27 May

Tiki Toile

I’ve been dabbling in Spoonflower. I first used their services to create fabric with my kids’ drawings to use as lining for the Army ¬†Daddy messenger bag. I used them to print the Hawaiian themed fabric I designed and used those samples to propose the designs to several fabric and paper companies (nothing came of it, but it was worth a try).

Part of the fun of Spoonflower is that not only do they provide a wonderful service printing custom fabrics, but they are also creating a community — and part of that includes fun weekly fabric contests. I was soooo disappointed that their Mixed Martial Arts Smackdown theme was just an April Fool’s joke — I was totally ready to design some kickboxing fabric and then use it to make a tote bag for my paddles and boxing gloves! But I digress. A while ago they had a toile contest and I thought, “how fun would it be to continue my Hawaiian fabric theme with a tiki toile?!” I didn’t get my act together in time, but I didn’t give up the idea either.

Then, Spoonflower announced “Tiki” as an upcoming theme. Fate was telling me I needed to make the time to create this design! So here it is, Tiki Toile — from an alternate reality where the French colonized the Hawaiian islands instead of the Americans and English. Where tiki kitsch is early 19th century instead of mid 20th.

The tikis are roughly based on the Hawaiian gods Ku, Kane, and Lono, and are surrounded by plants, flowers, lei, and artifacts appropriate to ancient Hawai’i. Hopefully, one can appreciate the fun I had in combining such disparate art forms as tiki and toile and not take any more offense at my use of them than one would take at tikis in a mid-century beach shack party bar setting.

I had hoped to have a picture of my actual sample fabric, but it hasn’t arrived yet. Please do take the time though to go vote for my Tiki Toile, and/or your other favorite tiki themed fabric designs over at Spoonflower! Please cast your vote by June 3rd.

05 May

A New Resource

I’ve forgotten if I posted this swatch before or not.

There’s been a lot of buzz about print on demand fabrics lately. I think Spoonflower was the first, and right now, they are definitely the best known place for printing fabric with your own design. I heard about it when they were in Beta phase, but didn’t really know what I would need my own fabric for since I am already a huge fan of new and re-purposed commercial fabric and all the connotations and stories they hold. There¬† are so very many colors and patterns out there already, how could I possibly be lacking?

Completely unrelated, I’ve had a drawing my daughter did a few years ago that looked to me like it needed to be an embroidered patch. A patch, of course, needs something to go on, so I’ve had in my mind to make a messenger bag. Recently I found a pattern for just the bag I want to make, and decided that the original drawing, plus more would make a perfect lining for my bag. Back to Spoonflower — here’s the perfect way to incorporate the kids’ drawings.

I ordered the swatch, then adjusted the colors, and now I have my own fabric! I messed up a few of the repeats (scatter designs can be tricky when you need a portion of something on one side of your repeat to match up exactly with the rest of the image on the other side), but it wasn’t due to any defect on Spoonflower’s end. For my purposes here, I doubt anyone but me will notice anyway. I’m excited to make the bag and my own patches, but I’ve got a few other things in the works I’m excited about too, so it may take a while.

26 Dec

Surprise Gift

I’ve been moderately successful in editing my pottery collection. Enough pieces sold via my blog and eBay to pay for the fees and the postage I underestimated. Most importantly, There are fewer pieces in my house. I will admit that the Franciscan set and the wedding china I listed on Craig’s List were too nice to take to the thrift shop so they got tucked away in the corner of a cabinet. In the end, I’ve probably cut my collection by a quarter to a third, rather than the hoped-for half, but that’s better than nothing. One of the pieces that didn’t sell was the cute squirrel vase. It was also too unique to be tossed aside.

It does however, remind me of my friend V, who has/had a lovely collection of white art pottery and is also pretty crafty. So, I decided to surprise her at Christmas with an art pottery pincushion!

According to her email, she really likes it!

She sent me a pretty awesome gift too. The two fat quarters below are her design, which she printed through Spoonflower. I think they look great and can’t wait to use them (I may even have something that the blue/green one will work in). I’ve been eying Spoonflower for a while and wondered what the quality of the printing was like and how the “hand” of the fabric felt. It’s great! Now I just need to come up with a project that needs my own fabric design.

Other things that have lived up to the hype are Stitch and 3191. My mom got me a subscription to Stitch and if the rest of the issues are as good as this premier one, I’m going to be one happy sewer. The pictures are beautiful and the variety of topics and projects is great.

3191 was a gift from my quilt mom, Gerrie. It is filled with the spare, thoughtful photography of her daughter, Stephanie and Steph’s blogging partner Mav. This is the kind of book I’ll leave out and enjoy a few pages here and there when I have a quiet moment. The last chapter of the book has a month by month “summary” of the photo diptychs and some of the comments from the 3191 blog. This section adds so much to the enjoyment of the book as it brings home, at least to me, how it’s not just about Stephanie and Mav taking pictures, but also about us viewers coming to see them and making those pictures a part of our day.

Thank you everyone for the great gifts given and received.