Monday, September 28, 2009

Catching Up

Well, it's been a busy week, (see "Note" below.)
I have lots of chores and blogs to catch up with and I have no new quilts to show, but I can show you two fabric designs which I have been working on and that I just ordered from Spoonflower.

I decided to go with two colorful patchwork, "cheater cloth" designs. I thought that they offered some really fun sewing possibilities and I am excited to see how they look as actual fabric!

I'll be sure to post the fabric once I receive it :0)


Note: After a very busy week, with lots of last minute details, (no matter how well prepared and organized one is, and my daughter is, there are always last minute details!) I am happy to report that as of early this morning, eldest daughter has arrived safe and sound in London! Whew!

Both of us are a wee bit obsessive compulsive and all the "what if?" questions such as, "what if the car breaks down on the way to the airport?" can become exhausting... the fear of something going wrong was growing with each day, so knowing that she made it, that she is finally in the place that she has longed to be in for years... I am very happy and very grateful!
(Love you, Em!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spoonflower Love

As promised here is the finished result of the fabric design that I had printed by Spoonflower. I got to say I was thrilled with the results and completely delighted by the colors, (even though they were a little brighter then I had imagined) and how clear and sharp the details were!

Now that I see the results I'm anxious to order some new designs, of which I have been diligently working on. (So many ideas!) However being of frugal means, I can't just willy-nilly order every design I come up with and like. No, no, no. Each one has to pass a certain test in my mind as I ask the question, "is it Spoonflower worthy?" ...I feel a bit like Elaine on Seinfeld wondering if the men she dated were sponge worthy!

On another note, I have jumped on the Twitter band wagon. My main reason is so that I can easily keep in touch with eldest daughter when she leaves, (in a week and a half) to study abroad for the semester, (have mercy, I will miss her) However, I figured if I have it I might as well use it. Trouble is, I feel like a slow moving turtle crossing a 4-lane highway... very out of my comfort zone. (Heck, I don't even know how to text message someone... pathetic but true.) Will soon see how this newest venture into cyberville turns out, wish me luck!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beautiful Batik

Hope you all like color because my latest piece is almost dripping color!

It's another patchwork table runner, (or wall hanging if you prefer) this time done in assorted batik fabrics. (Actually, one of those fabrics pictured above is not a batik but a commercial print... anyone spot it?)

I rarely use batik fabrics yet am highly attracted to them. These two factors have helped me, over the years, to amass a nice little stash of the beauties and I thought that they would be perfect to finally use in some runners.

I am really enjoying working in this style of patchwork and quilting. Maybe it is the former weaver in me but I find myself very intrigued by this closely spaced, straight line quilting. I am definitely going to be doing more!

This Quilted Patchwork Batik Table Runner is now available for sale in my shop.

Also, I received my first order from Spoonflower, (Heaven help, me I like it!) Will post it next time around.
Till then, have a great day everyone!

P.S. A mighty big thanks for all the kind words and support from my last post. You are a wonderful group of people!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cheating Yourself

This morning I accidently stumbled upon an Etsy quilter who had copied some of my work and the work of another well known Etsy textile artist. At first I just wanted to chalk it up to a freak coincidence. Two people who had similar ideas at the same time. It happens. But when I looked at the whole shop, I couldn't deny that some of the pieces were blatant rip-offs. They had even used parts of the wording and phrasing found in my descriptions for their own. I was shocked.

I am not going to name names, or pursue this, as I don't want to use up my energy on negative issues.
But I will say this...

We all get inspired by others. It can not be helped. But inspiration should take the form as a starting point towards blazing a new direction, it should not be an invitation to trod down someone else's path. The main work and reward of being an artist is to tap into yourself and mine what treasures of your own you have to offer the world. That's your job.

It is of course wrong to take from others, and pass them off as original works of your own. However, in my opinion, it is even more morally wrong to never explore your own voice, to never dig down and find what gifts you can bring to the table.

When artists share their work, they are doing so in a spirit of community. There is an honor code and a sense of trust. When you take their offerings and try to prosper by selling them as your own, you break that code of honor. You cheat them but you cheat yourself more.

You will never know the joy of being in that zone, when creative ideas flow from you and time stands still. You will never know the thrill of having that kind of energy rush through you. You will never know what you could have accomplished, what new offerings YOU could have brought to the table, had you only done the WORK.

Learn from those that have gone before you. Let yourself be inspired by them, but take that inspiration as a light to help guide you on your own path. Don't be afraid. Discover YOURSELF, don't cheat yourself!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Patchwork Days

Hard to believe that this summer is coming to an end soon. Weather wise, the days have been so spectacular! Before the season is officially over, I thought I should make something that reflects the beautiful colors and wonderful patchwork of unstructured days that make summer so special.

This pretty patchwork table runner features various prints from Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs.

I stitched the quilted rows very close, (3/16" apart) and used various colors of thread, (Sulky's Premium Cotton which is slightly thicker then regular thread.)

The various stitched rows of color thread help to create a very subtle color overlay pattern on top of the fabric prints... a bit hard to see in these photos but a really lovely effect in person.

The back of quits can be as much fun to make as the fronts!

And of course, this Patchwork Table Runner is currently available in my shop!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Play Time

I have quilts that need to be sewed, floors that need to be vacuumed and laundry that needs to be washed... so what am I doing?

Playing fabric designer.

I can't help it. The lure of Spoonflower has proved too powerful. The idea that I can draw my own designs, upload them to Spoonflower, and have it printed into my own fabric... How could I keep resisting? (Believe me I have tried!)

Now I am a complete freshman newbie when it comes to the school of computer illustration and all I have is Photoshop Elements, (the poor man's version of Photoshop.) But with a little bit of trial and error using the illustrating tools available, I came up with this retro barkcloth inspired design and liked it enough to place an order for a fat quarter, just to see what it will actually look like as fabric.

Stay tuned for the final printed fabric results, and heaven help me if I LIKE the results... the lure will be so strong to do it again, my floors may never get cleaned!