Joanna Figueroa channeled a vintage, seaside vibe for Avalon, her 28th line of fabric for Moda.
“In college we used to go twice a year to a very rustic camp on the back of Catalina Island,” says Joanna. (The island lies off the coast of Southern California.) For the past four years, she and her husband have taken their family there, as well. “The camp is great, and then you take a boat to Avalon and there is something about that little town that is just magical—the boardwalk, the ice cream shops, the boats in the harbor. It feels like a place that’s back in time.”
That retro, salt-water sensibility inspired Joanna’s newest collection. “To me Avalon has a light, fresh, in-the-breeze feel,” says Joanna. “I see it in dresses and picnic quilts and summer tote bags. It’s very versatile, with big and little prints and stripes. It’s a picnic-in-the-orchard kind of collection.”
“It’s also the first time we’ve introduced navy and I’m really excited about the pop it adds—it’s nautical and grounding and very different from the other colors,” she says. The versatility of the collection appeals to her, as well. “You can go with the red, white, and blue fabrics and make something that with an Americana feel, or you can take out the blue and you’ve got a soft, springy palette. I’ll be using it to make a couple of dresses for my daughter ”
Joanna’s daughter (the youngest of her three children) is 8 and already doing some sewing on her own. She’s also on the cover of Joanna’s book With Fabric and Thread, a volume that’s designed to please stitchers of both sewing and quilting persuasions.
“There are people who are comfortable with quilting and know that vocabulary and those techniques, but might be intimidated by sewing three-dimensional objects,” says Joanna, who styled and shot all the book’s photos herself. “And it’s the same with those who have done a lot of sewing, but no quilting. So a third of the projects are for experienced quilters, a third for experienced sewers, and another third can be done both ways. I’m really happy with how it turned out—we’ve had a lot of positive feedback.”
Joanna’s photos and fabrics radiate warmth and provide the perfect antidote to February blahs. Sewing is one way to make a long winter go faster—sewing with Joanna’s fabric will remind us that spring is on its way.