Fabric Salad

Green goodness for quilters and sewists

September 2012 archive

Get in the grove

Grove Home Dec from Birch

Birch Organics announced its first foray into home decorator fabrics last week with The Grove. The line of heavier-weight organic cotton features graphics inspired by Birch Organic’s Jay-Cyn Designs’ backyard wildlife in California.

The color palette and reined-in prints make the line perfect for a wide variety of decor styles.


Can you can?

I do try to eat local, and know that I could stretch my local foods by learning how to can. People say it’s easy, but I think I would end up putting up a whole batch of botulism.


Guess I’ll just stick with eating corn and tomatoes when they’re fresh…and maybe calling in a few favors on my friends who cook up sauce by the quart.

Or, I could live vicariously through this adorable print from Samantha Cotterill. Charming, isn’t it? If you want to get a closer look at Samantha’s enchanting illustrations check out her blog Mummy Sam. To purchase a yard or two of her organic knit fabric, visit her etsy shop.

Kitchen Jars fabric from Mummy Sam.

Hemp gets high eco marks

Kentucky tobacco farmers looking to make good use of their land are campaigning for their state to legalize the growing of hemp. Folks across the state can lower their eyebrows: It’s the stalks of the plant (not their intoxicating flowers) that are a valuable commodity. Among the many uses of hemp are to make fabrics that, like flax linen, are hard-wearing and versatile.

Online retailer Hemp Traders sings even greater praise for hemp fabrics, saying they keep wearers cool in summer, warm in winter and are smooth, strong and highly absorbent.

Hemp is eco-friendly too: Growing the plant requires no pesticides or herbicides.

Among the offerings at Hemp Traders are linen fabrics in several weights. The company says the fabric becomes softer with every washing.


Interested in getting a feel for hemp? Order a swatch book here.

Dancing with the scarves

Back in the day, I wore a peasant blouse with my rust-colored cords to my sixth-grade dance. Now floaty tops and cords have come back around again. This scarf project would be perfect for a sunny Indian summer day.

Stacie Grissom gives us the how-to low-down on her blog. Stacie has plenty of neckwear cred. She works and blogs for scarves.net.

Super simple stuffie

Made by Joel vintage fabric dolls

OK, raise your hand if one of your first sewing projects was a rag doll. Yarn for hair, wonky embroidery for a face and a slightly lumpy dress sewn together with oversize running stitches… Sound familiar?

A stuffed friend made by hand (especially little hands) has such charm, and makes a wonderful vehicle for using up fabric scraps or upcycled clothing bits.

Joel Henriques from made by joel whipped up this pair of couldn’t-be-more-simple dolls from vintage fabric. Click over to his blog to see how smitten his kids are with these squeezable sweeties.

Makes me wish I still had that doll I made decades ago. Do you still have yours?



Cargo a go-go

Searching for ways to repurpose and reuse, I recently designed a couple of totes and a few iPad covers made from upcycled cargo pants. I started with four or five pairs I found at my local Goodwill store, then spent a bit of time ripping seams. Thank goodness for this awesome tool

Straight-leg styles with very little tapering provide plenty of fabric for a really generous tote. I used a section of pant leg for each side of a tote. An added bonus for cargo pants is all the pockets: I carefully removed them and used them as inside pockets on the totes, and as little stash spots on the outside of the iPad covers.

I’m thrilled that several of them sold today at our booth at a local craft fair.


Which came first; the chicken or the peacock?

Peafowl are everywhere. (You know it’s only the boy peafowl that are called peacocks, right?) A quick search on Etsy for peacock leads you to everything from baby tutus to edible peacock feather cake decorations to peacock tights.

Even the Smithsonian Institution is calling fowl. The Freer Gallery in Washington D.C. opens it Peacock Room exhibit later this month.

The Peacock Room at Freer Gallery

American artist James Whistler created a vision in turquoise and gold. The Peacock Room exhibit opens September 20 at the Freer Gallery.

So, was Geninne Zlatkis following the trend or setting it when she designed her Alegria line featuring such aviary delights as this Peacock print?

Peacocks print Alegria line

Make a feathered friend with Peacock, part of Cloud 9 Fabric's Alegria line.

By the looks of Geninne’s blog, flora and fauna are enduring muses for this Mexican artist. Cloud 9 Fabric presents her eye-popping visuals in organic cotton.