Windows

paper-cathedral-windows

After working on my fall fabric collection using paper cutting, I have been thinking more about working with mixed media. This morning I experimented a bit with cathedral windows and paper. Here I used some double gauze cottons from my Framework collection and the dark gray paper cranes from my Monochrome collection. Just cut circles and fold them over fabric squares. I think this would be a lovely way to display special fabrics. These are 1″ squares, but you could make them any size.

Cathedral-Windows-Quilt

My Cathedral Windows Quilt from 1, 2, 3 Quilt is still one of my favorites and was the most fun to make. This technique seems intimidating, but is really just about folding fabric. Simple.

Monochrome Projects

monochrome-projects

My Monochrome collection for Kokka is shipping to fabric shops now! Here are a few Monochrome projects made by Kokka.

monochrome-purses

And some amazing pouches from Octopurse.

points-in-silver-and-gold

Detail of Points in metallic gold and silver on double gauze cotton.

paper-cranes-in-navy

Paper Cranes in cotton/linen with metallic silver accents.

Monochrome for Kokka

monochrome-by-ellen-baker

Introducing my new fabric collection for Kokka, Monochrome. This collection is shipping now! Click here for a list of shops that carry my fabric.

Once again, this fabric collection features three prints in a mid-weight cotton/linen blend and three prints in a light double gauze cotton. For wholesale information in the U.S., please contact Seven Islands Fabric. In Europe, Kokka fabrics are available through Nunoya.

Photos of each print in the collection are below. Feel free to use these for your online fabric shop or blog. Please e-mail me for high-resolution images suitable for print publication.

shades-in-charcoalshades-in-yellowshades-in-blue

 

Shades in charcoal, yellow, and blue (linen/cotton).

cranes-mintcranes-naturalcranes-navy

 

Paper Cranes in mint, natural + gold, and navy + silver (linen/cotton).

blooms-blackblooms-in-pinkblooms-in-blue

 

Blooms in black + gold, pink, and blue + silver (linen/cotton).

circles-in-navycircles-in-mintcircles-in-charcoal

 

Circles in navy, mint + silver, and charcoal + gold (double gauze cotton).

points-in-silverpoints-in-whitepoints-in-gold

 

Points in silver, white, and gold (double gauze cotton).

small-cranes-in-tealsmall-cranes-in-plumsmall-cranes-in-charcoal

 

Small Cranes in teal, plum, and charcoal (double gauze cotton).

Market Sewing

market-sewing

It’s all about balance. I almost never go to Spring Quilt Market, but I’m still doing a bit of sewing. I made a decision a while ago that I will only go to Market when my company covers all expenses, which Kokka generously does every fall and I haven’t asked for more. I enjoy visiting with people and meeting the shop owners who buy my fabric, but several days of non-stop action is just overwhelming for me. In this digital age of constant self-promotion, I’m afraid that I’m at a loss.

I’m sure that many of you, like me, feel that we are doing too much — making more work for ourselves and burning the candle at both ends. After some recent self-reflection, I am making an effort to stop this madness. This summer, I plan to have more “do nothing” days with the kids, which always turn out to be my favorite days. And for Quilt Market, I’ve decided to only make samples that I will use once I get them back from their trip around Japan with Kokka. Useful items only! No more quilts stacked in closets, or fussy little items that I’m afraid to use. (I already wore that Staple Dress pictured above.) I think a lot about return on investment — what I’m getting for the time that I put into a project — so I’m just not going to kill myself sewing non-stop, but rather enjoy the process and the end product. Kokka always makes lots of amazing bags for the booth and everything will be fine.

This collection is called Monochrome and it’s full of simple monochromatic designs with touches of metallic silver and gold in double gauze and cotton/linen. Less is more. Less is more. Less is more. I’ll be repeating that to myself until I really mean it.

Making with Meaning

monochrome-bolts

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about making with meaning. I’ve been reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, wherein the hyper-focused author suggests that we rid our homes of everything that doesn’t “spark joy.” As difficult as some of her ideas are for a cynic like me, it has helped me reflect on the tangible objects in our house that make me happy — many of them handmade or passed down from family. It’s the objects that evoke memory, pride, or love — not the things with monetary value.

I watched last week as my daughter took a sewing class from the fabulous teacher Reign at Fabricate Studios. Every day that I came to pick her up, she and the other two girls were beaming with pride about what they had made and I wanted to know why. I think it’s a few things: the feeling of success — accomplishing something within a prescribed set of technical rules, then the idea of creating — choosing fabrics and making something unique, and finally the need for utility — all of the things they made are functional. There’s something dramatically different about making art for your wall and creating an object to be used every day.

This all got me thinking about when I started this blog in 2007 and felt so inspired by making. I called this “a blog about handcrafted goods in an age of mass production.” With our cluttered homes and our consuming lives, we tend to get overwhelmed and forget that almost nothing we own was made by us from beginning to end.

Here’s my sewing room before and after. I had to re-organize several rooms to get all of our craft supplies in order and in one place. The kids always end up in here with me making things, so now all of their supplies and mine are here together. Above you can see bolts of linen from my next collection for Kokka, Monochrome. I’m working on making samples for Quilt Market in May and the fabric should be shipping this summer. More photos soon.

sewing-room-before-and-after

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