archive for June, 2008
the fabric is nice – a standard quilting cotton from what i can see. i won’t prewash as they’re destined for a quilt and i want it to do the first wash puckering thing. the quality of the print is good, with just the faintest banding in areas of solid colour.
the colours are quite different to what i envisaged. now i don’t think this is a problem at spoonflower’s end at all, but i think it will probably be an issue that will arise again and again for them. simply because colour ?management ?profiling (see i don’t even know what it’s called!) is an arcane art to (i would hazard a guess) most of us eager-but-green users. translating screen into print is not straightforward, and i imagine there are more than a few numpties who are trying to design on laptops too
so for the record here’s how my (laptop *hangs head*) screen image translated into print:
- the image reproduced at 60% of the screen size. having read scanning101 (recommended to anyone who wants to get a firm grasp of image size/resolution etc.) i was at least expecting that. i was also expecting some colour variation but had no way to predict which way it would go.
- overall the prints came out much yellower than on screen, and more washed out. i had some strong reds that came out orange, as did my browns, pinks came out peach, oranges came out yellow. so the palette is reduced to yellows and oranges without the variation it had on screen.
- to match the printed fabric on-screen i had to crank the yellow right up, the red right down and lighten strongly
see now i’m totally lost if anyone has any pointers i’d really love to hear them…
all that said, i always try to nail the things i’d do differently next time when i post them here – i know it can come across as criticism, but really it’s me writing down everything i’ve noted during the process, it doesn’t mean i’m not happy with the outcome. i’m truly delighted with the fabrics, i think they’re cute as can be.
i wanted to make a co-ordinating range, i wanted to try various different scales, i wanted to experiment with directional and non-directional prints. i really love the large scale print, it’s absolutely something i couldn’t have bought off the shelf and i had fun designing it.
so a definite thumbs up for spoonflower, stay tuned to see how the fabrics end up – i’m itching to play with them sooner rather than later.
just dropping a couple of links here for reference for future/current projects:
linda has a wonderfully detailed hand piecing tutorial, with all kinds of useful tips. whilst i’m not working on anything near as intricate as a dear jane, it’s nice to know the proper way of doing things in case i ever get to the stage when it matters if things line up!
lisa has a very clear and helpful tutorial on piping on the u-handbag blog. i dug out my notes from the couture handbag class i took years ago as that had a piping method, but it turns out the pdfs are password protected and i can’t find my registration info anywhere i’m sure the method was different, but tbh i remember finding the piping a pita then, so hopefully this way will be easier.
i knew i wanted it both lined and bound, which led to a little head-scratching over how to sew the neck strap into the seam, whilst running the binding all around. it ended up with a little gap on the back, but i’m pleased with how neatly i managed the join at the front, and the mitred corners. i’m not happy with the binding at all though really – it’s too thin so the pattern shows through, and i’ve no idea how it will stand up to washing. this is one of the reasons that i find it easier to make things to give away, as then i won’t be looking at it all the time and wishing i’d done it different, so it’s easier to let the mistakes go (as i’m fairly sure that they don’t stick out like sore thumbs to other people like they do to me).
oh as for scale, it’s a 2nd birthday present, so fairly tiny. i hoped that the pink trim would lift the rather sophisticated print and make it more kid-friendly. i packed it with miniature pots, pans, cutters, utensils and a rolling pin (courtesy of ikea) so i hope the recipient will have fun spotting all the different items on the fabric.
largely inspired by the sets manda was doing at treefall a little while back.
i only just discovered that jude hill of spirit cloth has another blog: what if where she details her experiments. surprisingly, i think these experimental pieces in themselves appeal to me even more than her finished work.
partly it’s that their simplicity appeals to me aesthetically, more so than the super-elaborate layer-upon-layer approach. but, less superficially, i think it also reflects the stage that i’m at with my craft. i’m very much still serving my apprenticeship, experimenting with fabric and stitch. and while i know that experimentation never stops, there comes a point where it begins to crystalise into accomplished, coherent work, and i know i’m nowhere near that stage yet. so the more basic, unfinished, developing work appeals directly to me at an unconscious level.
i love following the work of women who have a totally different aesthetic sense to mine.
i feel that it goes some way towards protecting me from the unconscious copying we all fall prey to sometimes. something striking lodges deep inside your mind and when it re-emerges in your work you forget where it came from – until, that is, you realise everyone else is mysteriously doing exactly the same i tend to shy away from some of the bigger craft blogs for just that reason – particularly those that seem to share my aesthetic – for fear of my own little voice becoming overwhelmed.
and that’s leaving aside the conscious copying that goes on, particularly on the commercial side. as soon as someone talented becomes successful a whole raft of copies seems to flood the market (i.e. etsy, lol). i find it hard to understand how anyone can really enjoy making totally derivative work (leaving aside the ethical issues). it’s even not as though there’s any money in it, surely, especially since the copyists always undercut the originators. i guess they’ve totally convinced themselves that being “inspired” by something and copying it with the odd tweak here and there are actually the same thing.
which brings me back to inspiration – the inspiration i draw from people like jude and shannon is as much to do with process as with product. the way they approach their work is honest and individual, it emerges organically from ideas and memories, rather than superficially, looking like something else they saw somewhere.
i’m setting out to strive for that kind of authentic voice (or at least be transparent about my sources when i am blatantly ripping off). coincidentally, it’s lovely to see manda developing creatively too, and finding satisfaction in it.
inspiring women, all.
somebody please buy this, it is the most beautiful thing i’ve seen in months: the fishing line. if i weren’t utterly stony broke from spending all my money at spoonflower (oops!) i’d be finding many ways of talking myself into needing it. (via whipup)
if i ever get the time to prioritise working on my embroidery skills i know exactly what i’ll make: a pair of samplers, one in shades of green, with trees, each tree worked in a different stitch, ditto with fish in blue. but in the mean time, i think i can i can feel some fish bunting coming on…
so i dug out my faithful old janome at last (first time since G was born ).
i remember my mum buying this machine, i must have been 12 or so, more than 20 years ago (gulp). it’s still in mostly working order, its worst glitch was when it stopped reversing, but that was fixed with a service. it has minor bobbin winding issues, but every time i think it’s on its last legs (and i’m eying the quilting machines lustfully) it recovers sufficiently to
thwart my plans earn its keep.
with my stash all newly-organised (pics to follow, promise) i managed to find the right fabrics for this project, i even unearthed some home made bias tape, but sadly my tape folder eluded me. or that is, it eluded me until about half an hour ago, when i’d already completely committed to the (poor-substitute) commercial tape cos i couldn’t face turning miles of the stuff by hand/eye. well, specifically, until i’d run out of commercial tape
so the reveal will have to wait for monday, when i can get another half-meter of tape and finish. still, it’s good to be back in the saddle.
*sharp intake of breath*
*adds to wishlist*
*crosses off wishlist*
*adds to wishlist*
via margaret cooter
i’ve been out of the loop for a long time. when i’m not in a crafting/blogging phase i don’t read other people’s blogs at all, so i miss all the exciting developments. so i’m sure this is old news to the rest of the world but i’m still squeeing in delight over spoonflower and the possibilities it raises. i’ll be interested to hear more about the inks and durability of the prints as per the comment on this post.
as my brain fizzed with excitement a realisation dawned: i’m not actually that interested in fabric for a purpose, my excitement comes from the fabric itself. i’m not full of ideas for prints that i just can’t find in order to complete that perfect *insert FO here*. when i sew my joy comes from working with (and acquiring, natch) fabrics, rather than the construction of a garment. i suppose that’s why quilting appeals to me so much, as it’s the creation of a new fabric from existing ones. and why i love blankets and tea towels too – there’s nothing standing between you and the fabric. i’m endlessly fascinated by the structure of fabrics, and the techniques and materials used to create them. (oh dear i feel the inevitable pull of a new weaving category again ).
so i think the urge to create fabrics for their own sake – to sit in my cupboard of cloth, neatly folded and beautifully co-ordinated – will be a strong one, that i will need to resist. but oh! the possibilities…
here we are again, flickering back into life (although not flickring, no time to post pics). i’m stupidly busy at the moment, but i can feel an end in sight. we had some work done on the house which entailed moving out for nearly a month and weeks of painting before things can get back into place. but it’s finally coming together at last.
the upshot of all this work is a gloriously peaceful new bedroom (even with piles of bags and half-made furniture it’s pretty calm) and – squee! – a play/work room, which is to be shared, but means i’ll finally have a dedicated place to work. i’m still putting the flatpacks together, but when that’s done i’ll have a proper home for all (i hope!) my materials (it’s a very big cupboard ) instead of everything being stuffed into random nooks and crannies all over the place.
and the prospect of a work space is sparking off all kinds of new projects and ideas. the 365 is still ongoing although i’ve stumbled badly recently, but the fibre and fabric is calling again. so i should finally have blogworthy news.
baby G turned 1 10 days ago. life moves on