Folk Fibers Blog / textiles

  • 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...

    Read more →
  • 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...

    Read more →
  • Shibori Sampler

      This is the first example of patch-worked indigo-dyed shibori that I have every really liked. I am now inspired to experiment with it, and maybe even make a quilt? I've been learning through my explorations of shibori and have been regularly practicing these historical techniques. I've yet to use my indigo dyed shibori in the making of my quilts; for a few reasons.  I love solid colors, and I especially love solid colors in (my) quilts. But I do enjoy a hand-dyed look to natural-dyed cloth.  The subtle variations of dye with saturation and folds shine with beauty in...

    Read more →
  • 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...

    Read more →
  • Natural Dyes - Red Onion Skins

    Red onion skins create a earthy range of colors. Protein fibers such as wool and silk, dye a pale to medium nutmeg brown, with a mix of rosewood, russet and rosy browns. Cellulose fibers such as cotton, hemp, and bamboo dye a range of seashell pinks, with a mix of champagne, pale, and silver pink. Natural dye colors are living colors, they are alive with the life that made them.  The dry outer skins of onions can be used for coloring natural textile materials and easter eggs. Red onion skins create a different range of colors than yellow onions skins, so it's important to keep...

    Read more →
  • 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

    Read more →
  • Folk Fibers Quilts at Levis Malibu Store

      The quilts have arrived at the Levi's Malibu Store, and it feels SO good! It's a privilege to partner with Levi's, I have only great things to say about my experience. I am especially blown away with the spirit and teamwork happening over at Levi's Malibu store. Weeks before these three quilts were completed I received a message from Nick Osika, who has been the manager of the store since it opened 7 years ago. Nick expressed his excitement for the quilts to arrive and from then on out, he and the others at the Malibu store have been so supportive and helpful. If you...

    Read more →
  • The Story Behind The Delaware Baby Quilt

    The Delaware Baby Quilt is almost entirely made with natural dyed fabric, almost. The bright peach fabric is actually a vintage cotton Liz Claiborne skirt.  The bright turquoise fabric was in my fabric collection and I'm not exactly sure where I acquired it but I do know it is a sandwashed cotton, meaning it has been gently buffed into a smooth and soft texture, resembling a suede but having the practical qualities of a cotton. For this quilt I dyed the sashiko cotton thread used for the quilting in a red onion skin dyebath, the result is a pale pink thread. This quilt is entirely hand quilted.  I prefer to hand...

    Read more →
  • DEAR MOM,

      My Selvedge Magazine arrived today, and to my surprise a pair of long wool mittens came with it! The mittens are an incredible addition given by ESK-Life, they are made in Scotland, a blend of cashmere and mohair, and very soft.  Thank you so much for the generous gift subscription, I wish I could thank you in person with a great big hug + kiss!  

    Read more →