fall color


Brightly colored leaves are starting to cover the ground in the garden and along the city streets in our part of the world. Intrigued by their beautiful hues and how they might might work as eco-prints, I have collected bunches of them during recent walks in our neighborhood.

This weekend I bundled them up, trying to be somewhat scientific by adding nothing but pure water and a couple of pieces of copper piping to the dye pot. The results were amazing, but not in the way I imagined. I was thinking I would get leaf impressions in red, burgundy, maybe orange based on the colors I started with. Instead the imprints on the linen fabric were vivid green, yellow, soft bluish gray, brown, or tan pending on the species. On silk the same leaves printed pale pink, peach, and mauve... I am totally infatuated with this dyeing method. Unwrapping the bundles is like unwrapping a treasure, always with surprising results. And each time I recall the wonderful time spend learning during India Flint's workshop this summer and the friendships that were forged in the process. Bliss.

I have listed the leaves I used, and the stunning pieces of cloth that resulted below.







contentment

Quiet morning. The sun is streaming into the studio. It's warmth feels good after many long days of grayness and snow. My beloved, old, ragged kitty next to me. Lots of things on my plate, but still time to cherish a moment of solitude and peace. This troublesome quilt demands finishing, there are orders to fill, and a much needed restocking of inventory, both for the shop and The Barn Swallow. I am ready to delve into it all with a contented heart.

all white

The world is blanketed in snow outside my studio window. Inside I am sifting through my vintage treasure box. Most of its content relates to my family. Every monogram and piece of lace has a history. I come from a line of seamstresses. Not the professional kind, but the kind who sewed, stitched, and embroidered out of necessity and out of joy. Weaving, knitting, quilting, tailoring, crocheting, mending, and altering were my grandmother's and my mother's artistry. Their passion and appreciation were passed on to me. Some of their skills (not all) were as well...


Each time I visit my mom in Sweden, I bring a few more pieces back with me. My promise to her and to myself is that they will be used for a special project, a heirloom of heirlooms of sort. I don't know what shape it will take, when it will be done, or how, but hopefully it will be worthy to pass on to a few more generations.


A few belated thank yous are in order. Gay over at I dreamed I saw, included my geranium sachets in her sweet smelling post this weekend, and Elaine at nestingblog recently featured my queen anne's lace art quilt. Tusen tack! I also want to thank Denise from Hamburg, Germany, (lieblings.weerke) who picked my market tote as one of the items in her beautiful fig post.

and the show will go on...

Yet another week plus has past since the last post. I have one more event to get ready for before I can catch my breath. Next weekend I will be in Richmond, for the Craft + Design show at the Science Museum of Virginia, along with over 70 talented artists and artisans from all over the country. Many of you are pros when it comes to shows of this caliber, but this is only the second time in my career that I am participating in a juried event like this. I am grateful to have been accepted and invited, but I have to admit that I am terrified. I am feverishly working on new inventory, as well as booth design, and promotional materials. I want everything to be perfect, and I am fretting over every little detail which drives both me and my lovely family crazy. It is the bane of being a perfectionist, an overachiever, and slightly neurotic when it comes to quality control... I'll bring along these new appliqued pillows, created entirely from soft vintage linens, with the raw edges left to be touched. I will also have new wall pieces on display and a series of table runners. I wish all of you could join me. If you are in Richmond, VA this weekend I would love to see you. Thank you for all your encouraging comments about the studio tour! It was a great success. We had lots of visitors and good sales. Thanks to everyone who came to visit. It made the weekend very special.

tea towels

Etsy celebrates tea towels this week. Elizabeth from flyingrhymes initiated and wrote this wonderful article for the etsy blog storque. My work is featured along with many inspired and beautiful towels from other etsy artists. Here are just a few of my favorites.

folds and foilage

I am leaving you with a snapshot of another project I am working on, this one involving lots of folds and fantastic vintage Irish linen. Prints of leaves will be incorporated at some point as well. Also, I can't resist these freshly sprung japanese maple leaves in my front yard. The color combination is perfect in that strange way that only nature can provide. Anywhere else it would look garish. Chicago is waiting. I'll be back next week with photos, marvels, and impressions.

more pillows

new pillows soon to be added to the store and etsy. The japanese maple applique pillows will be available in two sizes and two colors. The fern & fold pillows are printed on natural linen featuring fun pin tucks. All my pillows come with a choice of organic wool insert (incredibly soft) or traditional feather/down insert (nice and pliable.)

handkerchief project

A while back I found these wonderful vintage irish linen handkerchiefs. Unused but gracefully aged with occasional spots to prove their heritage. They are sheer, almost transparent, and the linen is just exquisite. Now a few of them will be transformed into a wall hanging, although I am not sure which form it will take just yet...
I printed large geranium leaves in shades of brown and ochre in their centers and have carefully hand pieced them together in long strips. They would look quite lovely as is, used as a room divider or curtain, with lights filtering trough the gauzy material. I am also thinking that they would look fantastic backed by a very coarse nubby linen as a contrast.

This is what I love most about the creative process, the small decisions that need to be made along the way. So challenging and exhilarating at the same time. Stay posted...