The first time we saw Bari J. Ackerman's Art Journal fabric line, we thought perhaps we'd stumbled onto a collection of paintings masquerading as fabric. Beautiful. Plain and simple. Bari's designs have an exuberant use of color. Her florals make us feel like we've collapsed inside an impressionist's garden where everything is bold and lush and shot through with lilac, periwinkle, citron, rose... all the cool crayon colors!
When Bari contacted Sew4Home with an offer to create a tutorial in Art Journal, we didn't just jump at the chance, we leapt and clicked our heels. Even better, she surprised us by using the fabric for two nursery projects (today's play mat and an upcoming burp cloth) – a usage we never would have thought of, but which works charmingly. The hand-stitching detail and fabric combinations on the pinwheel play mat are absolutely wonderful. We also love Bari's 'backstory' discovered in a recent interview in the summer issue of Better Homes & Garden's Quilts and More magazine. Turns out she came up through the theater, turning to fabric design later in life; in fact, she didn't teach herself to sew until adulthood. 'If you're not doing it now but it's a dream, it's always possible. If there's something you want to do, don't question yourself and worry and wonder what others will think. Just do it!'
Bari created her tutorial as a .pdf file. Click the image below to download. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free program.
This is a bit more advanced, quilting-based project than we sometimes feature here at Sew4Home, but don't let that stop you. As Bari says, 'It's so gratifying to create a pattern, sew it up, and say, 'I made that!'
Yes! That's what we say everyday at Sew4Home!