My Monochrome fabric collection for Kokka is in stores now! In Atlanta, you can head over to Intown Quilters to check it out. Here’s a list of stockists in the US.
Monochrome collection. Photo credit (above): Intown Quilters.
Meanwhile, I got the strike-offs from my upcoming fall collection for Kokka. For this collection, I tried a new technique. I hand-cut paper, then scanned it and then digitized it. I thoroughly enjoyed this process and I think it will lead me down new paths in my future collections. I like the idea of permanent mistakes. Once I had cut something that I didn’t like, I was forced to keep going and incorporate it into the design rather than discarding it. In digital work, it’s too easy to start again and I think it expands your creativity to commit on paper. I didn’t do any sketching beforehand, just sat down with my exact-o knife and card stock, which I found to be a very meditative process.
That’s led me to thinking about mixing paper and cloth. I’ve been experimenting with blocks of sewn paper, vellum, acetate and different fabrics. I’m interested in the texture, but also want to explore ideas. Here I printed tweets from different people emphasizing the disjointed ways that we are connecting with each other online. More on this later.
My Monochrome collection for Kokka is shipping to fabric shops now! Here are a few Monochrome projects made by Kokka.
And some amazing pouches from Octopurse.
Detail of Points in metallic gold and silver on double gauze cotton.
Paper Cranes in cotton/linen with metallic silver accents.
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 charcoal, yellow, and blue (linen/cotton).
Paper Cranes in mint, natural + gold, and navy + silver (linen/cotton).
Blooms in black + gold, pink, and blue + silver (linen/cotton).
Circles in navy, mint + silver, and charcoal + gold (double gauze cotton).
Points in silver, white, and gold (double gauze cotton).
Small Cranes in teal, plum, and charcoal (double gauze cotton).
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.
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.