archive for 'resources'
apols for lack of v1044 pics – i got waylaid last night by the lure of burning stuff whilst drinking beer. hopefully i can catch a few tomorrow. may get a bit soggy though.
in the meantime, i bring you the pictorial guide to modern home needlecraft. it was my treat to myself for finishing the alice dress on time. i’ve only had a brief look through, but what really stands out to distinguish it from modern books (my edition says “reprinted 1946″) is the emphasis on “Mend and Make Do”.
the section entitled “Renovating, repairing and cutting down worn garments” is full of these kind of gems, i’m particularly taken by “camoflage for underarm shabbiness”
i also like the inclusion of underwear, something that rarely seems to get a mention these days. after being inspired by debi’s recent triumph with satinny things i get the feeling that slinkies might be somewhere on my horizon…
if you’re taken by these pics i have a few more on my flickr, or grab your own copy of mhn, can be easily found on ebay for a fiver or so.
- textile design development course notes from the south west institute of tafe.
- that link via true up (kim from dioramarama’s other home) which is turning out to be a fantastic source of info and inspiration. she also has an amazon shop piled high with indispensible books for fabriholics – imagine how happy you could make the fabriholic in your life who has a birthday coming up
- design sponge: how to make a repeat pattern: the cut-and-stick way. i used a great online tutorial for the photoshop offset filter to get started with my spoonflower fabrics but i can’t find it anywhere now – it used a photo of a flower and involved duplicating layers and erasing to the underneath one – don’t suppose anyone knows the one i mean?
- making plaids in photoshop from the plaid queen herself michelle of cicada studio
hopefully will come up with more links to drop here anon.
the whole spoonflower process is concentrating my mind wonderfully on colour profiles, colour spaces, colour modes… there’s an ongoing discussion on the spoonflower flickr group that is (slowly) enlightening me about all this stuff.
my only encounter with colour profiles to date has been the issue where i found my images appear much less saturated on flickr than they do in photoshop. in an attempt to address this i tweaked a few ps settings according to some random dude’s suggestions, without really understanding what i was doing, and ended up in sRGB. i don’t think this is the main cause of my colour shifts with spoonflower, but i don’t think it can have helped.
it does appear to have been the right thing to do for my saturation problem at least, according to this very helpful page: “Using Adobe RGB for web images leads to washed-out looking colors in applications that are not color aware (i.e. most web browsers)”.
but it looks as though i’m going to have to get a proper handle on the whole thing so i can flip between settings depending on what i’m working on. as part of my attempt to do that i’ll drop any helpful links i can find here:
- dry creek photo: colour management
- peggy jones on colour management, on colour settings, a gazillion other helpful digital imaging handouts
- computer-darkroom: soft proofing explains how to use the proofing view in photoshop (lol, the what? unconscious incompetence anyone ) and how to create a corrective layer group (where it refers to sets those are groups in cs2, who knows in cs3…). this depends on having a colour profile specific to your printer, when you install a device it has its own profile. i guess we need to ask whether spoonflower will supply us with ps profiles for their printer and in the meantime go through those we have and choose whichever looks nearest to the results we’re receiving.
- techexchange.com: colour management for digital textile printing i haven’t read this all the way through yet so not sure how relevant it is.
update: stephen at spoonflower says they are hoping to be able to make an icc profile available for download at some point in the future. yay
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…
just a couple for now, expect this to be updated.
radiant vista: i found this when searching for the photography podcast equivalent of craft sanity. nice long in-depth podcasts, message boards and genuinely useful multimedia content e.g. video photoshop tutorials and daily critiques.
anyone got any other good suggestions for me?
venturing tentatively into the online world of art quilts (why do i find the very idea so off-putting? i think my deeply ingrained art-scepticism instinctively baulks at it – to my mind the whole point of a quilt is that it keeps somebody warm) i’ve found a whole heap more links to drop for later reference:
ragged cloth cafe
art quilt reviews
squidoo: art quilts
quilting is apparently part of the fabric (heh) of society in the us, but here it feels like a rather unlikely thing to do. casting around to find some kind of british tradition i could link into i found quiltart. i’m especially taken by the work of elizabeth brimelow and ann fahy, both speak to the latent archaeologist in me. and for sheer fabric joy i don’t think mary fogg can be beaten.
early quilt history, wholecloth quilts, inc. welsh, at quiltersmuse.
vintage welsh quilts can be seen (and purchased) here. tangentially, she also has a stock of welsh nursing shawls, which i feel somehow duty-bound to at least have a try with, although the traditional carry is one-handed, rather than hands free. and on the same tangent i must remember to post a pic of my new mei tai – it’s one of the loveliest textiles that’s come into my possession in a loooong time.
quiltstory has an up to date list of uk exhibitions and events, as well as various articles with a uk slant.
fabric dyeing 101 – definitive dyeing resource (which will follow in due course, i have no doubt ) i’ve also really enjoyed reading her hard-won insights into running an art-based home business (ongoing series).
it seems to me that, when it comes to design, the victorian era is often overlooked. perhaps because it’s so ubiquitous – in the uk at least. huge swathes of our towns and cities were built in the 19th century, a quarter of us live in houses built before 1919. and if we don’t live in a victorian house, we’ve been accustomed to using victorian buildings all our lives, so much of our infrastructure – schools, hospitals, police stations, doctors’ surgeries, etc. – is housed in victorian buildings. victorian flourishes and flounces surround us; mouldings, coving, glorious decorative tiling that often survives on hallway floors or fireplaces; all are commonplace. and familiarity breeds contempt.
we only did away with the last of the surviving victorian interior aesthetic after the second world war, and not effectively like they did in the states. that dark wood furniture, those velvet curtains, those panelled doors, they lurked gloomily on for a long time. it’s stuffy, it’s fussy, it’s the antithesis of modern, and we all know how much we love modern. even those who dig old stuff tend to go for the atomic, the mid century, or simpler, rustic, country style. everyone (except perhaps the crazy quilter) neatly sidesteps victorian, it just isn’t cool.
i can’t say i’m any exception to the rule, but i do recognise that the more celebrated movements that grew out of the end of the victorian era – arts and crafts, art nouveau – had their roots well and truly in the victorian age. the modern was born out of the heart of the old fashioned. and i have a huge fondness for ceramic tiles, particularly victorian and islamic designs, which share a combination of botanical and geometric motifs, brought together with some kind of magic that must be specific to the medium (but to a degree is often echoed in textile design).
and i’ve already shared my love of browsing for original sources. so when i found a copy of f edward hulme’s suggestions in floral design (1878), a book that is apparently seminal in the development of art nouveau – most astonishingly – at a price that i could theoretically afford, how on earth could i resist?
i haven’t yet had a chance to read the text, i’ve been too distracted by the illustrations – crisp chromolithographs, many highlighted in gold. all astonishingly beautiful, and often surprisingly “modern”. sadly i don’t think i can afford to hold on to the book – i sank a chunk of my digital camera fund into the purchase, and i’m really aching to move on with that. so its stay with me will be temporary, but i’ve taken the chance to record all 52 plates while i have them, and put them into an inspirational flickr set. i’ll try to annotate the pics as i work my way through the text.
while it’s not the same as the stunning originals, the good news is that the illustrations at least are available in reprint under the title victorian floral designs in full color, although i don’t know whether the text is reproduced alongside them.
such beautiful designs couldn’t have been developed without a thorough understanding of the subject matter, and f edward hulme is probably best known today for his series of volumes illustrating familiar wild flowers, pages from which are readily available as prints. if you’re digging these as much as i am (heh, can you tell how much i dig them?) you might also be interested in christopher dresser’s studies in design, from the same era, available in reproduction.
honestly, this isn’t as o/t as it may at first appear. i was once (briefly) an archaeologist and have always found design inspiration in the ancient world. i was just reminded how drawn i am to the motifs on british celtic coins, in particular the horses. many of these coins were made in imitation of greek coins (the gold stater of philip II of macedon, in particular):
over time the designs evolved further and further from the original, becoming progresively more abstract:
you can still see the chariot wheel in both my examples. the cross/ear of corn type pattern on the obverse is derived from philip’s laurel wreath (and ears?).
i was searching for a book with plenty of illustrations to use as a design reference when i came across the ultimate resource; the celtic coin index online. there are thousands of images, you can browse by tribe and every image is accompanied by comprehensive information on its provenance, composition etc.
highly recommends a crochet book you have to sit up and take notice. i found one online for a very reasonable price (if you’re trying to track down an affordable copy don’t despair!) and snapped it up. i haven’t yet had a chance to settle down for a proper read, but i love that it gives you the real nitty-gritty knowledge that informs a real understanding of the structure of a crochet piece.
i love vintage craft books, i love having a less-well-known source of inspiration. that’s not saying that following a project word for word from a book no-one’s heard of has any greater merit than doing the same from stitch n bitch or knitty (and not knocking that, particularly as a way to pick up new skills, or as simple relaxation). but it offers an alternative aesthetic, as well as techniques that may have been overlooked by modern authors.
i was pretty excited when i heard via inaminuteago that a 1912 embroidery manual – embroidery and tapestry weaving by grace christie – had been added to the guttenberg project. and oh how disappointed i was when i realised that guttenberg doesn’t support illustrations. i mean how much use is that? i’m not a particularly visual learner, i like words (in case you hadn’t guessed ), but really, an embroidery manual without pictures?
i’ve also been browsing the art&design books on ebay and have found a few crackers, though they’ll have to wait for payday. i feel that going back to original sources like this forces creativity – the work isn’t done for you, you have to translate your inspiration into whichever medium you’re working. it’s reawakened my interest in acquiring a more systematic art education rather than the bits i’ve picked up piecemeal over the years. i still have half a shelf-full of art history books on extended loan that haven’t been read and are due back soon, so i’m going to try to work my way through them. now i just have to stop myself falling asleep in the middle of the greek classical period…
flickr: quilts and quilting
misc quilting links: handy info on various things to consider from quiltville including thread colour choice and pieced backings (plus lots else to browse).
standard quilt measurements
looooads of info at victoriana quilt designs
press your seams open
cutting – grain lines
piecing sharp points
hand piecing tips
perfect hand quilting stitch
yay for blogsurfing. a lovely step by step tutorial here for top-down socks, gansey style (which i’m guessing translates to guernsey this side of the atlantic?).
i’m back and i’m thinking fair isle, this is a great blog: can’t find a permalink for the entry, but scroll down for a list of technical knitting posts
Knitting Beyond the Hebrides – Lace Symposiummiles ahead of myself as usual
gypsy fabric (linen) by neisha crosland. i have such a big thing about ferns, ferns and palms, i think it’s harking back to a victorian thing.
since she doesn’t do the design as a wallpaper (by which i could potentially have been sorely tempted) and because one (enormous) panel of this weighs in at a whopping Â£160+ i shall have to file it under “inspiration” only. pah.
i’m a sucker for weirdy cameras and films – i’m particularly attached to the murky, out of focus, poor resolution, colour-casted pictures i’ve taken over the years. particular winners in those stakes were our first digi camera the matchbox sized l’espion (max 352 x 288 resolution ) and the instax mini with its fuji blues.
what particularly appeals about lomo is that it’s not a proprietory film format, so as long as there’s 35mm there’ll be lomo. i also like the idea of cross-processing slide film as negative to intensify the weirdy colour thing as seen here (lomo) and here (general). i just had a surprisingly helpful chat with jessops who said that while they won’t cross-process there is an online company who will, though i’ve yet to find them.
from having a quicky shufty about a lot depends on your processing. most places correct the colours, which is exactly what you don’t want. i’ve read advice to just slap a digi filter over a standard photo but that’s gonna take away the randomness of your weirdy effects and the interplay between the lens, the film and the light.
there’s a flickr group on xpro so i’ll have a read up there and maybe just play around with what weirdy effects i can get out of my slr before i start thinking about adding a lomo to my wishlist.
edit: peak imaging do mail order and they’ll xpro, and it sounds like snappy snaps are worth a try too.
- Machine Quilting
- batting faq
- major quilting inspiration (and tipping me over the edge into starting with this*) hillary lang of wee wonderfuls. how cool not only that a) she uses one of the fabrics i just bought in this quilt (second row from right, bottom square) but that b) i spotted it immediately on seeing the photo . that quilt is pretty close to what i’m currently imagining for my first attempt – geometric, largely white, but i’m thinking stripes.
- yet more inspiration contemporary-stylee from denyse schmidt.
- more inspiration from material obsession: an australian store so not great shopping potential but i like the way their deisgns tread so sure-footedly the line between trad and contemporary.
- forums: there’s a quilting forum at pr, which is rather quiet but there are many very experienced people there if i do have questions to ask; block central is the first of the quilt-only forums i’ve found that’s in a format i like but it is rather pink.
- discussion on preventing backings puckering: lots of good putting-together info here.
- equilters library
- paula reid tips & tricks
*lol i just saw the massive number of comments on the post, including one that says “I wonder how many people will make their first quilt because of this one” – count me in!
yay new category!
i’ll put all my links here and keep updating as and when:
self study resources:
designing britain: fabrics forming society
hand blockprinted textiles
common threads: unraveling the world of textiles
guggenheim arts curriculum online
some stand-out felty inspirations, mostly via craftster.
slice cushions: someone mentioned slicing felted balls and i instantly thought of making a long sausage shape and joining the circles together into a fabric. i love the execution of these, but i dread to think how big the inital roll must have been!
i love marijke eken’s use of texture and shape, especially in her panels (art>).
one thing i’ve learned on my mini tour of felt artists is is that i detest needle felted trolls
thesilkworker.com: fantastic resource for spinning silk which, typically, i didn’t find until after my first attempt.
as mentioned previously i’m going through a turquoise phase at the moment. turquoise and hot pink is my particular favourite combination. in that spirit i ordered turquoise silk and pink wensleydale locks from fyberspates (delivered in person – now that’s what i call service!). i didn’t intend to use them together but now i think i might have to.
i’ve spun up some of the silk on the wheel. it’s come out fat, soft and fluffy, which was rather a surprise. one of the things i’m really enjoying about the wheel is that it leads me – the yarns are much looser, noticeably less dense and more fluid than the rather over-analysed, often over-spun stuff i was turning out on the spindle. i’m sure that will change with practise, but for now it’s a pleasant change of pace.
i’m not sure whether the finished yarn will actually be any use for its intended purpose (bag strap, probably crocheted), but it’s been fun to get my hands on the wheel after a long time of being too busy to play (i’m really too busy tonight too but am bunking off – shhh!).
my spinning super power has returned – i spun 2 1/4-bobbins just trying out the silk, judged by eye. it turned out they were exactly the same length – to the inch – over 68 yards (and yes, thanks, this time i’m sure it’s yards ).
oh and have i mentioned how mch i love my skeiner? have i? well not today i haven’t. i LOVE my skeiner.
despite appearances to the contrary i haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, or stopped stitching, but i have been rather sidetracked by various things, mostly watching movies.
but all should be back on track soon, i went to a spinning workshop today, had my first ever try on a wheel and also came back with some mmmmm alpaca, hence the links.