Frequently Asked Questions

We love that you want to know more about us and are so happy that you enjoy keeping up with us as well as our business. Please help us by reading through the FAQs before sending us an email. 

Thank you so much,

Joanna and the Fig Tree team

 

ABOUT JOANNA

Where do you live?
 We live in a small town in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area in a small Tudor style cottage with our 3 kids, our neurotic beagle, Lucy and the goldfish with 9 lives! We actually do have a white picket fence and the grass on our front lawn is always too long!

Do you have a store or can we come visit your studio? Ever since we have started being featured in magazines and books, many of our customers have assumed that we have a storefront or an open studio. In fact my studio is the second floor of our home. We added it on specifically so I could have a light filled space that was somewhat separated out from the rest of our family life but still close enough so that I could hear the kids downstairs. Our office and production is separate from our studio and often when you call, they will answer the phones to see if they can help you with your needs.

We have an online store only and do participate in a few retail shows a year, the largest of which is Pacific International Quilt Festival every October. We hope to see you there one day!

How did you get into this industry?
 You can read more about this on our ABOUT US page but in a nutshell: I fell in love with vintage quilts and textiles. I could pretty much live at a flea market permanently. Then I fell in love with sewing. I felt like I needed to sell what I made to somehow make it real. It was kind of in my blood. I quickly realized that I didn’t really want to make 100 of one thing because I have a short attention span. So I started designing. That process quickly snowballed for me and the rest, as they say, is history.

Is your background in art?
 Yes and no is my favorite answer I guess. I have done some kind of art as far back as I can remember but I am not formally educated in design. Believe it or not, I was a Political Science major in college [I did have a minor in Art] and then got my Masters in Theology & Urban Studies. But even though my formal schooling was completely in a different direction, I never stopped doing art. When my kids were really little, I decided to study fabric design in a small local design school for several years in order to expand my knowledge base and get a better range of design under my belt. After a few years, I felt like I had learned all that I could and took my newfound knowledge and applied it to my fabric design. My portfolio is that much the better for it!

Every time I sit down to work on a collection I feel like the experience is completely new to me. I don’t think the process is ever the same twice.

How do you create your designs?
 I am pretty sure that this is not an actual definition, but I like to call myself an “eclectic designer”. I love to paint and doodle and draw some of my more simple and repeating designs. I like to sketch things in black and white and then recreate them on the computer. I love to use vintage textiles and reproduce and recolor them for today’s fabric trends. I also like to use Photoshop and Illustrator to create designs from scratch and to play with all of the various colorways and color combinations. Pretty much every single one of my collections has been a combination of all of those methods. I love the feel that it creates for me that is both vintage and fresh, hence the tagline that you might have seen around on the site, Fresh Vintage™.

ABOUT FABRIC

How much fabric DO you design?  Well… quite a bit actually! I partner with MODA to design 3 collections each year, one collection that releases at each Quilt Market in Spring and Fall and one somewhere in between. Each collection has anywhere between 32-40 sku’s [or different fabrics] of various prints in different colorways. So if you do a little math… you can see that there is a whole lot of new Fig Tree fabric each year to choose from! Having said that, sometimes it goes quick and sells out faster than expected!

Many of our fabric collections are still available through different online and store sources but after about a year and a half they get quite hard to find.  If you are interested in seeing all of the fabrics we have ever designed, click  here for our FABRICS page. 

Do you sell your fabrics retail?
 Unfortunately we are not set up as a retail fabric store and leave most fabric sales to the hundreds of wonderful stores that retail our fabrics. We do sell a limited amount of our fabric bundles during each release as well as some kits [see below]. We try to keep the cream solid background that we have become famous for in stock at all times so that our customers know they can always find it if they run out. The cream or ivory is a bit different with each collection but they all blend beautifully together.

Do you sell kits with your fabrics? Every pattern release [2-4 times a year] we try to create some limited edition kits of several of our brand new patterns. Most often we focus on quilts but sometimes we also kit up some of the smaller accessory patterns. Usually we create them once and when they are sold out, they are gone and due to fabric restrictions we are not able to cut more. We do create a booth full of more unique kits for our annual retail show, Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, CA.

Do you sell your fabrics wholesale? I work as a freelance designer for MODA fabrics and all of our collections are printed and sold through MODA reps worldwide. If you are interested in wholesaling our fabrics in your online or brick & mortar shop, let us know and we will connect you with the rep for your area.

Where do I find your fabrics? Our collections are sold exclusively to independent quilt and fabric stores, both online and brick & mortar. You can find them in hundreds of stores nationally and internationally. Given the amount of stores that carry some portion of our collections, we are just not able to keep track of all of the stores. If you are searching to see which stores in your area might carry an upcoming Fig Tree collection, we recommend that you click here for the MODA store locator.

Can I make products with your fabrics and sell them? Yes, of course! We have seen all kinds of boutique and cottage businesses use our fabrics for everything from children’s clothes, to tablecloths, to purses and pillows, etc. If you have a business that uses our fabrics, please let us know and we might even have a chance to feature you on our blog or newsletter. If you are interested in bigger manufacturing or licensing opportunities, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

PATTERNS & OTHER WORK STUFF

Do you sell your patterns wholesale?
 Absolutely. In fact we are primarily a wholesale business for our patterns and wholesale them to stores worldwide. Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to set up a wholesale account with us. For more wholesale info, click here.

Do you have sales or offer giveaways?
 Yes, we regularly have sales or issue coupons via our newsletter. You really might want to sign up here. In terms of giveaways, we don’t do them very often, but every once in a while we offer them on our blog when we have a new release in the works or have a special occasion that we are excited about! To see if there is anything currently happening, please visit www.figtreequilts.typepad.com to see our latest news.

Will you be able to respond to my email or phone call? 
We always try to get back to any inquiry as fast as we are able. Given the amount of phone and emails we go through on a regular basis and the seasonal nature of our design work, sometimes more personal inquiries don’t get answered as fast as we would otherwise hope. Please know that sometimes our office manager or other part time assistants also help to answer any questions if Joanna is not available or working on a design deadline. If you have a pattern instruction question, please email the question as specifically as you can to Joanna [ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ] and she will respond to you via email. Unfortunately she can’t answer pattern questions via phone due to time constraints.

Can I use your images on my blog? Please feel free to use any of the images of fabric, patterns or other products from our blog or website. Please do link back to us on your blog or mention the source whenever possible. Please do not borrow any personal images from our sites such as those of our family and particularly our kids or home.

Is it okay to link to your website? 
Please feel free to link to our website or blog anytime you like. We really do appreciate your support! If you would like a blog button, please contact us and we will send one over!

Who designed your website and blog? 
I do all of my own design work for the blog and website, with a lot of trial and error along the way! For our current website redesign, I have worked with the wonderful help of Nicole Roberts Creative for the development side of things.

Do you have a mailing list?
 Yes, we have an email newsletter that we send out regularly to our mailing list. Click here to sign up. In it we send out the latest news, studio updates, coupons and kit releases. We try to send it out once a week but often it goes out more like 2-3 times a month. We would love to have you join it.