It’s been almost a year in the making, but today I can finally share a collection of 44 (!!) patterned fabrics created in collaboration with Robert Kaufman Fabrics! The collection is called Arroyo, and was inspired by the colors and patterns of my life in Los Angeles….
I’ve talked about my commitment to running a environmentally-friendly studio in the past, and I’ve continued to look for ways to improve my no-waste approach to production for Cotton & Flax. I’ve been lucky to find some amazing partners in that effort, including my newest collaborator: Caitlin Topham from Salty Oat!
Caitlin has been creating beautiful wall quilts from Cotton & Flax scraps, and I absolutely love the results. She does a great job of finding the perfect project for even the smallest scraps that I send her.
I love seeing a new piece of art come to life using fabric that would have otherwise been wasted, and her beautiful approach to modern quilting has led to some gorgeous pieces that I’d be proud to display in my home.
I often mention how Cotton & Flax textiles are made with linen/cotton blend fabrics, but you may be wondering, “What’s so great about natural fabrics?”
There is a long, rich tradition of using natural fibers in fabrics, and I find that connection to our roots meaningful. Linen in particular has been used since ancient times, often for clothing, and was even used as a currency. In Ancient Egypt, linen was seen as a symbol of purity, and was worn as a display of wealth. I love creating linen throw pillows with that rich history in mind.
Natural fibers have the potential to be grown in a sustainable way, which contributes positively towards my goals of running a green studio. I’ve read studies that show that flax (the plant used to make linen fabric) requires much less water, and considerably fewer pesticides and fertilizers than other crops, which means less environmental impact overall. Only the best flax fibers are used for making linen textiles, but no part of the plant is wasted in the production process, and the leftover seeds, oil, straw and fiber are used to make many secondary products, like soap or paper. Few products are so efficiently used as Flax.
Natural fabrics, and linen in particular, have all sorts of great properties. Linen doesn’t pill or produce lint, which means your textiles will look newer, longer. Linen tea towels are easy to launder, and become softer and more absorbent with each use. Since linen is made from plant fibers, it is recyclable and biodegradable, but since linen textiles look and feel timeless, they won’t be hitting the recycling or compost bin anytime soon. Plus, linen has a uniquely luxurious look, which is why I love using it in so many of my designs!
One of the most common questions I get on social media and via email is about where to source beautiful fabrics like the ones I use for Cotton & Flax. I’ve been lucky to live in cities that had vibrant craft and sewing communities, and so I’ve been able to visit lots of great fabric shops. Today I’m going to give you the scoop on my favorites!…
If you love a good fabric store, today I have a treat for you: a guide to my favorite fabric shops in LA!
After moving to Los Angeles in 2010, I spent a lot of time driving around the city, visiting all the fabric stores I could find. I was experimenting heavily with printing on locally sourced fabric, experiments that would eventually lead to founding Cotton & Flax. At the time, I was just beginning to get to know LA (let’s be honest, I’m still getting to know LA), and all the awesome creative resources it had to offer.
I take pride in the fact that I still source the majority of my materials for Cotton & Flax from local shops and fabric distributors. I’d love to share some of my favorite LA fabric stores, so that locals and visitors alike can enjoy these fantastic shops!
Want to learn to print your own patterned fabric to use in your craft and DIY projects? I’ll be teaching a workshop on how to print your own patterned fabric at Common Thread Studio in South Pasadena in just a few weeks!
In this two hour class, you will learn how to carve simple printing blocks and transfer your designs onto fabric. We will provide all the materials: linoleum blocks, carving tools, printing ink, and 2 panels of 20″x20″ fabric, plus paper for those interested in stationery design. You’ll leave with your own, custom-printed fabric, ready to be transformed into pillows, scarves, tote bags, or whatever you can dream up!
You are welcome to bring additional fabric to print on, as well. I’d recommend light and medium-weight fabrics that aren’t too roughly textured, made from cotton or other natural fibers. Can’t go wrong with a quilting cotton or a lightweight linen.