MiniQuilts for the Lottery at Rocca Brivio

by orkaloca marzo 23 creazioni

On April 16 - 17, there will be the annual Quilt Show in Rocca Brivio. The show is named "Patchwork roads leads to Rocca Brivio". There will be shown quilts made by the quilters of the association and other Italian artists.
There will be also a lottery and I've decided to give two small ArtQuilts. They are simple but with their black mat and the black frame they look so cool :)

The theme is "feathers", the background is hand-dyed


Red feathers and feathers quilted with Aurifil


A small white feather, a feather quilted with gold metallic thead and a net-like ribbon to embellish.

The frames are 20x30cm, the mat window is 10x20cm.

I like them as they are but may be I'll add some golden-acrilyc accents to the quilting.

So if you want one of these you've to come to Rocca Brivio on April 16/17 and buy at least one lottery tiket :)


Custom Fabric Labels

by orkaloca marzo 22 creazioni

Many people ask me where I buy the labels I put on my creations.
The truth is that I don't buy them but I make them by myself, and I also do them by commission.

I print labels directly on fabric (cotton 100% white) pre-treated to hold the ink. I use pigment inks that soesn't run with water. Then I was the sheets of labels to remove excess ink and ensure that the print is well done.
Using this method, labels are not rubber-coated but retain the softness of the fabric, because the print sits directly on the fabric, not on an iron-transfer sheet-

Below you can see some examples of labels (but it is possible customize the style and layout)

A: The label is simple, with logo printed once. You cut the labels, fold and sew the long sides seam allowance, then fold the short sides and sew the label on the item with two seams on short sides.

B: If the logo is big it's possible to do bigger labels. You cut the labels, fold the seam allowance all around and sew the label on the item with a perimetric seam.

C: Double label, grat for bags, pouche, quilts, etc. Every label has the logo printed twice. You cut the label, fold and sew the lateral sides, then fold the label in half and embed it in a seam. For example ypu can embed this label in the side seam on a bag, or under the binding of a quilt.


- Labels are printed on A4 fabric sheets.
- Price for one sheet is 8€
- The number of labels on one sheet may vary and depend on hoiw big you want the labels.
- Labels can be any size, till 19x28cm (in this case one sheet will have only one label)

- I can use your design. In this case you've to provide me your design as JPG high quality (300dpi) image. Specify the final size you want the labels.
- If you want me to project a design for you (phrase, not logo) the design fee is 10€ for every new design you ask. If I re-print an already done design you don't have to pay this fee anymore. I want to give you your dream label, I will work with you, but the design fee is not refundable if you decide to not print labels.
- I can print any color or font, but I DO NOT recommend an all-black background. Dark backgrounds may make it difficult to read the text. It may look great on the computer, but it won't look as nice as a light-background design when printed.
- I'll send you a proof layout and design before printing.

Matherials and other info:
- Labels are printed on 100% cotton fabric.
- Labels are UNCUT (you will receive full A4 sheets). On A4 sheets I print useful cutting guides.
- You can have labels with iron-on backing. You can iron these labels on your item, they will not fry but you will have to do a perimetric seam. This kind of label doesn't need a seam allowance so I can fit more labels in a fabric sheet. Iron-on backing has an additional fee of 2€ every sheet.
- I suggest you to use these labels on items that are rarely washed or gentle washed.

Time and Rush Orders:
- Designing will take 3-5 days. Print will take 3 days.
- I accept Rush orders. These will be shipped in 2 business days with an additional fee of 10€

- Customer has to pay shipping price .
- I will ship labels with posta raccomandata with tracking code. (international customers will have a quotation of the shipment)
- Rush orders are shipped in the fastest way.
- You can have a cheaper non-trackable shipping but if labels get lost I will not replace them or refund.

Return and refund policy:
- If you're not satisfied you can return the labels. You have 7 days to email me your willing of return labels. Labels have to be in like-new condition, uncut, clean, as received.
- Return shipping price is on customer.
- When I receive labels back I check for their status and if they are ok I will refund the labels price. Shipping cost, design fee and rush order fee are not refundable.

Labels layout example, with cutting lines:

If you've questions ar you want to place and order, mail me at    info[AT]orkaloca[DOT]com


QRcode on labels

To create is beautiful but it takes time, planning, passion, patience... but all these efforts are worthless if our creations doesn't tell about us.
Our creations can tell about us through the style, or colors, but they should tell about us even more directly.
What are worth the hours spent to advertise on websites, blogs and so on, if those who see our creations haven't a way to know that we made them? If who own our creations has no way to tell his friends "I bought this from Orkaloca and this is her site?"

We cannot pretend that our customers remember our name or site. For these reasons it's very important to label our creations, transform them in a sort of "business card".

You can make a label in several ways but it will be almost always small (I'm not speaking about quilt labels but garments, bags, small art, etc). A small label doesn't allow you to enter all our data.
Write your name and maybe your website is a good idea, but what if you'd be able to put on a small label all your infos such as phone number, email, and so on?

Thinking to this I have decided to change my labels. I removed my logo, nice but not very useful, I left my website and few words about what I do, but most important I implemented a QR-code in my labels.
I printed them on fabric and they turned out terribly stylish:

QR-codes are bidimensional "bar codes" that allow you to store lots of data in a small space.
For example in the QR-code that you see in my tag I've stored my name and business name, address, website, email and phone number.
Ultimately it is a complete business card compressed in a space of 3x3cm, including words.


QR-codes can be generated by specific generators you can find online, and to read them all you need is a smartphone (like i-phone, htc, etc, now more and more common).
New generation smartphones come with a code-reading program, for older smartphone it's possible to install a reading program.

Now if a potential customer sees one of my creations he can take out of his pocket his smartphone, turn on the code-reader and frame my label with his smartphone camera. The reader decrypts the code showing all my data.
The potential client can then decide if he wants to save my data, or call me, e-mail me or open his browser and visit directly my site. All this in less than 3 seconds.

I find QR-codes full of potential, and I've added one on my business card also, and I'll put them on my future quilt labels.
However I will keep writing clearly my website address, because not everyone have a smartphone. ^_^


Ceci ne sera pas un papillon

by orkaloca marzo 9 art * creazioni * show

(this will not be a butterfly)

In this post I want to show you my quilt "Ceci ne sera pas un papillon", the quilt that has won the "Emotional Impact" award in the Verona quilt contest "Silk roads meet in Verona"
First of all the title is a clear tribute to Magritte's paint "ceci n'est pas une pipe" :)

And here is the full quilt:

When I've read the call for entries I've seen that the theme was at free interpretation, the only true requirements were measures (80x80cm - 31x31inch) and material (at least 30% silk).

After lot of thinking and more thinking, I've decided to do a "concept quilt". The concept is related to the way silk is produced.
Silk come from the silkworm cocoon, that is made from one single long silk filament. When the worm become a butterfly break the cocoon (and the long silk filament) to come out and go away.
Silk producers needs long silk filaments to produce silk threads and fabrics so the cocoon are boiled so, the silkworm die and the full silk filament is safe and usable.
Every silk fiber is a died silkworm.

To show the concept I've taken some silk cocoon (thanks to the Sperimental Silk Station of the University of Milano) and I've sewed them in a batch on the lower left corner of the quilt.
Then I've made some 3D silk moths (I've made the wings with raw wool and net, the body with silk, the antennas with feathers) and I've sewed them to the upper right corner.

The curvy background (green shantung and white taffeta) suggest a flying motion... and this also is a statement because silk moths aren't able to fly.
My moths flies because they aren't alive anymore, they are gosts.

To emphasize the concept I've dropped and sploshed red paint all over the quilt, from the cocoons to the butterfly, in an explosion of blood and death.

A dissonant touch is given by the quilting pattern on the background: feathers, butterflies, flowers. Very bucolic.

With this quilt I wanted to make a statement, may be also to shock, and I think I've succeeded. The first thing my mum said when she saw this quilt was "Is it made by Jack the Ripper?" :p
And the award I've won tells that I was able to shake emotions in the observer.

I'm happy ^_^ and really proud of this quilt, specially if I consider its difficoult birth (I'll write another post about this)

I'd love to hear from you what do you think about it.



by orkaloca febbraio 21 creazioni * wearable

This is my last creation, I've finished it on friday, just in time to wear it in the week-end.
It's a short jumper, made out of pink and black wool.

It's silly but nice and makes me feel so sixteen :p


The cloak is finished

by orkaloca febbraio 21 creazioni * wearable

Last month I received a commission for a cloak. The customer wanted it long till the floor, black, made out of wool, lined and with a detachable shorter cape.

I had to buy 6,5mt of wool (coat weight) and 5mt of lining, and this was the simply part.
Then I had to cut two full circles out of the wool, one with a 140cm radius, the other with a 40cm radius. I had to cut a full 140cmradius circle also from the lining.
The last piece was the collar, made out of two identical piece of wool, then sewed toghether.

I sewed the collar to the big circle of wool, then I added the lining. Due to the heavy weight of the cloak (more than 4.5kilos) I decided to sew the lining and the wool wrong-sides toghether, so I hadn't to turn it right-side out.
I've made hems both to the big cloak and to the smaller cape, then I made 6 button-holes on the smaller cape, around the neck, and sewed 6 buttons around the neck of the cloak.
Finally I sewed a single cord/wood clasp to close the cloak.

And here is the finished cloak:

On saturday I gave the cloak to the customer, and guys you can believe it was really happy!

Then yesterday he sent to me a photo of the full ensemble, with cape and carnival dress. Soooo stylish!

If you want a cloak like this, or something less scenical, like a shorter cape or a feminine cape, contact me :)



by Orkaloca febbraio 14 Art Quilt * creazioni

Oggi avevo voglia di sperimentare, così mi son armata di stoffa, imbottituta e piedino da trapunto.

Questo mese il tema per l'haiku challenge era "love", così ho preso spunto.
Nel fare questo miniquilt (dimensioni A4) volevo che fossero ben visibili le linee di trapunto, così invece di dipingere e poi trapuntare ho fatto il contrario, prima ho trapuntato e poi colorato con dei tamponi e gli acrilici.

Inoltre ho inserito (o tolto) un buco a forma di cuore :)

Mi piace come il colore applicato dopo il trapunto ne risalta le linee che, essendo rientrate rispetto alla stoffa, non vengono colorate.

Questa tecnica mi piace, credo che l'approfondirò :)


Work in progress: the cape

by orkaloca febbraio 12 creazioni * lavori in corso * wearable

A friend asked me to make him a cloak with a detachable smaller upper-cloak.
As fabric we chose a wool cloth, hot and very soft.
The cloak is also lined.

Here's the cloak without the smaller upper-cloak

Here it's closed like a "tabarro" (don't know the english name)

And here with the upper-cloak

Now I've to sew the lining, then decide how to do the fastening and sew hems.

I like it so much that I'm thinking I'd like to do one smaller for me :) It's very heavy but sooo fashion!


Veterinary Signboard

by orkaloca febbraio 4 creazioni

Last month my veterinary asked me to make her a signboard to show at the window of her study.
We chose the colors and animals then was time to buy fabrics, make the design and work.
And here's the result:

The signboard is in cotton, letters and animals are appliqued, size is 40x60cm (about 18x24inches) and it will be hung with the two ribbons attached to the signboard with buttons.

On the front there are the vet's name and some animals: a cat, a dog, a bird, a turtle, two rabbits and two crows.

The quilting phase is made by machine in the center panel, and by hand on the border. I've made slightly long stitches to give the border a country look.

On Monday I'm going to give the signboard to its new owner :)

If you've a shop and you want a quilted signboard (to keep inside) contact me :)



by orkaloca gennaio 21 creazioni * wearable

My last creation is not a quilt but a pair of jeans.

I needed a pair of jeans but now are fashion tight-jeans, which I do not like. I like a lot more flared jeans in 70's style, but obviously now it is impossible to find them in stores.

The idea to sew my jeans became seriously into my mind when I found on the Burda (no affiliation etc) site the pattern No. 7738, for flared legs jeans. So I've bought it, fabric, and started to sew.

The cut of the fabric went smoothly, but the sewing gave me some hard time, mostly because I've tried to make changes clutching the legs. Needless to say, I had to un-sew and assemble as required by the pattern.
Burda patterns usually fits very well, but in my case I had to make a small change by adding two piences behind to reduce the inevitable bag that trousers makes on my back.

I really like the result, they are so "70's", extravagant with the applications, and with the right lenght to wear it also with heel.
The only thing is that the leg is not as tight on the thigh, but that's because even though my hips want a size 42, the waist and legs are a 40.
But they are so comfortable that I do not mind the wide leg.

And so here they are:)
I am posting reduced pictures, click that to enlarge ^_^

Notice the overlaps with all the flap in place, the little pocket inside the front pocket, and the back pocket with the OrkaLogo :)

This was the first test, done with just a scrap of denim, but I already have bought fabric to do a black pair and a pair in amaranth red. After the third pair I think I'll be able to do them also by request :) The truth is that they are not as difficult as they seems, you've only to pay extra-attention in some steps, and use a pole instead of a needle when there are too much layers of fabric :)

Now I just have to find the will to finish the dress I was working on last week... in the future:)
maybe :)