April 24, 2012
A very talented and good friend of mine, Betz White, sometimes asks me to do a little pattern testing for her when she’s preparing something new and wonderful to publish. I had volunteered to participate in some testing for her recently and when she sent me the pattern my initial reaction was to be kind of freaked out. The pattern in question required some piecing involving sewing hexagons. Oh boy, I am not a quilter and I would consider myself only a moderately skilled seamstress. I took a step back and thought/read through the pattern and decided to give it a shot. I love hexagons and since they are part of my logo and my brand identity I though it might be cool to be able to sew some hexagons and incorporate them into my art and designs in the future.
I decided to use some scraps of silk dupioni I had done some rust dying on. The aesthetic of these are very different from what Betz uses but I was working with a limited selection from my stash that I have here in my temporary home. I choose 2 contrasting colors, the silver and a dark red brown that both had rust spots. The repetition of the process is quite fun and can be done in batches, first cutting out all the pieces, laying them out, pinning, stitching, pressing, stitching etc…
The only part I got a little unsure of was the back side of the Y shaped union where 3 hexes come together. It’s a little figity to get them to press flatly. There can also be a very small hole here which I was worried about but in the end realized it was fine (I’m a bit of a perfectionist!). There is a certain amount of patience and care needed to do this and I found it stress relieving because it forced me to slow down and focus on the process. If you have the desire to try piecing hexagons, take some advise from Betz and go check out Lady Harvatine’s video. I can’t show you the finished piece but go check out Betz’s patterns and keep an eye out for the new pattern she has previewed here that will use hexagons!
I love the way these turned out! I will be doing more of this, I guarantee it. Like I said it was a very soothing, repetitive, tactile process for me. I did this project in the midst of my in law’s kitchen table over a 2 day period with limited space, materials etc…never the less I feel I learned a beautiful new skill and got a beautiful piece from this process. Maybe you would like to give sewing Hexagons a try? I’m not saying I’ll be turning to quilting but I will be incorporating this new skill into my work in the future. Do you enjoying doing repetitive projects to reduce your stress?
February 17, 2012
This place is huge and has an amazing selection! It’s a bit south of Charlotte and I went on my most recent trip while visiting a friend. I’ve seen a lot of textile stores but this one impressed my by the sheer volume and selection! There were your typical calico’s, suiting fabrics, upholstery, patterns, etc…but there were some jem’s hidden in those rolls!
They also had a wonderful selection of bridal and evening wear laces and silks at pretty reasonable prices.
We (a fellow textile design friend and I) totally loved one particular line of printed upholstery textiles by Spanish company Textiles Vilber. They were whimsical, large in scale, funky, fun, bright and playful as well as well designed! As we walked by the US textile upholstery manufactures designs we just wondered why we can’t design better, more original designs here domestically?
And Paper Dolls! Oh My!
And a whole lot of NEON!
Mary Jo’s is worth a trip if you are in the area and I spotted the infamous lady in the store, her reputation precedes her! She certainly knows how to run a fabric shop!
August 18, 2011
I spotted the news from a friend that Spoonflower is having a free sample day today. I’ve toyed with the idea of printing up some of my designs from time to time but I never did because I don’t know what I’d “do” with them. The “free” part made it pretty easy to decide to just go ahead and do it. I already have designs that are print ready in my archive collection, so why not see how one comes out?
I choose to sample this design and it will be fun to see what comes of this. The free sample give away also has an option to donate $5 (or more) to Heifer International, which is one of my favorite charities. This is ongoing for the rest of tonight until 12 EST tomorrow so hurry and get your sample while making a donation (optional) to a great organization.
April 4, 2011
Here’s a little round up of some great patterns I’ve made for my pal Betz White. She began offering her Make New or Make Do Patterns last year and I’ve gladly done a few pattern tests for her. These first couple were done last fall.
Whimsical Woodland Sewing Set
Isabella Tote front and Back
For the Isabella tote I decided to Make New and Make Do by using a recycled pillow case for one side and a new textured coordinating fabric for the other.
Now for this past weeks projects. Here is a detail of some embroidery I did to accent a fabric I used on this bag. I love taking bold patterns and embellishing them!
I made this little bunny puppet for a baby shower gift based upon this pattern by Elizabeth Abernathy. It’s made from recycled and felted sweaters. I’m thinking of making some mittens based upon this idea for this upcoming winter.
And finally I made this little bee hat (also for a shower gift) based upon a really simple pattern in the book Stitch ‘N Bitch.
What have you been making this spring?