Carol R. Eaton Designs

Carol R. Eaton Designs

Monday, December 29, 2014

100 for 100 - Designing Mode!


Now that Christmas is behind me it's time to clean up the studio and get busy designing my donation piece for 100 for 100. If you recall Virginia Spiegel's 2015 fundraising goal is $10,000 to benefit the American Cancer Society. On February 4th the first 100 people to donate $100 receive a fabulous piece of fiber art created by 100 talented artists... save the date! 

I've been sketching thoughts and ideasl. My approach will be to use a variety of screens to build up the design and add detail with thread... now - I'm off to gather supplies and put dye to fabric! 

For more detailed information on the fundraiser click here

Monday, December 15, 2014

Channeling Old Wood!

I was asked to create a piece of fabric that had the feel of old wood! I love the colors and textures of wood so I was excited to get started!
This is a detailed shot of the finished piece.
I hope the subtle textures and colors come through!  

I was given this photo as inspiration for the fabric by a fellow fiber artist who is creating a design with an old wood flair. If the fabric meets her needs I'll post a picture of her completed piece at a later date.  

I started by dyeing 100% cotton in a tea bath.

Next I brushed fabric paint through a screen with an old toothbrush.

To create the suggestion of wooden slats I folded the fabric and dyed with more tea.


Here is the finished piece. It reads lighter in the photo and
is actually closer to the color of brown tea. 
Creating fabric for other artists is rewarding and challenging! Artists typically have a vision in their head about what they want. Interpreting their ideas onto fabric and having the end result match their vision is the challenging part. When I get it right I'm ecstatic and if not it's more discussion and back to the studio! 

Fundraiser to Fight Cancer - What You Can Do To Help!

100 artists are busy designing, planning and creating artwork for you to receive as a special thank-you for donating $100 to the annual Fiberart For A Cause fundraiser! 


1 Day - 100 Artists - 100 Patrons - $10,000
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Opens 10 a.m. Central

How The Fundraiser Works
On February 4, the first 100 people to contact Virginia Spiegel beginning at 10 a.m. Central will be given a link to donate $100 by credit card directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause. Please note I am not responsible for the vagaries of the e-mail system.

Each donor will receive artwork from one of the 100 generous and talented artists listed below. Assignments of artwork will be made using a random number generator. Artwork will not be shared here in advance, but may appear on artists' websites or other social media before the event. See also our Pinterest board.


Participating Artists! 

Judy Gula and Eleanor of MeinkeToy:
Our Safety Nets
in case of unforseen circumstances.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Look What Laurie Russman Did!

You may have come across Laurie Russman at this years International Quilt Festival or another large venue teaching her pet portrait and thread painting techniques. Laurie is an accomplished fiber artist and I was delighted when she shared a journal cover she made from a piece of Indigo dyed fabric I made! 

I love the way Laurie manipulated the fabric for the cover and her
stitching made it all pop! 

I don't know how Laurie made the inside look so neat and clean but it's awesome! 

Here is Laurie teaching at Open Studios in Houston! You can follow more of Laurie's work by clicking here

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Fabric Giveaway Time!

It's time for another Printed Fabric Bee giveaway! Susan Purney Mark challenged the hive to create sunflower inspired fabrics!
What a fun collection... all you need to do for a chance to win your own 6" X 6" fabric pack is to post a comment on Susan's blog or The Printed Fabric Bee blog - it's that easy! 

Although sunflowers make everyone smile and it seemed like an easy theme to come up with a design I had some false starts. Each one seemed so simplistic I scraped them until I settled on using Inktense pencils for a more detailed look.


False start #1 and false start #2
The proportions of the flowers on the right were too large to keep going!

I decided to use the piece on the left since the scale was smaller. I applied small brown dots using fabric paint for the sunflower centers. Next I pulled out my Inktense pencils to create the flower pedals.

Inktense pencils are a pretty cool tool. You apply them like any colored pencil but then brush water over the color and they behave like a dye and really pop with color.
I just noticed the Inktense pencils are on sale at Dharma Trading Co - click here for details.

Here is the 6" X 6" piece for the collections give away.

This is Susan's piece. I think some of the flowers wanted to be zinnias rather than sunflowers but the fabric fits nicely into the overall collection and I hope Susan will be pleased!
Click here to hop over to Susan's blog and leave a comment for a chance to win the custom fabric pack ~ the winner will be randomly selected on December 15th!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Take 5 - Honoring Romare Bearden


The Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective opens, ART, HISTORY AND SOCIAL ACTIVISM:  CtFAC HONORS ROMARE BEARDEN at the Hartford Public Library December 17th through March 13th. The third floor exhibition pays homage to Bearden's focus on African-American jazz and civil rights issues. The collective produced some striking work in textiles, fiber and mixed-media celebrating and recognizing one of the greatest visual artists of the 20th century. 

I created a piece titled, Take 5 that was inspired by Bearden's love of jazz and collage work.


The background fabric was created using the screen collage technique. It's very freeing and fun to splash the color across the surface. The applique symbolizes the music that was dancing around in my head. It is sometimes big and bold and other times fractures and drifts away. I hope you have a chance to stop by to view all the fabulous work done by the collective! 




A special reception will be held on January 17, 1:00 - 3:00 on the third floor of the library. 

500 Main Street
Hartford, CT



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Book Review - Fabric Printing at Home by Julie B. Booth!



I'm delighted to review Fabric Printing at Home: Quick and Easy Fabric Design Using Fresh Produce and Found Objects by Julie B. Booth! This book is dedicated to surface design using everyday common items with no need to buy expensive tools. Julie helps you recognize objects around your home that will make a cool print... trust me - you will never look at pasta, cardboard, string, fruit or erasers in the same way again! 

Julie's clear, conscience and easy to follow instructions give you the confidence and knowledge base to create your own collection of printed fabric. Julie shares what she's learned from her many years of experimentation and teaching. The book is filled with creative but practical solutions to printing fabric in your home space. 
Sneak peek at the chapters offered:
Getting Started
Kitchen Textures and Found Object Printing
Beyond the Potato Print
Wrap It Up! – Wraps and Foils
Recycled and Repurposed
Fabric Resists Using Kitchen Ingredients
Contributing Artists


The book is available through QBook and AmazonThis book is a "must" for every studio and I encourage you to share the review with all your creative friends! Follow Julie's continuing ideas and techniques by clicking here.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Printed Fabric Bee + Quilting Arts = Inspiration!


Fellow Printed Fabric Bee member Lynn Krawczyk, wrote a fabulous article about something every artist has struggled with: Finding Your Artistic Voice.  Do you feel that you have found your artist voice?  What helped you to find it?  Or do you feel like you are still working on it?  Pick up the Dec/Jan Quilting Arts Magazine and see if the article resonates with you! 



Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday Piece #1 - it has begun!

I took a "personal" day from my full time job today for some much needed downtime. I woke up at 5:00 AM just thinking about the possibilities the day could bring! 

I headed into the studio with the coffee pot and was quickly immersed in creative energy! My goal was to design a piece of wall art that was very simplistic but still recognizable as Christmas. I pulled fabrics from my stash and settled on a red/black fabric that had been ice dyed twice for the background. Next I chose a hand painted/stenciled fabric that was "challenged". By challenged I mean the overall design was a bit too strong in a one yard piece. Sometimes those wild-child fabrics are more manageable in smaller sizes! 


The quilting is also minimal... just enough to create some texture.  

I stretched the piece over an up-cycled stretcher bars and BOOM - on the wall it goes! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

CT Surface Design Association Exhibition - 1 Down with Many More to Come!

On Saturday I had the pleasure of exhibiting with members from Connecticut's chapter of the Surface Design Association. For the past month we had been showing our work at the Mark Twain Library in Redding, CT. Saturday was the day for the artists to host a meet and greet with the community - we met many wonderful people who were sincerely interested in the art work! This is the first exhibition for the chapter and I'm super impressed with the members commitment and level of enthusiasm for connecting with the community through their art work.
Leslie Giulani and her Outlander inspired knitwear and cashmere collection. 

Alicia Caraballo shows her wears! 

This is the "Carol" corner! Felter Carol Ingram's work is to the left
and my work is behind it on the right! 

Co-rep's Ellen Schiffman and June Myles can be seen zipping around making sure the event was going smoothly. They are in the upper right with June wearing a blue vest and Ellen wearing a gray top. They did a fabulous job! 
Please click on the artists name to view their work! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chocolate and Caffeine!

Chocolate and caffeine are my not so secret pleasures! Even my self portrait highlights chocolate and caffeine... look closely at the fabrics to the left and you can see their influenceSince I am the proud owner of a new thermofax screen highlighting these elements I have an unexplained need to create more and more fabric showcasing this indulgence - it's ok not to make sense! 

The screen was created by fiber artist Terri Stegmiller. She is a fabulous fiber artist and I encourage you to hop over to her website to view her lovely artwork and shop in her Etsy store!

My buddy Roz Spann created this lovely rusted fabric piece that I've been holding onto for a special occasion. It's the perfect "hue" to go with the chocolate and caffeine feel so here you have it! 
The screen is used like any typical silk screen in a frame. The bonus with a thermofax screen is that it's reusable! 

It's always a thrill to lift the screen to find the treasure! 

Here is the completed piece... love... love Roz's rusted piece! 

Detail of my happy elements - I have the sudden urge to have a piece of chocolate with my coffee! 



Monday, November 3, 2014

Time for a Printed Fabric Bee Giveaway!


Yippee! The Printed Fabric Bee is having another custom fabric giveaway! Sorry about the missing photos - many members have been to Quilt Market so their fabric photos will be available soon! 

 Jackie Lams of Studio Lams was the "queen" for October and she chose science as her theme. Jackie says she has always been fascinated by the design of anything at the microscopic level... plants, chemicals, different objects. Jackie feels they all have unique and beautiful designs when viewed through a microscope. She was excited to see how the Printed Fabric Bee artists would translate that into a surface design idea.

The only direction was "no pastels". I was super excited since I love science but as I worked through designs in my head it took some time to rein in all the options. Eventually I honed in on 2 of my favorites chemical elements... caffeine and chocolate! I asked the fabulous artist and thermofax/stencil maker extraordinaire, Terri Stegmiller to create a screen for me from my element design. 


I began with a piece of ice dyed cotton that reminded me of the colors in both coffee and chocolate. Next I used thickened dyes to and my thermofax screen to cover the surface of the fabric with brown, white and cobalt blue elements. I didn't take any pictures of the process... totally forgot which is unlike me! 


For your chance to win a collection of 6" X 6" squares of all the other awesome science inspired fabrics hop over to Jackie's blog and post a comment. She will select a winner on November 17th! 

Have a look at how all these pieces were created by visiting everyone's blogs:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Screen Collage!

After reading Susan Purney Mark's article titled, "Color Blocking" in the October/November issue of Quilting Arts Magazine I could hardly wait to get started! Susan described using thickened dyes and a silk screen to create blocks of color across the surface of the fabric. I had never thought to use a screen like this; I've only used the screen as a method of transferring a design... this is different - this is cool!  

Susan's technique was very freeing and I've already whipped through 5 yards of of screen collage designs. Here is how I interpreted Susan's method!
I used bright green, raspberry and cobolt blue 

I kept repeating until the surface was filled 

Lastly I added some texture with a non-skid rug mat 

For a twist I added strips of freezer paper on the screen

Once the dye sets I'll add another design to the striped piece... not sure what that will be but it defiantly needs more work! 
Give the technique a try... tweak it and go in all kinds of new directions! 
Thank you Susan... 

Monday, October 27, 2014


Ohhhh... I promise this book will be a real delight! Julie's famous for providing innovative ways to print on any fabric surface. Her instructions are easy to follow and realistic. I think every fabric lover will want one this holiday... but why not take a chance to win one of Julie's custom collections as well. Hurry - the pre order giveaway ends November 3rd! 

Steps for Entering the Pre-Order Giveaway for Fabric Printing at Home:

1. If you haven’t ordered yet clcik here: Fabric Printing at Home. You will be automatically direct you to the Quarry Bookstore where you can choose your favorite online bookseller to pre-order Julie's book. If you’ve already pre-ordered Julie's book (thanks!), just continue with the steps below to join the giveaway.

2. After pre-ordering Fabric Printing at Home, you’ll need to send an email with proof of purchase to fabricprintingathome@gmail.com. Be sure to also include a mailing address and if you are among the first one hundred to respond, you will receive an autographed bookplate! You will now own (or can gift) a copy of Fabric Printing at Home signed by Julie!

3. Whether or not you are among the first one hundred to respond, your proof of purchase automatically makes you eligible for the entry in the fabric giveaway.

4. The pre-order giveaway ends at midnight (Eastern USA time) on Monday, November 3, 2014. On Tuesday, November 4, a winner will be randomly chosen to receive the selection of hand painted and printed fat quarter fabrics. 


Good luck!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop - Round Two!



Although I posted an Around the World Blog Hop a few weeks ago I have more great artists that I simply must share with you! Highlighted today is the fabulous Kate Themel. I met Kate at one of the first CT SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) meetings that I attended where she presented a topography series... it was crazy good! She had developed a unique layering technique to get the end results she was looking for and I became an instant fan!  


Kate's created custom fiber art for individuals and corporate clients and her unique fiber pieces have been exhibited in art galleries and museums from Boston to Botswana. Her work has been juried into international fiber art exhibitions such as Quilt National, Art Quilt Elements and the Kagoshima Quilt Show in Japan. Kate recently earned the Young Emerging Artist Award and the People's Choice Award for her work in Quilt National '11.

Kate enjoys sharing ideas with other artists and encouraging people to develop their own creative instincts. Kate offers a variety of classes and lectures ranging from one hour to full day workshops. She and I collaborate on her Magnolia Workshop by using my ice dyed fabrics for the projects she teaches. For more information about Kate's workshops, exhibition schedule and artwork please click here... enjoy! 

I have two other talented artists to share today... Lin-Hsin Chen and Terry Waldron. I became acquainted with both women when I curated The Color Wheel of Emotions exhibition through SAQA which traveled around the US for more than a year. After working on the exhibtion for so long it was kind of sad to let it go... I was delighted with this opportunity to continue to share the artists with all of you! Lin-Hsin's piece titled, "Warm Love" was an expression of a mother's enduring love and support. Terry was the exhibitions juror and I can attest to the hours she poured over all the submitted artwork to create a fabulous cohesive exhibition that shared my vision as curator. She was great to partner with! 


Lin-Hsin Chen was born and raised in Taiwan. She has been organizing exhibitions and teaching for 20 years. Lin-Hsin supports students or groups to collaborate together on large-sized collective works. Lin-Hsin states, "Needles and threads are like my mentors; they lead me to absorb and mature. My thoughts and feelings are well-expressed in various forms and beyond boundaries through the narrative talents of works". She finds endless inspiration in nature and loves to play with various kinds of fabric prints by exploring the combination of possibilities for a new vision. Global environmental issues are close to her heart and reflected in her work. Lin-Hsin is the President of Taiwan Art Quilt Society (TAQS). For a prospectus on the upcoming exhibit, Protect the Earth's Environment, click here.  Lin-Hsin is a SAQA Juried Artist member and the SAQA Regional Representative of Taiwan. Have fun exploring Lin-Hsin's artwork - you will become a raving fan! Please click here for more information.


Terry Waldron is an award-winning fiber artist whose work hangs in art museums, galleries, and in patrons' homes, too.  She is a quilter, teacher and author with work published in several books and magazines. In addition to being a juror Terry has curated and judged fiber art exhibitions and had the unique expereince of having Simply Quilts with Alex Andersen shoot a segment in her homeTerry holds degrees in both art and English Literature and is a Fellow in the UCI Writing Project.  As a life-long high school teacher and now a busy fiber art teacher traveling all around the country, Terry loves to show others that they, too, are born artists! Her inspiration comes from taking notice of details in her surroundings. Terry encourages people to not just look straight ahead but to look UP and DOWN... way down to notice the smaller treasures not normally observed. Terry is a SAQA Professional Member and affiliated with Quilt Visions, California Fiber Artists and Quilts on the Wall. For more information on Terry and to view her exquisite art click here

As you most likely know already the spirit of the Around the World Blog Hop is to answer some questions to share who I am as an artist. Since I posted a few weeks ago I will provide an abridged version and hope that you will click back a few posts for a more complete picture of my work and what makes me tick! 

What am I working on?
The answer to this question changes almost daily. It's not that I'm scattered it's just that inspiration hits me and I act on it or make notes until I have the time to explore the idea. I just completed a series of shawls and scarves for an upcoming exhibition/sale on November 15th at the Mark Twain Library in Redding, CT being organized by SDA (Surface Design Association). Also, I recently went deep into an Indigo frenzy and everything got dipped in the vat and lately I've asked fiber artist Terri Stegmiller to create custom Thermofax Screens for my designs. A shout out to Terri - she is not only an incredible fiber artist but through her Etsy shop she'll create custom screens for you in addition to offering her own collection of screen and stencils



How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My work comes directly from my head and heart. I'm influenced by the natural world and love understanding techniques and processes so I can take my work to the next level. I sincerely believe that following this individual path differentiates my work from other fiber artists. 

Why do I write/work what I do?
I'm wired this way... for me being an artist is part of my personality and seeps into all other areas of my life and decision making. 

How does my working process work?
At the risk of sounding over simplistic an idea comes to me either by thinking through a topic or by having something in nature catch my eye. I roll that thought around in my head sorting through how to achieve the end result and once I have a path I get to work in the studio. The path is never straight and zigs and zags while keeping the vision for the end result in my mind's eye. 

Please check out my work on FaceBook at Carol R. Eaton Designs and Pinterest I'm a member of The Printed Fabric Bee which is a collection of professional surface design artists. The group hosts a monthly giveaway and for a chance to win your own custom fabric collection follow The Printed Fabric Bee Blog!

Check out a sampling of the other artists participating in the Around the World Blog Hop!









Saturday, October 18, 2014

Silk + Sharpies + Alcohol = Yum!


It's been a while since I picked up the combination of silk, permanent Sharpie Markers and rubbing alcohol. Using the technique in the past I became impatient working on small areas and waiting for the silk to dry before moving to the next spot. However, I was reminded of Mark Lipinski's, Slow Stitching Movement to stop and enjoy the process - so I approached my luscious silk with patience and decided the end result would be worth the time. 
The tools: silk, a variety of empty containers, rubber bands, permanent Sharpie Markers, rubbing alcohol (90%) and some type of dropper to add a small amount of alcohol at a time 

Stretch the silk over the tops of empty containers and secure with a rubber band. The size of the container is not important and if you find another method for stretching the silk to lift off the surface than go for it, (and tell me what you did!)

Mark the silk with the Sharpie 

Add a drop of rubbing alcohol on your colored mark 

Here are 2 shades of blue spreading, mingling and starting to dry!

Once the blue was dried I heat set and started again adding purple

Once you get the hang of how many drops of alcohol to use and how the marker spreads its easier to predict the results 

If you want a large blended spot of color start with larger markings and more alcohol - for smaller spots use a light touch

Here is a detail of the finished piece!
The small circles remind me of dividing cells but what if I stretched the silk over a very large surface... what would happen?!

Oh the places to go...