Nonna, a Giucy Giuce Fabric Collection Inspired by Family
Where It All Began
The Nonna Collection is inspired by Giuseppe Ribaudo’s grandmother, who Giuseppe describes as, "a Sicilian woman through and through.” She is fiery, loves her family fiercely and she knows what she likes and what she doesn’t like. Giuseppe explains, “She’s one of the greatest women I have ever known and I’m so lucky to have her in my life. So much of who I am is because of her.”
Giuseppe describes his grandmother as exquisitely talented at sewing. She sewed for an American manufacturer and was renowned as one of the best employees. It is from his grandmother that Giuseppe learned to sew. He describes learning “in the Sicilian manner” which means his grandmother would demonstrate something and he would have “all of five seconds” to prove that he had learned it.
If little Giuseppe failed to master the new skill quickly enough, he would be removed from the sewing machine so his grandmother could do it herself. Because of this, Giuseppe learned to sew mostly by watching her. He says he never cared much for sewing clothing, but had a sewing machine at home for hemming curtains and pants and such. It wasn’t until years later when Giuseppe was in college that he discovered quilting for himself, although he jokes, “Quilting is definitely not known as a traditionally Sicilian pastime!”
Inspiration for the Nonna Collection
The inspiration for the collection came from Giuseppe’s childhood and his desire to honour his grandparents and the house that he grew up in. He confesses that at first, he didn't have much of an idea of what the collection would look like. But when he visited his grandmother’s house for the first time since the pandemic began, his family was eating dessert when Giuseppe’s grandmother pulled out her favourite plates. He recalls, “I looked at the design, a bouquet of flowers wrapped in a wreath of vines, and thought to myself that this design would be stunning on fabric.” Then he started looking around for other items in the house that he thought would be usable on fabric. And, before he knew it, his entire family was scouring the house for design inspiration!
This use of existing patterns meant that designing the Nonna Collection was unique. For Giuseppe, this was also his first foray into designing something so very personal. He explains, “After spending so much time away from my family during the pandemic, designing this collection became quite cathartic.”
But did the primary inspiration of the collection, his Nonna, like the fabric collection? Giuseppe says, “I think she likes it! I'm certainly the only grandchild who has designed a fabric collection for her!” He admits that, at first, she did not know what to expect when he showed her the fabric. He recalls, “But when she saw how the fabrics worked in quilts she began to see what I was going for. I'm making her a quilt for Christmas. Don't tell her though.”
Design Details for the Nonna Collection
Giuseppe’s combination of florals and geometrics is an evolutionary step in his design that he has been wanting to take for a very long time: “it was really exciting to finally get to explore an idea that has been itching at my brain for so long.”
His grandmother’s house proved to be a treasure trove of inspiration. The main floral print in the Nonna Collection is based on the fabric from Giuseppe’s grandmother’s couch and the secondary print, the bouquet of flowers surrounded by a wreath, is from her favourite dessert plate. Giuseppe has always absolutely loved florals, especially traditional florals like those in the Nonna Collection.
The woven print in the collection is inspired by the caning from his grandmother’s dining room chairs, and the knitted fabric print is from the tweed that lines her 1970s speakers. Giuseppe also included a few prints inspired by his grandfather who passed away. He says, “both the stripes and the stars prints are for my grandfather.” He even acknowledged the rest of his family in the collection by designing the Suits print which features a heart, a diamond, a club, and a spade because they all love playing poker.
Designing a Fabric Collection
Giuseppe truly loves the process of designing a new fabric collection from start to finish, and being able to explore all of the possibilities. He credits his collaborators for their contributions as well, saying “I'm also super fortunate to get to work with an absolutely extraordinary team at Andover Fabrics. My design director Karen is a very good friend and really understands my perspective. She challenges me in great ways.”
Sharing new designs with others is a big part of what excites Giuseppe about the design process. He explains, “I really like surprising people and hope that when they see something new from me that it's never what they expected.” He doesn’t shy away from weird themes in fabric design.
His collection DECLASSIFED was about the government conspiracy to cover up the existence of extraterrestrials. Giuseppe likes to throw design curve balls. “I like to challenge people to think a little further outside of the box when it comes to fabric design.”
In the Nonna Collection, it is through the juxtaposition of nostalgic prints with geometrics that Giuseppe expresses his unique design point of view.
Looking ahead, Giuseppe hopes to continue building Giucy Giuce in small ways. His dream is to own a quilting and yarn shop attached to a little café that his father, who is a chef, would manage. They have wanted to go into business together for many years.
Giuseppe teased that their next fabric collection is going to be a lot darker than Nonna, both literally and metaphorically. You can sign up for Kingfisher Craft newsletter to be the first to know when new collections are available for pre-order.
Quilting with Nonna!
You can get your hands on the new Nonna Collection available now on the Kingfisher Craft Company website. We have Fabric Bundles available now as well as two quilt kits for Pre-Order that are designed for any level of experience. You can order the Zia Bakula Quilt Kit by Giucy Giuce and the Francesca's Garden Quilt Kit by Giucy Giuce right now from the Kingfisher Craft website.