"i am home" hangs in my studio . in the shop
It's been six years since I had the sudden urge to make prayer flags to give as gifts to a small group of women I spent a weekend with in Seattle (that feels like a lifetime ago). Six years since I began to gather favorite fabrics and words and bits of trim and other good things to sew together into wishes and blessings that would float into the world whenever a breeze whispers through your home.
When I opened my shop is 2007, these were my favorite things to make. The look has changed over the years as I began to collect more vintage sewing bits and rescue old quilts and vintage linens. And I became somewhat obsessed with vintage handkerchiefs. In 2010, I began creating flags inspired by a little story I created about Ada Mae, my great-grandmother I never met. (I share the story again at the end of this post.)
"she must begin" . in the shop
The first sets of handkerchief flags made back in 2008 went to a dear friend who shared them with her friends. I loved them so much but found myself in a "just collecting the handkerchiefs to one day make flags instead of creating with them" mode as I bought beautiful vintage hankies at rummage sales and antique malls.
"she opened her heart" hanging in my studio . in the shop
A few years back, a friend I met in Susan Wooldridge's class at Artfest sent me a wonderful box full of the handkerchiefs she'd been collecting for a long time. After I moved into my new studio in late summer, I made a new set of flags for my new space. That inspired me to go through all the handkerchiefs. I kept some for me (and Ellie) and decided it was time to start creating with them, so this is the first time the handkerchief flags have made it into the shop.
"she let the truth surround her" . in the shop
They really are such fun to make. The sets in the shop today were made with Mumford and Sons singing and a little girl coloring, playing, twirling beside me as the rain came down outside our windows.
I know that some of you who've seen peeks on Instagram have mentioned that you'd like to make some. My dream is to gather in a cabin together for a weekend of sewing where we would make these special flags and fill them with our prayers and poems. Until that dream becomes a reality, I'd love to make up a few little kits of either handkerchiefs or linen squares + bits of ephemera and my favorite things I use. If you are interested in a kit, send me an email.
a peek of "bluebird in her soul" . in the shop
The Story of Afternoon Tea with Ada Mae
When I find myself surrounded by vintage sewing bits and buttons and paper and fabric, my mind turns to the stories of the women who came before me. One of these women, Ada Mae, died just before I was born. Sometimes though, I imagine that great-grandmothers just might live forever and that Ada Mae lives just a bike ride away. We would have family dinners on Sunday and I would take her for her weekly hair appointments. On Friday afternoons, she would take down her Fostoria crystal tea cups and saucers, and I would bring pastries from Dainty Made Bakery. Some Fridays I would share my newest vintage finds of fabric, buttons, quilt squares, trims…and she would tell me stories about her childhood and wearing skirts made of feed cloth and sleeping under patchwork quilts during her covered wagon adventure from Pennsylvania to Nebraska.
Whenever I find myself surrounded by vintage buttons and fabric and flowers that once adorned Sunday morning hats, I am inspired by Friday afternoon tea with Ada Mae.
Thank you for being here and sharing in my stories...
Love and blessings,