Monday, November 18, 2013

Dowry

quilt
Dowry.  (ps. putting the finishing touches on the above pattern today! Quilt pattern is now here!) I first learned what the word dowry meant from my mom when exploring my grandparents house in Greece as a little girl.  I came across a small closed up room filled with linens all stacked from the floor to taller than me and a cabinet of dishes, etc. too as I recall.  I asked my mom what it was and she said it was my cousin Eleni's dowry.  Cousin Eleni was only a wee girl at the time, but busy family hands had been making for her since before she was born.  Needless to say it made quite an impression and I wasted no time in asking where we kept my dowry.  (I am sure that was good for laughs, as we didn't practice quite the same tradition here in the States.)
Dowry is my newest feature collection of 24 quilting cottons.  (And only quilting cottons actually for this line.)  Here is my collection description: So often beauty comes to us in the form of tangible gifts, passed on by loved ones who have come before us. Even more lovely is when these goods were actually intended for and handmade with us in mind. This to me is the very heart of the handmade world, and I wanted to honor it with a collection that is very personal and built from the handiwork from my own family. Dowry is a compilation of literal translations of some of my own family heirlooms, some imagery is only from memory, and some prints are simply imagined companions that reference the handmade, hand stitched, and the well-loved. Dowry is at once nostalgic and energetic… a new love with a past life.
Each of the colorways is named for a piece of jewelry I've been given.
rubies.and.pearls
Rubies & Pearls (a ring from my great, great aunt)
charm.bracelet
Charm Bracelet (from my parents for my high school graduation)
brass.locket
Brass Locket (from my grandmother Anna Ruth, holding pictures of my grandfather, mom, and aunt)

twill.bouquet
Being very literal about the translations of artwork from heirloom to fabric was incredibly satisfying. The process inspired me beyond the actual recreated artworks, but also completely reinvigorated my "mark" making. How I stroked the surface for each print. They are all a little different, and in the end sort of reference and pay tribute to several styles of print processes over centuries of making textiles. For instance, the Twill Bouquet was born out of my first needlepoint project as a child, but the texture inspired a twill motif rather than a needlepoint one. Those twill lines running through the bouquet saw fit to take a few turns in the negative space for some contemporary interest (not unlike my juvenile stitches that went in all directions).  (Mom and I made that pillow together several years ago with my Bohemian fabrics after recovering the needlepoint from missing.)
lineage
And the Lineage print. This dear deer of Yiayia's. Dear deer of mine (the story is here). It was important to me to invoke the print with the horizontal runnings of a loom, so all the art is created in line and purposefully a little imperfect in it's printing, slightly thinner here, overprinted there. It feels so special to me that way. Already belonging wherever it is. I love it. I cannot tire of it.
dowry.page
Every print and title in this collection is special to me. Close to me and very personal. I could not have anticipated just how personal when I designed it, barely and secretly pregnant exactly a year ago, and still the daughter of a visible mother. I could not have. Yes, it's only fabric. Only things. But so are all of pieces and gifts that inspired the work. When Pierrette and I were shooting the above photo, the mannequin needed just a little something. I was able to pull out one of my mom's crocheted shawls still tucked in a box full of things I had just retrieved from her closet a few days earlier. Perfect. Only a shawl.
But so very good to hold it, and see it. Like everything we give and receive out of love.
While we do sell it, and it is my living, I also offer this with love.  I hope you enjoy it!
yours, Anna Maria

34 comments:

  1. Beautifully written as usual Anna Maria. The collection looks wonderful, can't wait to get my hands on some!

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  2. Your fabrics are absolutely amazing and this collection is not an exemption. I love that there's something more behind it - like in our (quilters) quilts. Thank you for being such fabulous woman and designer! (my Dowry fabrics are on my way to me and I can't wait to see them:)

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  3. It is truely artwork when infused with such personal story and love. The prints are timeless and I love everything with a story in it.

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  4. Works of art…each one…….

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  5. Works of art…..each one so lovely…..

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  6. I miss your mom every day. She was such a blessing to have as a friend. Love the new fabric line. Your momma is smiling down at you:)

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  7. Beautiful. What a gift you have... these prints truly evoke more than things. I can imagine, even feel, the connections, the recollections, and love that inspired them, and it makes me happy to appreciate the warm comfort, the healing, it must bring you. Beautiful, Anna Maria. Through and through.

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  8. So touching.......so dear...so you!

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  9. eeek I can't keep up! I'm still making a quilt from your last collection - I suppose that's what a fabric stash is for...to hold on to some new lovelies for a future quilt. I'm in the UK and my clients love my quilts that I make with your fabrics! My handmade quilts pay for my artist studio.... SO DOUBLE BIGThanks x

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  10. Perfection with a capital P

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  11. Such utterly beautiful fabrics Anna Maria, you should be very proud of all you have achieved.

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  12. So gorgeous! I will have to add at least one of each to my collection. I especially love reading where you inspiration came from, and the stories behind the prints. So inspiring!

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  13. thank you for sharing your stories and talents.

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  14. Ahh! You always make me cry, but in a good way. :)

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  15. Beautiful fabric of course, but made so much more beautiful by the meaningful connection you have with each design. I feel like when I make something from this collection it will have extra special meaning carried with it from start to finish. Thanks so much for sharing your design process with us!

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  16. The thoughtfulness, sincerity, and ease with which you write and create never cease to inspire me. Thank you.

    { Also counting my lucky stars at the moment for securing a spot in Sew Down Nashville (!) :) }

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  17. I love reading about your inspiration, it's beautiful I have already received my pre-order from Hawthorne Threads and can't wait to add to what I already have. It's lovely!

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  18. We just received your dowry fabric line in my local quilt shop today! It is awesome. I wanted to cut some for me right away. Will this quilt pattern be available to us lowly quilters? It looks great.

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  19. I can't wait to see it in person.

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  20. So beautiful Anna Maria and like all your collections, how much you care and how much of you are in the all designs and color choices just sing out!!

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  21. Oh Anna a am crushing on your dowry!
    It is totally what I love x

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  22. I just bought the whole collection (in fat quarters) at a local shop ~ Modern Domestic ~ the other day and really looking forward to making a quilt for my bed with it! Think it will have to be this new quilt you're working on!
    I just love everything you design!

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  23. chills. your stories are why your fabric is irresistible. thanks for telling them.

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  24. On my Christmas wish list, I'm such a fan. Thank you so much!

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  25. Anonymous4:22 AM

    You have such a beautiful way with words - so touching.

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  26. You have an amazing mind. I love seeing what you come up with. I was recently thinking about "things", too. We are supposed to see beyond "things", but when your life's work is making, so much of life is about things, especially when they carry a story. That's why I've always liked antiques and, as with you, family heirlooms. Congratulations on your new line. I can't wait to see and touch it in person.

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  27. Beautiful fabrics !! ♥

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  28. Sooo lovely! I'm wondering if these quilting cottons would work for making some clothes...

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  29. Gorgeous as usual! and such a beautiful story behind it as well. Thank you so much for continuing to design fabric that I LOVE!!

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  30. Just wanted to tell you here in Australia the front cover of the Tupperware specials for October - November 2013 bears one of your fabric. I'm not sure what it is called, it's a two tone yellow/blue-ish tones with just a little white, a repeat flower pattern, about two and a half years old (I guess the age as I have some of the fabric in different projects). Just thought I'd let you know if you hadn't heard already.
    Rgds

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  31. Thank you so much for sharing with us the inspiration behind these amazing designs! I have received my yardage of Postage Due in Toast and it not only looks beautiful but also feels so soft and silky! The kids are already fighting (gently) over who gets the quilt!

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