I'm so happy to bring you the second instalment in this series of conversations with our favourite designers. I remember my excitement the first time I saw Carolyn Friedlander's fabric. Everything about it appealed to me. It was finely detailed, looked like it had been drawn at a drafting table, it was uniquely cartographic, (and being a former geographer, maps are my favourite language) and it reflected her architecture roots, without looking like a blueprint.
Carolyn's style has grown and evolved but these elements remain. She's a master at blending deep intense colour with stark and pale prints. She also has a singular style for mixing hues.
There is something else that I really appreciate about Carolyn. Like many designers she demonstrates her amazing attention to detail, but in her case, this has extended to an appreciation for "slow sewing" and her influence has been spreading. Her book, Savour Each Stitch, and Slow Sewing Studio projects reflect this.
Here are Carolyn's engaging answers to my questions. And, a lovely surprise...
I love great design, especially surface design. I have an enduring curiosity and love for well executed colour and pattern. It's fabric is a muse for me or the creative "spark" in my sewing. The designers whose fabric you see at Fabric Spark are all super talented, inventive, and have the ability to get our imaginations firing because of their work.
Hello Designers! is a chance to get to know some of them a little better. I started by reaching out to one of my all time favourite fabric designers, Rashida Coleman-Hale. She very generously agreed to answer a few questions designed to give us a little more insight into how she works and who she is.
You can tell from her responses that she is charming, dedicated to her art, has a great sense of humour, and is generous (look how much time she spent on this!). Please read through to the end where I've posted some of my favourites of hers, and the reasons you will always find lots of her fabric at Fabric Spark.
Click to read more!
We have opened our big beautiful new sewing space and we are launching Open Sewing sessions on Wed. and on the first and third Wed of every month we are going to have "Sewing with a coach". Bring your project and your sewing machine and get tips, problem solve, share ideas and get unstuck from a problem with the talented, friendly, and expert Shirley Dawson.
Shirley is our sewing coach in residence starting April 5th and on the first and third Wed of each month following.
One of the nicest things to happen to fabric design in the last many years is the use of the full width. Selvedge to selvedge design means you have no "horizontal repeats" in the fabric. Japanese designers have been doing this for a long time (think Echino, Nani Iro, Koseki Suzuko. We're seeing more and more of it in North American modern fabric design, with Jane Sassaman and V and Co exploring ombres last year, and several of the Art Gallery designers adding a border print to their collections.
This season Melody Miller channeled her Japanese influences (she used to design for Kokka fabrics) and created "Confetti" in three beautiful colours for her Jubilee collection. These prints are striking and start you thinking about your patterns in totally different ways. Iron out the fold from the bolt and lay out your pattern pieces horizontally instead of vertically to take advantage of the fabric pattern and you're cooking. You can use a really simple pattern and let the fabric do all the work. The sample in the picture is from Melody's booth and has a great vintage vibe, but you could also make a simple shift dress or little a-line sleeveless for summer and the colour bands would create an excellent profile.
Lots of fabric inspiration this winter!
Mammoth Flannels are starting to arrive. We are mighty excited. I've been adding pictures to my Pinterest boards with lots of great ideas for garments and other goodies. If it has to be cold, it's good to have flannel, and plaid flannel is the best!
There are lots of good ideas for things to do with flannel if you're looking for a winter sewing project. Check here for inspiration
There is more coming so watch this space for lots of new fabric.
Hi Sewists to the south.
This is the time to be shopping north of the border. Right now the exchange rate for US dollars into Canadian dollars is very favourable.
For example, on August 3, 2016 VISA USA posted that it cost only $7.85 USD to buy $10.00 CAD worth of goods, (even if you're bank is charging a 2% foreign purchase fee).
That's like getting more than a 21% discount on the Canadian price.
Your dollars are worth that much more when you buy from a Canadian online fabric store. Exchange rates fluctuate so please check with your bank, Paypal or your credit card provider, but while the Canadian dollar is low, it's a great time to stock up.
Remember prices on the site are shown in Canadian dollars, if you're shopping with a US credit card or Paypal account, they will calculate the exchange when you make your purchase.