Folk Fibers Blog / quilting story

  • 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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  • Our Hand Quilting Community

    Meet the Folk Fibers hand quilting community! From the left: Monica, Juliet, myself, and Mercedes March of this year I reached a point in my studio work that I needed assistance with the hand quilting process of my quilt making. A step that I was not ready to take years ago when I first had the idea to start a quilting business. This year was different, I was now ready. I started by simply placing an add on Craigslist, seeking the help I needed. It began through a process of emails and then meeting individually at a coffee house. Since...

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  • Inspired by Antarctica

      My friend Murphy and I have been discussing a custom quilt inspired by the landscape of Antarctica. Murphy is currently on a 7 week expedition with Photographer Diane Tuft to document areas of Antarctica with a Nation Science Foundation grant. She created a blog where she shares photos of the icy landscape and details about extreme winter weather survival, as well as geographical information. In her blog she mentioned, "There are so many scientists here doing some incredible things! Some studies include : atmosphere, snowflakes, lake coreing, sea urchins, ice diving, seal tracking, penguin studies, and more." What an honor for her and...

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  • The Double Wedding Ring Quilt

    Meg + Johnny met while working at a preschool in Philadelphia, fell in love, and got married! It's only appropriate then that their backyard wedding was the most kid friendly wedding I have ever been to, ever. It was an extravagant feast of homemade food (mostly the brides loving labor) and fellowship among friends and family alike. Their ceremony was Quaker style, meaning without a lot of fanfare. Often referred to as the silent ceremony, Quaker weddings differ from the traditional ceremony in four significant ways: there is no officiant; no giving away of the bride; a wedding certificate is signed; and there is a long period...

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  • signature quilts

    Today I am hand embroidering a quilt to commemorate a special someones wedding day! I pulled out these embroidered vintage quilt blocks for inspiration. I love the subtle imperfections and the speckled stains acquired from age. I also love the individual differences in script and stitches, and the old fashion names. I found these blocks in an antique store many years back. A quilt that has names embroidered on it usually is called a "signature quilt". This style quilt was common around the late 19th century.  This type of quilt was a way in which people and organizations raised money for a cause.  People paid for the privilege...

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  • Made Here - Folk Fibers Video

      MADE HERE - FOLK FIBERS from Jay Carroll on Vimeo.

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  • Featured on the Free People Blog

      Fun fact: My first job out of college was at the Urban Outfitter HQ in Philly as "Creative Assistant" for Free People. It has almost been seven years since I worked there, and today I am the featured artist on the Free People Blog! I highly value the experience I gained from working there, and what I know now is life had much more to offer me. To be frank, it wasn't easy being on the bottom of a corporate ladder, even if it was a "cool" job. My confidence was crushed when I left, and it took some time for...

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  • The Spirit Piece

    In quilting folklore "humility blocks" are often mentioned; an out of place color or odd placement in the patchwork design is an interpreted idea that since only God is perfect than making a perfect quilt is prideful. The opinions are divided if humility blocks are intentional mistakes as an exercise in Biblical decorum, or happy accidents. Quilt historians who have researched the origins of the humility block legend sum it up as a myth. The idea probably got started when people noticed an odd placement of a fabric piece or a change in color and wondered whether it was done on purpose; when infact...

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