A Field Guide to Fabric Design

Guess what? I wrote a book! I’m in such a surreal state, being able to finally announce it and show you the cover! I can’t don’t think I can form a coherent introduction, so here’s a disconnected list.

It’s called A Field Guide to Fabric Design, and it is set for release in October of this year (it’s even available for pre-order on Amazon already). It’s published by Stash Books, an imprint of C&T.

It was of utmost importance to me to demystify repeating patterns. So the book gives you the conceptual foundation, then shows you how to make them (on paper and on the computer), how to print them (with block printing, screenprinting, or digital printing), and how to recognize and fix problems with them.

I’m proud of my color chapter. I hope it will also demystify the very confusing/intimidating process of creating color schemes and applying them to fabric so they look how you want them to look.

It’s primarily for people who want to design prints for fabric, and to sell that fabric. Just a few years ago, there weren’t enough avenues to allow the average Jane or Joe to do such a thing, and maybe not enough average Janes or Joes who were interested to justify a whole book about the process. But, I think, thanks to the handmade resurgence and to digital printing, that has all changed.

That said, the book is equally useful for people who want to design fabric for specific end products, or just for fun, or to get into the larger world of surface pattern design and licensing. Or for graphic designers who just want to apply the design and printing lessons to other surfaces.

Obviously, I’m not a Famous Fabric Designer myself — I’m more of a hunter/gatherer/disseminator of all things fabric. But you’ll see quite a few of my own designs in the book! In many ways this book is a collaboration between me and the amazing, supportive community of fabric designers working today. We (Stash & I) also wanted the book to capture the spirit of True Up and the current zeitgeist of the fabric world, so I curated about a zillion fabric swatches to illustrate all the basic design principles. There’s also some great, honest, real-world interviews with some of your favorite fabric designers.

Which brings me back to the cover — representing the digital world are Trois Miettes (Peacock), Nadja Petremand (Arome), and representing the licensing world is Aneela Hoey! Huge thanks to these talented women for lending their designs for the cause, and to Kristy Zacharias¬†for her lovely design work. ¬†(The block printed nasturtium leaf design, that’s mine!)

The book will be introduced at Spring Quilt Market — if you want to order it for your shop, head to C&T’s booth (#1734).

So there you have it. What do you think? If you have any questions, let me know. I wish I had a fainting couch by my desk right now … I’m going to need it!


  1. Zoe says:

    Congratulations! I am a new reader of True Up (and have been enjoying it very much) and I look forward to checking out your book!

  2. Sara says:

    Ohhh! I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Looks like it will have lots of useful information!

  3. Kerry says:

    looks like a total must have- great over too, very enticing

  4. Andreas says:

    Congratulations, Kim.

  5. Nadja says:

    I am so honored that my fabric to make the cover of this book. I look forward to flipping

  6. CarmencitaB says:

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to check it out. And I’ll translate to French if you need.

  7. Oooh … I can’t wait for this one … I’m such a fan of Nadja and Trois miettes on Spoonflower, as well as Aneela …

    AND your little block printed nasturtiums are so lovely.

  8. aneela hoey says:

    Congratulations Kim!!!!
    A definitive book on fabric design is long overdue and I am truly honored that my artwork made it onto the front cover.
    Can’t wait to see it at market.

  9. Karen says:

    Congratulations Kim!

  10. Congratulations on the book, Kim!
    The cover looks great, how exciting!
    Thank you so much, I am so honoured.

  11. Jo says:

    How exciting! Congratulations. Can’t wait to see it in real life.

  12. Rachel says:

    Can’t wait to get it in the shop! Congratulations!

  13. Terri says:

    Congratulations Kim! This is really exciting news! Your book sounds fabulous, so I pre-ordered my copy right away. Can’t wait to hear more about it and see it in person.

  14. Congratulations! It’s really great news and it must be very exciting for you. ^_^

  15. Kim! I’m thrilled to pieces to hear your news! Congratulations! I get emails ALL THE TIME from people asking how to get into fabric design. I’m going to send them directly to your book. And get one for myself, too. :)

  16. Cara Cesarik says:

    Congrats! Can’t wait to see it at market! What is your booth #?

  17. Nadja says:

    great, congrats!! a must read :)

  18. Christina says:

    This is wonderful news! I am looking forward to it, it sounds like a lot of people will want this one.

  19. Congrats on your book! The cover looks beautiful, I cannot wait to read it!

  20. congratulations! this looks like an AWESOME resource! I’m adding ti to my wishlist now!!

  21. HopeTN says:

    Great idea for a book, congratulations

  22. KIM! Congratulations!! I am so excited for you and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of your book, showcasing all of your hard work. Love the cover, and I’m sure the content will be just grand!! Thanks for creating a book like this for everyone!

  23. kathy weller says:

    Wow. This is going to be great. What a wonderful achievement. I hope you are very proud because I need this book and I’m sure so many other artists do, too. Thanks… and looking forward to buying it!

  24. Katarina says:

    Congrats!!!This is awesome, can’t wait to order it:)))

  25. Jen Eskridge says:

    Congratulations! I cannot wait to see a copy in person in a couple weeks.

  26. tina says:

    Looks fabulous. Congratulations! I will definitely be reading this one.

  27. Stefanie D says:

    This looks fantastic! I can’t wait!

  28. That’s so awesome Kim! As a new designer for Andover, I know how hard it is to find info on this topic. Any info! I kind of wish I had your book back then, but then again, I’d probably have a lot more competition! :) Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it.

  29. susan b. says:

    Huge congrats!!! So excited for your beautiful book, Kim!

  30. kristin says:

    fantastic!! this is EXACTLY the book i need – - thank you for writing it :) it looks great + i cannot wait to read it. congratulations!!

  31. Congratulations Kim! It looks wonderful and there’s certainly a gap in the market for this type of book. I’ll look forward to getting my hands on a copy in October.

    Also… I’m sure it can’t be just me, but I’m excited to be able to get onto your blog today. I go for weeks at a time where I can’t see your images in my google reader, and can’t visit your blog. The message I get is ‘server not found’. This happens if I type your blog address in my browser and if I use my bookmark. It never happens to any of the other blogs I follow (and there are 100′s!). I just thought I’d let you know in case there are others experiencing the same issues here.

    OK, I’m off to catch up on a few weeks of your posts. Weeee!

  32. Kelly says:

    YAY Kim! This is so exciting. Congratulations. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

  33. melimba says:

    wahoooo! you go, girl! Congratulations! A book and a baby to arrive in the SAME year?! AMAZING!!!

  34. Kelly says:

    Hooray as an indie textile designer, it’s so exciting to find a book like this where I can hear about new techniques. Thanks so much!

  35. Monique says:

    Kim, how fantastic!!! Fabric design is something I’m interested in but I’ve not yet dipped my toe. I’ll definitely be putting this on the ‘buy’ list. Congrats!!

  36. Miggy says:

    Look at you! You wrote a book! That’s amazing. Congrats and way to be inspiring.