Say Hello to Moda’s Newest Designer, Annie Brady

Annie Brady, wrapped in a quilt made by her grandmother

On a six-month trip to India, when Annie Brady was supposed to be taking a break from design work, she found herself filling notebooks with textile patterns. “It’s a weird compulsion,” she says. “There’s no other choice for me but drawing.”

Annie, who currently lives in Rhode Island, started drawing as soon as she could hold a pencil. “My books in school were completely covered with doodles,” she says. “I’d try to listen to the teachers, but it was like my hand would take over.” She went on to earn a degree in design and illustration—an endeavor where covering books with doodles was actually encouraged—and worked as a graphic designer for the fashion company Avoca in her native Ireland. The company has their own mill and Annie designed some prints for fabrics. “That really clicked with me,” she says, adding that her travels throughout India added fuel to her fabric obsession.

There’s lots of natural light for sewing in the loft apartment where Annie and her husband live.

About two years ago she and her husband came to the U.S. for his work. They arrived in Boston during a winter of huge snow storms. “We were wondering if we’d made the right decision, but then summer came and weather here was so much better than Ireland,” she says. “Ireland’s a beautiful country, but there’s one thing that’s grim and that’s the weather.

The move also gave her time to focus on her design work, as well as introduced her to a larger market for her work. Today Annie’s illustrations are found through on wrapping paper, greeting cards, lampshades, and art prints. And now, on Moda fabric! Her first line, Big Sky, was inspired by spending time in nature. “My love of hiking and the outdoors reflects itself in my work,” she says.

Annie’s creativity and work ethic just might be genetic—her sister went to Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and recently opened a florist business, her mother studied piano and at age 70 started a Montessori school, and her father, a retired schoolteacher, writes novels. (Annie’s brother is an engineer, where Annie says he does drawing of another sort.) Creativity was encouraged when Annie and her siblings were young, but always with an eye toward practicality. Even though her parents wanted their children to have stable careers, Annie remembers her mother telling her that money can’t buy happiness. “That still rings in my ears and quite likely influenced my choices as I navigate self-employment,” she says.

Annie’s always doodling. These flowers bloomed while she was talking on the phone.

Annie’s sister Brigid, whose sewing skills included making her wedding dress on their grandmother’s treadle sewing machine, will help Annie with sample sewing. “I’m excited about working with her—the last time we collaborated was for my wedding three years ago,” says Annie, who is also planning to start screen printing upholstery fabrics in the studio portion of her loft.

Brigid and Annie

But for now she’s focusing on her fabrics for Moda. “I went to Market three years ago to check it out and being a fabric designer was a dream,” she says.” I love the way you can tell a story through a collection of fabric. Now I’ll be launching a collection and I have to pinch myself, it seems so surreal.”

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21 comments on “Say Hello to Moda’s Newest Designer, Annie Brady

  1. Beth T. says:

    Welcome! Seeing your doodles has me mentally “doodling” so many quilt ideas! They are so graphic but so dreamy at the same time. This is going to be fun! (So many exclamation points…)

  2. Susie Sherman says:

    Welcome. Looking forward to purchasing some of your designs. Susie

  3. Susie Sherman says:

    When does your first line of fabric come out? Thanks.

    • Carrie Nelson says:

      Hi Susie – Annie’s wonderful Big Sky collection will be shipping to stores in August. 🙂

  4. lucilledupuis says:

    Beautiful designs! And different. Makes me think.

  5. Pam Walton says:

    I’m looking at your “Big Sky”, and my mind is racing to match it to projects to make. I really love it.
    Pam from Canada

  6. Cathy B. says:

    Also loving Big Sky – and also from Canada. Will be excited to see the whole line in person!

  7. Patti Hayden says:

    Amazing so very talented❤️

  8. This resonates with me; I love her designs and even more so her story. Young and brave and talented. Looking forward to seeing more of you, Annie.

  9. Diana Wylie says:

    Congrats! on your work with Moda and your first fabric line. I cannot wait for it to arrive in stores.

  10. Kay Hunzinger says:

    Welcome! Looking forward to the designs and models you come up with.

  11. christy says:

    Super sweet designs! Looking forward to be creative right along with you! Best!

  12. Olive says:

    Delighted to see you doing so well Annie…… congratulations and well done! Looking forward to seeing more of your works.

  13. Karen Seitz says:

    Can’t wait to see this collection in stores. Congratulations!

  14. Meme says:

    From one Rhode Islander to another, welcome and congratulations.

  15. Richard Cubbage says:

    Welcome to Moda!!

  16. Annie says:

    Thanks so much everyone for the warm welcome and positive comments on my first quilting line! I am thrilled to be a part of the Moda family!

  17. SarahZ says:

    Hello Annie, and welcome! I love Moda fabrics and am excited for you, and for myself…”new” designers and their fabrics are always fun!

  18. Susie Q says:

    Whats the point of an intro when Moda Fabrics does not have an Annie Bradly or Big Sky collection to be located in their search features?

  19. Catherine Kafer @ Cool Branch Quiltery says:

    Welcome to the world of quilting! Splendid designs and palette. Looking forward to many more of your collections by Moda! Congrats

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