cathy izzo : the city collection
By Cathy Izzo, co-owner of The City Quilter
SPOILER: At the end of this post, there’s a giveaway of NYC-themed fabrics!
NEW YORK, NY Ever since my partner Dale Riehl and I opened The City Quilter in 1997, customers have been asking for NYC-themed fabric. Sometimes the fabric companies obliged by releasing a skyscraper print with generic tall buildings and that usually satisfied people. But these printed fabrics were few and far between.
For a long time, Dale tried to persuade me that we needed to design and print our own New York fabrics. I didn’t consider myself an artist or a designer, and there were so many other things to do! I didn’t need one more chore on my plate.
When my niece April, an artist, started working with us at the store I finally gave in. April and I began developing our first NYC fabric. The City Quilter had been selling (and still does sell) fabric postcards of old New York, made by Olde American Antiques.
The postcards sold well and were a popular souvenir. Would they make a great fabric? We tried scattering some on a neutral background but the resulting design was fairly bland. We added polka dots and it got a little more interesting.
April suggested interspersing the backs of postcards with the images. April’s mother, who collected postcards, graciously allowed us to rummage through boxes of them. The resulting design was very pleasing. We liked it enough to order 1,000 yards each of three different colorways. (We licensed the images from Olde American Antiques, of course.)
Map fabrics always seemed to sell well. Our next idea was to produce a fabric using the NYC subway map. Dale spent over six months trying to identify the correct person at Metropolitan Transit Authority to discuss licensing the artwork. Dale finally persuaded him that The City Quilter would be a good custodian of the precious MTA brand. Again we printed 1,000 yards in three different colorways. And we’re still printing them!
After that success, I began to trust my instincts a bit more. One Christmas I saw a review of an art book full of pen and ink drawings of New York City done in the 1960’s. I bought the book and loved it.
So once again Dale negotiated the reproduction rights with the publisher of the book. We hired a fabric designer to put the drawing in repeat. At the last minute, I couldn’t decide which image to print. They were all so good! So we decided to print two—a daytime and a nighttime drawing. I’m so glad we did, they work together beautifully.
We sell “The City Collection” fabrics only at our store and on our website. Now up to 15 different prints, we are well-known for these New York fabrics that aren’t available anywhere else.
It’s wonderful to see what people do with our fabrics. We’ve seen countless bags, quilts, and even clothing. Our customers’ imagination and ingenuity are truly amazing!
To visit The City Quilter online shop with The City Collection fabrics +click here
NY-THEMED FABRIC GIVEAWAY
This giveaway is closed and the winners have been notified.
To participate in a giveaway of four FQ Bundles of The City Collection, answer this question in the Comment Box below: If you visited New York tomorrow, what would you do besides shopping at The City Quilter?
HOW THIS GIVEAWAY WORKS: The NY-Themed Fabric Giveaway drawing will be held at midnight PST on August 15, 2016. The Giveaway is open to US residents (sorry to my Canadian and international friends), 18 and older, void where prohibited. One entry per person. Four lucky winners will be chosen with a random number drawing. Winners will be notified within 24 hours. Winners must respond within one week of notification or their giveaway will be forfeited. A list of winners can be obtained at any time from Okan Arts. Thanks for participating!
This is not a sponsored giveaway.