Friday, April 24, 2020

My blog post from QT's blog all about my Steampunk Fabric Line!!

From Big Rusty to Steampunk Halloween©

Our friend and designer, Desiree Habicht of Desiree’s Designs, gives insight into the inspiration for her Steampunk Halloween Collection. Check out this funky and fantastical group of characters, in shops now!
Art for me has always been about being inspired by things around me while using lots of different elements and ideas to create something unique and special.  I have always loved gardening and with that comes lots of rusty tools, gears and things that have interesting shapes and textures. I also love to create faux finishes like leathers and marbling. As an artist I think I see more details and colors than most people. I think it comes from drawing and painting so much that it trains you to see the hues, the details and the textures of an object instead of just the object. You might see a tree, but I see the lights, the darks, structure and the negative spaces too. 
With that in mind we were on a trip to Portland Oregon for the Spring Market. We were driving through a small town in Oregon when I saw a bunch of old rusty gardening tools that had been transformed into animals. I yelled to Randy to “pull over” and I jumped out of the van before it stopped moving. We wandered through this odd and crazy zoo. It was love at first sight. We were planning on stopping to see my mom in Northern California on our way home and I just had to bring her one of these awesome, crazy creatures for her garden. We decided on Big Rusty, a wonky, crazy looking bird made of a shovel, rototiller tines, rebar, faucet handles etc. We had our van full of stuff from the show, so we had to tie Big Rusty onto the roof of the van. As we drove, I could see his silhouette on the road. He wasn’t small or light. He was about 4 ft tall and he must have weighed about 30lbs.
Big Rusty in the Garden

We laughed at ourselves and what people must have thought about us driving with Big Rusty tied to the roof. As we drove and I watched his shadow on the road as he was traveling with us it started me thinking about creating animals out of odd things, some rusty, some shiny. Nail heads and gears all lent themselves to this idea that was starting to take shape, odd shape, but shape, nonetheless.
I started by sketching some simple Kitty’s that were all made from gears, springs, rakes and anything metal I could think of. That is why I originally called it Steampunk Kitty. Being a bit dark and different I thought that Halloween would be a good time to release the line. As I began to develop the line, it changed, becoming more colorful and interesting since dark rusty gears and automotive springs for cats weren’t very colorful or fun for fabric.
As I began to paint, I knew we needed some complex backgrounds and rich colors to make the line come alive. I pulled from the many faux finishes and mixed media backgrounds that I had created years ago to help pull all the elements together to form this fabric line. The bugs were actual paintings I did for an apothecary shop looking design that I loved but never used. I wanted it to have that kind of a look, so it was morphing as I let my design create itself with the bits of art, I had been saving for just this occasion.
The main characters developed into their own personalities. Sir Ives (the owl) the old, wise scientist, the keeper of time and knowledge. Nicholi Jeeters (the Cat) loves gears and diodes and keeps the rhythm for the group. Then there is Phineas (the crow), this quirky persona is fun loving and adventuresome. He holds the keys to unlock the wonders of the air.
The pumpkins (pin head, shrunken head and zipperhead) were added to bring in the element of Halloween. I wanted to keep the line fun, bright and interesting, true to my brand and not too dark or scary! It was a happy, fun steampunk. I hope you love it as much as I do. It is a truly inspired line that came about by allowing my imagination to keep refining the original idea until we arrived at the final characters who became Steampunk Halloween. We are now working on the next one! 

There are great machine embroidery patterns to accompany this collection coming soon from Desiree’s Designs! Sign up for her newsletter (on her website) to learn when they will be available.
Left: Desiree, and her husband Randy were stars of Quilt Market in Houston. Bringing the steampunk style to life! Below: Desiree, Randy and daughter Jenn… a Steampunk family!
Steampunk Halloween is in shops now and ready for your creative projects! Stay tuned – we will announce a contest with Desiree on Friday 4/24!!!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Painting some Steampunk for my next Halloween fabric line!

Fabric design is a lot of work but it is such a fun and creative outlet for lots of artwork! I love the whole aspect of developing a concept, the focal fabrics and the supporting fabrics that make each fabric line unique and different. Don't get me wrong, its hard work with lots of time invested into thinking up the concept, creating the designs, drawing and painting to put together a fabric line. Sometimes I have a great idea and I spend the time to develop it and paint it only to not use it. Not everything turns out. But art is all about the journey! It's a wild, never ending journey that I love.

Last night my husband and I pulled a very rare, but occasional all nighter and it wasn't because we were partying or etc. I was to get the line in before the deadline date.

There are so many things that have to come together to make a fabric line cohesive and usable and there are many different ways to reach that goal. Some designers do everything on the computer. From their drawing, painting, vectorizing etc. Thats awesome too, each of us have our way of bring you lots of beautiful and diverse designs to get you excited to create.

I think that is another aspect of this whole process, inspiring others to create. Whether I inspire someone to take an art class or I inspire them to go home and sew, for an artist that feeds our creative souls.

The process for me since I do a lot of novelty fabrics is I create a theme and will write down everything I can think of that is related to that subject or theme.  I sketch first then refine the drawings and then paint, developing different aspects and characters for my lines. Then my husband brings them into the computer and works his magic by cleaning up my lines, if I paint outside the lines he makes me look like I don't! He adds the elements that I have painted separately so that the design comes to life. I paint everything separately so that I can have it to use it in other places in the fabric line or if I need it in another line. For instance, at the end of the video notice how the bird now has chain hanging from his neck with keys. All done separately and added later on the computer. I also used the keys in the tossed and the chain and keys on a cat. Okay, so now you know some of the secrets of Fabric Design, well some of mine anyway!

To see more of my designs visit my website at
To see more of my artwork visit my other website at

Thanks for watching!

Monday, October 01, 2018

Time for Pumpkins

I LOVE this time of the year! The weather is cooling off at night and the colors start to change all around us. Its the time for harvesting and canning for the winter. Its a time for pumpkins, gourds and ornamental corn. I am thinking early this year so I can get some things on sale, like those white pumpkins at Michaels. I saw something similar to this in a catalog and thought we could make them using our stencils and paint. I hope you enjoy.

Supplies needed for this project:

  1. A white pumpkin, preferable one that is not real from a craft store. I got mine at Michaels.
  2. Black, orange and white acrylic paint.
  3. Paint brush and dobbers for stencils, Q-tips for clean up
  4. Black and white paint pens.
  5. My Rosie 'O stencils or your favorite StencilGirl stencils.
  6. Painters tape
  7. Fun decorator Ribbon
  8. High gloss sealer (optional)

This is a fun way to use some stencils for the holidays. You can do this too!

1. First I taped off some of the sections of the pumpkin. I tried to follow the natural line but that didn't always work. Try to make them similar in size and not too small or your design might not show up well.

 2.  Next I begin by deciding which section I will use which stencil from my stencils from StencilGirl® Products Stencil Club called Rosie O and using the 6" stencil first. I pressed it down onto one of the sections and using a dabber or dobber I applied paint with a pouncing motion. FYI- since the pumpkins are rounded it is a bit tricky to hold the stencil down, use tape to help you and I pushed it against the pumpkin to make sure the image was clean. You can clean them up later also.

3. I kept going around the pumpkin using different areas of the stencils to create the look I wanted. As you start to work on sections next to each other you will have to move the tape to get all of the section painted but you will have a nice line to follow. Make sure you don't stencil over the line.

4.  After the sections are complete I remove the tape completely to finish up the design. You will notice that they are not all perfect but I will clean them up a bit now.

5. You can use a Q-tip and some water to get off any paint that might have been put down somewhere you don't want it to be. I also used my small brushes to fill in missing paint. My secret tool is paint pens! I used black and white paint pens to clean up edges and add more designs.

Don't these look a bit like spider webs or eyes?

6. I decided to separate the sections with a black line, I like the way it cleaned it up and made it pop. I also added dots later. I liked that look so well that I added some black outlines to the flower stencils and details to some of the other sections. Let you imagination go, have fun. A whole section of spiderwebs would have been fun! I made these little pumpkins by putting my thumb in the orange paint and then making thumb prints in one section, then added faces.

I love using my Rosie O stencils from the StencilGirl Stencil Club this year!

7. Now for the finishing touches and we are all done. Take a good look at your pumpkin, are there areas where it feels empty? Use your paint pens and add other stencil designs or add something free hand. Circles, dots and stripes are easy to add with the pens.

If you would like them to look like glass you can spray them with a high gloss spray or leave them as they are.  I added a bow which was easily attached with a straight pen or a glue gun.

My Rosie O stencil from StencilGirl Stencil Club 2018 

Thumbprint Pumpkins

Happy October and Fall!! Have fun designing your own pumpkin this year with your StencilGirl Stencils!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


I love shadows! 

  • I love the way the shadows from trees dance along the ground, twinkling as they let in the sunlight as they move in the wind. 

  • I love the way shadows will fill the negative space and make the positive image pop in a painting. 

  • I love the colors that are often reflected in shadows. The object can inject beautiful colors into shadows.

Blood Oranges by Desiree Habicht copyrighted
The Shadows on the ceiling in at the Convention Center from the new art piece!! Beautiful

  • I love how they provide a hiding place and refuge from the relentless sun.

  • I love the shapes that form on the ground from shadows.

  • I love shadow puppets

  • I love how shadows can tell us a story without a single word.

As I began to journal about shadows I am also reminded that depending on our mindset shadows can have a negative side.

People hide in shadows

Scary things lurk in shadows

Shadows block the light

Shadows create distortion

People live in other peoples shadows

What do you see and think about when you see shadows. Are you hiding in them, afraid to come out and share your gifts with the world. Are you living to please others and living in their shadow, do you fear the dark recesses of shadows?

How do you see shadows?

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Desiree's Whimsical Insulated Lunch Bag- Unicorn Style

Hi everybody!! Its Desiree here and its that time of the year, the kids go back to school! I am so excited to be partnering with Sulky® for a Back to School Sewing Series. Sulky has gathered several designers to create some fun projects for you and your kiddos as they go back to school and you get some long over due sewing time!

Guest Bloggers:

I thought it might be fun to create a special lunch bag. There are several patterns available out there. This is one I put together combining things I love from several different bags for all of you. I am using my embroidery designs© that I created for hooded towels to add some whimsy and they work great! I am also giving you a sneak peek of my newest fabric line in stores this December called "Party like a Unicorn©" by QT Fabrics. I hope you enjoy this project and all the projects brought to you during this fun few weeks on Sulky's Blog. Lets get started!

Desiree’s Whimsical Insulated Lunch Bag
Take a sneak peek of some of my fabric in my newest fabric line in stores this December!! It's all about pink and purple, Unicorns and cupcakes, castles and superhero capes!

Fabric Requirements:
1. 1/3 yd main fabric or outside fabric (Fabric A)
2. 1/3 yd lining fabric (Fabric B) (You can use an oil cloth or vinyl fabric if desired)
3. 1/3 yd Insul-bright®
4. 1/3 yd Fuse 'n Stitch® (Optional – used to make your bag stiffer)
4. Strip of Velcro
5. KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive for holding Insul-bright in place for sewing
6. Cotton + Steel Thread by Sulky for assembly, Sulky's Poly Deco™ thread for embroidery because its washable!

Cutting Instructions:

Cut from Fabric A (main fabric, I used different fabrics for these blocks for fun) and 
Fabric B (lining fabric):
8”x19” back and front flap block
8”x10” (front)
4”x10”  (cut 2)(sides)
4”x8” (bottom)
Cut one from Fabric A (main fabric or coordination fabric)
4”x 11” (strap)
Cut from Insul-bright and Fuse 'n Stitch (Fuse 'n Stitch is optional, use if you would like a stiffer bag)
            7 ½” x 18 ½” (backing and flap)
            7 ½” x 9 ½” (front)
            3 ½”x 9 ½” (cut 2) (sides)
            3 ½” x 7 ½” (bottom)

Preparing your lining fabrics (Fabric B):

Fold your first piece of Fabric B in half lengthwise and finger press a centerline. Open the fabric and now fold each raw edge into the center fold line and finger press those two folds. You will now have 3 finger pressed lines on your fabric.  Spray your piece of Insul-bright with KK 2000 and stick the Insul-bright in the center on the wrong side of the fabric; making sure it is not in the seam allowance. Take to the sewing machine and stitch down, on the fabric side, following each line on the fabric side, one in the center and one on each side. You should have three stitch lines that are holding down the Insul-bright. This will help to hold it in place as you sew your bag together. Repeat for all of the Fabric B pieces.

To prepare the main fabric flap (Fabric A) if adding embroidery:

If you want to add any embroidery to your lunch bag now is the time. I decided to add my Unicornhoodie design (5”x7” hoop) to the front of the flap and another embroidery design to the backside of the main flap piece (8”x19”). You may have to rotate the design or the fabric to position correctly. I used the Fuse and Stitch as my stabilizer and hooped it up. Place both the front image and rear image as close to the edge of your fabric as you can. Make sure your images are in the right position and nothing ends up upside down.  This is a great way to personalize your child’s bag, add his name etc. Trim excess Fuse 'n Stitch. Once your embroidery (optional) is finished you are ready to proceed. Get my CD of all the hoodie designs to make hoodies and lunch bags!

My little Embroidered Unicorn

To prepare the main fabric without added embroidery:
Take the cut pieces of Fuse 'n Stitch and press them to the wrong side of the fabric. Center them so that it is not in the seam allowances. Using a steam iron, steam press the Fuse 'n Stitch into place. This is an optional step. The Fuse an'n Stitch will create a stiffer bag, not using it will create a softer, floppier bag.

Preparing the Lining fabric Flap if adding a pocket:

I wanted to add a pocket inside of the bag for anything extra like money or a note etc.  I fussy cut a saying from my new fabric line and created a pocket. Cut a piece of fabric 6”x 8 ½”. With RST fold it in half so you have a 6”x 4 ¼” block. Sew around the edges leaving an opening to turn. Turn RSO and press. Turn under the opening and stitch. I then top stitched around the whole block. Position your pocket in the center of the prepared lining flap piece approx.8”  from the bottom edge off the lining flap(this edge is the one that is inside of the lunch box at the bottom). Stitch from right to left, but leave the top of the pocket open. Your pocket is finished.

Making the Strap:
Starting with the strap. Fold in half lengthwise so that the right sides are together (RST), stitch along long edge. Turn so right sides are out. Press. Fold again lengthwise and stitch the long edge, you will have 4 layers of fabric that create the handle strap. Set aside

Assembling the inner and outer bags:

Take the 8" x 10" main front fabric piece (Fabric A) and lay it right side up on a flat surface. Now place a 4"x10" side piece RST on each side of the main front fabric. Sew the two side pieces to the main front fabric along the outer raw edges. Next, place your (8"x19") backing/flap piece RST onto the main front fabric and side piece and line up the left side raw edges and sew together. Now line up the raw edges of the backing/flap piece with the side fabric and sew together. You should now have a box with a flap.  

You will now repeat these steps with the prepared lining fabric, Fabric B. Once you have all your sides and front/back sewn together you need to add the bottom pieces (8”x 4”).

To do this carefully pin the bottom piece to the assembled bag pieces matching the corner seams. Carefully sew into place, removing pins as you sew. You should now have two boxes with bottoms.

Velcro attachment

Cut a piece of velcro about 4”long and place the piece onto the front part of the main fabric centered about 3 ½” up from the bottom to the top of the Velcro. I put the soft side here and the teeth side onto the lining part of the flap about an 1 ½” from the edge of the flap end. Sew into place. Try to make sure they will line up since this is how the bag will close.

Putting it together:

Take the main fabric section and turn it so that the right sides are facing out. Push the main fabric down into the lining, matching the corner seams and pinning into place. I like to use a chopstick to push my corners into place. You may have to play with the bags a bit to get them to line up but they will. Pin together along all raw edges. Make sure you mark a 5” area on the flap to leave open. ( If you want to have rounded corners on your flap use a glass or other round object to mark the corners and trim to round off.

Before pinning all the edges, take your strap and place it in between the two pieces of flap, Fabric A (8”x19”) right above the box on the flap of the bag. It should be sandwiched between the Fabric A Main Flap and Fabric B Lining Flap pieces. Pin it into place along the raw edges on each side.


Starting on the left side of the flap sew down the side of the flap, then turn and sew across the top edge of the side of the lunch box then sew across the front and then sew up the other top side and up the flap. Take your time making the turns so they are clean. Make sure you leave an opening at the end of the flap to turn the bag. Clip your corners making sure you don’t clip the thread. Clipping your corners will help your bag lay flat when you turn it.

Now, put your hand into the opening and pull the inside out and turn it completely right sides out. Once you have it all pulled through, push the lining side back into the main fabric side and get the lining tucked inside as it should be. I use my chop stick again here to push my corners together into place and smooth out my curves on my flap.  I did a lot of pressing here to get everything in place and flat.
Turn in the raw edges of the opening you used to turn your bag. Stitch it closed.

Pressing into shape
You will need to press all the sides well so that the seams lay flat. You also want to form pleats at the sides, so fold them in and then iron so it holds its shape. You are now done!!
Side view
back view

front view

sneak peek of new fabric out in December!

pocket view

I prefer a crisp, finished edge on my lunch bag so I pinned together each side and did a top stitch so that every edge had a stitched seam. This takes a bit of effort as the seams are thick but I like the results. It gave it more stability and allowed it to stand up easier but it is up to you.

Check out all of my Hoodie Designs here in one CD!
Or you can buy them individually.

I am now working on a Boston Terrier Bag! 

I added this text on the back
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