Saturday, January 25, 2014

how I fell in love with fabric

I haven't always been so emotional about fabric. It used to just be material -- something that clothes and sheets and curtains happen to be made of; something that I could pick up at Walmart, in lurid colours, for $3 a yard. It was mundane; something to be used, but not loved.

And then, back in 2012, I happened across Leslie Keating's hand-printed fabrics, and everything changed.

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Suddenly, immediately, I saw that fabric could be used for so much more than just the practical. Sewing (for me) was no longer limited to poorly-made baby clothes, badly-hemmed table runners and fraying cloth napkins.

Beauty was possible. Beauty was probable, with the right fabrics. I felt it, physically, in my chest, and fell completely in love -- with the perfect colours, the unique designs.

And along the way, I found other designers whose fabric made me feel that same pang. Lotta Jansdotter's collection, "Echo", Lu Summers' "Summersville", Aneela Hooey's "Walk in the Woods", Carolyn Friedlander's "Architextures", and Blueberry Park's "Allotments" are all prints that bring about an emotional and magical element to sewing. They all shine with the air of possibility that fabric can hold. Because, after all, fabric is a supply; it wants to be used, not just admired.

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Of course, these fabrics did just sit, admired, on my shelf for almost a year, as I gained the courage to cut into them. But what a feeling it is to go for it -- to put aside the fear of not being good enough to sew with something so lovely, and just soak in the joy of creating.

For more info on Leslie's fabrics, you can find her hand-printed panels in her shop, Maze and Vale, and keep up with her sales and giveaways at her blog.


MeganW said...

I love Leslie's fabric too! It was so hard to cut into my little scrap pack, but each day as I carry my bag to work and I see the fabrics I'm reminded that I'm happy I did. (

Isn't it amazing how a fabric collection/design can just speak to us?! For me it first was Heather Ross's Mendocino line. (that's even in the lining of my cloud burst bag :) )