Debra Gabel’s FabricPlates™ Gone VIRAL!


FabricPlates™ By Debra Gabel

FabricPlates™ By Debra Gabel

I now know what going viral means! The FabricPlates™ of the Row by Row Experience have certainly gone viral! If you do not know what I am talking about just wait until July 1, 2014 and you will find out if you visit one of over 1,250 quilt shops across the USA and Canada participation in this national shop hop!


What is a FabricPlate™? A FabricPlate™ is a 3-1/2” x 7-1/4” printed fabric panel made of 100% organic sateen. It is a novelty collectable that quilters from coast to coast are collecting to add to fun projects and backs of quilts to help remember their traveling quilt adventures of the summer of 2014.


Where did the concept come from? Each year Zebra Patterns attends the Houston Market in October. We usually participate in an event called “Schoolhouse.” Schoolhouse is a 30-minute educational class about a project, a concept, or idea involving quilting. At the end of my schoolhouse I like to give away a fun gift. As most of you know I am known for my Postage Stamp patterns and panels. Being a graphic designer I LOVE the idea of taking something graphic, especially something with type, and resizing it and printing it on cloth. So in 2011 I designed and gave the first FabricPlate™ that said FABRICHOLIC, and a few other phrases for my school house give-away. The shops loved them! I sold a few over the years.

It was about two years ago when my great friend and founder of The Row by Row Experience, Janet Lutz of Calico Gals in Syracuse NY, suggested we try offering the FabricPlates™ to her NY shop hop participants as a fun novelty option to enhance the Row by Row Program. The first year we had about 20-30 participants for the plates out of roughly 50 shops. Last year we had about 60 shops participate when the Row by Row Experience expanded to NY and PA. This year? OMG FABRICPLATES™!!!! We have over 1250 shops participating! We have NOT stopped counting but we have printed, cut and packaged over 75,000 FabricPlates™ for over 250 shops across America and Canada!

It has been very rewarding having an idea really go viral! It has been a tremendous amount of hard work. We have learned a ton and next year’s row by row will be even better! The plates are a fun novelty that has a creative vanity saying and custom branding for each shop and shop city! So pictured above are the ORIGINAL FabricPlates™ that I made several years ago as give aways! They are available for purchase now at the Zebra Patterns website and at some of your favorite quilt shops!


My take away from this whole experience ….all those little ideas you may have – DO IT! Put it out there! You never know what may develop! Don’t just think about it! Do IT! Have fun over the summer with your Row by Row Experience!



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Bunnie Cleland
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 17:24:29

    I now know what going viral means, too.
    Bunnie Cleland, Artistically Engineered Designs, Home of Triangle Frenzy patterns


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