A post by artist and seamstress Marilyn Petersen:
My love of fabric began at a very early age. My mother, my grandmother, and my great- grandmother all sewed and made their clothes and anything else needed in their homes such as drapery, tea towels, and hot pads.
I used the name “tea towels” to give you a bit of information about my family. My extended families always included the grandmother living with the next generation.
My mother married my father the day before World War Two ended. She was 29 and he was 42. They thought that they were incredibly old to start a family, but within several years they had two daughters. Five years later my grandfather passed away, and my grandmother moved in with us in 1955.
This began my thorough lessons in fabric and sewing. My mother and grandmother never thought about going to the store and buying any clothing for themselves or for my sister and me.
Going to the stores and looking for fabric was a regular occurrence. On many occasions, my mother’s older sister joined in the search. Fabric stores were in almost every neighborhood and fabric could be found at very affordable prices.
We were three females and two little girls moving from one section of the store to the next. As my mother ran her finger through the cloth, I came behind her to repeat this action. She crinkled it in her hands to see is it wrinkled, and I did the same.
When it came time to sew, we went into action making the latest styles.
With intensive training from my mother and my grandmother, I was making my own dresses by the age of twelve.
Now I am sixty- two, and I have never lost the love of fabric. Thanks to recent technology and the love of design, I have now found a way to not only use fabric, but to design it!
Small businesses have opened to make it possible to print designs that you submit to them. You can purchase the fabric in sizes as small as an eight square to as many yards as you need for you project.
This Easter egg design above is based on a small swath in an antique quilt. I have come full circle from a quilt that belonged to the generation of my great- grandmother to the present.
The fabric below is inspired by Matisse:
And bunnies and other creatures in honor of spring:
I’m very happy that so many more people are again interested in fabric. This new interest allows creative people to join together with small business (often run by women) to make endless numbers of beautiful projects.
I design my fabric through Spoonflower. To find my page, CLICK HERE.
The Easter Egg design is part of a weekly contest between Spoonflower designers.
For the Matisse, we were to design a fabric that would be comfortable and part of the décor of a room in Matisse’s home.
The designs were to be limited to four colors. I created my design referencing a group of life drawing sketches that I call “My Dancers.” The dancers are free and full of movement.
Here are the baby animals. I’ve received some nice comments on this design!
Marilyn Petersen was born in Dallas Texas and has lived in Laurinburg, NC since the year 2000. She majored in Fine Arts while attending Austin Community College and the University of Texas at Austin, and she’s had a long career as an artist, working in enameling, jewelry, fiber arts, and visual arts.
While living in Mexico the previous five years before moving to North Carolina, she also studied painting and drawing in San Miguel de Allende and in San Juan del Rio. All these experiences in her life have given her a rich background in color and design. Here she is below, in an outfit she made in Junior High!