Monday, April 23, 2018

Fabric Designer

I am now designing my own fabric!  I joined Spoonflower last year but didn't really understand how it worked until last weekend when I decided to play around on it some more.  Spoonflower is a website that allows you to create and sell your designs on fabric, wallpaper, gift wrap, drapery and much more.
If you want to get your creative juices flowing, Spoonflower has design contests.  They post a theme and leave it up to you to do the rest.  This weeks theme is "Endangered species" and since my nine-year-old loves rhinos I decided to take on the challenge.  I drew a zentangle rhino then shrunk it down to the appropriate size for a fabric print.



There are also a few drawing apps I use on my phone to create abstract designs like this:



When I was in church on Sunday I kept looking at the architecture of the building.  I took a few photos, changed them to black and white, and after sizing and mirror-imaging them I came up with another beautiful print.  This is the initial photo I used:




Tuesday, when I was on a field trip with my son's class, I took a picture of this little frog.  I first manipulated the colors in the picture, mirror imaged him, then turned him into fabric as well:


You can be a customer or vendor or both!  Here is a link to my virtual storefront but I encourage you to use the search engine and look up anything your little heart desires.  I can almost guarantee someone will have designed exactly what you are looking for.

My shop name is October Cat Studios, the link is October Cat Studios

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Quilt Guild Challenge

I belong to my local quilt guild in Lexington, VA (Rockbridge Pieceworkers Quilt Guild) and this year we did the two-color crayon challenge.  This was a lot of fun because the two colors I got could not have been more appropriate for me...
PURPLE AND ORANGE!!!
What luck because my favorite holiday is Halloween!  We could also add black, white or beige to our quilt but at least 51% needed to be our chosen colors.

Anyone who follows my work knows that I'm an out of the box thinker when it comes to my artwork.  I have made traditional quilts in the past but I consider myself a textile artist who creates art quilts; wall hangings that incorporate various textiles and most of the time an "unusual object" of some sort.

With this in mind, I went to Pinterest for inspiration.  I found a watercolor and ink painting of a female in a beautiful ball gown.  That was it!! (Pinterest link)  Using my purple and orange colors, I was going to transform this girl from a stunning blue dress to a Halloween Masquerade Ballgown!

I first researched the artist that painted "my inspiration" and her name is Inslee Haynes (or Inslee Fariss).  She is a New York City-based artist and illustrator and she can be found at Inslee By Design.

I then graphed the design to the largest size I could without going over the requirements for the challenge (100" perimeter)

My next step was to cut out my pattern and quilt a background for her.  I found this chandelier fabric at Walmart (cringe!) and I went into my fabric stash for the realistic looking wood fabric.
The quilt peeking out from the right is my Steampunk quilt

Next, let's start designing her ball gown!  Ball gowns are traditionally "pouffy and sparkly" and I enjoy beadwork and embroidery so I knew this was going to be the focal point of my design.  I went through my stash of orange and purple ribbons, beads, embroidery floss, felt and paint.  I then sat for a few days looking at what I had... waiting for inspiration.  I always tell my husband that I could never be on Project Runway because they have no time to sit with their project, they just have to cut and sew and cut and sew.  I am a slower designer.  I have to do a few steps then let it hang there for a few days and even maybe a few months!

Then inspiration hit:



We traveled (from Virginia) to Indiana for Thanksgiving and to Wisconsin for Christmas.  I needed handwork for the car and this was the perfect opportunity to finish her ballgown.

I used beige felt for her head and arms and permanent brown and black markers for shading on her arms and to draw her face.  I initially cut and sewed brown felt for where I was going to put her hair but I knew I would be covering up most of the brown felt with "3-D hair."

And then came the hair...(which I hand sewed in place)


Over the Christmas holidays, I found a white chandelier ornament that I wanted to use.  I wasn't sure how I was going to incorporate it into my quilt but it looked just like the printed background fabric.

Next came the paint and the clay.  I painted the chandelier purple and orange and added the same color beads.  I then made a masquerade mask out of orange and purple Sculpey clay then glued sequins to the mask and the mask to the stick.


Next the chandelier.  I knew where I wanted to put it on the quilt but it was big and bulky.  I remembered a wall hanging I made 8-10 months ago where I cut a hole through the quilt and strung a spider web through it.  Problem solved!

I felt like her hair needed something else, like a hair clip so something.  So I made this out of Sculpey clay also, the same material as the mask.


The challenge isn't until March's meeting so this hasn't been seen by anyone in my guild yet.  I hope that it has enough of the two colors for the challenge but if not it was a blast making it anyway.



Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Happy New Year!!

I have finished up a lot of my projects over the holidays and I can't wait to share them with you!  I'm still in the process of organizing the photos of my many projects but I have a lot of new and exciting things to show you.

My first love has always been photography and with the all of the photo apps out there now one can do amazing things with one's photos.  Over Christmas, we were visiting family in WI, and we ate brunch at "The Old Feed Mill" in Mazomanie, WI.  (Link here) I took this photo from the outside of the building:

I used one of the many photo apps to create these:




I took this photo at the bar area inside the old feed mill:

And these are just a few of the altered photos of this same photo:





If you are an artist like me, please look into these apps.  Most of them are free and it allows you to see your photos as if they were painted in watercolors or pastels, charcoal or pencils.