… it's not really trusty! I found this treasure washed up on the beach in La Have, Nova Scotia and simply had to bring it home. I photographed it with luscious organic silk squares from Thailand that I bought from Tammachat a small fair trade business that buys 100% pure silk
textiles from women's groups. Ellen and Alleson, who live here in Nova Scotia, spend 4 months a year working closely with the spinner and weavers in Thailand and Laos.
What is truly unique about these silks is that they are all dyed with natural dyes from local plants that the women gather in a traditional and sustainable way. Buying their work keeps traditional practices of organic silkworm farming and natural dyes alive and sustains the women in their communities so they don't have to go to the cities to work, thus loosing traditional weaving skills.
Here is an example of the natural dyed silks used in a small art quilt by Laurie Swim. what I adore about these silks is the range of color and texture – the most subtle to vivid.
Tammachat has an Etsy shop where you can buy sampler quilt squares. Or vist the Tammachat
on-line store you'll love the range of exqusite scarves and shawls!
So that covers Nova Scotia, Thailand and Laos, let's see what's up in dear old England.
Helen Cowans lives in the UK and has started writing this fabulous blog about the history of embroidery – holy moly, talk about not being daunted by a big task! Helen will post each weekend and you can sign up and follow along and learn a lot of fascinating history. Helen starts at 900AD and provides books and links to find out more.This will be a fabulous blog to follow and learn a lot about history.
And, if you're intersted in contemporary British embroidery I recommend visiting the Embroiderers Guild for inspiration. I particularly like to check out the links on this site.
Being part of the Commonwealth, we Canadians love to see what the Royals are doing particularly when it's quilt related! Visit this wonderful video** Royals stay in new Welsh home **Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are stayed for the first time in their Welsh home during the royal couple's summer tour. Their wonderful Welsh farmhouse has been beautifully appointed with antique Welsh quilts.
As you can see from the links in the sidebars, I'm now part of Facebook and I hope you'll join me there. I've also started a brand new blog about the art, stories and issues facing women in South Africa. Importing these fascinating textiles is a major passion for me. I'm planning a trip to South Africa in April to both teach and visit the women I buy embroideries from.
My most heartfelt wishes for a peaceful, healthful 2009 to you all!