Archives for the month of: September, 2009

I have been following the blog of Michelle Engel Bencsko since about March of this year, when I discovered Cicada Studios and some of her amazing fabrics.  At that time she was blogging about her up and coming line of organic fabrics, called appropriately Cloud9, because that’s where you go when you see them, and I have been following her progress with this collection all through the summer.   Both the 100% cotton that she prints on, and the inks she uses are environmentally friendly (you can read more about that here). 


I am a little envious of  her, and other fabric designers like her, because 12 years ago when I started to study fabric design and printing at OCAD, I was bothered by the use of toxic inks in the printing process, but back then there really wasn’t much available in the way of environmentally friendly inks, and organic fabrics tended to resemble burlap, which didn’t make printing on them very easy!   Part of me is ready to set up my own screen printing studio in the basement and get on down to turning out yardage of my own, but it’s way easier  (and less messy) with 3 kids to just buy the fabric that others are printing. 

The fabric finally hit the stores last week, and my order arrived on Friday.  The fabric is even more beautiful in real life, and so very soft, it’s absolutely perfect for baby items.

I showed pictures of it to my friend, and she ordered a cushion to be made immediately.  Here it is, and there’s another one available in my etsy store. 


I hope it gets snapped up quickly, because I adore this fabric, and want to buy more!  Next project, a baby quilt using pieces of the entire collection.

Here are a few t-shirts which were birthday presents for friends’ children:


The number 4 was for a little boy who loves to camp.  I adore this Michael Miller fabric, called “Bot Camp”, and ordered some several months ago just because.  I had no idea what I would make with it, but it was the perfect choice for this little boy.


Now I’m thinking I would like to incorporate it into some toddler bedding for a little boy’s room, I wish mine were still young enough to want it for their rooms, but I don’t think my (nearly) 11 year-old would appreciate it, and it doesn’t really go with his black and white theme!

The stars and moons was for a big Harry Potter fan. Usually I stick to 100% cotton appliques, but with the iron-on  backing I think it will hold up.

Angela at Raggedy Owl spent a weekend sewing in Vermont with two fabulous fabric designers, Heather Ross and Denyse Schmidt. To celebrate she is giving away a Heather Ross autograph along with a thirty piece, 5-inch square charm pack from her own collection. Her collection includes all those Heather Ross fabrics that are so difficult to get hold of now because they are out of print/rare and highly priced so I’m hoping to score some. Head on over to see how you can win (or perhaps I should have kept this a secret!)

trueupheader-600Over at TrueUp you have a chance to win more divine fabric.  I am a huge fan of Michelle Bencsko’s designs and she has 2 collections just hitting the stores.  The colours and patterns of  Shade Garden are delightful, and My Happy Garden is the debut line for her new organic fabric manufacturing company, Cloud 9 Fabrics.  Back when I was at the OCAD, studying surface design, I loved fabric printing, but baulked at how toxic the printing inks were (and we just washed them down the drain!)  At that time there were no earth friendly alternatives, so I am so excited that Michelle and her partner have produced this beautiful collection.  I have plans to make baby quilts with it, as soon as I can get my hands on some.)  Good luck with your entries.

Reason 1.  The boys are off to school this morning, and were positively leaping out of bed to get ready.  This makes such a change from last year, when we endured several months of tears every morning from Boy, which was absolutely heartbreaking.  Thanks to 2 special teachers last year, who must have made him feel incredibly happy and safe at school.

Well, I only managed 2 of the things on our remaining list of things to do, but IronMan was sick this weekend.  While she was sleeping, and during the mountains of laundry I had to get done before today (so that Guy and Boy had their choice of natty outfits to wear to school), I managed to make these 3 stuffed pumpkins, and listed them in my store this morning .  That’s reason #2!



Ironman has requested a dress for the fall, and I have tons of the orange floral, so it’s off to the sewing room with me today.  (Reason #3).

Final reason (for today anyway), is that Guy is off to his 2nd year in the gifted class, and I want to celebrate how lucky we are in this part of Ontario, to have access to special education for gifted children.  This opportunity would not be so easily available if he went to school in the UK where I come from, and since joining this class last year he has experienced and learnt so much, that he was excited to be going to school again this morning.  Have a good day all of you whose children are off to school today, and enjoy those little ones who are still with you if you are at home with them.  Ironman starts nursery school on Friday, and I don’t know where the last 3 years have gone.  Treasure those moments with them, they go by in the blink of an eye.