Potions and Spells: Apothecary Bottles Fabric

Apothecary Bottles

Fabric Name- Haunted House Apothecary Black by Carta Bella for Riley Blake Designs

Material- 100% cotton fabric

Background color- Black

Theme- Halloween

Description:

Colorful apothecary bottles on a black background. When I saw this fabric, I thought of a mad scientist in an underground lab, brewing up potions and spells for a frightful Halloween night.

Check out my Halloween goody bags made with this fabric here.

Chemistry Blackboard Fabric

Chemistry Blackboard

Fabric Name- Chemistry Blackboard

Material- 100% cotton fabric

Background color- Black

Theme- Science, Chemistry

Description:

Chemistry Blackboard fabric is back in stock! This black and white fabric features chemistry drawings on a black background. There are many chemical names written in different fonts. The drawings include test tubes, flasks, DNA, elements from the periodic table, ball and stick molecules, a microscope, atomic rings, and a laboratory experiment involving flasks, a ring stand, and a Bunsen burner.

This fabric is perfect for a scientist, chemistry teacher or a young science lover. You could make a pencil pouch, lunch sack, tote bag, apron, book cover, pillow case, napkins place mats, even a lab coat! I made a 7 inch x 7.5 inch tote for a small gift or loot bag for a science themed party that you can see here.

Science is fun!

 

Halloween Monster Portraits Fabric

Haunted House Monster Portraits

Riley Blake Haunted House Main Orange 2

Fabric Name- Haunted House Main Orange by Carta Bella for Riley Blake Designs

Material- 100% cotton fabric

Background color- Orange

Theme- Halloween

Description:

This Haunted House fabric features portraits of all your favorite Halloween characters! There’s a green-faced witch giving the stink eye to the portrait above her. A little monster wearing a monster mask. A side profile of an elderly witch. Also, there is Dracula’s face, a witch wearing large circular glasses, ghosts waving hello, and all of the feisty black cats in the family. Shown in the second picture is one of my favorite portraits- a beautiful young witch, but her shadow shows a woman with a big, ugly nose and crooked chin. Also shown here are Frankenstein and his bride.

This fabric is so much fun! I hope it gets you excited for Halloween!

How to sew tote bag handles

Today I will show you how to make a tote bag handle that is one inch wide and 22 inches long.

Cut a strip of fabric 4 inches by 22 inches.

Fold the fabric in half the long way, wrong sides together. Iron along the fold to make a straight line at the center of the fabric. Open the fold.

HandlesStep1
Fold the fabric in half along the long edge.

Fold one long edge of the fabric down to the center line, wrong sides together. Iron the crease. Fold the second long edge up to the center line and iron.

HandlesStep2
Fold the top and bottom edges to the center line.

Fold the top down again along the center line. You should now have a one inch wide strip of fabric.

HandlesStep3
Fold in half one more time to close the handle.

Pin the handle together, including the short edges. Sew along the edge, starting at the short end, along the long, open side, and up the other short end. I found that the key to keeping my fabric together while sewing was to pin the short edges in place. Otherwise, my fabric starts to unfold as I’m sewing the long edge, and it’s a mess by the time I get to the other end.

HandlesStep4
Pin and sew around the open edges to finish the handle.

There you have it! A clean, sturdy handle for a tote bag!

Summer Solstice

I wanted to share this fun, summer-inspired fabric in honor of the summer solstice:

Sunglasses

Fabric Name- This and That by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman

Material- 100% cotton fabric

Background color- hot pink

Description:

Retro black, white and gray sunglasses on a bright pink background.

This fabric is so much fun! I love the color combination, plus the design of the glasses. It reminds me of the 1950’s. My favorite pair has a black frame with white polka dots, and pink lenses.

Enjoy your summer!

 

 

 

 

Why is my printed image so dark? An example of RGB and CMYK color display using zinnia fabric

With a store named Zinnia’s Closet, I just had to buy this amazing zinnia fabric!

Zinnia

It is designed by Deborah G. Stanley for Elizabeth’s Studio, and the official name is Zinnia 571-Multi. I absolutely love this fabric. I am so happy that someone designed a pattern using zinnias!

I could talk about my love of zinnias all day. But today, I wanted to share with you an important lesson I learned when buying fabric. Fabric designed from a photograph does not always print as pretty as the picture it came from. Take a look at this photo below:

Zinnia Collage

The image on the top is a digital image taken from the manufacturer. Now look at the image on the bottom. This is a scanned picture directly from the fabric that I bought.

As you can see, the fabric image is much darker. The orange flowers in the top picture are almost red on the actual fabric. The image is not as crisp on the fabric. It’s still a very high quality image, but might be disappointing to an unknowing customer who only saw the top image, thinking their fabric would look the same.

So why do the two look so different? I tried to think of times in my life when a picture didn’t come out right on paper. Have you ever made a presentation for your boss and then tried to print it with a color printer? What looks perfectly fine on your computer screen sometimes looks dull and dark on paper. When I first printed my business cards, my fuchsia logo looked more like orchid. What happened?

Here’s a quick science lesson for you:

There are two kinds of color modes, RGB (red, green, blue) and CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and key/black). RGB comes from emitted light and is an additive color mode. You get every color in the spectrum by adding different amounts of red, green and blue light. The more light you add, the closer you get to white. CMYK comes from reflected light and is a subtractive color mode. The more color you add, the closer you get to black.

RGB_CMYK

What’s the difference between a computer screen and a piece of paper (or fabric)? Computers display colors by emitting light, while paper needs color placed on top of it, reflecting light. A computer light source combines different amounts of red, green and blue light to display the colors we see on the monitor. To get an image on a piece of paper, we use a four color process, combining cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink in varying amounts to get the colors we want. The two are completely different!

An image designed in RGB format can appear much darker when printed because CMYK does not have the dynamic range that RGB has. You might have heard of a color being out of gamut. That means a color cannot be achieved in that color mode. Colors like bright blue, fuchsia and lime green end up being printed much darker than displayed on a monitor, because they cannot be achieved as accurately in CMYK format.

There are many books on color theory and color management. It is much more complicated than I have explained here. So what does an untrained person do to get their colors right? Some software has the option to display an image in CMYK, like Photoshop, allowing you to see what your image would look like on paper before you actually print it. Other software does not convert images to CMYK, such as Microsoft Office products. In this case, a way to change your image would be to select a color that is lighter than what you intended, and do a test print on a color printer if you have one. That’s what I did after I made my business card mistake. Of course, there are other, more complicated and technical ways to change your colors, but I won’t get into that here.

Back to the zinnia fabric. I don’t know the specifics about the designing and printing of this fabric. Some of the colors in the photograph could have easily been out of gamut for the printer, but that’s just a guess. I still think the fabric is beautiful.

Good luck with your printed images!

 

A Unicorn-Themed Birthday Party

This week I was honored to sew party favor bags for a sweet little girl’s first birthday! Her mom and dad were throwing a unicorn-themed party. I had the perfect fabric for them: Happy Little Unicorns by Robert Kaufman.

Happy Little Unicorns

It’s a pink fabric with three different unicorns. One is standing up with a bird on it’s back, the second is laying down, and the third is jumping over a rainbow. There are flowers, rainbows and stars filling in the background.

Happy Little Unicorns

The unicorns were spread out on this pattern. I had to carefully cut the unicorns out so that each bag had a unicorn centered on the front. It took some extra time, but it was well worth the effort. The parents were thrilled with the bags. They are putting a small framed picture of their daughter inside to thank their guests for coming to celebrate their special day.

I wish that little girl a lifetime filled with happiness.