I'm still making quilts, still enjoying looking for and using lovely fabrics. I'm just finishing writing my second quilt book which won't be published for a while yet, and it contains about twenty quilts which have been great fun to make. But I don't have plans to stop making quilts once the book is handed in. Oh no. In fact, I'm as enthusiastic as ever, especially as there are so many beautiful fabrics around.
I've just bought some of the new Lotta Jansdotter collection, Bella, which is fresh, clean, modern, zingy, simple yet very striking. I love Lotta J's aesthetic; it's the kind of look I feel I should aim for - then I glance around and think 'no chance, far too late'. But that doesn't stop me seeing the amazing number of possiblities in the designs; the collection is very cleverly put together and you really don't need any extra fabrics, except perhaps a plain white to enhance that crisp, airy, Scandinavian feel.
I made a quilt recently with Lotta J's first collection Echo (also from Windham, one of my very favourite fabric companies). That, too, was a revelation to work with as I found it was difficult to go wrong using only her fabrics. But I was amazed at how quickly it went out of stock. Not long after it was launched, I bought enough for a quilt, but when I was looking for more fabric for the back, the selection of designs available was vastly depleted (especially here in the UK). It made me wonder once again why quilting fabric companies insist on letting their best-selling fabrics go out of print after one run, and replacing them six months later with a brand new collection.
I know there might be good economic reasons for this constant emphasis on the new, but I 'm not sure why so many enormously poopular and successful collections are never reprinted. Why not keep the 'classics' in print as book publishers do? Why generate all that creativity and hard work but deny the results the opportunity to sell as well as they deserve to - and would, given the chance? It seems mad not to keep reprinting the bestsellers just as Liberty does with its Tana lawn, Marimekko with its huge poppies, and Sanderson with its cabbage roses (and I don't see William Morris' designs disappearing). If a pattern is good it will appeal for a long time, long after other not so lovely collections have been and gone.
Interestingly, there are some signs that things might be changing. The wonderful 'Flea Market Fancy' collection by Denyse Schmidt is now available again as a legacy reprint, and Westminster Fibers have brought back some of Martha Negley designs in a classic collection. But these are only two out of a huge number of collections that deserve to stay in print. It pains me to think that Lotta J's Echo fabrics are already a thing of the past, and that the same fate awaits her bella Bella collection. And,while I'm at it, could someone please arrange for the much-missed 'Lille' collection by Kaffe Fassett to be reprinted?