Designer Tidbits: Blackbird Designs - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Tidbits: Blackbird Designs

The soft blues and warm browns in Nature’s Basket by Blackbird Designs for Moda Fabrics are calling your name. Cozy up your home with quilting and sewing projects with this new collection! Alma Allen, one half of Blackbird Designs, is here on the Jolly Jabber to tell you all about Nature’s Basket. Keep reading for some inspiration!

Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for Nature’s Basket?
A:Barb’s wonderful antique coverlet was the force behind our fabric line Nature’s Basket. The coverlet design was converted to cross stitch and was transformed into the wonderfully graphic fabric used as a quilted tablecloth.

Q:Tell me about your sewing machine(s). What kinds do you have and how many?
A:I purchased a brand new Bernina #910 in 1986. I wanted a simple portable machine, no fancy computer extras for me! It’s been a tireless workhorse and has only needed repairs once. I absolutely love this machine. It has never needed any adjustments in the tension. The cost of the machine was $900.00. At the time it kind of took my breath away to spend that much for a sewing machine, but it turns out that is about the best $900.00 I’ve ever spent.

Q:What is your favorite part of the fabric industry?
A:I love the creativity. Every time I look at all of the new fabric lines at Quilt Market I’m amazed how each designer brings color and design together. There really is a fabric for everyone’s needs now. Then, when I view the quilts made with all of these fabrics I’m astonished at the beauty the sewer creates.

Q:From what aspect of your life do you draw creativity?
A:Several things help me. A three mile walk in the morning gets me energized for the day. As I walk, I’ve been memorizing poetry. The rhythm and meaning of the words make the world around me become more vivid. I begin to see the small things I hadn’t noticed before. If I’m stumped trying to find a solution to a design problem, I step back and work on a task. Playing the piano, weeding the garden or even folding the laundry all seem to help me find a solution.

Q:What is the most challenging part of the design process?
A:Coming up with a theme for the fabric seems to be the hardest. Once Barb and I name the fabric line, then everything begins to fall into place.

Q:What are your favorite and least favorite colors and why?
A:Barb loves the autumn tones. The burnt oranges are her favorites. I am more partial to the colors of spring; olive greens, warm pinks and blue and violet hues. I find our favorite colors usually are the ones that look best on us.

The prints and colors in Nature’s Basket are perfect for a multitude of sewing and quilting projects. What will you create with Nature’s Basket?


  1. I love the Nature's Basket collection. Perfect for a table topper and some valances in my dining room for Fall and Winter. I also love the basket in the picture with fat quarters in it. Anyone know where or how to purchase one of those?

  2. I love the combination of neutral colors of the collection of fabrics.
    The colors found in nature/natural flora and fauna you might find on a walk in the woods/fields. I could see these fabrics as a table runner or wall hanging in my family room. These are the soothing color tones of nature.