Designer Tidbits: Kate Spain - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Tidbits: Kate Spain

The Fat Quarter Shop is excited to welcome Kate Spain to the Jolly Jabber. Kate’s latest fabric collection is Good Fortune for Moda Fabrics.

Q: What was the first seed that grew into the Good Fortune collection?
A:These two pictures really capture the essence of this collection. I took them at the Portland Japanese Garden on a trip with my husband.

This picture is from my sketchbook where I started to explore some stylized floral motifs.

The idea for Good Fortune actually came to be while I was still working on Terrain. There was one pattern I had been working on (called Pond Garden inspired largely from the first photo above) and I got to a certain point and felt that it didn’t really fit with the rest of the collection. Instead I began to see how it could become the core for a whole new collection. To me, it had a distinctly Asian feeling, so I went with it! I started to look at and visit Asian gardens and was inspired by their aesthetics that combine a balance of structure and fluidity. I tried to incorporate these elements in the patterns I designed.

Q: If your collection had a soundtrack what would be on the list?
A:I pretty much had five CDs playing in an endless loop when I was working on this collection so I picked a few of my favorites:
1. Mr. Blue by Catherine Feeny
2. Pony (It’s OK) by Erin McCarley
3. What Would You Rather Do from the September Sessions soundtrack (a film by Jack Johnson)
4. The whole Live Session album by Joshua Radin
5. Bottom of the Barrel by Amos Lee

Q: What single print/SKU in the collection is your favorite?
A:I’d have to say my favorite pattern is Lantern Flower in the colorway Reflection. (sku# 27102-27)

Q:What is your favorite project you have made using this collection?
A:So far, I’ve only made two quilts with Good Fortune and really enjoyed sewing with it. Though they’re both very different, I’d have to say my favorite was the one I made for Quilt Market that was hanging in the Moda booth. I wish I could show you more, but it will be appearing in a quilting magazine this spring/summer, (yay!) so here is a little teaser detail:

Three of the prints come in coated cotton and I really look forward to making a new tote bag (to bring to the grocery store)!

Q:If this collection had a scent to it, what would it be?
A:I’d have to say the flower freesia. It’s fresh, spicy and slightly exotic.

Q:Can you give us a sneak-peek of your next fabric collection?
A:Sure! I’m excited to share that I have three new collections with Moda coming out this year. The first is called Serenade and is a fall-themed line that will ship in May. One of the fun features of this collection is that the panel is a ready-to-cut-and-sew pattern for a kitchen apron! It was a designing challenge for me to engineer the panel, but I’m really happy with how it turned out and hope people enjoy a quick, easy and cute sewing project. Here’s a peek of a few of the prints:

The other is a Christmas collection called Joy. Here’s a sampler-peek of some of the prints:

And again, this group includes another fun panel project! This one is a ready-to-cut-and-sew pattern that will make these two stockings:

As for the third collection…well…it’s a little too early to share that one! But certainly you all will be among the first to know. Stay tuned 🙂

Q:If you had a mascot, what animal would it be?
A:For anyone who reads my blog, you know that I already have a mascot! Well, actually two:

Franny & Lou

Q:Who is your favorite celebrity?
A:Though he’s no longer with us, it would have to be Paul Newman. I really admire celebrities who also dedicate themselves to humanitarian and social causes. In fact, Mr. Newman lived in Westport, CT (the neighboring town to where we live) and thanks to his progressive influence and generous funding our town has a community movie theater that is run by high school students (including kids with disabilities), a local farmer’s market, a field-to-table restaurant that supports local farms, and one of 14 “Hole in the Wall” camps for children with serious illnesses. Quite a remarkable legacy.

Q:If we were making a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?
A:Well, before you go and do anything crazy just be sure to ask yourself who would actually want to SEE that movie!!

Q:Who is your favorite fabric designer not including yourself?
A:Ack, there are many! But the one I return to over and over is Mother Nature herself.


  1. Big fan of Kate Spain. I had the privilege of creating a few things with Kate's Good Fortune collection. I tried really hard to combine the pieces into a really good combo. It took me a while to realize that Kate had already taken care of that part, whichever pieces I used the final garment looked just fabulous. Kudos to Kate for an awesome collection.

  2. Kate is so talented!! I love her work! Gorgeous, and Good Fortune is on my list of must-haves. And what a fun personality. YAY! Thanks for the great interview.

  3. Thanks for sharing the sketchbook. Just bought a couple green plates in your Fandango print @ Crate & Barrel! Hubby couldn't understand why I had to have them. LOL