Monday, February 11, 2008


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.


Claire Joy said...

duh... dumb question, but what exactly is a "journal" quilt?

The Idaho Beauty said...

Oh, not so dumb. I forget not everyone is familiar with the term. It is a quilt the size of a piece of paper - 8-1/2 x 11" that is used in much the same way as a journal entry might be. It is often used as a place to experiment with new techniques or materials or design ideas and can chronicle an artist's creative progression or record in some way what is going on in the artist's life at the time of the making of it. Generally, they are done just once a month, although some people make them more often. They became all the rage among quilters back in 2003 when Kerry of the International Quilt Festival organized an official Journal Quilt Project.

Dale Anne said...

I had the pleasure of working with Mark's fabrics!!!
Not enough time to embellish as much as I would have liked as he needed the piece in Houston.
You can see the progress here:
Some of the back showing the quilting:
then the finished quilt is here:

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks for the links, Dale Anne. Oh, I so agree - once you start with this embellishing bit, it's hard to stop...

Anonymous said...

ha, I am going to try out my thought, your post get me some good ideas, it's really awesome, thanks.

- Joe