Sewing with Bright Fabrics

Fiber Love

I’ll admit it. I love fibers. I love the drape of satin, the bright colors of silk, the crispness of cotton. I love the feeling of soft wool yarn running over my fingers. I love the sound of shears cutting through felt. I love the promise of uncut yards of cloth. Heck, I even love the smell of new wool. 

For me, fibers are a feast for all the senses.

Little wonder, then, that I’ve been playing with fiber most of my life.

I learned to sew when I was small. The first garment I made was a felt coat for my younger sister’s doll. I was eight or nine. My doll had a coat, but Beth’s didn’t, and I felt sorry for it. (Not for her, you understand; for her doll.) So I made her one, using the one my doll had as a pattern. She told me the other day that she still has it.

When I was 10, I had surgery on my feet, and spent the summer on crutches. (Theoretically. But that’s a different story.) To keep me amused, my mother bought me an embroidery hoop, a pile of floss, and some “samplers” printed with cross stitch patterns.

I took one look at the bright strands of floss, and I was off and running. (Not literally. Crutches.) I quickly finished the samplers, which annoyed me because the printed stitches weren’t very precise, and started to design my own embroidery.

Before long, I had butterflies and wildflowers embroidered on all kinds of things. All through college, and into my first years of teaching, I was busy sewing and embroidering in stolen seconds. I made most of my own clothes, and embellished a lot of them.

Then I started to work as a freelance illustrator, and there were no longer any seconds to steal.

The clothes I wore were mostly tatty old jeans and overalls, embellished with paint smears. It’s a fashion statement!

After I got fibromyalgia, and could no longer paint, I went back to sewing. A little. Some dresses and dolls for my god-daughter. A few shirts.

My old sewing machine needed to be replaced by then, and I bought a new one with an embroidery attachment. Soon I was digitizing designs for the clothes I was making, or for patches to sell at conventions. Very handy, since I wasn’t able to hand-embroider at that time, and I still love embellishment.

Potholder in burning sun
Potholders I made for my sister for Christmas 2012. (Before I learned to how to photograph quilts.)


Then I began to make virtual quilts for Second Life. I’ve already written a post about all of that, so I won’t go into detail. In short, designing them with Electric Quilt was enough to get me hooked. (Electric Quilt was ported to the Mac yesterday! Yay!)

Next thing I knew, I had purchased another sewing machine, and established a relationship with my local quilt shop. Which led to me becoming a professional quilt photographer, and designing their website, but that’s a different story too.

Now I have a long-arm quilting machine in my basement, which I’m slowly learning to master, and I spend part of each day happily cutting perfectly good lengths of fabric into tiny little squares and patches, and sewing them back together again. Good thing the fibro is in remission!


In the not too distant future, I hope to have pieced patterns to sell. I think I’ll start small, with things like the eyeglass case that’s the featured image for this post, or mug rugs.

I’m also hoping to have digitized embroidery designs, for people to sew on their home embroidery machines. And digitized long-arm quilting designs, too.

And I think I’ll go full circle, and also design and sell doll clothes, and patterns for doll clothes.

I’m looking forward to it.

I do love fiber so very much!

7 thoughts on “Fiber Love”

    1. Thanks, Claudette! I’m a big fan of bright colors, as you may be able to tell. The flamingo in the glasses case is a scrap left over from a shirt I made years ago.

      I’ve been told that shirt goes beyond “bright” and into “an actual act of aggression.” 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.