Thursday, May 31, 2012

A New Sewing Adventure! Vintage Patterns and On Demand Fabric!

Today my first yard of on demand fabric arrived! A few weeks ago, I participated in a workshop at the Textile Center with Stephen Fraser, co-founder of Spoonflower Fabric. What is Spoonflower? It is a website that allows you to upload your design and create fabric. You can order a fat quarter or yardage.
Check out their website

It was a fabulous rainy day. The highlight for me was learning the 'math' for creating appropriate repeats for the width of fabric I was looking for. The prints are available on a variety of very good quality cottons, linens, silks and blends. It sounds like there may be more offerings this summer available as well.

My yard of fabric is a pencil drawing of some cherries that I colored with COLOR CRAYONS!! It took me not more than 5 minutes to create the design. I spent a little time playing with the types of repeats and scaling it to different types of fabric widths until  I found this layout that I liked. I chose a half drop repeat because I like the secondary pattern created by the tiles.

Spoonflower has had a tremendous impact on the quilting community especially. It has impacted independent retailers... in a good way. You see, Spoonflower has weekly contests. Every week there is a different contest that ANYONE can enter. The design must meet certain criteria or limitations and then the people who frequent the sight vote on their favorite fabrics. The benefit of this is that many quilt fabric manufacturers have found out about Spoonflower and follow the contest winners! Some have found their way to become licensed fabric designers for companies like Windom Fabrics. Michael Miller and Robert Kaufman have had specific contests to 'find their next licensed designer on Spoonflower'. Many other companies follow as well. It is a great place to see the trends of what people are designing and what people are buying.

Designers can sell their designs.. or choose not to. It is personal preference. I hope to enter some contests, just to make myself become more fluent and more disciplined in the world of fabric design.

Remember those vintage patterns I found, the 1946 apron pattern is the one I am going to make with this fabric. I am hoping to cut it out this weekend and maybe have a new post for monday.. Either a progress report.. and or a finished apron! Might have to stop at Glad Creations to get some Rick Rack.. I think the bright turquoise blue would be perfect on this fabric!

Ooh, this is going to be sew much fun! (I know that was very cliche! I couldn't resist!)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Poodles and Pillowcases

Over the weekend I went to the cabin and shared with my mom all of the photos of heirloom embroidery I took this week. The intention was to have my mom tell me who made what and when. It seemed appropriate for a Memorial Day weekend.
Mom just mentioned to me today... "I didn't realize you have so many pillowcases." It is ok with me. I like stuff like that. My mom has been embroidering since she was young. My grandmother taught her. My grandmother, tatted and crocheted as well, although mom never learned these things. When mom was 6 she bit the end off of grandma's tatting needle, so Grandma quit tatting after that. Grandma would have been 50 then. I think she still crocheted, as my stash includes doilies from the 60's that Grandma made for her black and silver mohair sofa.  They were rectangular arm covers.

Here are some dishtowels my mother made for me..the first set... we seem to be missing is most likely in someone else's storage box... (MOM's) I am not sure we have gotten through all of them...
Poodles Mom embroidered just before I was born- how did she know I would like to sew on Wednesdays?

My niece saw these dishtowels after my mom brought them home from AZ. She was eyeing them and finally said, "Grandma, I REALLY like these." I snatched them up and said, "These are mine, you will have to place your own order with Grandma." Not to worry, my niece is now 10 and has 34 pairs of pillow cases made by my mom and who knows how many dishtowels of her own.  My mom has already taught her to embroider several years ago.. well, and I taught her to sew already too. She is in good company.

Poodles Mom just did for me a couple of years ago... what am I doing Wednesdays these days?
 These pillow cases, my grandmother gave my mom and said she should have since she was the one who broke the tatting needle... I am grateful for that... My mom says I get my color sense from my grandmother... Thank you Grandma! I am having fun with it! I think my signature colors of hot pink, lime green and black are inspired by my grandmothers love of color... I never saw her use those colors, however, after I adopted them, my mother told me here bedroom was done that way when she was little... the colorist was my grandma....
Pillowcases made by my grandmother, in 1918, when she was 18 years old
The pillowcases above and below were a surprise from the weekend. I didn't know my grandmother made these.  The lower photo were done around 1926-27 as she was married in May of 1927.  These have a crocheted edge and are worked with a white buttonhole stitch with pink and yellow. Good thing I have grown to like pink... it is prominent in my grandmothers work.. The living room that featured the black and silver mohair sofa, included geranium pink pillows and chairs, the walls were mint green. That was in the late 50's -60's.
Another set of pillowcases made by grandma in 1926 for her wedding
Thank you for allowing me to share the stories of my beautiful treasures.. Glad Creations has a good selection of vintage type embroidery patterns for dishtowels, and embroidery floss! DMC is mom's favorite!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A photo to go along with yesterday's post. I spent the day today organizing photos on my computer.. there are over 2000 now.. and they are easy to retrieve. (they were not as easy to find last night) Now to just stay in the habit of properly filing them into the appropriate folders every time I download them from my phone.

I am quite inspired by the new look of the blog, except, the colors aren't my signature colors. There is a color combination that is almost my brand (it actually is, many people see the combination and think of me...almost like magic! I like magic... but I only use it for good and never against someone else's will)...Oh, back to MY personal colors... Hot Pink, Bright Spring Green and Black...that is my ultimate blog background... Just to find/figure out the best way to make it MINE! I am an original, so I like to create original things and experiences...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I am back...

Hello, I am back and not making any promises I can't keep. I have been following some of my favorite blogs regularly and working on some projects that have been really demanding of time and energy... It is difficult getting into a new habit and finding out what I want to write about and coordinating all of my interests into one unique blog that makes sense. Maybe it needs to be more than one.. I don't know. Maybe I just start out with it being more of an online creative journal, getting back to my passion of sewing and working with fabrics.

I just recently finished some fabulous silk pillows for a client and am quite pleased with how they turned out. Invisible zippers and all, they went together ... well... smooth as silk.

 Here is a photo of their permanent home. A newly upholstered Eastlake Settee on a 5" plank Hickory floor. It is lovely!

It is now time to focus on the color workshop this July with Leatrice Eiseman. I am very excited about this. There is homework to do and books to read and a quiz to take all before the workshop. I am looking forward to the challenge of furthering my color knowledge and increasing the benefits that my color passion and experience  can offer a larger group of people. Most likely there will be new methods of sharing the fascinating world of color and increasing the color knowledge of others out there. There are plenty of beginning color workshops.. lectures and classes out there. Many are taught by people who have read books and have a basic conceptual knowledge of color. All of my training and education is based on my personal/professional experience. I play in color and I learn a lot from playing. If anyone is interested in learning color by playing with me, please feel free to contact me to create a fun and rewarding color learning experience. I am committed that my students leave feeling confident and knowing more about color and color relatedness than when they started and the only feeling of overwhelm they may experience is where to start applying the new knowledge of color in their lives.. personally, professionally and creatively. Send me an e-mail for more info..