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Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

I decided it was high time I cleaned up my sewing room! I do like order and cleanliness, I really do. However, it would seem like there is a little devil in my room when I want to create a new design. It must make sure to pull out every scrap of fabric I have and scatter it about so that is not a bare spot in the room. Spools of thread scatter and scissors are buried some where underneath the piles. Sparks of creativity then seem to flow. I manage to get something sewn, not always am I happy with the results. This then goes in the pile of I will do something with it later. There is a pattern here, I can’t bear to throw out fabric!

If I make a quilt or pillow shams and there are scraps left, I know I will do something with it later. Later is here and I decided a good use for some of the scraps would be purses. Quite a few of them that I made lately I don’t have here to take pictures of and share with you. Our youngest daughter was home for the holidays taking a break from college and she felt it her duty to help me out by taking them with her.

 

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The purse pictured above is from scraps left over from making quilted pillow shams a couple of years ago. Yes I knew I wouldn’t let that go to waste! Success!

 

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The lace was left over too. However, I had to buy some grey fabric to line it with. It is a vicious circle huh!  I would like to only buy as much fabric as I need at a time, there is that devil again.

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I added inside pockets and magnetic snaps.

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Marta Rusin lives in London. It is wonderful that the internet allows us to come into contact with people from all over the world.

Marta Rusin aka ‘kociara’ http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/kociara

Marta

Marta

Lana: How did you find out about Spoonflower in the first place?

Marta: I knew that with the advancement of printing technologies it was possible to print fabric directly from a digital file. One day I just thought, wouldn’t it be fun to use my illustration on a fabric and started looking on the internet to see if someone provided that service- and this is how I found Spoonflower!

Lana: When did you open your shop on Spoonflower?

Marta: I submitted my first design for Spoonflower contest at the end of January 2012 but I did not have fabric available for sale till June 2012. My first sale came through at the end of August 2012

Lana: What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself as a designer?

Marta: That I can do it! I have always admired art and illustration and I have always been drawing and doodling since an early age but only fairly recently I have dedicated myself to this and I am enjoying every minute.

Lana: Which design did you enjoy working on the most?

Marta: It’s hard to decide. I promised myself to try and enter every single Spoonflower contest and so far I have only missed a few since January 2012. At times I feel completely uninspired by the contest themes but I push myself to come up with something for every single one and sometimes I even surprise myself when they come out fairly well! I am quite happy with the most recent one for the ‘Cricket’ inspired theme, though initially I had no idea what I was going to do.

bugs life

bugs life

Lana: Do you have a favorite design?

Marta: So far I have managed to produce about 200-250 different designs and overall I am probably happy with 30 or so of them so roughly 10% I guess. I like to experiment with different styles but I suppose I am more drawn to feminine patterns. I have been experimenting a lot with textures recently and I like to give my patterns a ‘painterly’ feel. I quite like one of my older designs which is based on an illustration I did a while ago. It was a portrait and I combined it in Photoshop to make a flowing repeat. I entered it in a Spoonflower contest for a hat pattern. It was not very successful but I like it anyway!

Queenofdiamonds

Queenofdiamonds

Lana: What inspires you the most in your creative process?

Marta: Inspiration comes to me in lots of forms. I look a lot at other people’s work and photography and sometimes an idea just crystallizes. I particularly analyze color choices and try to see what works and what doesn’t. Digital designing allows you to change colors at a click of the mouse and I often run through different color schemes before settling on a particular combination. I enjoy working with vibrant colors which is a bit odd as normally I dress fairly conservatively. For instance in my Geek Chic entry I decided to use a limited palette and I looked at a lot of vintage, 60s illustration and the colors they used before finally settling on the color scheme. I think it worked for the design.

geekchic

I was thrilled to have placed 19th in this contest out of 700 entries.

Lana: It is really impressive that you came in a 19 out of 700 entries, that has to make you feel great!!

Lana: When did you realize that you were a creative soul that has to create?

Marta: I have always been drawing, since I remember, mainly female forms and faces, for some reason. I suppose I fancied myself as a fashion illustrator at some point. Spoonflower contests make me draw a range of things I would not instinctively choose to draw, but I am enjoying working on many types of illustration.

Lana: What mediums do you work with to create your designs?

Marta: I work digitally. I use the Adobe Creative Suite, mainly Illustrator to create the illustrations and the repeat pattern; afterwards I may take the ‘tile’ for further editing in Photoshop to apply textures and other effects.

papaya.jpg

papaya.jpg

Lana: Do you enjoy sewing as well as creating designs?

Marta: I have only recently taken a basic course in sewing. I would love to be able to start making things soon, but it’s just finding the time!

Lana: Are there other places you sell your designs?

Marta: I have a shop on Society 6 and have sold quite a few iphone cases there (http://society6.com/kociara). I need to start preparing designs for other online ventures.

Lana: If you weren’t pursuing designing what would be your next favorite thing to do.

Marta: I enjoy reading and I think I am quite imaginative so writing would probably be the next best things to do. I have a few ideas for books and maybe one day will have the time to write and illustrate them.

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I have a shop on Spoonflower.com where I get to showcase and sell my fabric designs. Since I have opened my shop I have been introduced to many creative souls that have their own shops on Spoonflower.com. So, I thought it would be fun to interview some of the designers.

Spoonflower.com has created a home for surface designers that is a special place to showcase their talent. The community as a whole is warm and welcoming, with designers sharing and encouraging each other. Spoonflower.com has made it possible for designers to sell their designs in smaller quantities that might not be possible otherwise. The fabric is a little more expensive then you might get at a fabric store however you get the opportunity to purchase brand new designs that no one else has. Also you get to put more Americans to work as Spoonflower is located in Durham, NC.

The designers on Spoonflower.com are from all over the world, so we get to peek into their world too!

My first interview is with Joan Mclemore

Joan Mclemore

Joan Mclemore

I so appreciate Joan taking the time to share her story with us. http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/joanmclemore

Verbena Collection

Verbena Collection

Lana: How did you find out about Spoonflower in the first place?

Joan: I received a message from a relative that had heard about Spoonflower. She had seen some of my wild abstract computer graphics and really wanted to have them in print. She has since ordered a blue abstract for a silk sari.

Lana: When did you open your shop on Spoonflower?

Joan: That was about three years ago. Prior to that, I was experimenting with computer graphic programs and creating abstract art.

Lana: What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself as a designer?

Joan: Bridging gaps…….maybe? The manner in designing and composing an abstract is a very free form style, in contrast to surface design which is much more structured. The most difficult part of surface design is to manage the structure needed for good repeats, while not appearing stiff and structured. For me it was a process of learning to bridge that gap for the constraints of surface design.

Lana: Which design did you enjoy working on the most?

Joan: I enjoy floral prints. I have always composed silk floral arrangements for my own enjoyment. Creating compositions is a satisfying hobby. It has been fun to move into surface design and create all the minute parts that I eventually compose and move into a repeat format.

Lana: Do you have a favorite design?

Joan: It is my favorite if it sells a lot…….LOL! I supposed my Jungle prints might be my favorite and they do sell well too.

Lana: What inspires you the most in your creative process?

Joan: Color experimentation is probably the part of the process that is the most fascinating. I’ve been amazed to watch colors interact with one another. Sometimes it seems as if they truly have a life of their own. It is more than simply selecting a color. It is the way one color may push another to seem quite different. I think of the colors similar to the way a choir might sing a chord. It is the way their resonance affects the mood.

Lana: When did you realize that you were a creative soul that has to create?

Joan: I remember a drawing from first grade, where my teacher was very complimentary. It was a blue compote fruit bowl with grapes draped over the edge of the bowl. I must have been a bit beyond the stick figures that are in the drawing on most six year old kids. My mom painted in oil back then and I no doubt was very inspired from those still life paintings.

Lana: What mediums do you work with to create your designs?

Joan: I like creating with computer graphics. Other mediums are just to messy and time consuming at this point in life.

Lana: Do you enjoy sewing as well as creating designs?

Joan: I have ventured into using a serger and absolutely love sewing with a serger. Any of my projects have to come together quickly and serger satisfies that requirement. I am creating peasant tops for my daughter and one seam pants for myself.

gardenia-pink-pajamas

gardenia-pink-pajamas

Lana: Are there other places you sell your designs?

Joan: I’ve sold designs on iPhone cases through Society6 and I’ve also had designs in a couple of off Broadway plays.

Lana: If you weren’t pursuing designing what would be your next favorite thing to do.

Joan: If I weren’t designing art………..I would probably spend a lot of time playing with music composition. I’ve learned rhythm guitar in the last few years and would like to have time for music. I’ve often described myself as “Joan of all trades”, as I enjoy learning creative processes.

I’m full time care giver to my special needs daughter, so all the creative pursuits have to be balanced with her special needs. She loves the surface designs and is always thrilled when our Spoonflower packages arrive in the mail.

It has been an amazing three years. I never imagined I could see my fabric and wallpaper selling all over the world.

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Jennifer Zimmerman is a quilter and teacher of quilting. I thought it would be fun to interview her. Jennifer makes quilting sound fun and inspires you to try it if you haven’t already.

What inspires you ?

The people I sew with and for inspire me. They come with eyes filled with hopeful expectation of translating their ideas into garments or quilts or being able to create something beautiful themselves with their own hands and my guidance. I have had the privilege of sharing in people’s graduations, weddings, school talent shows, baby showers, baptisms, birthdays, costume parties, and tributes. I’ve watched budding talents bloom.

Your quilt is beautiful. Tell me some more about that quilt.

My niece Elaina, then 6 1/2, wanted to make a bed size quilt like her aunt. She had just started taking sewing lessons with me and finished making a tied 12 block doll quilt for her favorite doll. I told her it would take a long time, but we could make a few sample blocks, figuring I would help her make a sampler. She went through my scrap tote and began oohing and aahing at some of my fabric scraps. She soon had a stack of what she wanted to use. Our first teachable moment came learning about color palettes and narrowing our candidates. I told her we could make a four patch next time she came. By the following week, I figured we could make large 18″ 4 patch blocks and assemble a queen size quilt and use most of her choices. Most first quilts are simple 4 patch blocks. After a few more lessons, she came over and saw my quilt book open to a Schoolhouse block quilt. I don’t even remember why I had that book out that day. Maybe we were going to use it to prop the foot pedal for her. She asked if we could make that block for her quilt, but she wanted it to look more like a house than a school or a cabin. I looked at the instructions and told her we could do it if I did a little math the next time we came. I translated the scale to a medallion size block. I sketched my idea for using her completed patchwork blocks as part of the border and waited for her comment. She liked it. She wanted to give the quilt to her Mom and Dad for Christmas–6 weeks away. After it was assembled, I sent it to my friend Tanya at Sew Crazy Quilts. She had better long arm skills and setup than I did at that time. I told Tanya I wanted to hand embroider the names and dates with Elaina using the chain stitch when she was done. She called me back about 15 minutes after I hung up the phone asking if Stephanie, her daughter, could machine embroider the names before she put it on her frame in the interest of time given I would not get the quilt back until 10 days before Christmas and Elaina and I were keeping this a secret. I said do it. Elaina’s needlework and hand sewing skills would have required a lot of stress-free patience to meet our deadline. I hand bound it for her to present Christmas Eve.

Do you have a longarm quilter or do you have someone else do that or do you hand quilt it?

I have an Easy Quilter 3.0 frame and use my Janome or Pfaff machines to quilt. I operate it much like a commercial long arm, but without the computerized bells and whistles of pre-set templates. I saw it and test drove it at International Quilt show with my Mom shortly and decided it was a best fit for my studio and business plan.

Do you design all your own quilts or use patterns that you purchase?

A lot of my quilts reflect a collection of ideas. I’ve combined appliquéd tea cup shapes autographed with birthday wishes with a bought pattern to achieve a look of individual tea settings. I’ve played with block arrangements of traditional patterns, serged seams to the outside in decorative threads, and often incorporate various sized T-shirts sleeves as fringe, memorabilia and fabricated photographs. I like to use up my stash which includes denims, bridal fabrics, and flannels. I usually make a sketch of the final product in pencil.

How did you get started quilting in the first place?

I started quilting shortly after my daughter was born–16 years ago. I wanted to expand my love for unique color blocked garments. I studied Shirley Adams and Sue Hausman on their PBS shows and planned projects using their techniques. I tried a couple wall hanging patterns and lap quilt kits. I got more serious after I was commissioned to make a tribute quilt for my friend, Gerard as a thank you gift from our church. I enjoy each phase of the quilting process. I get excited when I see the whole composition after laying out the blocks, sashing, and borders–instant gratification. I enjoy hand appliqué and hand binding my quilts the most. I find hand sewing of any kind relaxing.

I think you said you teach quilting, how did you get started teaching?

I started teaching sewing 10 years ago. I started teaching quilting about 4 years ago. Most of my quilts are by commission.

Jennifer can be reached at Jen Zimmerman, Seamstress in Grand Rapids, MI since 1998. 1-(616)-745-7569.

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