This is for my friend, LeAnn, who keeps pointing out to me the ads for Mark Lipinski's "Katmandu" line of fabrics. "What do you think of this," she asks, "fabric designed specifically for embellishment?" I'm not sure what segment of the quilting population this is aimed at, but my inital reaction has been, "clever marketing ploy." LeAnn recently pointed out that Keepsake Quilting catalog has put together a "bead palette" to go with the fabric, another clever marketing ploy. At a different stage in my creative journey, I'm sure I would have bought some of this fabric and given it a try. Now I simply say: Interesting but not my cup of tea at the moment (although that beading palette did tempt me).
Then I remembered I'd done something like this exactly four years ago. Pictured above is my journal quilt I dubbed, "Aboriginal Comes to America" which showcases a swatch of Australian fabric. Not knowing what else to do with this quirky little piece, I hit upon using it as a beading sampler, and used Rachel Clark's method of "reading the fabric" to determine what beads to put where. This was so much fun, and also proved to me that every color is important; I'd nearly given those orange beads away, sure I'd never use them on anything. (Click on the picture see the details better.)
It's the same principal as the Katmandu fabric, really. Below is one of those ads so you can compare my version to theirs. And of course, you don't need to use Katmandu fabric; any pattern that speaks to you can be beaded and embellished to your heart's content.
I should note, while the ad shows embellishing the fabric using a hoop, I embellished mine after layering with batting and backing. The beading took the place of any quilting stitches, and I did not need to hoop it.