Who do you think you are?

30-something mother, wife, lawyer, writer, design junkie, craftaholic, cook

likes: clever tools, snazzy colors, working for justice, kid wrangling, Meyer lemons

dislikes: inefficiency, civil discovery, most shades of purple, Tori Amos

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Entries in fabric (10)


Design Daydreams

Image © 2010 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist; sofa: Maine Cottage; table & lamp: Crate and Barrel; paintings: David Mandel; rug: Madeline Weinrib.
Recently, I looked around our house. And once I averted my eyes from the scattered piles of Legos and the epidemic levels of paper that seem to affix themselves to every available flat surface, I realized something. While I spend hours of my free time designing home decor textiles, there is virtually no space in my house that lends itself to the things I design. Shouldn't a designer—even an amateur one—use her home as a canvas?

Home as canvas? This could get messy . . .? Read the full entry.

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A pilgrimage of sorts

Honey Bees © 2010 Cameron Blazer // Cottage IndustrialistGinkgo Wave © 2010 Cameron Blazer // Cottage IndustrialistA week-and-a-half ago, we took our son on his first big car trip. Like a regular old family. It made me feel so grown up to have to answer him 15 times an hour about whether we were there yet.

We were heading to Washington, D.C., because I was attending a conference, and it seemed silly to go and stay in a hotel all alone when I could do it with my boys. To sweeten the pot (for myself), my husband and I agreed that we should break the trip up into two parts, stopping somewhere along the way. The somewhere was IMMEDIATELY obvious to me. Mebane, NC.

Mebane, wha? What's a Mebane?

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Look, Ma, I sewed!

© 2010 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist
For someone as fabric-obsessed as I am, I don't do nearly as much sewing as I'd like. Halloween costumes, the occasional pillow, and that's about it.

But I've had two yards of my sakura red fabric staring at me for months now. The time had come. My husband and son were handling Mother's Day breakfast, and I had the house to myself for three (!) hours. Thanks, boys!

I knew I wanted to make an apron, but I couldn't find a pattern online that suited what I had in mind--something a little old-fashioned, sort-of pinafore-y, but NOT a halter. I was not built for halters, folks.

Continue reading for more fabric-y goodness, lessons learned, and a confession . . .

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A Holiday Fabric Giveaway

Have you heard of papernstitch? It is a curated exhibition of handmade and independent design and craft. And this month, I have my debut fabric exhibition there!

Visit my exhibition on papernstitch!
I have been designing patterns for surface design for a long time now, and I have never found more satisfaction than seeing my designs come to life on fabric. Rather than set up an Etsy store to sell these fabrics, I am able now to sell them directly to my friends and family far and wide thanks to the merchant platform provided by Spoonflower. And because I can sell them directly, I do not have to process the fabrics or ship them myself, meaning that buyers get the same price I do! So cool! And even better, any design can be printed on any of 5 fabrics in cuts as small as 8x8"! Have I mentioned that I love Stephen, Kim, Gart, and everyone else at Spoonflower? Well, I do.

I heart papernstitch! I heart Spoonflower! I...am getting carried away, no?

Still, since I'm in a spread-the-love kind of mood, there's something in it for you...

Cottage Industrialist Textiles Holiday Giveaway:

Here's the deal--I'm giving away 2 yards of quilt-weight fabric in any of my available designs (to be chosen by the winner). Enter to win three (!) ways. 1) Visit my exhibition on papernstitch, and take a look! Leave me a comment there on your favorite design (you'll need to sign-in, so I can be sure to get your email address); 2) Leave me a comment on this blog about your favorite design from the papernstitch exhibition; and 3) Spread the word: tweet a link to this giveaway with this link: http://cottage-industrialist.com/holidaygiveaway. Entries will be accepted from now until midnight EST on December 11. I'll pick the winner at random and post the results on Monday, December 14.

And for all who celebrate it, I wish you a happy, healthy Thanksgiving.

And stay tuned...later this week I'll be posting a fun printable featuring designs from some of my favorite fabrics!



Atwitter for fabric

As a lawyer, I fantasize about one day having a chance to argue on behalf of a client before the Supreme Court (I am not SO egotistical that I fantasize about winning before the Supreme Court--yet). When I get home and can don my creative hat, I fantasize about being a fabric and surface designer with my own line of paper and fabric goods. I can't say I've used twitter to connect to other lawyers--I see enough of them every day. But I have used it to connect with designers, especially women fabric designers who, like me, have to juggle work and family and space to follow their dreams and meet their goals.

You might think that by getting a group of people together who all share the same entrepreneurial goal you'd be fostering a sense of competition. But in fact, the designing ladies of twitter are as warm, welcoming, and supportive a bunch as you could ever imagine, always ready to answer a question, critique a design, or comisserate over a perfectly planned day all gummed up by reality. And to top it off? They're hella talented, too. By way of their twitter accounts and their newest releases, I'd like to introduce you to three of my favorites:

Beyond the Sea © 2009 Cloud 9 FabricsMichelle Engel Bencsko is the creative force behind both Cicada Studio and Cloud 9 Fabrics, and she also licenses her work to Henry J. Glass. Through her Supermarket store, Michelle sells the Cicada Studio fabrics by custom order (though you can, for a very short time, still pick up shorter cuts through her etsy store). Through Cloud 9 Fabrics, Michelle recently launched her newest line of wholesale fabrics (that means you can ask for your local fabric or quilt shop to carry them!), Beyond the Sea.

In a word? LOVE. This is one of my favorite color palates of all time. It makes me wish I owned a house at the beach. Can you not see these fabrics splashed all over the pages of Coastal Living? I swear, I think that if you put the "urchin" fabric up to your head, you'll hear the ocean! Since I won't be owning a house at the beach anytime soon, I'm readjusting my expectations and thinking of a few pillows for my bedroom.

Learn more about Michelle and her companies at her blog: Cicada Daydream.


 Art Journal @copy; 2009 Bari J.

Bari J. Ackerman has just released the first glimpses of her second collection of fabrics available through Windham Fabrics. Her first collection, Full Bloom, was a big hit, and her newest release, Art Journal, promises to be as well.

Do you not just want to scoop that little bird up and put her in your pocket?! I do. I don't actually wish I had a little girl (my little boy is just right for me!), but this collection makes me wish I had a little girl's room to decorate--complete with an old painted iron bed. Oh, and quilting skills. Because this fabric is begging to be quilted, don't you think?

Bari is an inspiration to me because she decided she wanted to break into this field, and she just went for it! Learn more about Bari's story and her work at her online journal. She's also featured in a lovely book you may have read, Blogging for Bliss. Swell!

Geo Grande © 2009 Daisy JanieJan DiCintio is, as she describes herself, "the underpaid workaholic behind Daisy Janie." She also founded the fantastic site, Scoutie Girl, that scouts out independent design finds all over the world. Jan has built her fabric business from the ground up, all while keeping it as green as possible. Just last week her business met a new milestone when she made her newest collection, Geo Grande, available for wholesale (yep, you can ask for it by name, too).

Jan's designs always have a sense of motion, and this collection is no exception. Can't you see these fabrics updating some mid-century arm chairs? Craigslist, here I come!

I really do hope you'll check out the work of these three women. I am proud to know each of them, if only virtually.