The New Year is here, but where am I?

With every ringing in of the New Year, we are encouraged to rethink our lives and our successes.  New Year's resolutions, really just a to-do list for the first week of January, set our course for the next little while.  We look back at what we've accomplished, what worked, what didn't, and try to plan some direction for the coming months.

This has been a time of reflection for me.  It was a very full autumn, and busy December, one of my most successful to date.  Each year I build on the last, growing at a healthy pace and feeling very rewarded for the ideas I have and the work I do.  You, as customers, and friends, most of whom are now both, have been gracious in your support, and that in turn has given me confidence to keep going. So thank you, kind reader, for that.

Now I am asking you to help me out a bit.  What would you like to see?  What is missing in your life?  You know, in the purse department - I'm no psychotherapist, so can't help you with anything more serious than how to keep your cell phone handy. Ha!

So what worked in 2016?  Two things were the big performers - the origami market bags, and the mini purse/cell phone holders.  After a lot of searching, and after buying some horrible quilts from India, I found a reliable source for Kantha quilts.  She lives in India, travelling around the country, finding beautiful quilts.  The indigo blue ones, printed with colourful designs on the reverse, have become my favourite, and yours too. 

Read a little bit more about them here: https://www.nancynewmantextiles.com/new-blog/2016/8/15/kantha-quilts

The history and texture of these quilts is important to see, so when I sew them into the market bags, I leave the edges raw, showing the layers and the fraying, leaving the history to speak for itself.  The bags are thick, soft and big enough to carry a lot of your fun and valuable goodies.

Raw edges of the hand stitched Kantha quilt, show the history and traditions of this Indian textile.

Who doesn't have a cell phone?  They need to be handy at all times, so the mini purse, just the right size for the iPhone 5, is perfect for keeping your lifeline close.  Because the phones are now getting bigger, with more 'real-estate', I've made a larger size also, and they are selling very well.  I found another supplier of silk from vintage Japanese kimonos, and they seem to be the perfect weight for this style.  No changes there.

Kasuri dyed and handwoven silk from a vintage kimono offers subtlety in this mini purse

Awhile ago, some time around the turn of the century (this century, I'm not that old!) I returned to school to Sheridan College, and worked three years, full time, to graduate from the Textile Studio in the School of Art & Design.  I loved every minute of it.  One of the myriad textile techniques I learned there was how to create surface design for textiles, and screen print those designs onto fabric.  

Silk screening with paper cut out patterns.

That is calling to me again, and I have already printed a few simple ideas, and made the 'Doris, the Day Bag', and 'The Fly', two smaller purses, perfect for every day use.

Here's a picture of what I've done there, and I would greatly appreciate your feedback on these.

"Doris, the Day Bag' in a hand painted discharge on Cotton Twill, with leather strap.

'The Fly' day bag in my Circles print, silk screened on Cotton Twill, with a leather strap.

Do you think these smaller purses would work for you?  They are just big enough to carry your wallet, glasses, phone and a few lipsticks.  What more do you need to run to the store?

I've loved making purses, but have other thoughts as well.  How about some shibori designs on cotton napkins?  Would that be something you might be interested in seeing?  How about tea towels with silk screened designs?  Does that set you on fire?

Clamp resist, indigo dyed cotton scarves - an idea for napkins?

The Kantha quilt fabrics would also make lovely jackets.  The designs would have to be simple, and one size,  as keeping a lot of sizes in stock would be more than I could handle.  But I think it might be a good idea?  What do you think?

Here's one I made for myself.  The edges were left raw to show the beauty of the quilt.  

 Me, in my garden in the spring time before it gets full, wearing a jacket made from a wonderful Kantha quilt.  Would you like to see one like this?

Me, in my garden in the spring time before it gets full, wearing a jacket made from a wonderful Kantha quilt.  Would you like to see one like this?

I could ride madly off in all directions, which is something I normally do, but would like to go where you might like to follow.  Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Guide me, you Goddesses of Design.  

Here's hoping for a wonderful and inspired 2017. Cheers, my dears.