QuiltCon Savannah

beyond-patterns-quiltcon

I’m headed to QuiltCon Savannah! If you’re there, check out my talk Thursday morning at 10:30 am.

Beyond Patterns: Explore Your Creativity with Fabric

I often find that sewing from instructions leaves me feeling overwhelmed and uninspired. In this talk, I’ll discuss ways to experiment with fabric, break through creative blocks, forget about the rules, and listen to your own voice. Our fast-paced, interconnected world can cause us to rush through life, focusing on the day-to-day tasks without stopping to reflect and create. I will offer practical tips for discovering and nurturing your creativity, plus techniques to begin your journey in experimentation. By viewing your sewing practice as play without focusing on the end result, you can develop your own ideas and explore fabric in an innovative way.

stamped-fabric painting-experiment painting

Process

brushstrokes

I just received strike-offs from my upcoming collection for Kokka. This collection started with experimentation on paper and fabric as you can see below. Then I scanned and digitized the work on paper and added two more colorways, keeping the black and white. This fabric will be shown at spring quilt market in St. Louis this May and should be shipping shortly thereafter. Shops, feel free to email me for photos of the entire collection.

Be sure to read my latest newsletter and sign up in the sidebar!

brushstrokes

MAKE GOOD: gather here

make-good        gather-here

 

As part of my Make Good series, I’ll be featuring craft businesses that support their community. Local independent fabric shops often donate to charity, assist with community projects, and provide space for group meetings. This type of grassroots philanthropy that starts in our knitting circles and quilting bees can have a tremendous impact, connecting people and building community.

One such business that serves its community is gather here, a fabric and yarn shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Owners Virginia and Noah recently relocated to a new, larger space and have renewed their commitment to support meaningful issues.

gather-here-shop

A hate crime over the summer made them consider how their personal belief in equality is not just ancillary to their business, but in fact an integral part of what gather here represents. When a 12″ swastika was carved into their shop window, Virginia and Noah channeled their anger into action. They shared the incident on social media and received an outpouring of support from customers and neighbors. Virginia describes how she suddenly realized that her personal values were intrinsically connected to her business:

But in that one act of hate I realized that WHO I am, my identity is linked to WHAT gather here is. That swastika wasn’t just carved in our front window. It felt like it was carved on my body. On the body of my half-Jewish partner.  WHO owns gather here is a public statement now. And acts of hatred in our community are immediately condemned. Our business has embraced making political statements because we cannot shy away from WHO we are.

Since the incident, they have raised money for victims of a local fire, collected handmade winter accessories for low-income families, supported the Southern Poverty Law Center, and now actively promote gather here as a welcoming place of inclusion with a 7′ tall cross stitch advocating hope, love, respect, equality, and community. And like many open-hearted businesses, they have posted a sign to let everyone know that people of all races, religions, countries of origin, sexual orientations, and genders are welcome in the shop.

When a member of a gather here knitting circle died unexpectedly last year, their group knit a memorial piece that hangs in the shop, reminding us that the connections we make through craft are genuine and meaningful. The places where we gather to make things can become social spaces, mourning places, and even centers of action. In this time of uncertainty, it is reassuring to see principles at work in business.

 virginia-and-noah

2017 Calendar

2017-calendar

The new year is coming, whether you are ready or not! Subscribe to my newsletter in the sidebar to get the quick and easy instructions for this calendar made with my design from Spoonflower. You can order the fabric and make your own! In my newsletter, I also talk about my new weekly feature, Make Good, in which I’ll be discussing how crafts can have a positive impact in our communities. Look for that soon!

Printed Pouch Tutorial

painted-pouches

My October newsletter went out yesterday with a tutorial for this printed, zippered pouch. Enter your email address in the sidebar if you’d like to join the mailing list!

stamped-fabric