Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Year brings Changes....

After more than 15 years I'm ready for a change. 

Sometime within the next month or so I am, for the most part, shutting down Thistle Handwerks and the website. It's been a ride; a good one, a challenging one, and a learning one. I worked with and met so many fascinating people, dedicated to finding period textiles for their homes and businesses. 

This past year, I returned to my old world of Non-Profits, and I'm really enjoying it. I like having people to work with- I don't feel so isolated. I know it's good for me. 

I still love all my naturally dyed silks, and fabrics. I still have a nice supply- so if you find yourself thinking about a project, and want to talk, contact me. Same phone #, and old email thistlehandwerks AT earthlink DOT net. 

I do have some pieces in the studio that eventually I will list in the Etsy shop. 

Best to all!


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Glasgow Style Decorative Stitching and Stickley Pine Cones

The Stickley Pine Cone Curtain Panels are nearly complete; I just finished all the decorative stitching along the applied bands, and thought this might be a good time to show how the stitching is worked.

What makes the stitching "Glasgow Style"? Well, the early 20th century Glasgow School embroiderers often incorporated textile construction details into the design of the piece. In this case, I needed to permanently apply the embroidered bands onto the curtain panels- and suggested to my client we add decorative stitching along the edges of the bands. The stitching encloses the pinecones, and I think, really gives the bands a finished appearance. 

Here is the corner cluster with one side of the band complete.

It's not difficult to do, but in order to look good, careful prep work is required.

I basted along the edges to mark where the bands needed to be folded and pressed, then, measured and pinned the bands to the curtain panels. You can see the line of running pins on the top side of the above photo. Then, using a water soluble marker, I measured and placed a dot every 1/4". This ensures my running stitches are consistently spaced, and are the same length. 

You could certainly do the stitching prior to applying the band, but then- you would need to carefully hand stitch around your decorative stitches. Not as clean a look, and, more time involved. Overall, I think the band will be more secure, look tidier, and well, why sew the band on twice? 

I'm now sewing rings on the panels, and, if I can get the client to take some photos once they're installed, I'll post it here. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pine Cones, New and Old

I'm currently working on a pair of curtain panels for a substantial window in the Pacific Northwest. The client selected Chocolate brown linen, with applied reverse L-shaped bands that have embroidered Stickley pine cones on them. Lots of pine cones. 

This is the corner of of a band that is in progress. Two shades of naturally dyed brown silk, with a softly variegated green for the needles. 

Right now in my yard, there are other pinecones being created- but not by my hands. It's fascinating to watch them grow, change in color and texture, and size. 

These are on a little Fir called "Horstmann's Silberlocke"; the undersides of the needles turn a light silvery color as they twist and turn. As the pinecones mature, they are attacked in the fall by the birds. 

This tiny little specimen is growing on a weeping Hemlock, and looks delicate, but really isn't.

Here's one that hasn't changed color or texture yet, and is tightly packed and a lovely blue green. 

Inspiration is every where. I do love summer.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Etsy specials

Hmm, seems I've been gone for a while. No excuse.

But, I did some spring cleaning, and have started listing some items in the Etsy shop.

I'm adding some one-of-a-kind items, primarily prototypes and test pieces, and they are deals. 

Check them out- I've some more items to post when I get to it!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Lavender in Winter

Like last year, I've been making use of some of my bags of linen scraps to make sachets- filling them up with amazingly fragrant organic lavender from Washington State. The entire studio is permeated with the aroma when I fill a few up. Mmmmmm. Don't think any moths will come near this place!

Last month, I sent a "Knitter's Peace Dove" sachet as a gift to one of my favorite knitting designers, Anne Hanson, of Knitspot and she generously posted about it on her blog. If you're a knitter, and don't know about Anne's great designs, and fun blog, please visit her!

Since it's nearly Valentine's Day, I've also started to make "Lover's Peace Dove" sachets. Here is what one looks like, but don't feel it needs to be gifted for that holiday- give one to yourself, or to someone you love. It's white and cold here, but the scent of lavender will keep me going til Spring.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the Only Clematis around Here

are gone.

Earlier in the year I showed this commemorative design while it was in the works. I now realize I never provided photos of the completed design. The limited pieces I made are now living elsewhere, and I'll try to be patient til spring brings the Clematis flowers back. Stay warm, enjoy your friends and family, and be healthy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fueling the Fire

Not related to embroidery, but what IS helping to keep me cranking right now- a little shipment of goods from

While at a family Thanksgiving in Portland last month, one of my cousins brought some Teavana tea from the California Bay Area. The aromas were astounding, and I just loved the actual tea. Even with our small order, they sent a free tin, which is now filled with "My Morning Mate". mmmmmmm.