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Laura Murray Designs

March-April 2017

We all have favorite jackets and shirts, worn with confidence and comfort, right? My favorites are the ones which receive compliments from others.... it means I'm looking good, which makes me feel good. The jacket on your left is much admired in our booth, and sells many Noren Ensemble patterns. Like most patterns, it likely wouldn't get a second glance if made up with plain fabrics. If I'm going for a "wow", I believe using a special fabric is the key ingredient between "wow" and "ok" reactions.

The "wow" factor in this jacket is the front panels, featuring one of my unique over-dyed vintage kimono panels, split in half vertically. The body of the jacket is charcoal silk noil.

Where does one find unique high quality "wow" fabric? Besides my booth at sewing and quilting shows, sources include fashion fabric stores, hand dyers, and thaisilks.com. Or, consider making your own using surface techniques. I'm teaching "Color your Fabric with Paintstiks" at upcoming shows, which is great way to learn how to create the fabric of your dreams.

~ Laura

Creating "Wow" Fabrics

My favorite "wow" fabrics are vintage kimono silks enhanced by adding color, either with dye (Procion MX) or Pro Chemical and Dye Transparent fabric paint. Kimono are some of the most breathtaking textiles in the world, and they are also some of the most meticulously crafted, labor-intensive textiles ever created, which makes them very special indeed. My technique works with any fabric, assuming you have a sense of adventure because the new color interacts with the existing colors in very unpredictable ways. The silks are entirely washable, line dry. For kimono, the steps are:

Disassemble the kimono by picking apart the hand stitched seams into lengths of 14" wide silk panels, 30"-64" long. I buy damaged kimono, and repurpose these fabulous fabrics by changing the colors. Twelve to sixteen yards are used in a single kimono and no two kimono are identical because they were made by hand using stenciling, embroidered or hand-painted techniques.

Lay the fabric flat, and apply dye or transparent paint using a 2"-3" paintbrush. This changes the color, but original designs show through the paint.

Some pieces may be both over-dyed and painted. Many require two separate applications of dye and/or paint to achieve my preference for deep, rich colors. When dry, heat set by placing in a hot dryer for 30 minutes.

New Kimono Panels Available*

There are nine beautiful new designs available in the online store. Only a few are placed online each year. Our booth is the best way to truly appreciate these spectacular silks through touch and seeing the light reflections and gorgeous jacquard patterns woven into the cloth. Enjoy the entire collection here.




*Note: The online kimono collection does not travel with us (unlike our other online products which we can ship from the road). We're traveling for most of March and April, so best to act before March 4 if you're in a hurry to receive these beauties before our return home on April 11.

On The Road

This is our "show marathon" time of year, as we vend at four shows within a five week timeframe, requiring driving more than 4,000 miles with our Sprinter van packed full of goodies. Workshops are available in Atlanta, Lakeland, and Cleveland. It's fun, full of energy and enthusiasm, and we look forward to visiting with you.

A large new shipment of silver metal buttons just arrived, featuring a dazzling array of designs at just $1.00 per button. This is an amazing value, and the buttons can be used very effectively in both jewelry and mixed media projects.




March 9-11

Original Sewing and Quilt Show
Atlanta, GA
Booth, demonstrations, workshops*


March 16-18

Original Sewing and Quilt Show
Lakeland, FL
Booth, demonstrations, workshops*


Mar 30-Apr 1

Original Sewing and Quilt Show
Cleveland, OH
Booth, demonstrations, workshops*


April 6-8

International Quilt Festival
Chicago, IL
Booth, demonstrations


April 26-29

American Quilters Society
Paducah, KY
Booth, demonstrations


May 19-21

Fiber Arts Fiesta
Albuquerque, NM
Booth, demonstrations


*Workshops and Lectures

I love teaching, and look forward to sharing discoveries with my students. I'll be teaching/lecturing in the Atlanta, Lakeland, and Cleveland shows. No artistic skills are needed, just bring your sense of adventure and play! Find complete information at www.sewingexpo.com.

Color your Fabric with Paintstiks
(90 minute workshop)

Hands-on workshop which provides a playful, fun approach to learning a variety of methods to turn plain cloth into exactly what your project needs.

Stunning Stars
(90 minute workshop)

Complete a unique star block in class while learning a unique raw-edged fusible appliqué technique combined with paintstik rubbings and stamps.

Diamonds are Forever
(90 minute workshop)

Take home an amazing one-of-a-kind design utilizing my special painted, layered and fused techniques.

One Step Beyond
One hour lecture

Join me for some creative inspiration, as I share a retrospective of my award winning quilts and a description of my break-through fusible appliqué techniques that create the illusion of intricate piecing without sewing a single stitch.

Like us on Facebook!

You'll find lots of eye candy on my new Laura Murray Designs Facebook page... check it out for weekly postings!