This week two explosions rocked the Boston Marathon finish line. Our country faces with horror and disbelief yet another senseless violent act just a few short months after the Newtown shooting. When I heard about Newtown tragedy, the first thought that popped into my head was, "People who love themselves and feel loved don't do this sort of thing." My reaction to the Boston Marathon explosion echos this sentiment. We don't yet know who or why someone would make the conscious choice to kill innocent people but I'll bet ya we find out "they don't love themselves or feel loved". If you watched the 60 minutes a few weeks back with the parents/partners of some of those killed at Sandy Hook you heard the plea of
David Wheeler, dad of 6-year-old victim Ben, to look in the mirror and ask yourself if this could happen in your town. . . if there is any shadow of doubt do something about it he implores us.
I believe in gun control and background checks but I also believe that we can make as many rules as we can think of but until we get to the root of the problem the threat will always be there.The more I think about this topic, the more convinced I am in the need for love to prevail here. Anger and revenge, although gratifying at times, actually plant the seeds of violence. I can't get the words to stop repeating in my head. . .PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEMSELVES AND FEEL LOVED DON'T: _______________________.Fill in the blank.
Shoot innocent children. Kill others. Exploit. Abuse children. Rape. Manipulate. Dominate. Violate. Knowingly pollute the planet. Steal. Lie. Bully. How would you finish the sentence? So, Mr. Wheeler, I want you to know I for one am looking in the mirror. I am making a much more serious effort to express LOVE to myself and others around me, especially to people who seem to need it the most. I am looking friends, neighbors and even strangers in the eye more. I am listening to them when they speak. I am silently saying to myself with each interaction -- I receive your love
(thank you Holly
for turning me on to this greeting) and you are loved.I know the issues are more complex than this blog post makes them. However, in the face of terror and tragedy, I choose love. It feels like the most powerful and meaningful thing I can do and it certainly can't hurt.
Sometimes I try to imagine what the world would look like everyone "loved themselves and felt loved". . . . .
Over the weekend I watched NOVA: Earth from Space
. All I can say is WOW! WOW! . . . WOW! I am not sure I have ever watched a movie more mind blowing than this one. I HIGHLY recommend it. If you click on the image above you can see a trailer and if you click on this link
you can actually stream the 2 hour video right to your computer for free. I have some personal connections to the movie and perspective it shows. My father use to design circuit boards for NASA and I am pretty sure some of the satellites featured in the movie were ones he worked on. Below is a picture that I took looking out the window of a plane as we crossed the Great Plains. It inspire
the design Space Cowboy
Space Cowboy wide-width organic sateen
I must admit when the US Postal Service came out with their Earthscapes
stamp collection in 2012 I had to do a double take.
The "Center-Pivot Irrigation" (pictured here) was taken by the NASA/U.S. Geological Survey Landsat 7 satellite. Is it just me or does it remind you of Space Cowboy Red/Green?? I encourage you and your family to take the time to watch the NOVA: Earth from Space episode. When you see our planet from space, suddenly the connection to all things becomes so beautiful and undeniable.
Textile Truths: click image for larger version and link to downloadable pdf
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.
I am happy to introduce you to our latest experiment in organic cotton fabrics! The fiber is USA grown organic cotton, dyed at a GOTS-certified dye house in North Carolina. I met the owners of the dye house back in late 2011 when I was in the south for our GOTS inspection of our warehouse.
The owners were amazing! Thoughtful. Detail oriented. Caring. They gave me a tour of their facility and I was blown away. I have been to quite a few production facilities but none as clean and organized as this one.
I knew I wanted to work with them. Thankfully, that day has finally come. Our first collaboration is Torch Red - similar in color to our Scarlet sateen but slightly lighter and brighter. To quote Debbie at NearSea Naturals
"We received the Torch Red Sateen and we..... LOVE IT! We compared it to a swatch of the scarlet and Laura and I actually like the torch red color much better. It is a brighter, more vibrant color. The sateen also looks more sophisticated and drapes nicely. I think this is going to become a fast favorite among the sateen fabrics we carry. You never can find a red like this, especially in a sateen."
In addition to NearSea Naturals, this fabric will also be available through Organic Cotton Plus
, American Grown•Spun•Milled
, and to businesses only through Stitch Simple
. IMPORTANT PLEASE NOTE: The only non-GOTS part of the entire process was the spinner. To the best of our knowledge there is no USA GOTS-certified spinner. (If you know of one, please contact me!) This means the fabric may still be labeled as organic but NOT GOTS certified. We look forward to doing more dye runs with them. Unfortunately the widest they can dye is 80" so for wide-width fabrics we will be sticking to our GOTS certified facility in India.
It is my pleasure to bring to you the next installment of our Meet the Team Series. HoneyBeGood
is a very unique company with a remarkable and poetic location. It's a family business. Karen, her daughter Melissa, and husband Edward run the company.
Believe it or not this organic cotton fabric company is operated out of the old Cotton Warehouse at the renovated Porterdale Mill in Georgia! Here's a brief history of the Mill and the fairly recent undertaking by Walter Davis to restore this vast set of structures:
Opening in 1899, the Porterdale Mill prospered into the 1960s becoming the world’s largest producer of cotton twine. Low priced global competition forced its closing in the early 1970s causing the small town of Porterdale to decline. In 2006 the Porterdale Mill has been transformed into the Porterdale Mill Lofts, with residential, retail, and live/work spaces in a community designed for young families and singles, professionals and artists, small and independent retailers and business owners and anyone seeking a genuinely unique contemporary lifestyle.
Karen was involved in the Mill restoration during 2005-2007. When she got the inspiration to start her own organic cotton fabric store in the spring of 2012, the location just seemed like the perfect fit.
Although primarily an online store, according to Karen, "If folks are in the area, they're welcome to stop by (calling first is appreciated: 888.419.1563). If they're game and weather permits, we'll be happy to take them kayaking on the river!" Beam me there. That sounds amazing. I love the idea of the history and future colliding at HoneyBeGood. What fun to have Harmony Art fabrics
play a growing roll.
Besides the unique location, what sets this Team apart from our others is their laser like focus on quilting. Karen has been quilting for over 20 years! The only cotton they carry is organic and this is intentional. They have designed their selection to be presented in a way that speaks to the quilter. To this end, they offer fabrics in full widths but also in coordinated fat quarter bundles. According to Karen, these fat quarter bundles are quite popular!
Karen and I share some similar feelings about the quilting fabric treadmill.
To quote Karen, "I've become acutely aware of the pressure for designers and quilt makers to quickly churn out new patterns and product samples. The quality of the designs suffers, along with the idea that these creations are inspired and unique. That's not to say there aren't many fabulous designs in the market place - there are! by many talented designers. Often times I find myself in envy that the designer isn't working in organic cotton. But when I embarked on this retail venture I knew for certain that I could not be one to peddle conventional cotton. To me, organic cotton is more than environmentally- and socially-responsible; it's one solution for a textile industry that needs to slow down to be sustainable. In a slower, higher-quality mode, we can all take a breather and stop to truly appreciate the fabulous medium we're so blessed to work with.
"I think part of the reason I feel this way is that I quilt by hand - often bed quilts. This takes a lot of time during which I become intimately familiar with the fabric I've chosen for my quilt. I spend a lot of time under it. Not just any fabric will do and I think there are others out there who feel the same way (I sure hope so!). My goal is to provide a rich variety of organic and responsibly-sourced fabric for quilters and sewists who don't want conventional cotton. We've added hemp blends to our collection in beautiful solid colors in linen and muslin weaves and plan to add other alternatives to cotton as we become familiar with them.
"Some of my inspiration comes from The Slow-Fashioned Movement and all the wonderful and talented designers (like you!) who are dedicated to healthier fabric."
HoneyBeGood proves once again that the journey is indeed the prize. Meeting, supporting, learning from, and having the honor of working with like-minded, thoughtful people really makes my heart sing and all of the work feel like a gift. I am truly blessed. Thank you Karen, Melissa and Edward. Keep up the good and important work!
Karen, her father, Melissa and Edward
For years we have been do our annual gratitude challenge which offers a FULL ROLL of limited release Harmony Art organic fabric to the first person to submit their gratitude list. (FULL DETAILS HERE
) It took until November of 2010 for the first winner (Tania) to come forward. It took until March of 2012 for our next winner (Terri) to emerge. This year in serious record time Mary & friends completed the list and selected Silent Stumps Sateen
for their roll (pictured above).
For the last few nights I have read 100 items each night after dinner. What fun. Thank you Mary. I hope you enjoy the fabric!
If you are still working on your list, don't stop! There is a good chance we will be offering the challenge again next year.
This month Harmony Art is celebrating it's 8th birthday! It's hard to believe it has been 8 years already. WOW! All I can say is THANK YOU to everyone - friends, family, customers, neighbors, retailers, sewers, lecture attendants, quilters, guilds, certifiers, warehouse staff, printers, colleagues, dyers, farmers, etc.! I couldn't have done it without each and every one of you. What a joy it is to be involved with something I believe in and care about.
I probably say it at least once a week but it's true, I HAVE THE BEST CUSTOMERS in the world! Thanks for your commitment, dedication, feedback and orders. YOU make Harmony Art what it is. Cheers to the year ahead!
Big LOVE and GRATITUDE - harmony
Since December 1999, we (husband and I) have been marking every new year with a gratitude list. Our challenge is to create a list of things we are grateful for that equals the year we are entering. The list must be completed by midnight on Dec. 31st. So, this year we came up with 2,013 things we are thankful for.
Over the years, the challenge has morphed and changed. It went from a one night marathon event to a list we begin on Thanksgiving each year. Also, my dear friend Mary Sue has become a VERY important contributor to the list and we electronically pass the list back and forth until we collectively meet our goal. This year we were so in to it we ended the year with more - over 2,200 items!
If you have been following my blog closely, you may have seen that for the last six years I have offered a FREE ROLL of fabric to the first person to send me a gratitude list equaling the current year. I have not imposed a due date but have offered it simply to the first person to complete and share their list with me. In six years, I have had two winners. On November 16, 2010
, Tania completed her list of 2,010 things she was grateful for and selected as her FREE ROLL our Solstice printed interlock
. In March 5, 2012, Tania did it again
! We decided that instead of ending the giveaway, she would pass it forward. So the new rule was created - You are only eligible to receive a FREE ROLL of fabric once but you are welcome to participate in the gratitude list every year. On March 7, 2012 a new winner completed the list. Terri D. completed her list of 2,012 to be grateful for an earned 50 yards of limited release fabric.
I am offering the Gratitude Challenge again this year! Be the first person to send me a list of 2,013 thoughtful things you are thankful for and win a FREE roll of organic cotton fabric. The fine print: the free roll must be chosen from my "limited release"
fabrics (scroll down for list) and although the entire roll (approx. 50 yards) is FREE, the recipient is responsible for the shipping (UPS ground) charges. You are only eligible to win this giveaway one time.
I am grateful for the people who read this blog and for any entries I may receive.
I am happy to share with you our latest limited release organic cotton jersey prints that were printed right here in the USA in New Jersey! Please NOTE: The USA printer is not GOTS
certified. We are hoping that we can send them enough business to prove to them that GOTS certification is worth their time and money but until then please keep this in mind. All of the fabrics we source from India are GOTS certified.
and Ohio Purple
coordinate with our solid white jersey
and also work with our Lime Green Interlock
. Do you remember the original Ohio Interlock
? What do you think of the new purple colorway?
These fabrics were available to our wholesale customers at a discounted rate by pre-ordering in advance. In fact, Ohio Purple is completely sold out of full rolls. Fret not, you can still get individual yardage from Stitch Simple
(USA) and Pure Fabricz
(EU). We do have one roll of Monk available. . . contact me
if you are interested.
Also, you may be happy to hear when we printed these designs on white jersey we also teamed up with NearSea Naturals
to print a limited amount of the designs on their substrates (flannel, white interlock and natural jersey). If you love the designs but were hoping for flannel or interlock visit NearSea Naturals.
Pure Fabricz and NearSea Naturals just received the yardage this week so if you don't yet see the fabrics be patient or contact them directly to inquire.
Also, we recently did another small run of Sweet Jane Sateen
on our 60" natural sateen with the printer in New Jersey. This was done at the request of one of our wholesale customers who missed this fabric desperately. . . so we did a special print run for them. We have one 50 yard roll left. If you are interested, contact me
. We are here to help YOU get the organic fabric you need so feel free to keep the feedback and requests coming.
Last night President Obama won re-election. In his acceptance speech he said again, "We are not as divided as our politics suggest." I woke up this morning with that quote running through my head. I believe that we are not as divided as our bodies suggest. If we could just realize this, we would stop trying to "win" and start trying to make the best decisions for everyone. We are greater than the sum of our parts and I am not just talking Americans. The illusion of separateness has created self-interest which in my humble opinion is the root of all of our current challenges.The second you see your neighbor, the tree, the air, yes, even your enemy, as a part of our collective whole,
is the second the decisions stop being about ME and start being about WE
. It's really not as far away as it seems. Reality is, and I know everyone reading this has personally experienced this and can attest, that working together is way more FUN than working against anyone or anything.Recommended viewing: I AM the movie.