Grey Abbey is here!

Hi everyone, and happy St Patricks Day! It’s been a while since I’ve posted but really, this is the most appropriate follow-up to my last post, which was about being rejected by a fabric company because my fabric line, Grey Abbey, with Cloud9 Fabrics has arrived! Which coincidentally, is named after a village in Ireland. More on that below.

The concept of having fabrics with my prints, even after working on the collection for what felt like ages, seemed so abstract. So when that big box full of fabric bolts arrived, it was surreal. I opened up the box and unwrapped the first bolt, and I just started crying these tears of pure joy — what can I say, I’m a sap. I just sat there with the first bolt for a little while trying to savour that feeling. Then I proceeded to open up the next  (tears) and the next (more tears) until I’d gone through all 12 beautiful bolts and could see the full collection as a whole, and man, did it feel good. The collection has been hanging out in my studio across from my desk so I can admire them and I had to force myself to start cutting them up for projects this weekend, it was hard to let go of those perfect bolts, but they are preserved in these photos below, and will be turned into many beautiful things, which is the whole point, after all.

The collection is printed on organic cotton and it feels sooooo good. The collection is named after a village in Ireland called Grey Abbey. My mum is Irish and I’ve been to Ireland many times, and I’ve always felt very connected to it. Trips to my grandmother’s house always felt quite magical — she collects antiques and the last time I was there I took a ton of pictures which inspired this collection. I‘ve shared some pictures of the fabrics below. You can also see the gorgeous Ribbon Box quilt that Cloud9 made. Overall, just so thrilled to share this! (And can’t wait to share the next collection, which ships in the fall!)

If you’re interested in getting your hands on the fabrics, look for / ask for them in your local modern quilting shops — and if they don’t have them, you can find them pretty easily online. A great online shop called Gooba Designs is stocking them, as is Hawthorne Threads, and a bunch of others too. The collection has already been featured in a few magazines, like Pretty Patches and Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine, both of which are beautiful publications based out of the UK. As for me, I’ve re-acquired the sewing bug and can’t wait to sew up some goodies with these.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me, you guys! Nice to share this with the people that have been cheering me on from the sidelines. xo


GreyAbbey_Hillside GreyAbbey_Lakeview
GreyAbbey_Selvedge GreyAbbey_RibbonBoxQuilt



  • March 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm // Reply

    Hello Elizabeth!

    I know what is the excitement of getting your designs fabrics!

    Your collection is wonderful! And I can only see from the photos the fabric looks soft and delicate to the touch. And think of organic cotton makes it even more special! I would love one day I draw for this company that has an environmentally friendly thinking.

    His inspiration for the designs reflects its sensitivity. I also have a collection of fabrics inspired by emotional family memory. It’s called “Memories” and was inspired by an embroidery that my mother did before she married, over 60 years ago.

    Your quilt is beautiful and I got the scrambled brain to try to decipher where it starts and where it ends the block!

    Congratulations, your work is beautiful!


    Bia Cardeal

    • March 19, 2014 at 10:32 pm // Reply

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Bia! I appreciate the support and your kind words! :))

  • March 19, 2014 at 5:21 pm // Reply

    Congratulations Elizabeth– Your new fabric collection is so beautiful! What an amazing feeling it must be. So happy for you and thanks again for sharing your journey, process, and emotions. Best wishes for many more joyful and satisfying moments, opening boxes of products with your beautiful designs.

    • March 19, 2014 at 10:33 pm // Reply

      Thank you so much for the love, Laura! All the very best :)

  • March 21, 2014 at 7:17 pm // Reply

    Dear Elizabeth, your Grey Abbey collection looks fantastic. Beautiful patterns! Love all of them.
    x Petra

    • March 21, 2014 at 11:23 pm // Reply

      Thanks Petra! Hope everything is great with you :)

  • March 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm // Reply

    Just wanted to congratulate you on your beautiful collection. I only found your work fairly recently, but Im already a huge fan! I’m just beginning the surface pattern journey, having done it as a hobby for years, Im now on the ABSPD course hoping to turn it into a career – its so great to read about your successes – very inspiring!

    • March 25, 2014 at 1:08 pm // Reply

      Hi Lucia! Thanks for your lovely note! Sounds like we started out in the same place, I also took the course because I’d been doing patterns for fun for so long and wanted to see if I could swing it for real. The course is great — I wish you the very best of luck for what’s ahead!! :)

  • March 31, 2014 at 1:38 pm // Reply


    I met you last year while walking Surtex and talked to you briefly about your work, asking if it was on fabric yet. I immediately loved your designs and knew it would be perfect for a fabric line. Sadly that wasn’t my business otherwise I would have scooped you up in a second but I am SO SO glad to see that it has come to fruition and I plan to be a customer for sure! Lots of ideas for things to sew for my little girl, Penelope!

    • March 31, 2014 at 8:12 pm // Reply

      Hello! Aw, thanks for the super, super nice words of support! I hope you pick some up and have fun sewing with it. I have a friend who is sewing up some dresses for her little girl too, I’ll be posting them on my instagram if you’re looking for ideas! @elizabetholwenxo

      Thanks again, really do appreciate the thoughtful words :)

  • March 31, 2014 at 1:43 pm // Reply

    Comhghairdeas Elizabeth! (Congratulations in Irish)
    Your fabric collection looks lovely. Greetings from Ireland x

    • March 31, 2014 at 8:09 pm // Reply

      Thank you so much Tina! I didn’t know you were Irish… where do you live? :)

  • July 15, 2014 at 8:59 pm // Reply

    This collection is absolutely breath taking! What an exciting time for you. I’m so happy for your success and look forward to the day I can experience this too!

    • July 15, 2014 at 11:34 pm // Reply

      Thanks so much for the nice words, Shalece!

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