Wednesday, 29 May 2013
I've been running around in circles this week!
I have some new fabrics I'm hoping to share but wanted to finish a little sewing project before I do.
So I got the fabrics cut out, found all the notions, pinned it together, but then... I couldn't find the zipper feet for my sewing machine, anywhere!
Hmm, it slowly came back to me, I put both my zipper feet somewhere 'safe' after taking them over to a friend's house. They were in my pocket and I distinctly remember taking them out and stashing them. Somewhere safe!
I'll spare you the two days of looking everywhere. The frustration of searching and not finding. Two days which turned into a long overdue reorganisation of all my many boxes of craft and make and stash.
After a while I started to enjoy the process of getting things organised. It felt good to be sorting the piles I'd made rushing through other projects. I've been meaning to sort them for a long time and it gave me time to think, to slow down and appreciate all I have previously done.
At one point I had a pile on the table of all my old and new fabrics together, and it made me very happy to see them together. It gave me a sense of achievement I'd been lacking.
And just as I settled to the task and gave up on those feet, they turned up.
My big reorganisation turned up some stock of this favourite tea towel, the Chalk filigree design. Folding and packaging led to an improptu photography session, and grabbing some simple props turned up those wayward feet - sitting innocently in a bowl on the sideboard!
Isn't it always the way that when you stop looking you find what you're searching for, when you stop stressing about what you haven't done you have time to see what you have.
Filigree tea towels in the Etsy shop.
Monday, 20 May 2013
When I am working on something I tend to lock myself away and retreat into my thoughts. I like the quiet and being able to give single minded attention to the project I'm obsessed with.
Other times I love the social. I love to chat and gossip and laugh and natter and share. I think it feeds me and keeps me sane and happy.
I need both sides and luckily they seem to find their own rhythm.
This past week has been a social one, three lunches out, a workshop to teach, two functions Saturday night and a soccer game yesterday. I've loved every minute of it.
I caught up with bloggers this week, and it confirmed my belief that they are as wonderful in real life as they are on their blogs. I love being able to have those particular bloggy conversations where you talk about shared inspiration, community, blogging, design, fabric, craft, magazines, life and the internet! And never have to explain what you're talking about or who's who!
It always proves to me what other non bloggy people doubt, that you can have online friendships that are as strong and true as those you share with people in your everyday. And that there are some amazing, clever, funny, talented people doing their thing in blogland.
Thank you Kidspot for inviting me to the Voices of 2013 launch. It was fun to get frocked up and celebrate the amazing local bloggers we have. I just wish I could have made the masterclass and had more time to catch up with the out of town peeps who were here.
Thank you to my workshop students and Melissa at SewMakeCreate for a fun couple of weeks. I've really enjoyed teaching, and sharing the art of stamp carving with others. We printed on fabric yesterday and I was so delighted when all the students turned up with new pieces carved and all inspired to make. If you're interested there is another class starting next month.
Thank you to our soccer and netball families, you make me laugh with your one eyed enthusiasm. Its nice to share the sidelines with the old faces and the new, shouting our teams on to greater heights and discussing tactics from the security of the non players section!
Thank you too to all my lunch pals, especially Tuyen for whipping up home made pho, and Jo (bubala) for gifting me one of your beautiful neon print pouches.
I love my social weeks, I don't get anything done, but it fuels me for the more introspective weeks where I wouldn't leave the house at all if I could wangle it!
Are you a socialite? Or do you like the quiet one on one and getting things done?
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
I've been meaning to get back here all week to blog, but you know how it is. Here is some of what's been distracting me, fun stuff!
• Taught the first of my Stamp Carving workshops at SewMakeCreate on Saturday. It was fun! I gathered all my stamps together in preparation the other day and loved how they looked together. My students were so sweet, and it was great inspiring others to creative pursuits.
Before the class I bought some new stamp pads to play with (any excuse!) And then I couldn't resist personalising the cutting tools with a bit of my new washi tape. Don't they look sweet.
• The weekend before that I sewed this big batch of new marble bags. It is great to have Marble Kits back in the shop. These make such sweet handmade gifts.
• On Sunday I was especially spoilt for Mother's Day. Each of my cards was lovingly handmade and I was given some really thoughtful presents, including these new serious, big scissors for fabric cutting, researched and bought by my lovely Mr with help from the ladies at Spotlight. Master J said he loves me more than the size of Jupiter (they are studying the solar system this term) and provided a helpful diagram on the back of his card!
Friday, 10 May 2013
Did I tell you my ambition this year is to make more fabric!!
I want to design and produce more Flower Press fabric designs. In particular I want to screenprint more designs, and if I've been a bit absent, a bit distracted that's why. I've been working behind the scenes to make this happen.
As you know from my recent Sewing with Flower Press post I get a big kick out of seeing what people make with my fabric. Up till now that has mostly meant digital quilting cottons. I love the way with digital I can create multicolour quilting fabrics like my Bricks and Marble prints and print them on quality Kona cotton. What fun! With digital design you can do anything - if you want to combine a hundred colours into one design you can. Swatch or yardage? No problem. Its a designer's dream.
Screenprinted fabric comes with more design limitations. There's more preparation in producing it. But handprinted fabric has its own quality which make us love it. Personally I love the vibrancy and texture and the graphic quality of screenprinting. I love the feel of it, the strong printed designs and the way they sit on the basecloth.
To me basecloth is all important to screenprinted textiles so part of my journey towards producing more has been finding the perfect basecloths.
I'm always on the lookout for good fabric, and over the years have amassed samples from all over the place. My first criteria is they must be natural fibres which narrows the search to linen, cotton and hemp.
I love 100% linen for tea towels, its hard wearing qualities and substantial feel make this sustainable fibre a star.
For fabric panels that are going to be sewn I prefer linen/cotton blends to straight linen. I think they combine the great strength and character of linen with the better drape and usability of cotton. I find them easier to iron and a finer texture.
Cotton in all its guises is another favourite. There's something about the feel of freshly laundered cotton, its strength and durability and ease of care that make this versatile fabric so very popular. No wonder that quilts are made almost exclusively with cotton.
I was so happy when I sourced the perfect white cotton fabric recently. I love the weight and drape and feel of it. I also found some fabulous coloured cottons to play around with. I can't wait to print some of these neutrals.
And lastly, hemp is a new fibre to me. While I've seen this fabric around I hadn't had much to do with it up close until recently when I got some unused yardage when buying some secondhand screens.
Wow, I was really impressed. Its a really nice fibre and it has a real radiance to it. It sort of glows. Its also smooth and strong and has great eco credentials. I snapped up a big batch of different weight hemp fabrics a couple of months ago when a local wholesaler had a sale, some of it a hemp/organic cotton mix. This will be fun to print on too.
As for the printing, I'm getting there. It is taking a while to get my setup perfect. The good news is that with my such a great range of fabrics bought I am a few steps closer to my goal. Expect some scrap packs made up of test prints to go up soon. I'm a big fan of the scrap pack myself (remind me to show you my collection some time!) so it will be fun to share some of my own.
p.s. yes, I know, I've messed up my blog template recently experimenting with tabs! I need to restore my saved template but life has been too busy. Time for a complete overhaul methinks!
Friday, 3 May 2013
I've been meaning to come back and post these extra photos of our trip down south. It seems a long time ago now, but I wanted to have a record here on my blog of our week in that magic place.
I love Ms A's collage of the corners of this sweet house, trapped in time, just the way we like it! Check out too the amazing queen sized flannelette doona cover and pillowslips I thrifted. They were virtually unused. I'm just worried now that I won't be able to get out of bed when they're on!
Happy weekend peoples. I am back next week with some new things (about time I hear you say!). Some stuff I have been working towards for a while now. I'm really looking forward to sharing it with you.