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Deb Strain is designer for Moda Fabrics and draws and paints her fabric designs by hand. Over the years, she has created over 100 collections since she began working with Moda Fabrics. She loves working with different colours and patterns… the more intricate, the better.  What is even better, is that she is coming to visit us at the next Rhinetex Summer House Show on August 26th to inspire you! Do you also want to meet her? Contact us via sales@rhinetex.com to sign up.


Deb Strain is Moda designer for over 20 years… some history

Deb Strain’s life-long passion for art, led her from teaching art to becoming a designer. After working for 9 years as an art teacher in the public school system, where she loved the working with children who thought her class was the next best thing to recess, she began in 1996 as a designer for Moda Fabrics. In addition to working with Moda Fabrics, she is designing for companies that create other products with her artworks: calendars, greeting cards, kitchen linens, dinnerware, coloring books and garden flags, to name a few.

Together with her husband Scott, she lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio, United States. One of their three children lives on the East Coast, one on the West Coast, and the third next door. That means that her life is filled with long-distance calls, traveling and helping watch the twin grandsons that are living next door (as you might have seen on Deb Strain’s Christmas Wishes from last December. ).

With traveling a lot, creating new fabric collections and other art, Deb Strain’s life is happily filled with colour, creativity and lots of hugs.


How Deb Strain met the textile world…

Deb’s grandmother was a quilter and she still remembers her lovely quilt collections that she and her mother made. Deb is always been in awe of the artistry and history of quilting was is thrilled at the thought of designing fabric.

Working as a fabric designer for Moda started as a surprise for her. She was at her first Quilt Market and had a line of greeting cards with her. After the show, she got a call from Moda to invite her to try design fabric. That was a life-changing and wonderful call.


Why textiles?

“I have always loved pattern, the more intricate, the better!” In many of her painted illustrations, she used pattern to add interest and detail. She has also been fascinated by colour and the way it changes according to others colours around it. Designing fabric is her favourite type of surface design, as she can focus on pattern and colour.


The start of Deb Strain’s business…

Deb started with a small greeting card company called “Saltbox Illustrations”. It was run out of her home and featured her artworks. Her three children were young and together with several employees they helped to market, pack and ship the orders.

Since 1996 Deb started licensing her artworks and since then they turned their focus more to that. There is a still a small company called “Sew Noted” that features notecards with her illustrations, specifically for the quilter and sewing enthusiast.


Deb’s Design Inspiration

The inspiration for Deb Strain’s work comes from so many places:
nature and the changing seasons are the main influences, but family and home are equally important.  “Colours and patterns are all around us and I am constantly taking mental and written notes”, she said. She has scraps of paper with possible painting ideas all over the house. “I have so many ideas, that I will never be able to paint them all!”.

A sketch for a coordinate fabric, pre-painting

The Joy of the Business

“I LOVE what I do and I am excited to get to work each day!” The business is constantly changing: themes, colours, trends. That is what keeps Deb excited. There are always new techniques and materials to try; new themes to explore and draw and new fabric collections to develop and paint.








Deb’s Children dreams

As a child, Deb always knew that she wanted to be an artist. She drew almost everyday in art journals that she still has and so she sees progressions over the years. In highschool, she made extra money by painting store windows for the holidays and she was designing colouring sheets for the local nursery school. At that time, teaching art was the only was she knew she could make a living in the art world. So that’s why she became a teacher (and loved it!). Deb never expected to have opportunities to travel the world and see her art on so many products. “It has been a dream come true!”


Next to the Creative-Life?

When Deb is not designing, she is usually doing something with her family.  The twin grandsons are living next door and they brighten up her world everyday. Anytime she can spend with the grandsons is a gift for her. She also loves to travel. With one of her children on the East Coast, and one on the West Coast, travel means seeing them. In addition, Deb and her husband wants to see the world. They have made a promise to travel outside of the United States at least once a year and have been to so many wonderful places: they’ve bathed elephants in a river in Thailand, went to Christmas markets in Europe and visited several beautiful islands of Greece. They love meeting the people of other countries and appreciating their cultures. Next up, after visiting the Netherlands on August 26th, is South Africa!


Some last Words…

“I am very excited about my newest Moda fabric collection that will be shipped in October!  It is called “Brew” and is inspired by one of my favorite things…coffee! From coffee beans in their burlap bags to the steam on a freshly poured cup, Brew uses warm, rich colors and patterns to reflect all things Coffee!” 

2018-11 Brew by Deb Strai for Moda Fabrics














“Finally, I would like to add that I have been incredibly blessed to be with Moda for so long. It has been a privilege to watch this wonderful company grow over the years. I can honestly say that the owner and everyone at Moda are truly incredible people who encourage creativity and an artists’ own style. They are loyal to their customers and those who work for them. Those, and other virtuous qualities (plus wonderful fabrics and notions) have given Moda their well-deserved success in the Quilting world.”








Deb Strain’s Textile Designing Tips

“For myself, and I would image others, designing textiles is a creative process. As I will share in my presentation, a lot of energy, time and thinking go into the development of a fabric collection.”

So come and visit the presentation of Deb Strain on August 26th in Deventer, NL! More info via sales@rhinetex.com.

“Because I hand draw and hand paint all of my designs, watching a collection develop and grow, is truly one of the most treasured aspects of being a designer.”

Deb enjoys being able to speak with those who value textiles and share information about the creative process surrounding the fabrics they enjoy.


We would like to thank Deb Strain for her time and can’t wait to meet her during our Summer House Show 2018 event! The Deb Strain collections for Moda Fabrics are available at Rhinetex: