Steeped in Summer Lavender & Purple-

Steeped in Summer Lavender & Purple-

August = ONE COLOR: Purple      ONE STENCIL: The Calla Lilly

I loved visiting Los Pablanos this summer ( a Beautiful Lavender Farm in the Southwest). It has re-inspired my use of all things purple. Being a lavender girl, those soft dusty shades of purple are on my design table getting ready to morph into something cool to wear! The summer shirt re-make was printed with my favorite Tee Juice Pens by Jacquard…this is the jumbo size…It just makes the shirt…and who doesn’t love a dot?

Color wheel stories-I love how these peachy/corral color roses bring out the lavender in my fabric and threads! the farther around the color wheel you get from your basic color, the more it accents your original color. I always get alot of inspiration just by creating arrangements of various color objects and flowers. That process alone often inspires a color combo for a new project.

Printing Play in shades of Purple-

It is always about the WAY you print. Keep that in mind as you check out this mosaic style printing of a collection of my stencils on linen! Some metallic white Lumiere was added to purple for some of the printing to add variety. This is a great format for organizing design elements. It just take one favorite stencil to create a first layer on your fabric….and a color you love with some neutrals to give some variety to your basic colors. Here I'm using my Calla LilIy Stencil. As a re-fresher: I invite you to experiment with all the different ways you can print with a stencil. Above is a first pass, with various shades of lavender, on a lightweight silk scarf.

Printing tip: As I lay the silk out flat, notice how you can change the pattern by printing just corners or parts of the stencil you’re using.

Adding more Design with Window Shapes-

Notice how the Calla Lilly Stencil transforms with these 2 window shapes I’ve cut from cardstock. This is one of the coolest tricks I know….and it works with the layering of any 2 stencils…in addition to the basic shapes you cut out. I love how this organic shape stencil changes when printed with a square over it! Yes, Absolutely…cut out some windows and lets go! This is way fun. The cut or torn edge of a paper works well too…se how it adds some subtle definition to the printing on this textured handwoven cotton.

 Playing with Natural Dye Pastes with artist Marilet Pretorius was a treat this summer! Here is where that printing has taken me this week. I made a noren ( a Japanese doorway curtain).

I stenciled my new shapes cut as stencils, with natural dye paste in these beautiful colors on white linen. I combined it with Black Bamboo  from my yard along the top, leaving that diagonal branch to complete my ‘roof’. The organza ties make it adjustable and lets me tie it onto other sticks if I want.

 WE MAKE BEAUTY…all of us…appreciate the magic of that when you step into your studio to make!

Enjoy, Diane



Back to blog


I never fail to get an “Ah-hah!” moment when I read your newsletters, or linger on your website or browse through your books and Threads articles. Your use of stencils never fails to amaze me, even after all of these years. I love playing with them, over and over and over and over….. Sincerely hope to get to another of your retreats soon. I so miss being with you all!

Paula Vincent

I’m moving this weekend and I have been going through boxes and boxes of sewing and craft things my mom and I collected over the years. And there are articles that were by you and your mother in Threads Magazines and from what I think was your websites. Still amazing me year by year!!

Beverly Roget

As always, I am inspired with your design choices. You mentioned ‘Natural Dye Pastes’ Is this available thru your website, or where can I find it? Thanks for all of your instructions on stamping, kathy


As always, I get inspired by your endless creativity. Loved the video and I want to experiment with all my paints and stencils on old and new fabrics. You are my shero….!

Sherie Yazman

Diane, are you offering a workshop specifically on stenciling and painting there in Ashland?

Carol Lavery

Leave a comment