Making a Pattern with Molly Fitzpatrick

FORMULATED is a journal about the rituals we create around the home, the objects that bring us joy, and the stories behind how things are made.

Molly at her dining table

Molly Fitzpatrick is the founder of DITTOHOUSE and a dear collaborator who has brought TF’s very first textile collection to life. From afar, we were drawn to her vibrating prints, her unflinching use of color, and her deep reverence for textile history. The experience of working with her has been pure joy, which comes across in everything she touches.

What makes a DITTOHOUSE design?

I strive for my textile designs to have great visual activity. Oftentimes in my work, an intentional secondary pattern emerges, color combinations pulsate and use of lines create an optical reaction. When I achieve this visual response I am celebrating the rhythms of life and hopefully giving that gift to whoever looks at my textiles!

I am inspired and indebted to the cultural custodians of textile traditions and know that without Indigenous artisans worldwide that continue to practice and preserve these techniques, I couldn’t do what I do as a textile designer.

Acknowledging culture and a country's history of textile manufacturing is central to your practice. How did you draw upon the traditions of Japanese printmaking and textiles for this collection?

When you mentioned the possibility of collaborating on a textile produced in Japan, my interest in learning more about the process and the tradition was absolutely piqued. That very day I logged into my Cleveland Public Library account and requested every book in their catalog about Japanese textiles; techniques and traditions, and pored over the stack of books immediately. Double sided printing has always mystified me. Usually featuring simple, but bold shapes, the Japanese household linen patterns are comforting and iconic- becoming a background rhythm to mundane daily tasks and special celebrations alike. I appreciate the tradition very much and wanted to create something in this spirit, while investigating modern processes.

Traditional Japanese woodblock print
Japanese tenugi (household cloths)

Can you speak about your studio? How do you use this space to work, reflect, and/or play?

We live in the suburbs of Cleveland in a small bungalow style house that had an unfinished 2nd floor when we moved in. My husband, who is a building expert, envisioned and created a light-filled space, efficient in storage, with ample counter space and adorable hide away spots for my kids.

Can you describe what a joyful day of work looks like? What do you enjoy doing after work?

A joyful day starts very early in a clean and organized studio, all the windows open, fresh air and sunshine pouring in, and Dolly Parton playing loud with intense focus! A joyful and more realistic day of work looks like a messy studio surrounded by work-in-progress, weavings fresh off the loom waiting to be resolved, stacks and stacks of my kids art, punctuated by fixing breakfast and reading books to my 2 kids, throwing together a sack lunch to take in a dip in the lake or a nice hike, meeting up with the cousins to play at grandmas, tucking the kids in and working until 2 or 3 am on new designs on my computer, block printing patterns or weaving on my small floor loom.

My studio is my favorite place in our home and where I spend most of my time, I always want to be in this space. It is not uncommon to find my kids up here, sticking close to me, reading or drawing, or chatting my ears off.

What drew you to working on this particular project of a double-sided table linen?

Double sided textiles are so special and are often achieved through a reversible weave that features the inverse of the front pattern on the back. Another method of achieving a double sided textile is with the ingenious traditional Japanese stencil technique, featuring the same pattern, front and back, in 2 distinct color combinations. The idea of designing a double sided textile that could not only feature a double sided design, but also varying color and scale thrilled me.

A napkin is often something unconsidered- something easily disposed of and an afterthought in many homes, these double sided textiles are the exact opposite- a highly considered beautiful addition to the table.
  1. Making a Pattern with Molly Fitzpatrick

    Molly Fitzpatrick is the founder of DITTOHOUSE and a dear collaborator who has brought TF’s very first textile collection to life. From afar, we were drawn to her vibrating prints, her unflinching use of color, and her deep reverence for textile history.
  2. Building a Platter with Halley Zelicoff

    Chef and food stylist Halley Zelicoff arranges sumptuous platters, each starting with a simple but carefully chosen ceramic dish. Inside a 21 x 33" workspace (her kitchen countertop), she makes food come alive on the plate.
  3. Plant Care for the Changing Season

    As we spot signs of early spring's arrival, it's time to pay attention to your indoor plants' changing needs. For one, the days are getting longer so position your plants farther away from windows to capture indirect sunlight.