Tag Archives: textile art

Pottery Barn “Handmade” Quilts

20 Sep

Someone recently forwarded the Pottery Barn Quilts, An American Tradition video to me.   A quilt historian, posed in front of a quaint window box,  is discussing the importance of quilting as an art form,  how quilts are passed down through generations, and that Pottery Barn is continuing this tradition with their artisan handcrafted quilts…. what?

Pottery Barn quilts are mass produced by Spartan, a factory in Panipat, Haryana, India, a fact missing from the product information shared in the Pottery Barn video.  As a matter of fact the video painstakingly shows only hands running a needle through fabric.  No meet your artists, no factory shots, no mass of material, no “you are here” distinction at all. But what you do see are historic stills and newsreels of Artists and Art, exactly what Pottery Barn quilts are not.

Here is the ant moving the rubber tree message…

detail of Crazy Road quiltPlease, if you are in the market for a quilt consider supporting true artisans. Why buy mass produced when you can buy 1 of 1?  And in the event you don’t see exactly what you want while you search through thousands of quilts on independent sites or platforms like Esty or Artfire, every artist I know does custom work and many without a surcharge.  Most, like me, warranty their work.  Buying directly from the artist is just as easy as picking up a catalog, but with so many more benefits.  (see 101 Reasons to Buy Handmade)

Quilts are a tradition of beauty, comfort and warmth.  Not an imported, mass produced commodity.

Drop in here to see some of my work, continue through the site to experience real handmade.

Newspaper Upcycled into Wallpaper

30 Jul

“Newsworthy” is this upcycled newspaper wallcovering  – made from 100 percent recycled newsprint from Weiztner Limited:

Weiztner Newspaper Wallpaper

“Using an age-old technology of upcycling old newspapers, 100% real newsprint strips are handwoven on a loom and then paperbacked to make Newsworthy suitable for the wall. A wonderful, tactile alternative to an expected grasscloth.”

Newspaper to wallpaper

My upcycling techniques are not as industrial intensive as those practiced by Weiztner.  See my textile projects here, several examples of how I transform reclaimed materials into daily use products.

Profile of a Quilter

29 Jul

The Grand Junction Sentinel has a profile of quilter Charlotte Warr Andersen of Salt Lake City. It features some interesting background about this award winning quilter and her accomplishments over the decades. Andersen has a particular focus on quilts featuring portraits of individuals, a technique she’s been perfecting for nearly 30 years.

Reading about people who found success in your craft, whether it’s quilting or anything else, is always inspiring. It helps stoke the creative fires on slower days. Looking at their work can serve as source of ideas.

My work can be seen at Etsy store, maybe you can find some inspiration there.

Upcycling Old Ties

16 Jul

Father’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, or Chanukah are all days when a man may receive that go to gift. The gift the kids go for at the last minute when they can’t think of anything else. The gift the wife or girlfriend may give, because she’s tired of him dragging out that same ratty old one when they go to visit her parent. The tie. Any man who wears a tie on a regular basis has probably gotten one as a gift and most who never wear them have or will some day. So many of these ties will never be worn. They sit in the closet collecting dust until discarded or sold in a Yard Sale.The ties are being collected and sewn together into any number of new configuration. Chairs, handbags, lampshades, and skirts are being made out of ties by various people.

chair from recycled ties

purse from upcycled ties

dress from upcycled ties For some examples of other upcycled fabric head over to my Etsy store.

Hobby Helps Haiti

13 Jul
The Chicago Tribune has a story about an 81 year old woman donating 35 years worth of her quilting work to  children in Haiti. Anita Van Ryn has been making quilts for decades, in her spare time, while watching TV. She made them out of recycled t-shirts and dresses. She wasn’t making them for anyone in particular. Then, when the earthquake hit Haiti early this year she saw someone who needed them and made the effort to get 35 of them into the hands of Haiti’s children.

Each of Van Ryn’s quilts has a name and a personal significance. Each comes from a different time in her life. There’s sure to be a story for each of them and now each of them is starting a new story in the hands of a child in need.

Quilts make great donations and also great gifts. I have several available in my Etsy store to purchase for yourself or someone you know who needs to stay warm.

Rag Rugs

1 Mar

Creating functional furnishings from recycled materials.


The apparel and textile industries, while creating clothes for fashion-hungry consumers, are among the largest creators of waste. For example, according to city estimates, remnant fabrics and used clothing in Los Angeles account for up to 10 percent of trash in landfills.   And even though the manufacturing base has contracted in recent years, the remaining apparel and textile producers still account for massive amounts of waste.  Despite efforts by charitable organizations such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Goodwill,  large amounts of clothing still ends up in landfills.


Modestly addressing this issue, I reclaim used textiles for use in rag rugs and quilts.   One company estimated that it takes as much as 8,000 liters of water to grow the cotton used for just one pair of jeans. Putting a pair of old jeans back into use as rag rugs rather than in the dump can conserve not only landfill space but also keeps already spent resources viable.

Visit my Etsy Store to see completed rugs and quilts from reclaimed materials.