Folk Fibers Blog / behind the scenes

  • Baby on the way!

    Just when I thought life couldn't get anymore exciting we find out a baby is on the way! Are little babe is arriving early July! Chap and I are over-the-moon with the beautiful changes happening in our life. I'm feeling wonderful now that the first trimester is behind us and the winter blues is slowly melting away. This past weekend our close friend Josh Goleman came to visit us in Texas and captured these awesome pregnancy photos. Josh is a photographer and cinematographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Together Josh and his wife Murphy run a business that focuses on music and adventure.  I...

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  • The Story Behind The Box

     All my quilts come packaged in a handcrafted cedar box. These beautiful boxes are made by Kelly DeWitt here in Austin. Kelly is an amazing woodworker with a budding collection of well-crafted products. My favorite so far (besides the quilt boxes) is her garden toolbox and her coffee table. Both have elements of steel worked into the final design. Also, fun fact about Kelly, she has a piano in her workshop and enjoys making melodies on the ivory keys between projects. Check her out at KKDW.  

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  • Growing a Business

    I've been working through business exercises and in the midst of my 5 year plan I felt inspired to compile a list of example businesses that I relate to and feel inspired by. Thought this maybe helpful to share with you.    Alabama Chainin: Natalie Chainin has created a signature style using a reverse applique technique and everything is made by hand in the USA. From embroidery to seam, the garments are completely hand-sewn by artisans working in their own homes and business using a modern cottage industry method of manufacturing. A company and community.   Swans Island Blankets: Weaving and natural dyeing is a labor...

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  • Open House: 17th St ATX

    (psst.. I'm hosting another Open House BBQ on May 19th. I'd love to have you over.) My bedroom suddenly turned into a dream after installing shaker pegs, draping a quilt or two, and hanging a fresh garland of bay laurel over the bed.  I had fun displaying my work around the house and sharing an intimate evening in the company of bright spirits who came to support Folk Fibers. It was a great experience display the quilts and pillows, allowing people the chance to have a hands-on experience. I made new friends, some living here in Austin, some all-the-way from Oxford, Mississippi here for QuiltCon....

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  • Natural Dyes - Pomegranates

    Natural fibers dyed with pomegranates harvested in Austin, Texas above: no mordant--pure and earthy  below: alum pre-mordant brightens colors creating yellow tones Steeped in history and romance pomegranates have long been cultivated, they're even biblical. I find myself lucky to be living in a place they grow prolifically, they're packed with usefulness and in my case a botanical dye. Overall the pomegranate is an attractive shrub or small tree and is more or less spiny, and extremely long-lived. The fruit is widely praised for the juice, but I'm after the brilliant dye properties great for coloring textiles. The dye properties are found in both the rind...

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  • Natural Dyes - Wild Mushrooms

    This was my first experience obtaining color from mushrooms. I have a growing interest in mushroom hunting, so it was only a matter of time the lore of natural color would guide me to collecting them for dyes. This past August I stumbled upon a perfect wet wooded breeding ground for a variety of wild mushrooms. I used rubber gloves to carefully harvest all the mushrooms found on the waterfront of my parents lake house near the Virginia/North Carolina border. Warning, some mushrooms are extremely poisonous, and even after dye and washing, the fabric can still hold dangerous properties that could irritate skin. Stay safe...

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  • Making a Country Living

      Yesterday, all day, was spent on a photo shoot, here at my house/studio, for Country Living Magazine! As I smiled for the camera I had a small sense of what I would be smiling about in months to come when my spread debuted early next year. But really I don't know what will come of all this exposure?! I'm more than honred to have had this opportunity, and feel grateful for all the friends and family that have helped me get to where I'm at. I've been involved with quite a few photo shoots in the past but Country Living was a...

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  • Natural Dyes - Yellow Onion Skins

    Yellow onion skins create a golden range of earthy colors. With a concentrated dye bath and enough time for the fibers to soak, the colors achieved are a combination of red and yellow, usually resting in the middle as an orange. The results radiate warmth and happiness, combining the physical energy and stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow. Protein fibers such as wool and silk, dye deep to medium shades of ochre, creating pigments in the cadmium-orange families. Referencing sienna, burnt orange, pumpkins, terra cotta, and rust. Cellulose fibers such as cotton, hemp, and bamboo dye a range of dark orange to a lighter orange peel, having deep notes of golden-yellow or...

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  • Song of a People

    Christina, Juliet, Me, Ruby Ku, Melba, Chiane, and Ryan took the photo!   Today a group of friends helped me tame my over grown indigo garden. It felt great to have the helping hands but it felt even better to be comfortable asking for the help I needed. It was a step in the direction I'm headed with Folk Fibers. I have been moved by the interest and request to teach and share the craft of gardening, natural dyes and quilt making. This positive energy is playing a part in my development and vision for the future, and I strive to offer more workshops and...

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  • Nui Shibori: Stitch Resist

      I made this stitched resist rabbit many years ago, but I still love it so. Nui shibori includes stitched shibori. A simple running stitch is used on the cloth then pulled tight to gather the cloth before submerging in a dye pot. Stitching affords flexibility and control to create designs of great variety, delicate or bold, simple or complex, pictorial or abstract. This technique allows for greater control of the pattern and greater variety of pattern, but it is much more time consuming.  mokume shibori also known as woodgrain

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