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Wednesday
Nov052014

Color-Your-Day Creative

With textile artist Paula Scaffidi fiberella.com

Recently I created two silk baskets for flower girls to carry at a family beach wedding. Just the rhythm of sewing the edges of simple strips wrapped in lovely pale colors of silk, transported me to a place of pre-event calm. A shimmer of excitement emerged as the baskets easily took shape, using a palette and embellishment to suit my particular event. You can do the same! I wish you as much enjoyment creating for your special occasion, family and friends. 

 

Mindlessness is next to artful-ness. Silk baskets are so simple to create that the process provides a little time to relax, gather your thoughts and refresh your spirit.  A basket is especially useful not only to carry items, but to mark important occasions and give to loved ones anytime. Make yourself one too!

During the holiday season, let a basket carrying wrapped treats be the gift that carries on. Silk baskets are easily repurposed time and again; open to fresh seasonal embellishment; and refilled with different items whenever the mood strikes.

 

A Fiberella Simple Project www.fiberellastudio.com

Silk Baskets to Custom Color 

Twin baskets have matching handles with a different embellishment on each end. Created in silk, frayed light blue embellishment fans out to resemble a weathered seashell on one end and abstractly hints wave or flowing water on the other. Twist above the handle suggests weathered rope.

 

Select a Palette from Nature and for Your Occasion

I think I must be part chameleon. When I was a kid my older brother cared for one and I loved observing its body color transform to match habitat. Sometimes I just want things to blend in visually. As an artist, I do this with intention so other visual elements can take center stage.

I just returned from the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, USA, dazzled by silvery blues, luminous grays and soft lavender tints that quietly color daytime there. It’s a different kind of autumn in this part of the world. Uncluttered, you’d find it breezy-to-windy, refreshing yet not cold with temperatures much like those very first days of early autumn in New England. Any similarity to classic autumn ends there. Leaves green, days there are stunningly pastel overall.

Warm colors are momentary at daybreak and sunset, skies often painterly. Throughout most of the day, cool tints provide backdrop to wind-sculpted clouds and perhaps a dark line of shrubs. Silhouettes of figures walking the beach and occasional wild horses appear, sun struck and shadowy against vast paleness: dunes, grasses, water, sand and sky. While immersed in this palette of sun bleached tints, a delicate calm prevails. In NC, it’s also the cusp of off-season, quieting down this time of year.

Enjoy the same relaxed feeling sewing pale-hued fabrics at home. Unexpectedly elegant at times, tints or pale colors are truly versatile beyond the scope of baby quilts and springtime themes. At any beach, tints are often accompanied by sheen or shine: water sparkles in a relentless dance, sunlight gleams on wet surfaces, sand and shells; tiny rocks glisten at water’s edge. So in the end, I selected doupioni silk for its luster, a woven basket for texture and cool tints for a refreshing calm. You’re invited to dip your toe into a similar palette making silk baskets. Or feel free to interpret this project in a fabric type and colors to reflect your day or upcoming occasion. 

Blurred by distance, flower girls appear delicately peach-and-lavender with baskets in hand, skipping along the sand; a coloration also found in seashells gathered there. How do you imagine the backdrop for your baskets? Is it a planned occasion? A room décor still life? Just use similar color value to blend in, and contrast to call the eye. You’re also invited to simply enjoy daydreaming about the beach. That’s what I did while creating these baskets in advance of my recent trip there. 

 

Perfect for many uses, these small baskets measure 6 ½” wide, 4” deep and 4” tall. Once you get the idea, create any size you wish. Washable, surprisingly sturdy, baskets made for this wedding will soon be repurposed; filled with bath salts, handmade soaps and a few shells. Insert a low drinking glass in a basket this size for fresh flowers. The life of a basket continues. Add a seasonal bow. Pin on an inherited piece of jewelry and fill with antique photos to peruse, etc. Style your basket to be starkly modern or more quaint and old fashioned: keep it simple or embellish with abandon. Suit yourself and your occasion.

Silk baskets would be a welcome addition to any wedding backdrop. Here, baskets offer a bit of quiet-yet-interesting coloration. Pale ocean hues of blue, orchid and gray relate to the overall scene. Choose to be visually quiet or more dramatic by blending in, or not, with your backdrop. A ring bearer’s pillow has the same value contrast as his apparel; so in context it blends. Baskets show quietly against flower girls’ dresses. 

Subtle variation adds interest. From silver-gray, blue and orchid the eye produces lavender …once it’s woven together and you take a large step back. Directions are specified for a tri-color scheme.

MATERIALS plus…

  • innovative craft’s Rigid Weave*  
  • 3 doupioni silks*
  • Clover Wonder Clips
  • Clover Hera Marker
  • Small ruler
  • Isacord thread
  • Hand sewing needle, thimble, threader
  • Small scissors
  • Steam iron, ironing board
  • Tailor’s awl
  • Microtex or Jeans 80 needle
  • Edgestitch foot (Ex: BERNINA 10C)
  • blue painter’s tape
  • ½” strips manila file folder

*Specific fabric quantities, measurements, time-saving prep steps and assembly details are free! Video tutorial and PDF are linked at the end of this post.

 

Assembly Glimpse

All strips have Rigid Weave sewn inside. Begin weaving flat on a table, securing snug fit of strips as you weave. At red clip, first orchid strip is poised to begin weaving sidewalls.

Can you spot the crease in the corner being formed, marked using a Hera marker?

Clover clips keep the weaving snug. You definitely need some. :-)

Here’s the basket underside before edge band, handle and embellishment. Rigid Weave lends great structure; easy to stitch through and strong. Surprising how sturdy this weave structure is, it makes a nice little thump or drum-like sound when patted at the base.

Finished basket: 6 ½” wide, 4” tall and 4” deep.

Tuck woven strips 100% out-of-sight. Whipstitch top raw edges together then apply band (video link at end). Use a thimble and hand stitch basket handle and embellishment into place.

 

When was the last time you had a moment out? Days so hectic, we sometimes forget to stop a moment to take in the color of our day.  Breathe. Look up!

Hmmm… my next basket might have to be in a warm palette of iridescent silk. Try a bold, warm autumn palette if it suits your mood. Reflect colors outside your window today or imagine your upcoming special occasion. enJOY!

 

Paula Scaffidi provides detailed educational resources so you can create your first silk basket with ease and professional results. It’s a free-view at the Fiberella Studio, linked below. Video tutorial and downloadable PDF document includes detailed measurements, prep and assembly steps plus a tidbit of extra inspiration.

It’s simple: http://www.fiberellastudio.com/embellish.html

Join Paula Scaffidi for LIVE eLearning workshops at www.fiberellaStudio.com

Shops and Guild Program Chairs can contact Paula@fiberella.com to host or co-host a special Fiberella eLearning Group Event for shop customers or guild members.

 

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    [...] nt embellishment on each end. Created in silk, frayed light blue embellishment f [...]
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