Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Baby bibs and a guessing game

Hello, friends. I was thinking the other day how grateful I am that my mother took the time out of many of her days to show me how to sew. I remember the first "big" project that I made -- a yellow & blue flowered short sleeved shirt. There were no buttons & there was nothing too complicated about the pattern (probably 4 pieces all told), but there was some trim around the neck and sleeves. I wore it with extreme pride! I think I was 10 years old, maybe 11.

Knowing how to sew came in extremely handy the other day when I felt compelled to produce a baby gift for a family member on rather short notice. A few basic search inquiries led me to a couple of good sewing patterns which I sort of merged together to make my own set of baby bibs. A healthy fabric stash is also helpful in instances such as these! Here's what I came up with:


I have been thinking about new ways to use my handwoven fabrics. With the holiday gift-giving season less than (gasp!) six months away, those of us who embrace "handmade" can never really start thinking too soon about these things. I've been doodling and sketching while waiting for our son, Andrew, to finish his 9 holes at the golf course. Here's a teaser:



Can you guess at what these are? I can't wait for the postman to deliver them!
Be well,
Kate

Monday, June 25, 2012

Custom burlap pew cones

Hello, friends. Happy summer -- at least for those of us who are in the northern hemisphere. We've had lovely garden treats recently: sugar snap peas, greens, and herbs. There are a few beets out there in our veggie bed who are begging to be pulled. My husband and I love to eat oven roasted beets with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I've also found a use for some of the "rattier" spinach leaves that we have -- fresh spinach pasta!

I've been working on custom requests for burlap wedding decorations. This week I've been preparing a lot of cones (or "pew ends," as I've found that they're sometimes called in the UK). Here is one of a set of a dozen pew cones that are headed to British Columbia for a late summer wedding:



The loom is humming away. She has some red and ivory/cream plaid dishtowels in the works right now. A yellow and white warp chain is patiently waiting its turn in the weaving line.

Be well,
Kate

Monday, June 18, 2012

Custom table linens and baby birds

Hello, friends. We had an eventful weekend here at home in New Hampshire. Our baby robins have decided to leave their nest. The first baby, who was a bit bigger and more assertive than his sibling, took off on Sunday night. The smallest baby left this morning (Monday). But here they are on Friday night, eagerly waiting for their dinner:


Aren't they sweet? I will miss watching their daily antics but am glad that they both appear to be thriving. (And also very glad that they avoided the neighborhood hawk's greedy eye).

I finished a rather sizable custom weaving order this weekend as well. It was great fun to design the table runner using sunflower-y colors. The table napkins are made from 10/2 mercerized cotton and feature a lacey, textured border -- the neutral color will work for just about any occasion.


And now for a new warp - new farmhouse plaid dishtowels are in the works!

Be well,
Kate

Friday, June 15, 2012

Theme & variations on a burlap basket

Hello, friends. Things have been pretty busy here at Nutfield Weaver. Wedding season is in full swing! I've been making a lot of little burlap baskets lately, and it has been interesting to see how different ribbon colors affect the appearance of one of my pieces. Same pattern design, same kind of fabric -- different looks! Here is a sampling:


Brown burlap basket with moss green ribbon


Khaki burlap basket with pale blue ribbon 

The basket with the pale blue bows was made for a beach wedding. What a lovely place to tie the knot, don't you think?

The loom is waiting for a new warp - I have several dishtowel warps who have been waiting patiently for their turn in line. White & robin's egg blue farmhouse plaid! 

Be well,
Kate

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nutfield Weaver's new sewing pattern

Hello, friends. Interest in my Nutfield Weaver burlap rustic wedding decorations has grown and as such I have put together sewing patterns for some of the more popular pieces. I am really excited about my latest pattern, which is for the burlap pew/chair cone with tying ribbons!


There a lot of brides-to-be (and their mothers, sisters, aunts, friends, etc...) who embrace the idea of crafting for weddings. My patterns are fairly straight-forward and require only basic sewing skills and tools. I've even received news about a few "cone making bees," when moms and friends get together to make decorations for an upcoming wedding. How special is that?

And here is something special, too. Our baby robins are growing, thanks to their adoring parents' unceasing efforts to feed them. Here is how one of the little ones appeared today:


Life is sweet.

Be well,
Kate

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Handwovens in action

Hello, friends. I've found that one of the nicest rewards as an artisan is receiving a photograph or two of a Nutfield Weaver item in its new home. Brides frequently forward me photos of their pew cones, and just recently I received a photo of one of my table runners:


This table runner is a "summer & winter" pattern and features red and ivory cottons. It looks quite at home in this lovely, traditional dining room, don't you think?

After receiving an invitation to exhibit at an historic farm in Massachusetts this September, I got to thinking about taking steps to "define" my handwoven items. To start, I'm mulling over color choices. There are several signature pieces that I'll continue to weave, but weaving "one of everything in every color" is getting to be a bit impractical.

Red, sage, and colonial blue are in my top three spots for now, at least for table runners. I'd love to hear your thoughts! What are your favorite colors for housewares?

Have a lovely weekend!
Be well,
Kate

Friday, June 1, 2012

June blooms

Hello, friends. June 1st always feels like the first day of summer to me. And our weather in New Hampshire today was lovely - sunny and low 70s. It was a perfect day for birds and blooms, and I couldn't help myself from taking just a couple of photos in between warping the loom.

Here is our "Dortmund" rose. It is a climbing rose, is very vigorous, but does not have much scent. No matter -- the multitude of rose blooms makes up for any perceived deficiency:


And here is a new neighbor:


This red-bellied woodpecker has been visiting off and on for about 2 weeks. He is still quite skittish (unlike the chickadees or downy woodpeckers) and doesn't appreciate people nosing in too close for a look at his splendid feathers. I daresay he will return tomorrow, though -- or at least until the suet runs out.

And here's a nest update: there are still 4 eggs in the nest. No babies yet!

Have a lovely weekend & be well,
Kate