Tag: wedding

Almost Vintage

I love a good design challenge.  It gets the blood flowing and exercises lazy neurons.  It all started with a simple request from a wonderful photographer, Sara Jensen.  She was looking for something vintagey—rough around the edges.  Lots of texture (yes!  that’s my department!) .  I mulled and turned things over in my head for a while.  Had a glass of wine.  I had visions of burlap and the vintage hand crocheted lace I found in an antique store in the Catskills.  But really, I wanted to do something for her that was rough, yet fragile.  I wanted to create a foundation from which you could tell a myriad of stories, whether they are real or make believe.  And then I remembered…

A distressed sheet is torn into knitable strips.

What seems like a lifetime ago, I designed a sweater that was knit entirely from torn strips of muslin.  I don’t recall what prompted me to do that, but it was fabulous.  I don’t mind saying.  So—and trust me, I am not digressing—we bought a couch a few weeks ago off of Craigslist.  It’s divine.  Restoration Hardware.  HUGE savings.  We will leave it at that.  But the crazy lady we bought it from also gave us a really nice sheet to help protect it in its travels.  I dug it out.  I tea stained it in the tub.  I ripped it into strips, sewed them together, and knit a bonnet.   Then I cut ribbon.  And I melted it, and I burned it.  I made a flower.  Then I drowned it in tea.  Because it wasn’t fully distressed, it was simmered in coffee.  More ribbons and delicate branches, and I’m lost in a woodland reverie.  A fairy tale comes alive.

Layers of texture combine for the perfect effect.

Can you tell that I’m excited about this design?  I already see it in so many different colors and variations–personalized in so many ways.  I see this bonnet on the most precious babe for her first voguing moment before the camera or adorning the littlest flower girl at the wedding.  I see blooms that perfect soft shade of blush cherry blossoms or as vibrant as the deepest red rose.

I love the delicate details of this piece.
A sweet back view.

From Something Old Comes Something New

Ingredients, Pink

It is humbling to sit with another artist’s uncompleted work and try to ascertain not only what you could add to it, but how you could do it justice.  These quilt squares from the late 1800s put me in exactly that position.  How could a new audience delight in this treasure?  Bits and pieces of my various finds and stashes started working their way on to my cutting table:  antique keyholes, vintage hand-crocheted laces, post-war trims.  I scavenged some scraps from the bottom of the sewing chest I inherited from my grandmother, still filled as it had been with her own stash.  Each new find inspired the next.  And then I knew these were going to be the most perfect ring pillows for a new generation.  They are heirlooms before they even begin.

Ingredients, Blue

Before I even started, I knew my sewing machine was not going to get to play with these pieces.  I needed to honor the seamstress who came before me, and to do that I needed to stitch these pillows entirely by hand.  And so I did.  And it was mesmerizing.  Who was this woman who had so carefully pieced these squares?  Was it by candlelight?  Was she surrounded by her children?  Or her grandchildren?  My mind tumbled through so many characters and variations of a story that started such a very long time ago, one that is now part of my story, and one that will become part of another couple’s story.  And that story and these heirlooms, I hope, will continue to handed down and retold for generations.

Something Old, Something New Something Borrowed, Something Blue

And it progresses

I’m still searching for a few more pieces of fabric to complement the background colors. Unfortunately, whenever I find the perfect piece of wool to work with, inevitably it is being worn as part of some lucky person’s ensemble (pants, skirts, etc.). A little inappropriate to get all grabby about it.