Thanksgiving Day is right around the corner and here at Stonewell Cottage, we’re gearing up for slops and spatters with couture french styling. The first of the aprons are out of the block and there are many more styles and colors to come. Here’s the prototype:
What a treat! The new fabrics have arrived from France, and are they gorgeous! So beautiful that I’m feeling intimidated by them. My standards are such that whatever I make with them must be chic, elegant, well-crafted and of heirloom quality, and worthy of the beauty and beautiful traditions that they evoke and which, to this day, remain a mainstay of the Provencaux.
These jewel-like colors lift me spirits and inspire me to become a better seamstress. In fact, yesterday, I bought a new machine to do justice to these lovely fabrics. I’ll keep you posted on the fruits of our labors here at Stonewell Cottage.
I’ve been working on a number of projects, most notably a series of tea and coffee cozies. It’s odd how all of this has come about. A friend admired a tea cozy I’d made and asked if I’d make him one for his 50th birthday. I did. I made a few, tweaking the pattern, experimenting with remnants of some very expensive and very luxurious fabrics that I’d had acquired through my interior design business. Through word of mouth, I was approached by someone who asked if I would make a large tea cozy to fit both her teapot, as well as her french-press coffee maker. (The glass on the french presses is thin, thinner by far than a ceramic teapot, and no sooner is the coffee ready to’press’, than its barely warm.) I thought about it and said I’d make a coffee cozy to fit the cylindrical shape of the french-press, and a tea cozy to fit her teapot.
I tried several different shapes but finally settled on the triangular tower, which looks a lot like papal headgear, as it accomodates the handle while still fitting snuggly around the glass cylinder. At some point in the process, I remembered my treasured stash of french, provencale fabric. I’d purchased it in 2001 in order to make a wedding quilt for my future husband Andrew, as well as a bedskirt. These brightly colored prints are a tradition in the South of France, which was my home for a number of years, and their charming patterns and crisp finish are cheerful, vibrant and perfect for accent pieces and tabletop furnishings. A few people had seen them and the next thing I knew two forces were at work. Requests started rolling in for similar objects, or, as the french would say, ‘confections’, and several people suggested that I open an Etsy shop. I started to give it some serious consideration and knew I needed help. Enter Sara, long time friend, computer maven, seamstress, former pattern-maker, sculptor and general renaissance woman. I hear the seraphim sing.
We’ve opened a storefront on Etsy called the Stonewell Cottage Shop, but there’s a lot to do before it’s fulled stocked and properly organized.
We’re getting ready to launch the Stonewell Cottage website (presently under construction). We’re sewing, tweaking patterns, designing a logo, ordering fabric (finally there’s a reason to use our french), having labels made, photographing finished products, reorganizing the studio to more suitably accommodate sewing, and designing an expanded line of goods that will include kitchen appliance covers, table linens, handbags, totes, and some gardenwear.
It’s an exciting time