It has been quite a while since I have posted anything. All great plans of mice and men huh? During the holidays we got to spend time with all our kids, usually that is not a problem as they live so close to us. Our youngest daughter, after much soul searching decided to go back to school and get her PhD. Her goal is to become a Professor and she chose LSU to get her degree. So we don’t get to see her as much as we would like. While she was home for the holidays we decided to spend some time sewing dresses for her that we had been planning to do for over a year. We had picked fabric designs from some of my fabric collections which then collected dust for a while until we both had time to work on them. I do enjoy sewing and Rebecca enjoys learning to sew. I will say I don’t spend as much time sewing clothing as I use to. Now a days, mostly I only have time to sew home décor or quilts. Together Rebecca and I managed to sew 5 dresses for her to take back to LSU. For one of the dresses I had designed the fabric using LSU colors. I don’t think the photo captured the colors quite as good as I would have liked. However we did not have that much time for photos with her busy schedule here trying to catch up with family and friends. My dress fabric designs were printed on Performance Knit at Spoonflower.com they are of course available to anyone who wishes to purchase them. One dress I had envisioned using two designs from my Hannah LaChance collection, so I used the basic pattern then changed it to include the two designs. I think it ended up reminding us of Downtown Abbey.
Evelyn’s Sewing Notions is my latest fabric collection. I named it in honor of my mother who loved to sew. I inherited her love of sewing.
This design was done for the latest Spoonflower contest. The contest starts Thursday afternoon June 26, 2014. The contest challenge was to create four coordinating designs with sewing notions being the theme. We also had to fit the four designs on to one yard of fabric. The public votes and narrows it down to the top ten then, guest judge Denyse Schmidt, designer, quilter and author picks a collection out of the top ten designs thatwill be featured on the pages of the upcoming issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting.
Since you can’t really get a good idea of what the design looks like on this page I am posting each design separately.
Of course it goes without saying that whoever wins will be thrilled to be in the magazine.
If you would like to vote on this contest you can go to http://www.spoonflower.com/welcome
My latest entry in the weekly Spoonflower design contest. The theme for this contest is Farm Tools.
I had great fun designing this collection. Having been literally born on a farm and living on one now, I can relate to farm tools and all things country. I hope you enjoy this design, I will be posting the coordinating designs soon too. This contest starts Thursday afternoon June 19, 2014. If you really enjoy this design I would appreciate your vote. Just go to http://www.spoonflower.com/welcome on the left of the page you should see the place to vote. Thank you so much!
Spoonflower.com is having a contest for Cut & Sew Shopping Bags. I got excited about this contest so I thought I would have ago at it. At first I worked on a floral design and yes I do love floral designs! My first thought had been a shopping bag for shopping at the mall. Then I thought this should be more about shopping for groceries. So I dusted off a collection I had started a while back titled Mrs. Brown’s.
I thought this would be perfect for a grocery shopping bag. I worked on adding to the collection, that was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed it.
The collection was named after my daughter Sara Brown, she is a wonderfully dedicated wife and mother. Always concerned about good nutrition for her family and on the lookout for new recipes to try.
The Spoonflower contest starts April 17, 2014. I would certainly appreciate your vote.
Can you believe I’m talking about Spring when there is snow on the ground and a snow storm coming tonight! However Spoonflower.com is having a design contest that I decided to enter. The contest starts January 9, 2014.
I wanted to enter this contest since I have been having a love affair with making quilts the last few months. My spare bedroom is knee deep in fabric, I straightened it out and someone must have come in the middle of the night and made a mess! Ok, the sad truth is that I can not, no matter how I try, make myself be neat when I am creating something.
In the next few weeks I plan to post a free quilt pattern and a tutorial on how to make it. I will be using fabric that I have had for longer than I care to admit. This was long before I started designing my own fabric. So check back if you want to quilt along with me.
Posted in Design, DIY Projects, fabric contest, Floral Art, Quilt, sewing, Spoonflower | Tagged Bedding, Contest, fat quarters, Floral, Free Pattern, Pattern, sewing, Spoonflower, textile | 2 Comments »
I have been busy having fun! I bought myself a new sewing machine and have been as busy as I can be quilting. Okay I have to confess as long as I have been sewing ( more years then you need to know) I had no idea what a walking foot was. I used to quilt my quilts by hand which I truly enjoy. However I did not make that many quilts. I did more personal or home decor sewing. At any rate my machine came with a walking foot. It is the most marvelous thing! I can machine quilt my quilts and not have it push the fabric all over the place. I am using up tons of fabric I have had around for a long time and I am also using my own fabric designs which I am really excited about. The last three quilts I have made I used up swatches of my fabric designs from Spoonflower. My Grandmother always taught us “waste not want not”, so with that in mind I made quilts! The first quilt made with swathes from my “Roaring Twenties” collection I had a wonderful lady in town that does long arm quilting, quilt it. The next ones being smaller I quilted on my machine. Using of course the walking foot.
Sue Ellen is a very creative and productive surface designer. You have to visit her shop at http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/fireflower . Sue Ellen happens to also so be a sweet kind soul that I have enjoyed getting to know. I wanted to share her with you. One of my favorite collections Sue Ellen has done is Blue Ridge Summer. I would love to know which ones are your favorite.
Lana: I can see you love to design. When did you first discover surface design?
Sue Ellen: When we were in primary school, my sister and I got a dollhouse, which was round, and open on all the way around, and we got Lionel train sets with plastic houses for the village. We set about making wallpaper and carpets and curtains for the both, using crayons and memo pads and cotton balls and glue. So that was my introduction into seamless repeats!
Later, in elementary school, I drew paper dolls for myself and all the girls, and designed and drew the clothes for them, including all the fabrics for the clothes. I didn’t worry about repeats … of course the designs all matched at the seams ;-)
I’ve only been doing fabric design for two years. Before that I did gift wrap for a couple of years. And before that I did gift enclosure cards and note cards and I’ve done many of our Christmas cards. In the many years until then, I painted, mostly acrylics used as watercolors, and true watercolours. And I knit, both multicolored patterns and textures.
Lana: Do you visualize the whole collection before you start designing? Or do you start with the main design and let that inspire you to create the rest of the collection?
Sue Ellen: I haven’t “seen” a collection as a whole yet, so I guess the answer is I start somewhere, and go on from there. The Blue Ridge Summer collection started with a design I already had, in turquoise and green, around which I built the quilt design (for the contest it had to be a chevron cheater quilt), adapting & adding new designs to fill in the spaces on the quilt top, and inventing borders to go with it. Tiny Tesserae (one of my favorites) started with one design that I kept playing with, and then a couple more that ended up shrinking into the tiny range, and now there are a lot more iterations than I have uploaded to Spoonflower. It is often a matter of playing, of saying, “I wonder what will happen when I do this to that?” or “I wonder what this will look like with that?” and then trying it out. Sometimes it’s a bust, but often, after a day or two of playing, I have quite a few designs that are reasonable to use, and either already go with each other, or can be adapted to do so.
I am not the best organizer and categorizer, so many of my designs aren’t even in collections yet!
Lana: What inspires you the most when you are creating? I know for me color inspires me.
Sue Ellen: Oh, I’d have to agree — color is the beginning of many things. One day last year, I sat down and said, “I feel like making something in hot pink and lime.” So I put the two colors into the two squares in Photoshop, and started playing with them. Before the end of the weekend, I had 4 strong patterns, and more than 20 variations of them. They just seemed to pop up while I was having fun.
But, sometimes, it’s a shape or a line. When my sister-in-law, Karla Bernstein, sent me a close-up of a basketball taken for her 2013 photography project, I immediately wrote back and asked for permission to use it in a design, which she granted, and I came up with a collection based on the lines of the basketball as shown in that photo.
Another time recently, I saw a window grille in a scene on TV that looked just wonderful, so I paused the show, and made a sketch of the shapes the sun was making coming through the grille. Then I tried to figure out what positive shapes would make these bright negative shapes (sounds like something straight out of “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” doesn’t it?), It wasn’t until I was done that I realized I’d made a classic interlocked octagon design. But, being a classic, it lends itself to many possible interpretations, and I’ve been having fun exploring them.
Also, I have been having dreams that give me instructions for designs, and give me titles. This is a bit disconcerting, but the dreams seem to know what they’re talking about, so I’ll keep following their lead.
Lana: What mediums do you enjoy working with the most?
Sue Ellen:I think it’s hard to beat watercolor for a painting, and I even try getting that watercolor look on the computer sometimes. For sketching, I like pencil, plain or colored. And, I have to say, I love working on the computer, and printing my work out on a variety of papers.
Lana: Do you have a favorite design?
Sue Ellen: I suspect it’s rather like having 14 children and 34 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren … there’s enough love to go around. I made 21 pillows for various family members last Christmas, and I had just an awful time choosing which designs to use, and which to leave out. Yet I sewed happily on the ones I finally chose, enjoying each of them as I worked.
Lana: Some designers love to sew as well as design. Do you like sewing too?
Sue Ellen: Yes, I like sewing. I have sewed since I was quite young, and on the machine since I was 11. I started making my own clothes a couple of years after that, and have sewn at least special things for myself and my family ever since. And home-made gifts are big with us, too.
I haven’t made anything for myself out of my own fabrics, only gifts so far, but I look forward with pleasure to doing so in the future. The first thing I made with the first design I uploaded to Spoonflower, was a tablecloth for one of my daughters-in-law, who had admired the design on the wrapping paper I’d used for Christmas that year, and whose desire to see it on fabric brought me to Spoonflower. Last year, I made those boudoir-size pillows, and this year I am making potholders.
Lana: What is your favorite thing you have created with your designs?
Sue Ellen: Well, since I have only done a few things with my Spoonflower designs, I have to say that my favorite creation was the wrapping paper (not Spoonflower) for our elder grandson’s 9th birthday. It was blue with a rosette in white and gold and red (the Barcelona Football colors), and his smiling face in the center of each rosette, and “Happy Birthday” in the same colors in between the rosettes. I had done the rosette for another project, and it had come out all wrong, and not at all circular. But I noticed that it was in the Barcelona colors, and that it was the right shape for a face, so I repurposed it right away, and came up with the wrapping paper design idea. I printed it out on large sheets of paper (it took an entire container of ink!), then I glued it all over the outside of a big box into which I put his present.
Lana: If you weren’t pursuing designing what else do you think you would enjoy as much. I love to ask this question because I am usually surprised by the answer.
Sue Ellen: Gosh! What a poser! I think I’m designing now, because it’s the right thing for me to be doing now. But, in the past, I have enjoyed dancing (of many sorts) and singing (as a member of the choir) as much as I’m enjoying this. And the Dances of Universal Peace have the same meditative & restorative effect as artwork has for me. So, I guess I’d say I’d use the time/energy made available by not-designing to indulge in those activities. The other thing I enjoy as much as this, is being with children, cooking or crafting, playing or reading, singing or gardening, splashing in the pool or touring with a camera. (I’d probably also get more housework done, but you did ask about something I would enjoy as much as designing.)