Friday, April 9, 2010

Fabric Friday

Wow, how to start this Fabric Friday post, except by saying that I am oozing with excitement and inspiration. I had decided earlier this week to feature the fabrics of Denyse Schmidt. She is a designer that has been creating beautiful quilting fabrics for a while now. I have used a number of fabrics from all of her collections from the beginning of klt:works. She just recently came out with a new collection and it seemed fitting to chat about her. However, before I get to all of that, I need to tell you about about a lovely creative coincidence that changed my slant a bit. 

Yesterday, I got my absolute favorite magazine in the mail called Uppercase. I have mentioned it before in an earlier post (Inspiring Prints: what makes me smile) because I truly love everything about it. The magazine comes in its own cardboard envelope and the anticipation of its arrival starts weeks prior to receiving it- it is that special. So, I frantically opened the enveloped and started flipping through the pages (even the ink smells great). My eyes immediately fell on an article written by Karyn Valino  called, "perfectly pattterned careers: textile design".  This article focuses on the "small independent creatives" redefining the world of textile design. Denyse Schmidt was  the first interview, then Lara Cameron (from Ink & Spindle), and Michelle Engel Bencsko (Cloud 9 Fabrics) was the last. My socks were knocked off. It was a gorgeous layout and I admire all of the designers and use their fabrics because of what they stand for. Timing is everything (which is Sayer's phrase of the week) and I hit the inspiration jackpot yesterday.

So, back to the fabric. When I choose fabrics for klt:works, I am very selective. Initially I gravitate towards a textile because of aesthetics, but I research a lot about a designer and their process before I become a loyal fan. Denyse Schmidt caught my interest because of her lovely quilting but it was that she was bringing something fresh and new to the fabric scene that I really appreciated. I find that my style is very modern, but I love nostalgia. I think that is why I respond so strongly to her designs. I also enjoyed reading about her background and that she came from a family of makers. Chris went to Rhode Island School of Design (and went back and taught there a bit after grad school). Both of his parents also went to RISD. So he comes from a family of makers too.  I actually found Denyse's work through an RISD alumni page. Needless to say, I have been loyal to her designs ever since. I used fabrics from her Flea Market Fancy collection, for some of my first Flights of Fancy Mobiles in 2006. When that was all gone and sold out everywhere, I moved on to her Katie JumpRope fabrics. Now I am excited to play around with her new Hope Valley collection. Here is a little peek into my Denyse Schmidt fabric stash (what is left anyway). Pictured: Hope Valley, Katie Jump Rope, Flea Market Fancy (left to right)

I wrote a bit about Ink & Spindle in my first Fabric Friday post because I love that they screen print their fabrics themselves. They are very aware of what being eco-friendly means and they use environmentally conscious inks, fabrics, and  practices in their Australian studio. So, I was not only impressed by their designs, but their philosophy as well.  I became familiar with Cloud9 Fabrics because they use eco-responsible inks and dyes too. Being that I make things for children, I am particularly looking for organic and eco conscious fabric options. You can read about these designers in the 5th Uppercase Magazine. Pictured: My stash: Cloud9 and Ink & Spindle (left to right)

Oh, inspiration is so sweet. After I finish reading the rest of my Uppercase Magazine, I am hoping to dive into my fabric stash. Happy Fabric Friday!


  1. I love your fabric choices! I must admit, I haven't always been conscious about choosing eco-friendly clothing/fabrics. I've gone that route because of necessity: my daughter has eczema and if I'm not careful, the fabrics of her clothing flares up some pretty awful and painful scratching. I didn't realize there were alot of choices out there made of cotton + style! Thanks for opening up my eyes to that! Nice to see the basis of your beautiful products!

  2. Thanks! Sayer had eczema when he was a baby (it is better now) so that is when I became extra aware of fabrics too. It is great that there are so many more choices. I also like that a lot of them are made from small businesses & mom/artists. I appreciate that you read the post! :)

  3. Fashion Fridays! What a terrific idea! I am completely head over heels for Denyse's stuff. And thank you for hipping me to Uppercase magazine--I'm going to buy an issue on my lunch break right now.

  4. Awesome post. Love the flower stand photo!

  5. Hi, I'm wondering if you're aware of It's a site I joined to digitally print my own designs. They're based in North Carolina, USA and have some organic fabrics available. There are quite a few designers there that create fabulous prints. Very worth looking at.
    Best, dentednj or Denise Tedeschi



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