Folk Fibers Blog

  • Making a Simple Log Cabin Quilt

    Over The Rainbow Log Cabin Quilt  Tutorial originally featured in Making Magazine No.8/Forest 2019 When the weather welcomes me outside and the plants are at peak harvest I begin the natural dye process. The plants I collected to make the colors in this quilt are: fresh from the tree pecans (brown), just fallen acorns (tawny brown), red onion skins (light reddish tan), cutch (deep red brown), madder roots (earthy pink), Osage wood shavings (bright yellow), and indigo (clear blue).  You can buy fabric that matches these naturally dyed colors, or dye your own fabric. Hand-dyeing Fabric (optional)  For the dye...

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  • Mother & Daughter: Natural Dyes - Pink!

    This is a no-recipe type guide to collecting and saving avocado pits from the kitchen, and madder roots from our garden.
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  • Preparing Fabric for Natural Dyes

    An important and necessary step to dyeing fabric with natural dyes is to prepare the fiber for the dye process. Ada and I made a short video sharing our process of mordanting fabric before dyeing. 
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  • Folk Fibers Guidebooks - Making a Scrap Quilt

    Folk Fibers Guidebooks is the start of a series of video workshops where I teach the art and craft of natural dyes and quilt making. The videos are available online through my website. The initial idea was to publish a physical book, and it evolved into a video project and collaboration with a couple of talented and generous friends. 

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  • Coming Up For Air

    About a year ago we bought a house in the country and conceived a child. So much has been said and written about having a baby that it's difficult to summarize my experience without cliches. So I'll keep it simple, Chap and I welcomed our baby girl, Ada Mae Ambrose into the world July 6th 2014. We went the natural childbirth route, it's not for everyone but it was right for us. These first 3 months have been everything…amazing, challenging, purifying, and debilitating, all in a single day's time! I have fond memories of laboring at home. It was a hot summer day...

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  • The Back Story on Quilts

    Sometimes the backsides of quilts are just as beautiful, if not even more desirable than the tops. When I make the backs for my quilts I construct a free-form design by sewing together large pieces of fabric, usually remnants leftover from making the quilt top. This process is improvisational and creates a moderate design compared to the front of the quilt. The large blocky designs on the backsides are a nice breather after the intensity of piecing together the formal and forward design that is intended to dedicate the quilt. It's always a delight to see the hand stitches come to life...

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  • 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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  • Workshop Quilt

    This log cabin quilt was a group effort made by many hearts and hands- measuring 75 inches by 75 inches. I provided hand-dyed indigo cotton and linen fabrics for a 3 day intensive workshop, and I led a group of thirteen women with machine piecing and hand quilting this beautiful monochromatic quilt. This special weekend was hosted by Angela Ritchie's Ace Camps (here in Austin) back in October. It was a magical experience for many reasons but especially because we all worked diligently knowing the funds for this quilt will be donated to sending a kid to camp at Penland School of Crafts. And of course, like...

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  • Station to Station

    It's crazy to think making quilts would be my ticket to a train tour. Back in September I was invited to travel with the Makers yurt, a Levi's artistic contribution to Station to Station, Doug Aitken's latest art project. The Levi's Makers was curated by Jay Carroll and became a collective of artisan's from across the country who sell their handmade goods at speciality Levi's stores. We were on-the-road for a month, the train started in New York with stops in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Kansas City, Santa Fe, Winslow, Barstow, and Los Angeles, and came to a stop in Oakland on September...

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  • Martha Stewart American Made 2013

    This year has bestowed Folk Fibers with an abundance of emotional support and encouragement. In October Chap and I headed to NYC to meet Martha Stewart and receive the 2013 American Made honoree award! When starting Folk Fibers in January 2011 I was not focused on being recognized and achieving public approval. The thoughts that propelled me was my desires to express myself artistically, while sharing my process and perfecting the craft of natural dyes and quilting. I was driven by passion; starting seeds in the greenhouse, planting a dye garden, harvesting color and making quilts. I wasn't looking to grow...

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