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?
Entries in spoonflower (7)
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.
It's been a quiet spring on this here blog. I've been tending to several projects behind the scenes that haven't left much time for writing. But it's time to take the lid off of some of what I've been working on.
Mankolam, pictured above, is a collection of fabric designs that I put together in March from bits and pieces I'd been playing with for more than a year. Once I knew what I wanted to do with it, I was amazed at how quickly it came together. Mankolam is the sanskrit word for "mango design," or what we have come to know as paisley, thus the name. I have always loved the color and movement of paisley designs, but I wanted to do something with them that also reflected the more buttoned-up elements of my personality. So the paisley is on a background of pin stripes. The earthy buttons are neatly arranged because, as my dear friend Emily would say, "a polka is my signature dot formation." The over-the-top floral is kept in check with, well, a check stripe. And the fluttery gossamer wings (which are my favorite) float in tight tandem with one another.
Continue reading? This one's chockablock, I promise. Go on, you know you wanna click!
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!
So the title of this post is probably not ideal since I had to explain it to my husband who thought it had weird (creepy?) overtones. Jokes are never funny when you explain them.
Anyway, you know the old saw: watching laws get made is like watching sausage manufacturing--sort of ruins your appetite for the end result. Well, when Stephen Fraser from Spoonflower sent me this video of some of my fabric being printed, I felt just the opposite, so I just had to share:
On the one hand, there's something almost unremarkable about it--we've become so accustomed to inkjet printers with picoliter droplet sizes and borderless printing at breakneck speeds, that it's easy to be unimpressed--in essence, this is just a giant inkjet printer, right? But when I think about how far digital printing has come since my family got our first Image Writer II (1987?), it blows my mind. Reminds me of the Saturday Night Live sketch where the crochety old man says, "We ate dirt for breakfast, and we liked it!" Back then, we had four-color ribbon printing and 72-dpi and we liked it! It wasn't like anything we'd ever seen. Low-cost home printers made anybody with a story and a willingness to hack away at Aldus PageMaker a desktop publisher. And now services like Spoonflower are democratizing craft, making it possible for anyone with a vision to forge on in a medium that has been all but completely closed to individual artists and craftspeople. And that is, as I told Stephen when he sent me this video, just plain rad.
Try it out
If you've wanted to try fabric printing but hesitated about the cost, there's still time (2.5 hours as of this writing) to get two free 8"x8" swatches (in the fabric of our choice, and with free shipping, too!) from Spoonflower. And while you are at it, they've made it super easy to donate some or all of the money you save to a wonderful charity, Heifer International, that provides cows, lamas, chickens, and other livestock to people in developing countries as a means of empowering them and enabling them to meet their long-term food and economic needs. Also rad.
Free swatch day is over, but swatches are only $5, so what's stopping you? I have a frightening number of them, so I am working to come up with a project to use some of them up.