niki's duvet

This king size duvet cover is a recent commission from Niki and her husband Claudio in Toronto. It was an amazing project to work on. I love the subtle color combinations and the geometric shapes punctuated by the viburnum leaf prints.

I apologize for my absence these past few weeks. My son got really sick while traveling in Europe, and I ended up accompanying him during his recovery in a German hospital. Most stressful times and not the ideal way to experience Munich. But he is on the mend and I am slowly catching my breath, believing everything will turn out ok.

signs of fall and a worldwide band of stitchers

These choral red spider lilies are popping up all over my ruefully neglected garden. I love their determination and grace. Their annual appearance is the first sign that fall will actually happen again this year. The stifling heat is giving away to cooler days, which brings energy and ambition. My dreams and plans are always most plentiful this time of year.  There are so many things I want to take on. The front garden needs a total rework and a new stone walk, the home office needs repainting, and my head is spinning with work ideas...

I am starting off by joining India Flint's global sewing circle. Each participant will find a simple pre-used textile, that will be renewed and embellished with patching, mending, and stitching. Progress will be chronicled and shared on the blog, and sometime next year there will be an opportunity for the participants to meet up with India for a few days of dyeing, sharing, and celebrating. Several locations around the world will be selected for these events. This wonderful project will evolve over time, but the general idea is to enjoy the art of sewing, preserving, gathering, and dreaming, while sharing ideas and experiences with friends. Novices and experts alike are invited to join. For more detailed information check out India's project description. I encourage you to sign up!

Stitching and mending images courtesy of India Flint.

ready to show

phew, the last few weeks have gone by in a blur. The final stitches are done, the artwork is packaged, delivered, and hung. The show at Warm Springs Gallery is underway and I am very proud over how it came together. The show will be on display until middle of September, so if you happen to travel through this beautiful corner of the world, please stop by.

There are still plenty of things awaiting this month, such as sending my son off to college (must get hold of some of those extra long twin sheets), finishing three commission pieces for the new ed-school building at University of Virginia (move-in is next week), and the start of the soccer season for my younger son. All fun, and exciting.

A few more tidbits to share, periwinklebloom's and inleaf's beautiful toddler halter is now available in my shop. We are so proud of this collaboration and hope you will like it too. Last, but not least, there is a summer sale going on in the shop. Everything is 15% off for my blog and facebook friends until August 20. Just enter "inleafintro" in the discount box at checkout.

endearing collaboration

My successful endeavor with textiles and fiber art came to be thanks to my mother. When I was young she taught my how to sew doll clothes, how to knit, and make my own clothes. Much later she was the co-conspirator in the creation of inleaf. She knew I wanted my life to take a more artistic path, and during one of her visits we explored leaf printing for the first time. She has ben my most loyal supporter ever since, always encouraging, inspiring, and pushing me along.

She is still an amazing fiber artist in her own right, and when she was here earlier this summer she suggested a mother-daughter collaboration. She brought a bag filled with my fabric scraps back to Sweden, with the idea of using them for a traditional quilt pattern. Here is the initial result. I love her color selections and how she mixed pieces from my collection with ones from her own stacks. One of the hexagons even feature a paw print from my late cat, who accidentally walked across my printing table at the time...

We don't know what final shape this project will take. It will evolve over time, and we will work on it together when we next meet up. Thank you mamma, for the wisdom and creative inspiration you continue to provide.

rumination and dreams, part 3

I want a place of my own, imagining a storefront studio near Charlottesville's downtown mall, just a few blocks away from our house. I am thinking exposed brick walls, rough hewn beams, tall ceilings, lots of white, lots of light. The front would showcase my art and my goods. I would invite others artist friends to display theirs as well, to provide a nice selection of locally made, handcrafted beauty. The back is to be my studio with big tables and room to spread out, with plenty of storage space for inventory and supplies. This will be a place to meet with customers and clients, and the work process will become public to demonstrate what handmade is all about. I will hire help to manage the store and assist with production. The dream goes on...



Inspiration comes from many places. Arounna Khounnoraj and John Booth's Bookhou in Toronto seems like a perfect artistic venue, so does Hannah Nunn's Radiance in West Yorkshire, UK, and then there are places like Imogene + Willie in Nashville and The Barn Swallow in Ivy, Virginia... It can be done, and it can be done well. For now this remains the most unrealistic part of my hopes and aspirations (for more look here and here). We lack the capital and the time necessary to pull something like this off, and I already have a wonderful, light filled studio just a few steps from my bedroom. But dreaming and scheming is free, and maybe someday when everything is aligned, a space like one of these will be mine.

Lastly, thank you good morning – midnight for featuring my seedpod pillow on your beautiful blog last week.

hearts for haiti

Oh' Suzannah, one of my absolute favorite Charlottesville shops, is making a contribution to help the Haitian earthquake victims, by selling these precious hand felted hearts. Suzannah, the owner, and her crafter friends have made dozens of them in a collaborate effort to reach out and help Haitians in need. By buying one or two, you can make a contribution as well. The hearts sell for $10 - 20 and all proceeds from the sales will go towards the relief and rebuilding effort in Haiti. I can't imagine a better valentine token.

slow cloth

Images above courtesy of Glennis Dolce. All rights reserved.

Slow cloth is the fiber worlds equivalent of the slow food movement. Slow cloth was branded and initiated by Elaine Lipson, artist, writer, editor, and one of the supporters of the slow food idea here in the US. Slow cloth is not a project, technique, or some kind of exclusive club, but rather a philosophy and an attitude, characterized by joy, skill, contemplation, beauty, and expression. The Slow Cloth philosophy embraces teaching, community (global and local), diversity, and responsible sourcing and use of materials. You can find a more detailed outline of the slow cloth initiative here.

For me slow cloth emphasizes the fact that making things from fiber is a blissful experience, and that is is ok for things to take time, as long as we cherish the process. On a larger scale slow cloth takes on issues such as sustainable, and fair manufacturing of fashion and home goods, respect for the environment, the importance of making things that last and doing more with less.

The slow cloth group on facebook, spearheaded by Elaine, with the help of Jude Hill, and Glennis Dolce, now has close to 600 members from all over the world, all sharing a love for fabric, fibers, stitching, and handcraft. The slow cloth group has ongoing discussions about varied topics such as artistic process, books for fiber makers, favorite needels, and "ugly" work. There is an adjacent flicker group where members can post photos of their work, and all members are encouraged to post links and comments on topics related to the slow cloth philosophy. I find this to be an increadible inspiring place and I encourage everybody who work with textiles, and who embraces the slow cloth ideas to join the group. Thank you Kit for helping me find the way, and thank you Elaine, Jude, and Glennis for setting things in motion!

Images above courtesy of Jude Hill. All rights reserved.

starting point

I have two show openings this week with my art quilt group Fiber Transformed. We do themed collaborative shows whenever possible. The most recent one is called starting point, celebrating the fact that all artistic endeavors start with a small seed of inspiration, a black dot of sorts. The pieces shown at Art Works in Richmond, Virginia, all incorporates spots; tiny, simple, big, plentiful, or provocative. The second show is called wish you where here, and is on display at Radford University, Radford, Virginia. It is a collection of artworks created in response to vacation photos taken by group members during their travels. I am honored and delighted to be part of this fun and talented group of women!

joining the tour

Frantic preparations are underway as I am getting ready for the annual Artisans Studio Tour this weekend. 15 studios in the Charlottesville area will open their doors and a total of 30 artists will showcase their work and craft. I will be at The Barn Swallow along with potters Janice Arone and Mary Ann Burk, and textile artist Enid Adams. I'll bring a stack of fresh leaves to demonstrate my leaf printing technique and I am introducing new bags, art quilts, and pillows. The fun fig market totes are also available in the shop. The studios are open from 10 - 5 both days. For more information, directions, and other details visit the tour website. The weather is supposed to be glorious and I hope you will join us if you are in the area!

loam, new preston, ct

I have written before about my ongoing conflict with wholesale orders and the complexity of re-selling and mass producing handmade goods. My doubts are always diminished when I connect with a store owner who is brimming of enthusiasm for her shop, its mission, and the objects that are sold within. Beth Fowler in New Preston, Connecticut is definitely that kind of person.

Beth opened her store Loam just a few weeks ago as an endeavor to pursue her passions for the environment, treasure hunting, decorating, and social responsibility. She wants to make choosing fair trade, small artisans, organic, and recycled or vintage goods as common as buying mass produced. She wants everyone to know the story behind what they buy, and who a purchase is feeding or supporting. She offers an intriguing mix of handmade goods, art, fair trade objects, and vintage treasures. Art shows will be a regular feature and throughout the year she will highlight, contribute, and bring awareness to a variety of charitable causes. I am proud to be included in Beth's new venture. Loam is a destination, so if you are in or near New Preston, Connecticut, please stop by for a visit. Loam, 13 E. Shore Road, New Preston, CT 06777, 860 619 0707.

fall pillows

The weather is getting cooler in my part of the world. I am always looking forward to fall, with its crisp air and beautiful colors. The next few months will be busy in the inleaf studio. I have three big events lined up, starting with a solo show at the Barn Swallow in October. More details will be posted shortly. In the meantime new work is gradually listed in the inleaf shop. The seedpods + seams pillow is now available in natural linen and dark brown, as well as the original sea foam blue. I love the texture of the linen used for this pillow and the way the pin tuck seams mirrors the stems of the seedpods.

A warm thank you to Sandra of Pepperberry & Co who posted a long interview with me today. There is a giveaway as well, so I encourage you to head over for a visit.

touched creatively

Jodi Ulschmid, a talented artist and graphic designer is launching touched creatively, a beautiful magazine, website, and blog. The purpose is to promote artists and their handmade work to a larger audience while forming connections and networks among the artists themselves. The publication is beautifully designed, and I am delighted to be included in the inaugural issue, which will be available this Friday, May 29, on the website. A copy of the printed issue is $6.29, and a download version is available for $1.89. I encourage you to support Jodi's endeavor by visiting the website and spreading the word. If you are an artist and interested in being featured in an upcoming issue you can contact Jodi to submit.

fiber transformed

I am honored to be a member of fiber transformed, a group of remarkable Virginia textile and quilt artists. Each woman in this group has her own renowned style with a contemporary feel and amazing technical skills. Several of them are award winning quilt artists and have shown their work nationally as well as abroad. The current group consists of Mary Beth Bellah, Cynthia Harrison, Jill Jensen, Judy Loope, Peggy Printz, Diane Siebels, Susan Skalak, and me. We meet once a month to plan, chat, and share each others work. Currently we are working on a theme called starting point where each piece includes a black dot, period, or circle. Two of my pieces are shown here; spotted (above) and odd ball (below). I feel so privileged to be part of all this talent. I am learning and flourishing in their midst. 

french inspiration

I recently introduced a new collection of sachets, thanks to Isabelle of Lou & Tom. She encouraged me to make a sachet with ribbons that can be hung wherever its soothing scent is needed. Isabelle's inspiration led to these sweet smelling, queen ann's lace printed mini pillows. They are available in several color combinations both in the webshop and the etsy store. Merci, Isabelle. 

I also want to send thanks to a few other friends for featuring my work lately. Suzannah, from my favorite Charlottesville store O'Suzannah picked me for this month's love feature on her blog , Monika included my sachets in her mothers day special on the delightful splendid willow, and Tracey of Life in Sugar Hollow wrote so kindly about my wall art. All is much appreciated!

sweet collaboration

Tyler of periwinklebloom is one of my dearest blogging friends. Her shop and the toddler clothes she designs are just divine, and her blog is always both thoughtful and thought provoking. When Tyler suggested that we collaborate on one of her spring garments, I immediately said yes. She sent me a boxful of beautiful vintage French linen and I used the most delicate fern fronds I could find for the prints. The stack then went back to Tyler for construction and the result is this sweet halter top. I am thrilled. It's an honor to have my work presented in such stunning way. Make sure to check out the other pieces in periwinklebloom's spring line, such as the cool trunks and the mangle dress pictured below. Thank you Tyler, for including me in this process.