We’re always on the lookout here at FQHQ for new and innovative products that we think our readers will love.  Well, more like items we love … and then we just assume you’ll like it too.  That’s how it usually plays itself out.   : )

While at Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City a few months back, we came across one such item.  The Basic Grey booth was adorned with these beautiful art canvases in all different sizes featuring a variety of scroll work-like designs.  These designs were beautifully embellished with scraps of fabric, antique buttons, and other pretty bits and notions.

At first I thought they were just booth decorations but, after introducing myself to the fabulous Basic Grey team, I learned that these canvas samplers are actually a new product.  Offered in three different designs, each available in two sizes, the samplers will be available for sale later this year.

I thought it was really cool to see a product that would appeal to fabric lovers and scrap hoarders (you know who you are!) that’s an alternative to your typical fabric and sewing notions.  Plus, what better way to decorate your home and, more specifically, your sewing space than to feature some of your favorite fabric scraps and embellishments?

So, an idea was born.  I contacted Whitney and Allison at Basic Grey and pitched a Fat Quarterly Designer’s Challenge featuring their new samplers.  I loved the thought of starting with a literal “blank canvas” and seeing how different crafters would choose to express themselves via fabric and other materials.  They agreed, we recruited some FQ readers via our Twitter and Facebook pages, and the challenge was born!

We sent each designer one art canvas and an assortment of Basic Grey buttons with no direction other than to create something they love.  Over the coming weeks we’ll be featuring our design challenge participants and showcasing their personal canvas samplers.  We were blown away by the creativity, technique, and vision that each designer exhibited in decorating their canvases, and we think you will be too.  They certainly stepped up to the challenge!