Fabric Fives: Ellen Luckett Baker, Author of 1, 2, 3 Sew

Today, I welcome Ellen Luckett Baker of The Long Thread, who is finishing up her blog tour today for her fantastic new book from Chronicle, 1, 2, 3 Sew.

I invite you to follow the blog tour so far (roster at the end of this post) to learn all about the book, and find some bonus tutorials and projects. If you follow Ellen’s blog, you know she is amazing creative (and has great taste in fabric to boot). And thing that struck me immediately about the book was her use of simple, spare prints and solids. It was great to see several of my favorite indie designers represented on the pages, and I love how she incorporated handprinting and other surface embellishment techniques into her project/lessons. As is becoming my tradition, I asked Ellen to list her five favorite fabrics in five categories — a feature I’m now calling “Fabric Fives.”

Ellen: Fabric is at the core of the design of 1, 2, 3 Sew. I thought about my fabric choices as I was creating the patterns and pored over websites and rooted through fabric stores for months during the process. I even included digital fabric swatches in my book proposal. I was searching for fabric designs that would be timeless and classic, but with a modern twist, to embrace contemporary design without being trendy. I really tried to select fabric that would reflect my personal design aesthetic while appealing to a broad audience.

But taste is subjective. This is something I tell my kids all the time and remind myself of regularly. This applies to everything in life — food, cars, houses, people, design … fabric. We all like different things and this is what makes our world diverse and interesting.

These are the fabrics that I love and I’m happy to share them with you. Maybe you’ll like them too!

Five Favorite Fabrics

1. Viewfinders by Melody Miller from the Ruby Star Rising collection for Kokka.
2. Liberty of London, Tana Lawn fabric [not sure of print name]
3. Minileaves by Home Sweet. Block printed fabric featured in the book.
4. Figure 8 Japanese gauze.
5. Vintage cotton print.

Five New Fabrics

1. Diamond Dots by Rashida Coleman-Hale from the I Heart collection for Timeless Treasures.
2. Green canvas (not sure of the maker).
3. Miriporun, Yoshie for Kokka, lightweight canvas.
4. Hide and Seek by Kayo Horaguchi, double gauze cotton.
5. Tulip, by Jessica Jones from the Outside Oslo collection.

Five Fabrics I Could Consume by the Bolt

1. Gingham cotton/linen blend.
2. Natural linen.
3. Ticking stripe.
4. Striped cotton/linen blend.
5. White Kona cotton.

Five Fabrics I Like Together

1. Checked fabric from IKEA.
2. City Planting by Jay McCarroll from the Habitat collection for FreeSpirit.
3. Bright pink linen/cotton blend.
4. Dark grayish/brown linen.
5. Dots by Liesl Gibson from the Modern Workshop collection for Moda.

Five Fabrics on my Wish List

1. Scratch, screenprinted fabric by Summersville.
2. Swedish Forest by Monaluna from the Anika organic cotton collection.
3. Mitsi Tana Lawn from Liberty of London.
4. Yellow and brown check cotton, Japanese fabric from Cottonholic.
5. Stacked by Julia Rothman from the Miscellany collection for Cloud 9 Fabrics.

I’m also going to add that I lust over vintage Vera Neumann, anything from Marimekko and all of Liberty of London‘s Tana Lawn fabrics. And I really love all of the hand-printed designs that are out there these days. And the DIY digital fabric design is wonderful too. I love to see people bringing their own designs to life!

Thanks very much, Ellen!

Follow the blog tour:

Monday, July 11CRAFT
Tuesday, July 12Sew, Mama, Sew & Oh My! Handmade Goodness
Wednesday, July 13Handmade Charlotte
Thursday, July 14Everything Etsy & Not Martha
Friday, July 15Modern Kiddo
Monday, July 18Crafty Pod
Tuesday, July 19Indie Fixx & Patterns by Figgy’s
Wednesday, July 20Papernstitch
Thursday, July 21House on Hill Road & Coquette
Friday, July 22Bolt Neighborhood & True Up

Breaking News! Ellen announced on the Papernstitch podcast on Wednesday that she has her first fabric collection coming out in Spring 2012. It’s called Quilt Blocks — inspired by quilt designs — and will be produced by Moda. Keep an eye on The Long Thread for a preview, coming very soon!


  1. MelanieO says:

    A – I love your “Fabric Fives” series

    B – I love Ellen’s favorites!

    C – I’m so excited about her fabric collection!!! Ahhhh!!!

  2. Jenny says:

    I’m so flattered that Home Sweet is one of Ellen’s five favorite fabrics!! I love her blog and her new book looks like such a great gift idea for someone that wants to learn how to sew. I’ll be picking up two copies- one for me, and one to loan out!

  3. Elena says:

    LOVE fabric fives!!!!!

  4. LeAnn says:

    What a fun post. I especially liked the 5 New Fabrics.
    Thank you!

  5. mo says:

    great post. I look forward to getting a copy of this book!

  6. Rachel M says:

    Lovely post… what really caught my eye was the blue vintage fabric print in the first set of five. I have it in both black and red, but have not seen it in blue!

  7. lusummers says:

    good grief! super excited that ‘scratch’ is on ellen’s fabric wish list!