link list

Sarah Jacoby sketchbook

Sarah Jacoby sketchbook

Sarah Jacoby  "I'm a first year MFA student at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Illustration Practice. It's a new program and we're all producing really interesting work. I'm originally from Philadelphia and studied English in school, but after a few years of experiencing some pretty mundane/aimless jobs, I've returned to school to pursue my passion for illustration and design. My initial intention was to do book or editorial work, but I find myself doing a lot of patterning and textile work. I'm quite enjoying myself and am really looking forward to what my future may hold."

Blank Sheet Time Capsule  Creatives from all areas of the arts and design will populate the Time Capsule with a personal vision of ‘Design and Creativity in 2023’. The only constraint is that each contribution must start with a blank sheet of paper, regardless of whether it ends up as an object, an image, a movie or some other creative or art format. 

Charlotte Linton printed scarves  Inspired by the rich history of craft and manufacturing in Scotland, Charlotte has drawn upon traditions such as boat building, weaving and printing, and historical artefacts such as the Lewis Chessmen and Pictish stones. Reworking classic shawls such as the Paisley and the shepherd’s shawl, she has added her signature contemporary edge with hand drawn and painted imagery.

Love on the Run  From February 9 – 10 Porridge Papers, Lincoln’s nationally recognized handmade papermill and letterpress studio, is hosting the 6th Annual Love On The Run. The public is invited to stop by Porridge Papers, 1422 South Street, to type their own love note on antique typewriters that will then be rolled up into glass bottles, placed into handmade paper bags, and delivered to your Valentine free of charge.  

Erick Wolfmeyer

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written by Linzee Kull McCray

Though he embraces a traditional craft, Erick Wolfmeyer says he’s on the margins of the quilting world. “I don’t belong to a guild or go to quilting conventions,” he says. “I just happen to work in that medium.”

Erick—who has a BFA in photography—started quilting on a whim in 1990, when he was drawn to the graphic beauty of Amish quilts and stitched a baby quilt for friends. “None of this was planned,’” he says. “I just had a general sense that I needed to do this. People saw something in my work and that was great encouragement when times were tough.”

Times were tough in part because of Erick’s dedication to his art. His quilts often take up to six months to make and to support himself he drove a school bus and lived in a rural town, where rents were cheap. Though he’s moved into a city and has a fulltime job, he still works in the same way, completing one quilt at a time, then giving away or selling it. While his quilts could be used on a bed—they are intensively pieced and employ no embellishments—they most often adorn a wall. “I think of myself as a painter in fabric, making abstract art,” he says. “It’s the shapes, colors, design, and movement I’m drawn to.”

Even so, Erick has deep respect for traditional quilters and little concern about engagement in an arena traditionally populated by women. “I try to leave gender out of it—it’s about whether the work can stand on its own,” says Erick. “I balance seeing its infinite possibilities with staying true to a medium and history so tightly woven with women.”

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Indeed, quilting is a thread that purposefully ties Erick to women—specifically the mother who gave him up for adoption when he was seven months old. “For most of us, some things in life don’t work out as we’d planned,” he says. “Women lose kids, kids lose their moms. I’m working it out through my quilts.”

Recognition of those quilts is growing. In September, Erick was one of five quilters invited to China as part of the U.S. embassy-sponsored Sum of Many Parts: 25 Quiltmakers from 21st Century America. Another quilt recently appeared in Material Men: Innovation and the Art of Quilting in LaConner, WA. While he’s grateful for the accolades and opportunities, Erick’s commitment to quilting doesn’t depend on it.

“My perception of quilting hasn’t changed—the heart and the essence of it are still the same,” he says. “If the shows and fabrics and markets disappeared, I’d still make quilts, even if I had to chop up my clothes. I forever have the compulsion to keep recreating a whole—to put pieces back together. This is how I do it.”

parson gray

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Parson Gray is the brand name of David Butler's fabric, accessories and home textiles company. The Butler name is a big one in the craft world: David's wife is non other than Amy Butler. David is a graphic designer, photographer and musician who somehow finds time to design fabric, canvas bags and rugs.

Ryan Walsh quilts

Here's a random find: Ryan Walsh is a funeral director, dad and self-taught quilter. 

calling all iowans

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There is an upcoming gathering for the creative and curious in Iowa City. New stockist, Home Ec. Workshop is hosting a party on January 25 to celebrate the local connections of an article in issue #16. The piece explores the work of Sonya Darrow who draws upon her Czech heritage and local goodwill as a source for her folkloric creations. The profile was written by Linzee Kull McCray, photographed by Heather Atkinson with make-up services provided by Tonya Kehoe-Anderson. 

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robert kaufman fabrics

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I see the name "Robert Kaufman Fabrics" a lot (and there are usually fat quarters piled in my fabric stash in my basement), but I never knew who Robert Kaufman was...

He was a Russian immigrant born in 1899 who came to America. The company website goes into detail on his journey from owner of a menswear business in New York in the 1920s to a fabric manufacturer in Los Angeles in the 1950s. The company was later run by his sons, and now his grandsons are in charge.

The company's current CEO, Ken Kaufman, made this documentation of the long (and geographically expansive) process of making their fabric today.

Robert Kaufman fabric Architextures designed by Carolyn Friedlander. Click on the photos for credits.

Robert Kaufman fabric Architextures designed by Carolyn Friedlander. Click on the photos for credits.

During the research for this post, I inadvertently fell in love: with these new fabrics designed by Carolyn Friedlander. (Another architect-turned-quilter!)

I hope my local fabric stores will be stocking this range. These designs would be wonderful for mixing into a modern quilt. 

I hope my local fabric stores will be stocking this range. These designs would be wonderful for mixing into a modern quilt. 

Kaffe Fassett

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Kaffe Fassett is not afraid of colour and pattern. Even if you're not into quilting (or knitting or needlework, his other areas of expertise), it is well worth your time to look at Kassett's work for its exuberant hues and daring excessive designs. More is more in his world and though it is not often to my taste, one could definitely be inspired to pair some shocking textiles together for some graphic punch amongst a calmer backdrop.

This image of Kaffe is from his most recent book, Dreaming in Color (published by Abrams). Publisher's synoposis:

Kaffe Fassett has led an extraordinary life and is a captivating storyteller with a vivid memory. Born in 1937, he spent much of his youth in Big Sur, California, where his parents bought a cabin from Orson Welles and transformed it into the world-famous Nepenthe restaurant, a gathering place for artists and bohemians. After attending a boarding school run by the disciples of Krishnamurti, an Indian guru, he studied painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, then traveled to England, where he made his home. After an inspiring trip to Inverness, Scotland, Fassett began designing knitwear for Bill Gibb, and then the Missonis, Vogue magazine, and private clients like Lauren Bacall and Barbra Streisand, and, in the process, revolutionized the handknitting world with his explosive use of color. Further explorations led him to needlepoint, mosaics, rugmaking, tapestries, yarn and fabric design, costume and set design, and quilting. Now in his seventies, Fassett continues to produce new work and to travel worldwide to teach and lecture. In this intimate autobiography, Fassett shares rich, detailed stories about his lifelong creative journey as well as hundreds of glorious photos taken along the way.

men in quilts

When I'm preparing content for the blog, I sometimes like to pick a topic and just search and browse and brainstorm and see what comes up. For me, it is a really fresh way to find content to post... rather than just visiting my usual roster of popular blogs, I find new sites and usually discover a wormhole of interesting things.

My topic this week started broadly as men in craft, but, inspired by Adrienne Breaux's profile of Luke Haynes in the current issue (that's him in the video above) and yesterday's feature on the quilting fabric designs by Mark Cesarik, I decided to focus on "men in quilts."

I encourage you to pick up issue #16 to discover more about Luke Haynes, an architect-turned-quilter.

Luke is often the subject of his own quilts.

Luke is often the subject of his own quilts.

"My most recent works have been investigating nostalgia and function. I work with quilts because they embody these subconsciously while lending a unique materiality to the process and resultant product. I can work with disparate pieces of fabric and create a cohesive final product that is greater than the sum of its parts."

Mark Cesarik fabric designs

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Mark Cesarik is a designer and artist in New York who collaborates regularly with Freespirit Fabrics on fabric collections. "I'm very happy to be partnered up with Freespirit — it's a great outlet for people who love sewing and quilting but also have a higher fine arts sensibility. My background is fine art, illustration and design and I'm not a quilter or sewer, but fortunately my wife Cara is really locked in to whole craft/DIY thing." 

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In the images above, Mark shares a preview from a forthcoming collection inspired by the colours and activities of Summer Camp. "My design process starts off in a sketchbook and then is brought into illustrator for vector and repeat creation. It's a really enjoyable process."

See more of Mark's digital artwork on Not a Gallery and his portfolio site.

embroidery bee

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The starting point of our embroidery were iron image patterns from Sublime Stitching. We selected from Sexy Librarians and Kittens.

The starting point of our embroidery were iron image patterns from Sublime Stitching. We selected from Sexy Librarians and Kittens.

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We sure had a fun time on Saturday at the Embroidery Bee at Stash. Thanks, Veronica! Thanks, Jenny!

the mill

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There's a new store in North Vancouver that looks quite nice. The Mill is a furniture and  interior design shop that features vintage finds, textiles, upholstery and gift items such as cards and jewellery with a focus on local and handmade goods from the Vancouver and Pacific Northwest area. Looks like a nice place to visit!

thread week: an eclectic stash

Artist: Vicky Lindo

Artist: Vicky Lindo

As this post goes live, we'll be deep in the midst of thread, vintage finds and crafty friends. Sounds like a perfect Saturday eh? When Janine recently visited STASH, and discovered a kindred spirit, we knew it would be the perfect place to hold our Embroidery Bee and Issue #16 launch. 

In addition to her thriving business, STASH proprietress Veronica Murphy maintains an amazingly eclectic Pinterest pressence. If you aren't able to join us visiting her boards will give you a taste of the STASH experience. 

Artist: Jose Romussi Image Source: The Jealous Curator

Artist: Jose Romussi
Image Source: The Jealous Curator

thread week: the sublime Jenny Hart

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We've been getting ready for our Issue #16 launch with Sublime Stitching. Their excitement for their craft is infectious and prompted us to pick up our needles.

Jenny Hart is the Founder/Owner of 
Sublime Stitching. After looking at her work, it's shocking to discover that she's only been embroidering since 2000. Her works have appeared in numerous books and magazines including Vogue and Rolling Stone.  

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thread week: knit collage

Knit Collage makes stunning yarns. The textures, colours and intricate details are so appealing that I just want to keep one... as a pet! I could scarcely bring myself to unwind one they are such gorgeous objects on their own.

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With playful textures, sparks, sequins, silk flowers, ribbons and other surprises spun throughout, each is a delightful surprise. Obviously labour-intensive, Knit Collage yarns are made in India. Their website shares the story:

All of our spinning takes place in India, where we recently moved our studio. With the hope of creating work for uneducated women in Punjab, we spend (and still spend!) countless hours teaching the ladies how to craft the yarns on traditional spinning wheels. Through much patience and hard work, more and more women are slowly becoming spinning experts. We now proudly employ 36 women there and that number is growing every month. Not all of those women are spinners, we also rely on ladies to card fiber, crochet tiny flowers and organize the other trims that will later be spun. Our manager also checks and packages each and every skein for quality. Truly each yarn is specially handcrafted with love and care! Through our tiny operation, we hope to create beautiful yarns and better the lives of the women who craft them along the way. We also hope that by sharing our vision of the world through our yarns, we will inspire creative freedom in the people who love and use them.

Knit Collage was founded by Amy Small, who used to design sweaters for Free People and has been hand-spinning wool since 2005.

Amy spinning. Photo via Jimmy Beans Wool blog.

Amy spinning. Photo via Jimmy Beans Wool blog.

Read an interview with Amy on the Jimmy Beans Wool blog.
Read an interview with Amy on the Jimmy Beans Wool blog.

Here in Calgary, folks can find Knit Collage yarns at Stash (where we're having our Embroidery B and issue 16 launch this Saturday!)

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MW Fiber Arts on Etsy: Unique Fibers for Distinctive Projects. yum.

thread week: be crewel

by Splink on Flickr

by Splink on Flickr

Daisychain ABC sampler by Alicia Paulson

Daisychain ABC sampler by Alicia Paulson

Crewel yarns from Knitsquirrel via Pinterest

Crewel yarns from Knitsquirrel via Pinterest

Woolly Embroidery published by Chronicle Books

Woolly Embroidery published by Chronicle Books

Thrifted crewel by Woolly Fabulous on Flickr

Thrifted crewel by Woolly Fabulous on Flickr

Pincushions made from crewel work pieces. By Woolly Fabulous.

Pincushions made from crewel work pieces. By Woolly Fabulous.

Rosanna Geissler

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Machine embroidered works by Rosanna Geissler.

BLOG     FLICKR     ETSY

thread week + type tuesday = MaricorMaricar

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One cannot have a "thread week" and "type tuesday" without mentioning the incredible talents of MaricorMaricar:

I am so pleased that we have been able to feature their work in UPPERCASE magazine a few times. Most recently, MaricorMaricar made the letter Z for Issue 15's Beautiful Bitmaps.

Available as a print in the UPPERCASE Society 6 shop.

Available as a print in the UPPERCASE Society 6 shop.

Visit their Big Cartel shop for this print.

Visit their Big Cartel shop for this print.

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thread week: Rebecca Ringquist

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Erin has declared 2013 the "year of embroidery" and I would have to agree with her! To encourage your yearlong pursuits of the thread arts, may I direct you to the Etsy shop of Rebecca Ringquist ... Dropcloth offers some fun and instructive samplers.

"In the summer of 2010, on a whim, I designed and printed an embroidery sampler, and sold over a hundred of them at the Squam Art Sale. Word got around the blog-o-sphere, and one thing led to another. Seven more have been designed and printed as multiples since. I am so grateful for the popular interest in these samplers. Although they are separate from my studio practice, they certainly are informed by my artwork and most definitely help support my artwork."

Speaking of her studio practice, feast your eyes on these gorgeous pieces:

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Watch the great video about Rebecca over on CreativeBug.

thread art DIY

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The ManMade site has a systematic DIY for making thread and nail art.