Monthly Archives: October 2012

Fabric Printing – Imagination Central

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The Marvel of Printing Your Own Fabric Designs

I’ve been interested in the concept of creating my own fabric for quite some time, but only really began to seriously consider the possibilities after discovering Spoonflower.  For those of you who may not have heard of Spoonflower, it is a company in North Carolina that processes  digital images and prints up original fabric for individuals.  No longer are we confined to what we can find in the fabric store; if we can conceive of it, we can create it and have it printed.  And, even better, we can sell our designs to other people.  Now that’s something to get excited about!

I am experimenting with printing my fabric mosaics onto cloth and then creating decorator pillows out of them.  I’m definitely in the experimental phase and there are technological considerations like MG’s and DPI’s that I’m having to figure out by myself.  My “helper” in that department is away at college, so I have to rely on my own ability to figures things out and it’s slow going, but I’m so excited about it that I wanted to share it with my creative community.

Please visit my RemnantWorks shop and feel free to leave a heart for encouragement.  🙂

A bit of serendipity has it that there is currently a Matisse contest going on at Spoonflower, and with that there are quite a few collections with Matisse inspired patterns that would provide great companion fabrics for my pillow backs.  You can see examples under my “favorites.”

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Sewing – A Wardrobe Update

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Taking a Second Look

When I find a pattern I like I often make it up is more than one fabric.

I made this particular pattern three different times.

I loved the red wool tweed when I bought it, but never enjoyed wearing it al that much once I made it up into my Tomotu jacket.  I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly it was about it, but I think it was the color somehow… I’m not sure.    Or, maybe the buttons were wrong, I really don’t know what it  was, but it just wasn’t a jacket I chose to wear very much.  Last year I decided to see if I could “fix” it so that I could wear it.  I thought perhaps the shoulder pads were too extended and I took them out and altered the seam line a little.  That didn’t help very much.  I put it back on the hanger and thought maybe it was time to let it go, but it’s hard for me to give things away that’s I’ve put energy into, so it hung in the closet for yet another year.

A few weeks ago, with the season beginning to finally change, I went out shopping to see what styles and colors were “in” for the fall season and I was totally surprised to see this color range on the racks everywhere.  Hmmm… I went home and pulled out my jacket and took another look at it.    I changed the buttons for an updated look and replaced the shoulder pads with new smaller ones.  The transformation was amazing.  I don’t think it hurt that the color is everywhere… nothing like collective consensus to help one off of the fence.

My next discovery was that I had a piece of silk velvet in my fabric stash that actually coordinated very well with the jacket.  I picked up this lovely piece  several years ago and haven’t known what to do with it.  I don’t sew on velvet very often and have been a bit timid about cutting into it.  When I put it next to the jacket , I knew exactly what to do with it.

And here is the result.

I love the fact that something I was on the verge of tossing out has been given new life in my wardrobe.  It looks fresh and current and my beautiful new fashion scarf is frosting on the cake.  What a great way to start the season.

Fabric Art – Connective Threads

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Art in Service of Art

There is nothing better than being able to use your creativity to the benefit of others.  Recently, I was invited to support the fundraising effort of the local chamber ensemble, Cappella Romana, an extraordinary group dedicated to the musical traditions of the early Christian periods.  Attending one of their concerts is as near to time-traveling as I can imagine;  the ancient becomes accessible allowing me to hear and feel and be touched by the same sounds that countless others down through the centuries have also heard.   In listening, time collapses making it easy to imagine Empress Theodora surrounded by the same sounds within the cavernous space of the great church in Constantinople.  That’s something special!

A Taste of Byzantium, the Sounds of Hagia Sophia will take place November 3rd at the University Club in Portland.  A signed 12″ x 14″ giclee print of my fabric mosaic, Empress Theodora, will be available at auction.    The print was produced by Digicraft with Better Light scanning system and printed on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag paper with Epson Ultrachrome archival ink.  To help patrons more fully realize the nature of the fabric medium, I wrote a brief description, stitched together a sampling of fabrics used in the original piece and also created a small example of fabric fused to muslin.  I created business cards with Theodora’s image to reflect the theme of the evening.

Here’s to a successful event!

Craft Sewing – Fit For A Princess

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What does every girl need to make her birthday complete?

Why a crown, of course!

Happy Birthday Esme!

My neighbor from across the street turned four years old today and in honor of the occasion, I decided to make her a birthday crown.   I stopped by the fabric store and picked up some pink (of course?!) felt.  I decided I should go through my vast button and trim collection that I already had on-hand at home to complete the project so I resisted making additional purchases… although I did spend quite a bit of time looking at ribbons, feathers and jewels.

When I began the project I wasn’t quite sure about how large to make the crown base, so I conducted some online research where I discovered that an average 4 year old’s head measures 19 to 20 inches in circumference.   You gotta love the internet!

I then searched on princess crown patterns and found some printable patterns;  with that, my project was underway.  I tried a variety of combinations before coming up with the final result.  The design process fascinates me; It never fails to intrigue me how one tries this and that and this and that, until suddenly a combination stands out as being “just right.”  What exactly makes it “just right” is hard to quantify, and that is the magic of designing, I suppose.

The crown is made of two layers of felt sewn together at the edges.   Decorative trims and buttons are then applied.  Soft elastic covered in a fabric sleeve at the back provides wearing ease.

close-up of applied trims and buttons

back elastic application

Her sweet smile says success!