The special challenges of special orders

I invite people to place orders for special fabrics with me, and I enjoy the learning process that almost always comes with making them. I feel a strong need to get those pieces “just right” so the customer’s vision is made real. It usually requires making up a new technique or searching out an existing one. Early last fall I was asked to make a very particular discharge fabric. I blogged about the experience then, about how difficult it was. But I never showed the end result. So, here it is.

Chalkboard fabric

The request was for a discharged piece of a certain rectangular size that had particular text and was meant to look like a professor had been writing/drawing on a chalk board. It was to have a discharged “frame” around it also. I still don’t know what the project was, and I would love to see the finished piece. I’m assuming it was to be quilted.

I learned that I could thicken bleach, put it in a dental syringe and write with it. This came after many failed attempts at getting the written lines thin enough for the small text. I found  that discharge paste left a whiter mark than regular bleach, which turned the fabric more rust. The paste was perfect for bleaching the frame. This was the most challenging request I’ve ever handled.

Before the holidays I had an order for two “water” pieces, one of which was from the view of fish under water. The upper portion was to be aqua/green and the lower/deeper water was to be dark blue with a transition area between. I tried dye painting and dipping the fabrics. Those attempts weren’t quite right. Then I thought of spraying on the dye with a squirt bottle. Voila! That was the ticket. I think the result was successful and the customer was very happy.

Underwater view












Finally, I made a special order for myself. I wanted to make a center for a medallion quilt that has a native American theme. I knew I couldn’t piece or applique quite what I wanted, so I chose to airbrush the design. I drew the stylized feather circle on freezer paper, cut out the feathers, ironed it to the fabric and airbrushed it with black fabric paint. But the center circle still needed something. Again using freezer paper, I made a template, ironed it on and airbrushed the center with red paint. It will be the perfect solution for my quilt.

Native American feather motif

If you have a special idea that needs made into fabric, ask me. I love the challenge!

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One response to “The special challenges of special orders”

  1. Amy Walker

    I am interested in your underwater aqua themed fabric for a twin bed sheet set. Please let me know how much fabric would i need and how much the fabric would cost. Thank you.

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