100% Organic Cotton Fabrics
For home sewers, businesses, retailers, and anyone who gives a scrap!
I have been feeling a bit blue lately. I think I heard someone this week call it Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder.... that feeling of dread that comes with the smokey air that floats my way, the news of floods in Louisiana and the Northeast, the news about being past the tipping point of climate change - code RED. Feeling dread.
But trees, no the forest, is my happy place and taking a hike (4.8 miles round trip) to visit this giant did wonders for resetting my attitude and helping me remember that life goes on. I have much to be grateful for including YOU (reading this), this new run of Twilight Blue organic cotton sateen that arrived safely at long last, and the knowledge that we are ALL connected in ways we can't yet see or understand.
Meet Giraffa O'keefe - an eye pillow created by Herbal Animals. The fabric is a 100% GOTS certified organic cotton interlock. This fabric was a co-creation with Herbal Animals founder, Lauren. She wanted a giraffe design so we worked together to create a design that would work for her needs and then had it hand screen printed at a GOTS certified facility in India. She took half of the production run into her business and I have been selling the rest through Harmony Art. I love this co-creating process and am always happy to help people bring their vision to life.
I also LOVE LOVE LOVE witnessing the creative ways that different people use our organic fabrics in different ways! Stay tuned to our next blog post (I promise I'll get it up soon!) . . . where I will introduce you to Tamika our newest brand ambassador who has a whole new take on how to bring this Giraffe fabric to life.
Meanwhile, if you have a fabric concept you want help getting materialized (pun intended!), feel free to contact me. Let's talk!
So I think we can all agree that 2020 was not the best year ever. I am feeling cautiously optimistic that 2021 will be a more health-full and enjoyable one.
For 21 years now I have welcomed in the new year with a gratitude challenge. Are you up for the challenge? I guarantee that if you participate YOU will have a new attitude of gratitude to greet the new year.
Be the first person to send me a list of 2,021 thoughtful things you are thankful for and win a FREE roll of organic cotton fabric. YES, AN ENTIRE ROLL of one of these fabrics: Silent Stumps, Graceland, Whispering Grass Orchid, Let it Grow Brown/Aqua, or Stumps Speak. You pick and . . . . although the entire roll (approx. 50 yards) is FREE (approx. value $800) the winner is responsible for the shipping (UPS ground) charges. You are only eligible to win this giveaway one time.
What are YOU grateful for? Maybe you want to take this opportunity to start a new business and this free fabric will make that dream a reality? Or maybe you just want to make your entire family identical print pajamas? What you do with the fabric is 100% up to you
If you want to read more you can look at some of our past posts/winners here: 2015, 2013 and 2012.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Suzan Friedland's retrospective show titled Hard-Earned Uncertainty at Bay Quilts in Richmond, CA. I have always been inspired by Suzan's artistic attitude, philosophy, vision, and execution. To see 30 decades of evolution in one location was spectacular.
It was my honor to bring her design to life on continuous yardage on organic sateen. Congrats Sue! Cheers to the next 30 years. I look forward to seeing what you bring to life. Oh... and if you are interested in this limited release fabric - Bay Quilts is where you can purchase it. NOTE: It is not available on their web site... I think you will need to go in person or call to place an order.
I look forward to bringing you more co-creating projects.
When I was considering the idea of creating an organic cotton fabric line, the first place I contacted was Organic Cotton Plus. That was back in 2004! I can vividly remember speaking with Barbara Bush (not the first lady) about the concept and asking her if I created a line, would they sell the fabric for me. Her response was so enthusiastic that it played a critical part in building the confidence I needed to take the leap of faith. Now, well over a decade later, Organic Cotton Plus continues to sell and support the Harmony Art line of organic cotton fabrics. Both of our companies have changed and morphed over time but I am happy to say the relationship is still one of admiration and gratitude.
This month in honor of our longevity with each other, Organic Cotton Plus is having a sale on Harmony Art organic fabrics. Sew Happy!
Additionally, Organic Cotton Plus also has an interview with me posted on their blog.
I'm happy to say Whispering Grass is back and in a new colorway. This time it's orchid and comes with a coordinating solid Orchid color. Of course I love all of my fabrics but this one is nearer and dearer to me than any other. Why? Well, it is one of the first organic cotton fabrics we ever printed. Back in 2005, our first print run was done in South Carolina and we printed 3 designs: Whispering Grass (aqua), Sweet Jane (pink) and Eyes of the World.
My husband and I flew to South Carolina to oversee and take some film footage of the printing. I remember it was SUPER hot and humid at the plant. I was young and naive. My husband still had long hair and so did I.
I remember being stunned by the size of the machinery. Pictured above is just ONE part of the process. I remember the colorist was a gem. The plant manager. . . a good ole boy. I'm sad to report this plant and the second USA printer we used have closed down. This print run pre-dated GOTS. When we did this printing we were truly the first company to bring color and design to organic fabrics and offer it to home sewers and small businesses. Now, I can't keep track of all the new organic fabric lines there are so many. Now, we have GOTS which keeps the standards high and consistent. Now, we have an Orchid colorway of THE original Harmony Art design. I hope you enjoy it. It's been some journey. . . and so it continues. . .
Uncomplicated Twill was one of our first organic prints. It was released for the first time back in 2007. The design was inspired by this flower. I do not know what kind of flower it is but I vividly remember taking this picture at the Thompson Heather Gardens in Manchester after we hiked on Manchester State Beach. As you can see I took liberty with the scale and the colors. Earlier this year we decided to reprint the design this time on organic cotton (USA) percale and in a pink colorway.
Big thanks to everyone who chimed in on facebook and voiced their opinion on which colorway we should release. I really love the co-creating process and now look forward to seeing how you bring the fabric to life. Sew Happy!!
I am often asked, "How do you come up with your designs?" Almost all of them start with a hike. I find nature to be an unlimited source of design inspiration. When I hike with the Thursday Ramblers I almost always have my camera with me and snap away at anything that grabs my attention. My most recently released fabric is called Stornetta after the land the flowers were found on. It's a magical place with fields, bluffs, cows, ocean views, a waterfall into the ocean, huckleberries, a spooky Halloween tree and much more.
Sometimes it's a plant, a texture on a stump, a flower -- really the design can start with most anything. In this particular case, the flowers on the hike beckoned to be put into a designs and I listened. . .
I have about 100 designs created and yet to be printed. How do I pick which is next? Sometimes I turn to my friends -- the ones who actually know what Harmony Art is and does -- that care and understand and maybe even sew.
In the case of Stornetta, Mary Sue and Bob picked it out. Their confidence and support of Harmony Art has been a constant source of strength and encouragement. So when they requested Stornetta in blue -- well, so be it! For the second colorway I turned to my facebook fans for suggestions and votes. They spoke too and I listened. I really love have having so many people involved. The journey is indeed the prize. Now the fun and patience begins as I wait to see what YOU create with it.
My dad had this poster back in the 70's. I have to admit as a young person it sort of grossed me out that the lemonade was pouring out of the guys nose. Frankly, I didn't get this at all.
Now, as an adult I get the sentiment (I still think the visual is gross).
Last week I had the unpleasure/pleasure of "making lemonade". We live in the woods. You can not see a neighbor in any direction. We love the remoteness but it means sometimes sharing our space with not-so-welcome friends.
In this case, the intruders were mice. They let themselves in and snacked on my pot holders. My first reaction was...
My second reaction was. . .
Now I have a perfect reason to invest in some new organic pot holders and oven mitts.
So I did just that. I ordered 2 sets from A Greener Kitchen. Aren't they lovely? What an improvement. "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" Indeed.
June 27, 2011 Jen Madsen of Stitch Simple emailed me this statement: ". . . we need, you know that 'dirty dozen' list for organic produce? How about a list of most environmentally friendly arts and crafts supplies or home décor items?"
I thought she was absolutely right! But how to rate, rank, educate and not overwhelm people is no easy task. Fabrics are so much more complex than fruits and vegetables. As the idea progressed, I contacted Leigh Anne of Oecotextiles. She has one of the most comprehensive and thorough blogs about textiles and the chemicals in them. She is my go-to for the chemistry and statistics so I asked if she would be willing to help. Thankfully, she agreed!
The three of us (Jen, Leigh Anne, and myself) knew that there was SOOOO much information that one infographic was not going to do. Our goal then became to put together a series and it was decided that we would start with BABY since that seems to be the most common entry point for people when it comes to organic fibers. I took a stab at the graphic, I redid it about 20 times. It stalled and stammered. My dear friend Suz enlisted her graphic design friend Alison who took a shot at revamping my sad attempt. It helped but also lost the entire fabric focus. We knew we lost our audience. Alison did the work pro bono and I thank her deeply for helping move the project forward in April of 2012 and highlighting where we went astray (focus!).
It stalled for months. I was sick of looking at it and frankly didn't know what to do. In September of 2012 I was contacted by Linsi of Spark Collaborative. We had a mutual friend Rachel Hulan who connected the dots. I bit the bullet and hired Spark Collaborative to take a shot at it. I sent them various versions, thoughts, and challenges. The name was changed from Worst Things/First Things to Textile Truths (duh!) and the layout started to pull together.
I sought help from Suz again (she is an editing wizard with decades of experience!), my friend Madge (a marketing maven and hiking tour leader extraordinaire), and a select few others (you know who you are!!). Changes: color changes, text changes, font changes, layout changes, pattern changes, alignment changes and more changes were made. Then I sent it to GOTS to make sure they would approve of the logo usage. Whew. It got their blessing and now . . . drum roll please . . .
IT IS OUT IN THE WORLD at last. Will it fill the need we aimed to address? Will anyone read it and care? Will it go viral and ignite different purchasing behavior? Launch a helpful series? Help all organic fabric companies to be better appreciated for what they are doing? Will it crawl under a rock never to be seen? I don't know. Time will tell. I can tell you that I am very grateful to have it no longer haunting my to-do list! I also want to acknowledge all of the kind, thoughtful people who helped in this journey. I LOVE YOU and COULDN'T HAVE FINISHED THIS WITHOUT YOU!
I VERY MUCH welcome your feedback (too late for changes to this version) and if all goes as hoped (and prayed for) we will be releasing other versions for: Home, Fashion, Pets, etc.
Please feel free to share this with anyone you think would be interested.
Buckets full of hugs and gratitude to each of you. It is my gift to the organic fiber community and the world. I hope you like it.
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.