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Monday
Jul052010

Sydney Albertini and Her Flower Sashes

Sydney Albertini is an amazingly talented quilt maker, ceramist, painter and fiber artist. She is also friend of our store and each time we see her walk in the door we are so excited to see what she has to show us!

Her whimsical quilts like the one above are always incredibly delightful and surprising!  The way she puts together seemingly unrelated fabrics and colors to create a stunning whole is such an inspiration.

The most unique and amazing element in Sydney's work is her use of color. Her unexpected color combinations simply glow. These beautiful plates just look so luminous don't they? (FYI- Her ceramic line is available for sale at Barney's New York.)

This radiant and playful sense of color comes through in all of her work, whether it be a large quilt, a set of plates, or a painting.

Sydney herself says this about the subject of color:

"Color is the intricate basis of all my work. It goes hand in hand with the act of creation no matter the medium. When I look around me all I see is very precise infinite color.

I am always surprised by the strength in contrast big and small playing each color in a new way. I am constantly looking at colors in every aspect of life and making notes, conscious notes, of what I am seduced by or what feelings and emotions they bring on, which I would call my never ending color education which I rely on when I am working. 

Of course to use colors in an absolute free way is to have no fear. You have to really look at color, at its first impression and underlying subtleties, to make the right choices on how to use them. In my work I like to offset classical colors or combinations, creating surprises and drawing people in by the immediate seductive power of color."

We love this idea of being fearless with color so we asked Sydney to share a textile project with Purl Bee readers. The Flower Sash project she decided on is classic Sydney: unique color combinations put together in a free, fun way to make something so unexpected and beautiful!

These flower sashes are simple and totally addictive to make. They are a great way to get your feet wet at becoming more comfortable with your use of color. The point of these is to pick out your own unique palette. Don't be afraid to be adventurous. You will probably be surprised by how out-there you can get and still end up with something lovely. If you'd like to give it a try just keep on reading!

Thank you to Sydney so much for sharing her inspiring work and this charming project with us!

PS. If you happen to live in the New York / Long Island area Sydney is having an art show of recent work from July 27th to the 29th in East Hampton NY at Asgawagh Hall. More info can be found here.

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Saturday
Jul032010

Baby Leg Warmers for Mila

I've always been a sucker for all things Koigu, so I was super excited to see one of my favorite solid Koigu colors in their DK weight yarn, Kersti, for the first time, a lovely soft purlple-gray (#K2360.5).  I paired the Kersti with stripes of 6 different purple shades from our Trio Needlepoint yarn collection (and since Trio comes in tiny skeins for needlepoint I didn't feel like this was too extravagant).  I'm so pleased with the result! These little legwarmers are great for keeping Mila warm now when there is too much air conditioning, and they'll still fit her this winter, too.  --Faye

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Sunday
Jun272010

Molly's Sketchbook: Hawaiian Style Felt Floor Pillows

I have always wanted to make a Hawaiian quilt or pillow, but I find the time consuming process rather daunting! Nonetheless I have always kept making a Hawaiian quilt in the back of my mind as a goal and inspiration. Recently I started thinking about a way to simplify the process and our wool felt popped into my mind. You don’t have to hem felt which cuts out the laborious hand turned appliqué step and we recently started carrying our beautiful wool felt by the yard so I could make my piece as big as I wanted.

Our 100% wool felt comes in the most luminous, saturated colors and each bolt is two yards wide (yes, two yards wide!). I picked out two of the most vibrant colors I could find and made these two huge floor pillows.  The floral shape is stitched onto the background with bright yellow silk and wool Trio needlepoint yarn.  Creating these two pillows was so much fun! The felt is beautiful and easy to work with and the whole thing came together so fast. I felt like a painter making big colorful gestures.

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Friday
Jun252010

Molly's Sketchbook: Liberty of London,Tana Lawn PJ's

Recently we got in a bunch of new Liberty of London Tana Lawn prints and they're simply breathtaking. Liberty's Tana Lawn is known for its exquisitely detailed printing, its incredible color and its silky smoothness that makes it drape like a dream. The print I've used here is called Mitsi

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Friday
Jun182010

Interview with Anna Maria Horner about her new book, Handmade Beginnings

Anna Maria Horner is a blogger, fabric designer and author whose bright, bold sense of style is fun and inspirational. Her cheerful, bubbly personality shows through in all of her writing and her colorful work. We find her enthusiasm and energy totally contagious.

In addition to all of her professional accomplishments she is also a mother of six beautiful children so it seems fitting that her new book, Handmade Beginnings is all about projects to welcome a new baby into the world (it also includes some lovely ideas for new moms as well). We recently had a chat with Anna Maria about her new book and her ideas on baby sewing which you can read below.

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