Tag Archives: cotton

Fabric Art


Trying Something Different

I’m in an art mode at the moment and even before finishing up the detail on Our Lady of China, I had sketched out my next project… another Byzantine saint.  I’ve done lots of hair before, but never braids.  Creating braids in a fabric medium is going to be an interesting challenge, I’m sure.  Adding to that, the braids are blond and finding just the right color is usually a bit problematic… it can’t be too yellow or too orangey or too gray, etc.  So it was off to Fabric Depot  for a couple of hours of roaming through the hundreds and hundreds of bolts of fabric looking for the perfect piece which may or may not exist.

Here are the two I found.  I am hoping the one of the left will work, because the color is right, although the zigzag design may be too prominent… it’s impossible to know without cutting it up and trying it.  Designs change so much after cutting and re-assembly… sometimes with wonderful results and sometimes disappointingly so. The one on the left is a bit darker than I really wanted… more light brown than blond really, but the texture is perfect for hair,  so we shall see.

fabric samples

Wish me luck.  🙂

Creative Photo-editing; Confessions of a PicMonkey Junkie


Circles, Circles, Circles

I recently read an article in a quilting magazine that said circles are popular!  With that, I decided to have a go at circle making to see what the appeal was.  I have lots of fabric scraps left over from various art projects (Chieko Mamba) which I used for this project.  On the surface this type of work seems too simple to be very interesting, but I was a surprised to learn there is more to putting the fabrics together in a pleasing way than I thought.

First I made a 7″ x 7″ square and then applied the circle design.  I cut a 9″ x 9″ square of contrasting fabric as a back which would leave 1″ on all sides to fold up for a binding.  I sandwiched a piece of batting in between the front and back and stitched into place.  Below are the results… nice, but nothing to get too excited about.  I knew what I had to do… make an appointment with Dr. PM.


Here is what the original looks like after going bananas with the PicMaster... who just happens to be my new  BFF!

Blue Serengeti 

It could be an Italian mosaic or  French Country curtains or whatever…

Blue Serengeti framed miniature

Actually, this does get me excited; I am so intrigued by the endless possibilities of photo-editing… it’s just amazing what can be done with an original image to make it more interesting or just different for the sake of being different. I’ve added a gallery of miniatures at RemnantWorks where customers can choose a design and then have it printed in any color that suits their decor.  What a great option to provide!

Fabric Printing – Imagination Central


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.”

Fabric Mosaic Project Update – Empress Theodora


Empress Theodora

From the mosaics of the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna

I’ve been making steady progress on my fabric mosaic and have completed the most critical part, the face.  Sometimes I work on the face in the beginning, other times it comes at the very end.  I let each individual project direct its own course and just do what seems to feel right at each step of the way.  In this case, the face came last.  Expressions are difficult and Theodora was a very complex person, a saint, a sinner, an empress of the Roman/Byzantine Empire and perhaps one of the most powerful women in history. I’m not really sure what all that looks like, but hope that I have captured elements of her persona in this piece.

I have to design and complete a border and then it will be finished and ready to take in for a high-resolution scan.

Please feel free to comment; your input is appreciated

Click on the images below to see greater detail of mosaic construction

Dressmaking – Summer Cool


Question:  What’s better than one cotton dress?  Answer:  Two cotton dresses.

The weather has suddenly gotten warm in Sewville and there is nothing that says “cool”  like a   sleeveless cotton dress.  I like this dress pattern, because it’s so polite…  no rude clinging or binding to contend with as it discretely skims the figure and smoothes out the silhouette.  This pattern is a real find; it’s flattering and comfortable without there being a hint of mu-mu-ville.


Sewing with Miss Mayzie


I always enjoyed sewing for my children when they were wee ones.  I still have the little jeans, complete with rivets, that I made so many years ago.  I had three boys and sewed for all of them.  I reached my pinnacle in boys wear with tailored dress coats, and the white duppioni silk short-all with a navy sailor collar complete with silk grosgrain ribbon stripes, you know…  the kinds of things English royal children wear.  Of course, none of the boys were very excited about wearing these things once they became conscious of what other kids were wearing, but I had a few precious years of dressing them like princes.

Every now and then I get the urge to make a little girls dress; I used to sew my nieces but they’re grown now, too.  I made dresses to donate to school auctions, but auction days are over.  So now, when that urge to sew something pink strikes me, I’m at loose ends.  Last summer while having a conversation with a long time friend ( since 4th grade to be precise) who happens to have four granddaughters,  I asked her if she would like to me make a dress for one of them.  Of course, she said yes.

Being that I tend to view children as little sponges ready to absorb experiences, and I wanted to make this project more than just getting a new dress and elevate it into a creative sewing adventure for my little pupil.   I did this by bringing her into the process.  Together we visited the fabric store,  took measurements, selected a pattern, deliberated over fabrics and made a final choice from the many options available; all the major decisions for the dress were made by Mayzie.  Then we had a fitting so she could try on the finished product.

And what should you do when you’re wearing a new dress?  Have a tea party, of course!

See youtube here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DqL-yFL_0M&list=UUoDqX3YB19EigDTFVqhm19g&index=2&feature=plcp

“In the Sewing Universe”


In 2008 graphic designer,  Melissa Delzio, developed the concept of  publishing a book extolling the virtues of the City of Roses, Portland, Oregon. As the driving force behind the project, Melissa put out a call to locals requesting they write about their favorite things in Portland and submit stories for publication in, Our Portland Story  http://ourportlandstory.com/.  Of course I wanted to write about the fabulous fabric resources we have in Portland and thus, “In the Sewing Universe” was born.  My submission was accepted and included in the groundbreaking first edition of Melissa’s energized book.  My page was designed by the talented graphic designer Marisa Green of studio danae. http://www.studiodanae.com/  and I absolutely adore what she did with my page…  it is so pretty in pink and the vintage touch is in inspired.  The book was published in 2010 with a well attended launch party and book-signing  held at Mississippi Studios:  http://www.mississippistudios.com/  It was great fun and I am glad to have been a part of this innovative and Portland savvy project.

Read here:  In the Sewing Universe by Kerri Jones


Sewing Tutorial – Making An Underskirt


It’s a cold, gray and intermittently rainy day… so typical of April weather in the Pacific Northwest.  I am so tired of the damp and am dreaming of sunny days that will soon be here.  I will be ready for the warm weather once it arrives, now that I have completed my underskirt to go with my white linen dress.  It turned out just as I had hoped; it’s pretty, it adds interest and best of all it has the practical purpose of providing a lining to what is otherwise a very see-through dress. See-through dresses are… well… embarrassing and while wearing a nylon slip under a natural fiber sundress might sound like an option for some, in my world slips and sundresses somehow just won’t do.  And so you see, I really had no choice other than to make my own cool underskirt.

1)  I started by searching through my pattern library for something I could modify to my needs.  I found what I was looking for in this skirt pattern by New Look.

2)  I chose a rayon lining which is perfect for warm weather, because it breaths, and doesn’t cling, and is quiet (I don’t like to hear a rustle of fabric unless, of course, I’m in my tafetta gown at the cotillion).   I stitched the side seams and serged the edges for a clean finish.

3)  I determined the length and width of the “fashion” fabric (fashion fabric is meant to be seen) I wanted to attached to the bottom of lining (lining is meant not to be seen).  I didn’t want it to be a full ruffle, so I eliminated much of the width from the original pattern piece.

4)  Then the side seams were stitched and serged.

5)  After the side seams were completed, I stitch three rows of machine basting (the longest stitch setting on your machine).  The first row was stitched at  3/8″, then at 5/8″ and the last at 3/4″. Once the three rows of basting were in place, I began to draw up the threads to create gathers, securing the end threads on a pin.

6)  With the ruffle gathered to the desired width, I pinned it to the lower edge of the skirt lining.

7)  I then sewed the ruffle to the skirt lining using the 5/8″ gathering line as a stiching guide.  Once the ruffle was attached, I removed the 3/4″ line of basting .

8)  Next I created a casing at the top of the skirt to run elastic through.  I turned down enough fabric to allow for room to slide my elastic through plus a little extra so I could tuck the raw edges under the fold to create a finished edge.

9)  Then I stitched the casing leaving a space open for elastic insertion.

10)  Then using a bodkin (a sewing tool designed for pulling elastic or cording through a casing… a safety pin will work in a pinch) I inserted the elastic pre-measured to fit my waist.  Once the elastic was through the casing I stitched the ends together and stitched the casing closed.

11) And here we have the finished underskirt ready to be worn on the first warm day that comes along.  I think this might be quite a versatile piece and I may be able to wear it with some other things I have.  I’ll be making a visit to my closet to see what else it might go with.