Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Crossing Paths & Visions
There are so many different ways that I want to share how to use the fabrics in this upcoming mini launch that it has nearly rendered me verbally paralyzed (should I just say mute there? speechless? stumped?- see I'm messed up). My heart is beating fast right now, because I am afraid that I'll forget to say something obvious or useful about them and you will be denied the glorious everythingness of this fabric. So lets go through this a little at a time from the beginning. These are what I call Loulouthi Needleworks. They are called Loulouthi because the imagery and the color palettes were derived from my Loulouthi collection. In essence they are no different than any printed cotton that I design, however they are a full 58" wide (wow Anna that's superwide! I know.) But they are called Needleworks, because the artwork printed on the cloth is comprised of tiny little X's.
This print is called Crossing Paths and it is essentially a series of borders stretching across from selvage to selvage, each row its own little cast of vignettes, small or large, traditional or splashy. There are 3 color ways of this print. I am sure that I am not the first to print x's on cloth, but when I conceived of the idea about a year ago, I wanted to be sure that the cloth stood on its own as a lovely print design for all kinds of patchwork and sewing, but also serve as a welcome invitation to thread a needle, find a hoop, and sit down to stitch up precious little artworks- for a baby collar, a yoke of a blouse or dress, a hem line, a framed artwork or a block in your next quilt. Or maybe an invitation to take on a lifeswork of a very expansive piece- a full coverlet entirely stitched, a table cloth, a bed skirt....combined with other printed fabrics, and so on. You get it. The above is just a digital copy of the print work.
This is me playing around with the same print. The size of the X's in this cloth compared to evenweave cloth for cross stitching -or something like Aida- are pretty large. I would say that perhaps if you know your cross stitching cloth numbers that these are about equivalent to 8ct, as in 8 X's per linear inch. You can stitch them up just like any cross stitch using either embroidery floss or Pearle cotton. So far I have only used Pearl cottons #8 for these, I just really like how they look and seem about the appropriate thickness without having to separate strands. Another little bonus to them being printed is there is no counting involved, so very little room for error. This makes it both pretty relaxing as well as awesome for kiddos to try out. Every time I come to one of the bolts to cut something off, I find them with some little square roughly cut away, snipped off by one of the girls- its like finding the boxes in your pantry mousechewed, or your hosta leaves caterpillarmunched...only sweeter. (Oh and p.s., a fine embroirdery needle will perform just fine for you, and only pre-wash them before stitching if your item will continue to be washed.)
This is the Visions print which I think of as a collage of all the different styles of cross stitch that I love, forming a field of possibilities to be cut apart, but still a beautiful soft design with vintage sensibilities to be left as a whole cloth for any kind of sewing. I should mention that while the X's are printed in one color or another, that I have stitched using pretty different shades than the X's right over them. In other words, you could alter your thread colors to a great degree from what is underneath and the thickness of your threads will conceal any distracting difference there may be. OH! And having a length of these fabrics is like getting not just fabric to use but also several cross stitch patterns that you could translate into other works, using these prints as a guide.
These are the 3 colorways of Visions framed up. Not stitched. What do you think I am, a factory?
I hope you enjoy these. Much more inspiration to share with them coming soon. They should be shipping to stores in just a few weeks. If you have any questions about using them for stitching I will answer in the comments section. I'm here to help. Not going anywhere. Really. I live here.