Fabric Experiments

Lately I’ve been experimenting with painted fabric again, with no explicit goal. This is another freezer paper stencil with bronze textile paint.

First, I cut the paper and press it onto the fabric as you can see above. This design was smaller (X-acto knife shown for scale).

Then I paint the cut spaces. This time I just used an old paint brush that I had on hand, but I prefer sponge brushes for this step.

Next is my favorite part where I get to peel the freezer paper from the backing after letting it dry for a bit. So satisfying!

Here, I’ve made some past designs into a quilt block, so I’m thinking now about what to do with this fabric. Perhaps a fabric piece stretched onto a canvas frame? Not sure yet.

I’ve also been painting some canvas with this metallic bronze paint. Here I just used a brush. After painting, I wash, dry, and press the fabric so that soon I can make sewn goods with the fabric. I’m thinking of selling at a craft show this fall, but I’ll let you know.

Storm Sewing

Thinking of everyone who was in the path of powerful Irma over the weekend. We were fortunate and didn’t even lose power during the storm, so I was able to sew. As I’m developing plans for a pattern shop, I’m thinking about the sewn goods that I actually use in my everyday life and want to focus on projects that are simple and useful.

I made a variation of this tote with my hand-painted fabric. This version is slightly wider and not as deep, but is quite roomy. I plan to work on a smaller cross-body bag next. What features do you want in a handmade bag? I’m not one for lots of buckled pouches and zippered compartments because I just forget where I’ve put things, but what do you think? I want my patterns to be straightforward for beginning sewists, but I understand that people like options. I’m thinking of making basic patterns for the shop with variations as free tutorials on my blog.

Then I made a Scout Tee with some adjustments. I bought the pattern from our new local haberdashery, Topstitch! Since I’m terrible at following instructions, I usually cut out the pattern, then sew it together my own way. For this top, I lengthened the sleeves to 3/4 length and made the bias binding at the neck wider so it would stay flat. When working with double gauze, it’s helpful to stay-stitch the neckline and double stitch hems for added stability.

This double gauze fabric is from my Paint collection and was created from the block print design below. For this collection, I stamped and painted designs, then scanned them in, changed scale and color, and put them in repeat to create the fabric designs.

You can see the final colorways below.

 

 

Shop Survey Results

Thanks to everyone who completed my online survey! You can still complete it here if you haven’t had the chance. As I look to start an online business, your responses helped confirm my direction. I’ve been looking for a scalable model that allows me to remain an independent designer, while generating more income for our family. Although this is still an idea in process, it looks like patterns are the answer. You may have heard me railing against instructions in favor of experimentation, but I understand that many sewists want quick and easy, no-fail projects. Over the next few months, I’ll be creating my business plan and designing a pattern shop, starting with digital files.

Looks like the majority of you are quilters! I plan to start with some basic bags, pouches, and home decor project patterns, but I’ll add some quilting patterns and then apparel later.

As you can see, the majority of you would like to see patterns in my shop, which works well for a scalable business. Of course I’ll continue to design fabric and I’ve been enjoying my own painting experiments lately, as you can see above. The idea of selling goods sounds exciting, but I realize that’s only because I like to design the projects. I know from my embroidery business experience that making the same thing day in and day out can become monotonous. When I look back at my most popular blog posts over the years, bag patterns clearly take the lead. I’ve also learned from this survey that most of you (64%) still read blogs. And here I thought I was screaming into the void. Thanks for reading!

After my newsletter went out last week with my mini-collection over on Spoonflower, I did get some negative reactions and a few people unsubscribed, but the vast majority of you were supportive of my right to an opinion. Quilters have made political work for centuries and art is an expression of our culture, even fabric design. With our country on fire, both figuratively and literally, it’s difficult to ignore. Stay safe this weekend!

September Newsletter

If you’re not subscribed to my monthly newsletter, you can read it here and find a link to this 10-minute potholder tutorial. Visit my Spoonflower shop for this impeach fabric and other designs. And check out my shop at Society6 for goods such as coffee mugs, phone cases, and art prints as shown below. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Sierra Club.

The Long Thread Shop

Hi all! As I evaluate where my design career is heading, I’m thinking of opening an online shop. I need your input! If you have a minute, could you complete this quick online survey? Thank you!