Three-quel Thoughts (FFA3)

I just got my fat quarter bundle of Far Far Away III prints by Heather Ross today and wanted to share my thoughts about it, good and bad.

Far Far Away III
I anticipate making a fairytale quilt at some point using my Far Far Away prints. I have one colorway from FFA1, FQs of the entire FFA2 collection and now a little bit of each FFA3 print. I wonder how many more FFA collections there will be? At what point do I just start the quilt and not worry about missing out on any future fairytale themes? From the way I’m feeling about this latest collection, this might be the last FFA collection for me (but don’t quote me on that!).

Far Far Away III
I am disappointed with this collection and am starting to lose a little bit of love for Heather Ross (losing the love not solely due to this, but in conjunction with issues related to her Spoonflower prints, her studio sale and full disclosure).

Far Far Away IIII am not sure why the prints in this collection were grouped together and called Far Far Away III. One of the prints show little girls playing with toy horses (the print is called “Play Horses” on Spoonflower). How does that relate to fairytales? I do like the Girls & Horses print and think it will mingle well with her West Hill line. I find the placement of the girls to be odd because there is a lot of negative space around them. I don’t know why the design isn’t tighter. The accompanying print to the Girls & Horses is the Guitar print. The guitars could easily be mixed with the fairytale prints because the Owl and Pussy Cat design from FFA2 has a guitar in it. The Guitars and Girls & Horses prints are on a heavier weight cotton-linen blend (canvas-y); similar, if not the same, as the FFA2 line.

The other prints – Snow White, Wildflowers and Laundry on the Clothesline – are on a lighter weight cotton-linen blend and it is really, really soft. It almost has the feel of a quilting weight cotton. It is so much better than the heavier canvas and the double gauze from FFA1.

Far Far Away IIIMy biggest disappointment with this collection lies with the Snow White print. Sadly, the placement of the design elements and repeat were not very well thought out. Heather mentioned on her blog that she struggled with the repeat for this design and I don’t think she won the battle. The majority of the print is trees. There are three scenes in the print: the dwarfs cutting down a tree, the dwarfs’ tree trunk house and Snow White waking up.

I ordered a FQ bundle of this collection and did not get a single full Snow White in the bunch. In fact, one of my FQs had no full scene on it; trees only.

Far Far Away IIIIn no way do I fault the online fabric shop that I bought this from. Fabric shops can’t afford to fussy cut fat quarter cuts and half yard cuts. From looking at what I have of the print, I think you would only get ONE full Snow White per yard of this print. Partial Snow Whites are placed along the selvages. And there is also one right in the middle of the print, so if you order a FQ, she gets cut in half. If you order a half yard and are lucky enough to get a Snow White, then you will miss out on the other two scenes. You might get parts of the others, but not full scenes.

If you are looking to fussy cut Snow White in a quilt, that’s one expensive Snow White when you consider that these Japanese prints are double the price of “normal” quilting weight cotton fabric.

The repeat of that design just does not make sense to me. I guess quilters and those who want small cuts of fabric are not a high priority to Heather, which is sad to me since I am a quilter.

I miss the completeness of a collection, like she had with Mendocino. I know she’s working overseas with Kokka because of some sort of non-compete she signed with Munki Munki. I hope that non-compete ends soon and she works with FreeSpirit to put out a well rounded collection on quilting-weight cotton in the future.

30 thoughts on “Three-quel Thoughts (FFA3)

  1. Oh man. I would be downright mad if I’d spent $5 on a fat quarter that looked like that. I’m sorry. 🙁 I really like her illustrations and so badly wish she would make quilting weight cotton. I just can’t spend more money for a fabric I like less. I’m curious as to your thoughts on the sample sale. I ended up emailing her and asking to return my $25 bundle. I was so disappointed in what I received and it felt like I’d received $8 in goods, tops. I didn’t hear a reply to my first email, but when I followed up she did respond and I was able to send it back for a refund and she was gracious about it and even refunded the shipping, which I hadn’t expected or asked for. I felt embarrassed about it, but not embarrassed enough to not ask for my money back.

  2. oh a bit disappointing indeed. im not entirely taken with this line…although i do like the clothesline print…
    thanks for your thoughts!

  3. I haven’t bought any yet, because I thought from the pictures I’ve seen (and Heather Ross’s blog post about this print not making FFA2) that this would be an problem. What a terrible disappointment! From what Heather has said about this, she knew and had issues with the repeat of this print. I think it’s Kokka who needs to hear our feedback. Maybe you could email them, and send them pictures of this piece? Or maybe a link to this post? I just can’t understand what the reasoning behind this was. What would people be making with this that would work well? Like, a duvet cover or something? Not even clothing would work. And I can’t understand why they would place one of the Snow Whites on the selvedge!

    I have to mention, though, that your photographs are lovely! 🙂

  4. This makes me a little scared! I ordered a half yard of the snow white in yellow and the blue wildflowers. The snow white image was the only thing I was really interested in–to me the FFA 3 range is completely uninteresting :/ I don’t mind not getting the dwarves if it means I got a snow white. I wish I hadn’t preordered now!

  5. I am sooooooo with you! Its the worst line, and I vowed not to buy any of it, as I feel it was something so quickly thrown together. The Snow white print, if I recall correctly, was one that was not selected for the FFA2 line. The cowgirls was on Spoonflower already. Its seems (to me) that this was just throw out there to see what would happen, or just to make some money, knowing there are many HR die hards who would purchase it. Its so sad, and makes me feel taken advantage of. Thats why I didn’t buy any, nor will I. Not gonna get my dollar. Very surprised to hear the differnt weights of cottens/lines used on different prints too… thats kinda odd. Anywho- sorry to hear about your Snow White print, what a mega bummer! :o(


  6. Ugh! How annoying! I will not be buying these. I am just disappointed in general with this line. And how does the line have several different types of feel. That is just so strange to me. I would be very upset if I bought that fat quarter. Its cute with the trees, but that is no fun.

    Thanks for the post about it. It was very helpful.

  7. I think those clotheslines are darling but FFA doesn’t thrill me in general. Now, I will say….I love me some Mendocino! Thanks for giving us a review.

  8. I really like the wildflowers and the weight of the fabric–but I know what you are talking about, between the lack of completeness of a collection, the (in my mind) disaster of the studio sale, etc. I think it would be fun to see her illustrate children’s books….

  9. Thanks for the thoughtful post Lucia. I have been looking at this fabric for awhile…but was not “in love” with it. I am going to wait before I purchase…After a year of sewing I am realizing that fabric is out there (even if I did miss out on Flea Market Fancy!)

  10. Thank you for this post, it was really enlightening (especially about the snow white repeat, I’m not sure I can justify buying a whole yard just for one fussy cut…)

    I have to ask though – what happened to sour people on the studio sale? I spent $50 and got a pretty decent package, I hadn’t (until now) heard that there were people who felt they didn’t get their money’s worth?

  11. Thank you for posting – I have been hemming and hawing over this line because I think it is kind of disjointed. I think I will pass or maybe just get the few pieces I really like rather than investing in the whole set. I am sorry to hear about the snow white – not getting one single fussy cut in a fat quarter:( Thank you so much for your candid review.

  12. Amen sister! I got a half yard today of all the snow white pints and did not even get a full Snow White repeat on the yellow and pink cuts. Why the heck would she leave the selvage like that!! Thanks for being honest and sharing this! I guess we now both have fabric blenders to mix with the other lines. I have a feeling this was mailed in for the money and I feel yucky about this. May actually return them all. 🙁

  13. Has anyone let Heather Ross or Kokka know about this problem? At 20 dollars a pop and many quilters purchasing pre-cut fat quarter sets, this issue needs to be addressed.

  14. Very glad to see someone else voice these concerns! I completely agree with you. I recieved my bundle of FFA 3 the other day, and was sorely disappointed by the same issues – considering that I am making a Far Far Away Quilt, I don’t want to have to order an entire yard of four different prints to get an entire Snow White in each color. I could understand using a print she had issues with if she really loved it and thought it would work (we’ve all gone and revisited past work and decided we loved them again), but Snow White should have been revamped at least in terms of scale (maybe by giving the dwarves their own print). All in all, I still love her work and think she’s very talented, but this collection wasn’t great.

  15. I’m also working on a FFA quilt which hasn’t been started yet because I’m not sure when the collections are ending! I wasn’t thrilled about FFA3 because it didn’t seem very fairy-tale oriented to me. Thanks for showing us what you get in a fat quarter – not worth a yard to add a “snow white square” to my quilt. Thank you for also explaining the differences in fabrics within the collection. I did order some yellow & gray guitars to make some pants for my music loving two year old, I don’t know that I’ll order anything else from the collection. I was bummed I was too late for the studio sale, but now maybe I should be happy!

  16. Awww, this makes me so sad to read! I understand why people feel that the line lacks cohesion but it’s not such a stretch to picture the little girl playing horses and imagining herself far far away? But I hear you on Snow White, she is dangerously close to the selvedge, but the fabric is absolutely lovely to touch and the wildflowers and laundry lines are perfect and summery! While that particular print isn’t as appealing to quilters, I think it is to a lot of sewers! I’m sorry for your bad experience, but maybe the challenge will inspire you to try something amazing and new? Your work is beautiful, by the way!

  17. Thanks for posting such an honest review. I’m glad I hadn’t purchased a fat quarter set, yet. I’ll definitely try and buy my fabrics in person, or leave out the snow white print until I can see what I’m getting before it’s cut. I do love the cotton/linen blends for sewing sturdy bags, so I’m sure I’ll cave soon enough for some of the fabrics!

  18. nicely said. i ordered just the snow white fabrics (a childhood favorite) and the shop really didn’t do a good job explaining what the panels look like. my luck, i ordered 1/2 yds and am fairly happy with the scenes. though i think it’s nice of you to not place blame on the shop, i do think they hold some responsibility here. rather than show the adorable scenes, and knowing full well that there are some really odd cut-offs, maybe shops should include context and sizing photos. so that quilters like us can grasp the size of not only the images, but how the scenes play out over a yard, fq, etc.

  19. I still don’t love the colors or see the connection between the prints. It definitely looks like something that was just thrown together. I hope her next collection is more cohesive and has some boy prints! 🙂

  20. I just got a couple of cuts from this line today, and I do like them a lot. But I stuck with the smaller repeats. I have to say that I prefer the heavier weight linen/cotton blend and was unaware that the blends were two different weights. That was my only dissappointment; I thought the guitars were actually cuter in person than what I saw online….

    Thanks for your thoughtful review!

  21. Keep in mind that many of these decisions are made by her manufacturer – I’m sure she has some say on the repeats, but the substrates are mainly a manufacturer decision and with hers being in Japan they may not be primarily producing for an American quilting market. I think they have a strong say in some of the subject matter decisions that she’s been criticized for in the past as well.

  22. I just couldn’t take the plunge on this line. It feels like the prices are increasing and alienating may quilters in the mix. Her prints are adorable, but this just seems like an incomplete line that is not cohesive with the rest of the FFA collection. I understand that the gauziness of the FFA original line was difficult to work with and some have had issues with it holding up in quilts while the cotton/linen would open doors to different projects (like bags, etc). Personally, I miss lines like Mendocino and Lightening Bugs that were complete with lots of selections that tied together perfectly. They are the softest, cutest prints! And so much more affordable, making it possible for regular moms like me to get some without the hubby thinking I’m insane! 🙂

  23. Hey there!

    I really love the feel of the wildflowers and Snow White print, but I do agree with you about the repeat issue. When I first got my fabric I thought it must have been a bad run, but from what I am seeing it isn’t. The trees in your pink fat quarter are pretty.

  24. I ordered the entire line in fat quarters. Waited patiently for it to arrive here in Canada and was sooo disappointed. I was planning on making a snow white and seven dwarfs quilt. However, like you, there are barely any seven dwarfs and only 1 snow white between all 4 colorways. I adore her fabrics. Have an entire drawer just for Heather Ross fabrics. This print was a huge disappointment.

  25. Thanks have been waiting to buy some but will definately give it a miss now. Dont like Spoonflower, way toooo expensive. Shame because I have been waiting for the Snow White print to go with the others from first 2 collections. FFA2 I was disappointed with the dullness of the colours as I wanted them for bright childrens quilts. Thanks for the critic.

  26. I read your post with interest. I too wish the Snow White was more prevelant on the print. As to the studio sale. I got a decent amount for what I paid, but I don’t think it was an equal up deal. Most of the prints she sent are OOP HTF so I am sure she took that into consideration when filling the orders. That being said, my friend spent a LOT and most certainly did not get her money’s worth. On top of that she was sent paper stuff that she didn’t ask for and couldn’t use. I would have sent it back. Hers was one of the last orders filled though and I think Heather had some trouble putting together enough fabric for the order. Just MHO.

  27. Hi everyone, its me, Heather. I apologize for not making an effort to address these issues more quickly.

    I am embarrassed to admit that this is the first time I’ve been made aware of the repeat issue with the snow white print! Its true, I did approve a strike-off, but as is typical with most manufactures, Kokka only sent me a small swatch to approve color, not enough to see the issue with Snow White getting cut off. Even if I had seen the whole repeat at strike-off, however, It would have been too late to make a change aware of the issue at that stage, because by then the screens have been made, and they cost a LOT! Kokka sent me 5 yards of each print when the yardage was finished (most manufactures give designers between 2 and 5 yards at no charge) but because I was eight months pregnant and couldn’t bend over to open the box, it stayed in my entryway for three months unopened. I know. Ridiculous.

    I am announcing this years studio sale in the next few days. Its a quirky type of sale, I know, and doesn’t work for everyone. I do try my hardest to make everybody happy, which is really the point of the sale, and when people tell me that they are unhappy with what they get I always try to make it right. When they tell the blogosphere (but not me) I don’t always hear about it, and miss the chance to do anything about it!


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