such unexpected ways. I can’t wait for these fabrics to hit the market. I definitely want to hoard every pattern in every color!

  11. I’m squealing with delight here – love the fabrics (which look like wovens) and the colors!!! Congratulations!

  12. I love these fabrics!! Congratulations! I’m not a quilter, but would this fabric be thick enough for pillow covers or a bed skirt?

    1. It’s a quilting weight fabric, so it would be fine for some light-weight home decor sewing, like table linens, bedskirts, pillowcases, etc.

  13. Wow! Your talents continue to amaze us! Beautiful collection of colors & designs! Congratulations MMS!!

  14. I am a retired quilt shop owner and am thrilled to see your first line with Free Spirit. What a great company to represent your beautiful collection!

    Yes, please talk to us about your time management and how you get so much done. You amaze and exhaust me!

    1. I’m with Suzanne, please talk time management with us and how you get so much accomplished ! Congratulations on another job well done !!! (I’m especially wondering how you don’t get pulled into the rabbit hole of the internet but are so much a part of it and are engaged in it ?)

  15. “tell me more, tell me more…………”

    1. Regions
    2. Store’s
    3. I have a secret to tell………………

    How wonderful to still have the “birthing” ability

  16. The fabrics are gorgeous! Are they heavy enough for upholstery/curtains?

    Honestly, you must not get any sleep. With two boys, a husband, and all the designing you do (home décor, fabrics, milk paint, furniture remakes, etc.) not to mention having time to paint for fun, I don’t know how you find time to breathe.

    1. No, sadly. This is a quilting-weight cotton fabric, so it’s best for lighter-duty projects. The scale is also small, since it’s designed for quilting.

  17. Oooh! This is so great! I love fabric more than paint. I got rid of most of my fabric stash when we moved last year, but now that we’re settled, it’s time to build it up again.

  18. Oh Marian I absolutely LOVE these fabrics! You are so talented! I love to see your ever evolving business/es & your abundant talent! I don’t quilt, nor am a very good seamstress, but I know enough to make a few things & cant wait till your fabrics are in the stores!

  19. Eek! They are beautiful! So pretty and Congrats!
    I am a quilted and can’t wait to get my hands on these fabrics!

  20. Love! What is really an inspiration is the way you tackled something that you really didn’t know how do to – googled it (research!) – then figured it out! A lesson for us all:)

  21. All I can say is Gorgeous!
    I can’t wait to get my hands on these fabrics! I knew you could do it! My first love has always been sewing and having my own workroom for 15 years you would think I get tired of fabric and sewing but never!

    Hopefully I can carry some of these or at least make some home decor items for the shop! Congratulations Marian!

  22. Congratulations on your new line for Free Spirit Fabrics… The designs, colors and variations are stunning. What a great idea to demo the line by making things out of various combinations of Your fabrics. I especially love them when combined. I can’t wait to see a quilt made from the Miss Mustard Seed Collection.

  23. Thank you thank you for the strong green colors included in your line. As you are drawn to blue and white. My favorite is green and white. I find it difficult to find a good selection of green fabrics, accessories, etc. Used your milk paint greens when I took a milk paint class.

  24. I just love the prints and colors. I have always been a fan of Bunnies and Birds. Good luck, I am sure it will do well. I am not a quilter but LOVE fabric.

  25. Marian, your designs are so, so cute!! I used to quilt a little and your new line might spur me to get going on another one. The “wild hare” is indeed your best one. Congratulations on another job very well done.

  26. “It’s just happy!” is such a fitting description of this venture into fabrics. I have already picked the one with the bunnies as the springboard for re-doing my master bedroom décor. We live in a very small home with a very small 12 x 12 bedroom and I had been struggling to pick a color for the walls and a palette for the accessories. I think you just knocked it out of the park for me!
    Congratulations! You are, as always, a great inspiration!

  27. I am very excited. I just opened my new store in Taupo, New Zealand, before Christmas 2017 and I already stock some Free Spirit fabrics. My rep is coming to visit this week and so I am going to order your WHOLE range. Then I can tell my customers all about it and give them a link to your site. It’s a shame we will have to wait until the middle of the year though! So excited for you Marian, and actually very excited for any one who’s a stitcher. Lovely fabrics so well done on achieving another goal. Yay YAY and YAY!

  28. Miss Mustard Seed, I just want to ask…”How many are there of you?” I know you are a busy lady, and maybe you might modestly say you could use a bit more tweaking on time management. However, I just can’t imagine where you find the time to create/beautify/design/transform everything you do (and add to that your family/church/business responsibilities, etc.)!!! I send to you heartfelt congratulations on your many successes as well as your beautiful new fabric line. LOVE IT!

  29. Wow! I love your patterns. I’m not a quilter either, but I can think of lots of home decorating ideas to use these for. You just keep creating in so many areas. You’re an inspiration to me. God Bless!

  30. Beautiful! Congratulations on your new creative expression. It makes me want to look at quilting again but slipcovers seem to take all my energies now. I will watch to see if you take off in that direction.

  31. You are so multi-talented! I’ve been a quilter for over 25 years, and can’t wait to try your fabric line…I can’t tell you how well they will blend in my house!! Keep those creative juices flowing!

  32. Lovely collection – those birds! As a quilter I love the fresh look of these designs and I’m hoping the stores I typically buy from will carry them since they carry many other Free Spirit designers. Congratulations!

  33. Do you sleep? I can’t figure out how you accomplish so many tasks and do them all splendidly. Love your fabrics!

  34. Wow that is amazing! What fantastic work. Crazy the doors that keep opening for you – it’s wonderful 🙂

  35. LOVE the bird fabric the best!!! Next a stationery line??
    Congratulations! Fun to see how God blesses and uses you.

  36. I’m so happy for you – love how your creativity continues to blossom – don’t let anything stop you being you! love it 🙂

  37. You go girl!!! Congratulations and we serve a mighty God may he continue to bless you and your new adventure … They are beautiful

  38. Congratulations! Very well done Marian👍🏼🤗🙏🏻. Best of luck, can’t wait to see in person, lovely.

  39. Such gorgeousness! The color ways draw me into their whimsy as ideas percolate for sewing projects. Thank you for letting us in on your secret!
    Diney on Camano Is

  40. You are so humble! Think of all the quilts you have purchased or has been handed down through generations! You are going to be part of that story and will last through many more generations!

  41. I even love the name of your fabric line-Bunnies Birds & Blooms- Just beautiful fabrics! I also want to know when you sleep!!

  42. Oh Marion!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am a quilter, love birds and those bunnies are adorable! I’ll keep a lookout for your line. You are ROCKIN IT girl💖

  43. I’m so pleased that your business is growing. With talent, hard work, and taking advantage of opportunities, you have developed a wonderful brand that I think has even more potential. Businesses do change and grow and diversify. I think I speak for your many followers; we’re all very proud of you. What a tremendous role model you are for women! Congratulations!!

  44. Congrats! So exciting. Love the birds in blue. Was really bummed when my local Hobby Lobby didn’t have anything of yours…😞

  45. What a wonderful line of fabric ! I am a quilter and former quilt shop owner and we would have ordered your whole line for our shop in a heartbeat. Congratulations!

  46. Several of your fabrics would be perfect in making sundresses for young girls. I do like the sample items showing the combinations of your fabrics, as well. Congratulations on this huge achievement and please post when Bunnies, Birds, and Blooms fabrics are available for sale.

  47. WOW!! I LOVE your new fabric line!! As a lover of blue & white, & of bunnies, birds & blooms, you have a win, win with me!! I certainly will be on the look out for your fabrics as I love to quilt. Congratulations Marian!!

  48. Forget all the congratulations and can’t waits! When, WHEN and where can we feather our stash nest with these lovlies? Oh, ad congratulations! 😉

  49. How wonderful! Congratulations, Marian! I can’t wait to find your designs in a store. Will they be primarily in stores that primarily carry quilting fabrics? I already love some of the colors and designs. Exciting!

  50. One if each please!! I have my favorites but truly live them all.

    I am visiting “home” in My Minnesota and am cuddled up in bed next door to my old house just about an hour and a half from you~ how surreal.

    Keep inspiring us!
    Congrats Marian!

    Cynthia

  51. Dear fellow blog-followers, the last page of the Look Book that Marian linked to states that the fabric is 100% cotton, 44/45″ wide, and not suitable for children’s sleepwear (probably no flame retardant).

    Chiming in with congrats, Marian! Was it hard to keep mum for two years?

    I know some big-time quilters that I will need to direct to your fabrics:-)

  52. Congratulations Marion!!! Your fabrics are so exciting and beautiful. I’m going on line right now to see where I can purchase some. You amaze me with all your creativity and willing to share. Now off to locate this and to see sew sew! 😂. And again, congratulations.

  53. Love your fabrics! Congratulations! I can’t wait to make something! They’re so happy & cheerful!

  54. LOVE! I’m a fabric gal, now I have to find out how to get my hands on this! Oh, my heart leapt when i saw Boxwood as an inspiration color!

  55. I’ve had real rabbit fur babies to love for the past 30 years of my life and this fabric speaks to my heart. Congratulations Marion!

  56. Lovely designs…….. I live a half hour from Keepsake Quilts/Fabric in Center Harbor, NH. Sadly they closed the store which contained 10K bolts of fabric and many their own design. They are now online only.
    I thought to myself darn when can I get quality fabric NOW. So you solved that problem!

    Where is the fabric going to be sold and where is it manufactures.

  57. Oh oh oh oh!!! I’ve followed your blog for years and am so happy to see you designing fabric! I can see the most perfect of vintage style Irish chain quilts! All the prints are just so amazing!! Please please pretty please consider letting me play with it early??? xAli

  58. You’ve created a winning collection. I make children’s clothes and will be definately buying some of this fabric. Congrats on your new venture.

  59. While I am very happy that your hard work and talent have brought you much success, I am also a little sad. I have seen this same scenario play out with other décor bloggers and designers. As soon as corporate discovers them and their talent, things change.

    Product lines are developed and mass produced and unfortunately most of the time the individualism and charm are gone too. I know you have been going in a different direction for some time now with a more retail side to your blog and I just hope you wont lose “you” as you partner with big business.

  60. Congratulations on a beautiful fabric line. You are amazingly talented! I’m going to have to tell my friend who owns a quilt shop to be sure to carry your line! (Don’t listen to the naysayers!)

  61. I love your passion for creating!! You first inspired me to look at furniture in a new way…in color! Then you inspired me to drag out the paints and canvas!! Now?? Love, love your fabric. Fabric design? Probably not, but feeling the itch to sew!!

  62. I love these Marian! Can’t wait to make dresses for my little granddaughters out of them 😁. Also love the fact that they coordinated with your paint colors. Endless possibilities here!

  63. What a blast! I love them! Great job; can’t wait to see them in real life! Can I be you when I grow up? (Even though I’m older than you;)

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