National Sewing Month

September was National Sewing Month, one of my favorite months of the year!

I celebrated by purchasing a used ruffler foot for my sewing machine.  It didn’t come with any instructions.  I did some research, figured out how to use it, and made a little YouTube video about it.  Since I was making so many ruffles, I decided I’d better come up with a project in which to use them.  I designed a tote bag with a ruffled top, then made a YouTube video to show how to make it.  That was fun, and now I have several tote bags, made with my own fabric designs!

I drew and designed a printable PDF and listed it in my Etsy shop.  I’d opened my Etsy shop a while ago, but wasn’t ever quite sure what to do with it.  I can never think of selling my creations – I always want to keep them for myself, or give them as gifts.  Recently, Etsy sent out a newsletter about selling printable downloads.  It inspired me to give it a try!My most exciting news as a fabric designer happened this month! Someone purchased 20 (yes 20!) yards of my “Roadrunner and Tracks” fabric design from Spoonflower!  I was beyond delighted that someone liked my fabric well enough to buy 20 yards of it.  I wish I knew what they’re making!

I had lots of fun during National Sewing Month.  Of course, for me, every month involves lots of sewing!

Summer School

During the month of August, I attended the Make it in Design Summer School.  I signed up for the beginner and intermediate tracks, which meant that I had 4 assignments during the 4 week session.  Each assignment contained a detailed design brief filled with keywords, trend reports, color palettes, and inspiration.  There was also a private Facebook group of lovely people from all over the world, ready to offer advice and encouragement.

Week 1:  Abstract thread.  Some of the keywords were: abstract, overlapping, texture, and hand-drawn.  I used a texture given to us by Make it in Design, some scanned bits of lace and netting, as well as digital paint brushes & textures.  I drew the mock up for my design – this lady is in a hurry to go show off her stylish jacket and hat! 

Week 2:  Pure Zen.  Some of the keywords were: oriental, simple, floral, and trailing.  I created a hand-drawn vine pattern in 3 different colors.  I drew a mock up of a sweet Japanese lady in a kimono made with my designs.  

Week 3: Drawn Botanicals. Some key words were: illustrative, hand-drawn, unfinished, and foliage. I was inspired by an apple tree loaded with apples. I took a photo and used it as my reference and color palette. My pattern reminded me of a baby’s dress, so I drew a little waving model.  I decided to enter this design in the Art Licensing Show baby pattern challenge.

Week 4: Stripe Form. Some key words were: architectural, geometric, linear and layered. I created a textured plaid design, which reminded me of a cozy chair – which inspired my mock up drawing.

During the 4 weeks, I discovered something interesting: I love making the patterns, but even more, I love drawing the mock up illustrations!
Summer School was lots of fun and full of inspiration. I look forward to Make it in Design’s Winter School. But first, I’ll be participating in 10 weeks of Folio Focus by Rise Design and Shine. I can’t wait to get started!


Index Card a Day

I recently completed the “Index Card a Day” challenge, hosted by  Every year from June 1 to July 31, people from around the world join together do something creative on an index card every day.  The only rule – the creation must be on an actual, cheap & flimsy index card.  No fancy papers cut to size!  The lowly and disposable index card helps discourage perfectionist thinking, which frees up the mind for endless creative possibilities.

I was desperately feeling the need for this kind of mindset!  I had blocked my creativity with feelings of inadequacy and the desire to make perfect artwork.  I’d been taking a lot of on-line art classes, which taught me so much.  But, they also skewed my expectations. I felt like I should be making art comparable to the teachers of the classes – and, of course, I couldn’t do that!

I started my “ICAD” project with paper cut characters. I’d never really done paper cutting before, hadn’t read any books or taken any classes – which was the point.  I didn’t have any preconceived expectations – I was just having fun!







Then, when I reached day 35 of the 61 days, I was tired of cutting paper and ready to draw again – this time in a free, joyful way.

I have to admit that I was glad when the 61 days were completed.  It was an excellent project, but I was ready to be done with the constraint of index cards.  I’d highly recommend the project to anyone looking to re-boot their creativity.  It certainly helped me – and now I have 61 fun cards to inspire my future projects!