November 1, 2011

Inspired by Shape and Texture

It was a beautiful morning.  The sun was shining.  Oscar the Golden Retriever wanted to play outside.  And I needed inspiration.  Again.

Fall is my favorite season and a fading fall garden is filled with non-floral beauty.

 Spores on stately ferns.

The sweetness of the last of the blackberries.

The smooth drupe of the Japanese Snowdrop tree and a sky of extraordinary blue.

 Amazing technicolor leaves.

 And Oscar the Golden Retriever. (I think he is looking for his favorite stick.)

What inspires you?

August 31, 2011

Venice Button Jumper

This little jumper was created from our Venice Chemise and Capri pattern (more details on how that was done next time).  

The dark olive corduroy and vintage-look buttons are nice for fall and school and cooler weather fun times.

  To begin, I sewed up one side seam of the skirt, placed the long skirt piece on my work surface, dumped out the buttons and started playing. 

I tried wavy lines of buttons, pointy lines of buttons, shapes and random button scatterings. 

After each new attempt I would walk away and come back as though viewing it for the first time.  (My design instructor called this "sampling".)  Sometimes I'd leave a design for a few hours.  Being able to view your design from a distance is helpful, as well, as this is generally how it will be viewed by others.  Because the buttons were just laying on the fabric and were not attached, the best I could do was kind of a side view from across the room.

I tried lots of designs before settling on the button "flowers" on the skirt.

I glued them down with a washable fabric glue and began the task of sewing each button to the jumper.

Since I was using 5 different color buttons, I chose the same 5 colors for thread.

Never matching the thread color to the button color I began stitching.  Sometimes I used two colors of thread on one button.  I stitched the buttons on differently, as well. 

Sometimes with an "x".

Or two bars.

Or one bar.

Keep in mind that buttons have two right sides.  The right side and the other right side.

The point was to be creative and have fun.

So today we re-purposed a pattern and found a use for a lot of random buttons.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

August 9, 2011


What inspires you?

Whether we work in fabric, paper or yarn - ideas for the next project are all around us. 

Finding inspiration in nature is one of the most readily available and easiest for me.  Flowers, leaves, bugs or the colors of a sunrise all push me to study further.  I also find inspiration in magazines.  I go through my favorites tearing out pages of anything that interests me.  Sometimes it's just the colors on the page that make my heart be faster.

This is a page from my sketchbook that was inspired by a magazine ad. 

One of my artist friends always carry a camera with her and has created some amazing artwork inspired by buildings and the sun reflecting off the windows.  Another artist friend  has done some wonderful pieces inspired by bridges. 

Each artist's view of the world is unique.  No one sees flowers or leaves the way you do or can interpret their beauty in their work the same way you do.

So tell me, what inspires you?

February 22, 2011

Project Linus "Make a Blanket Day"

I was so happy to be able to be a part of the Project Linus "Make a Blanket Day" on Saturday.  I wish I had remembered to bring a camera because the organization and cooperation among those participating (approximately 50) was awesome!

Thanks to your generosity we were able to bring some completed blankets with us! 

Their goal was to complete 100 blankets during the 5-hour event.  The previous event (this chapter usually has 3 per year) they completed 160 blankets.

The participants were all busy at work in specific work groups. 

There were many quilt tops or whole cloth tops waiting.  The quilt tops are completed ahead of time and are brought to this event.  (This group meets once a week to complete tops, or work on other types of blankets - crocheted or knitted.)  Some quilt tops were complex, some were whole cloth panels, some were simple block patterns. 

These completed quilt tops were given to a group where batting and backing were cut and pinned to it. 

Quilts then travelled to the sewing area where many angels with machines were at work attaching labels, sewing 3-1/2 sides together and then turning the quilt like a pillowcase.  The quilt was then top-stitched near the outer edge to give an appearance of a binding and a more finished look.

The quilts were then sent to the pinning table where workers (surrounded by tubs of safety pins and straight quilt pins) were deciding whether a quilt would be machine quilted or tied.  Safety pins told "tie-ers" where to tie and straight pins guided the machine quilters.  

Most quilts were hand tied.  The tables of hand tie-ers looked like an old-fashioned quilting bee.  Quilts of all sizes and colors were surrounded by smiling people hard at work. 

Thanks to generous donations, the room was stacked high with completed quilts, bolts and bolts of fabric and batting and other notions. 

To add to the fun there was food and a door prize drawing every 30 minutes or more. 

While quilt tops are completed before the event there was some crocheting and knitting going on, as well.  What a fun way to spend an afternoon.   

What a wonderful use of fabric scraps and stash!  If you'd like to help there are many ways.  Project Linus can always use:

1.  Completed blankets (sewn, crocheted or knitted).  

2.  Quilt tops or whole cloth tops.

3.  Fabric donations.

4.  Sewing notion donations.

5.  Cash donations.  Send to Project Linus HQ.

Send quilts to us (we'll make sure they get to the right people) or to your local Project Linus chapter. 

The Karen Faylor Company
PO Box 112
9800 Harbour Place, Suite 204
Mukilteo, WA  98275