Why choose bland, uninspired potholders and placemats when you can add charm or elegance to your breakfast nook or kitchen? Designer quilted, patchwork potholders need not be hidden in drawer awaiting brief service cradling hot pot handles. They are worthy of displaying on a wall near your stove. Quilted, calico place mats not only protect your tabletop, they also add cheery color and homey style to your kitchen. Like their slick, plastic cousins, they are easily washable. After highlighting your kitchen, you might consider a more pervasive upgrade in décor. Handmade table runners and tablecloths are also affordable and durable. From there, move on to area and hallway rugs. Imagine a handwoven rag rug in the kitchen and a braided rug in the hallway.
There’s no need to restrict your signature style to your home. Why accessorize with a retailer’s company or even a designer’s logo when you can carry a handmade tote bag? Instead of plain beige canvas or black ripstop, your handmade tote bag can be woven in warm tones of straw or stitched from nubby cottons. There are quilted, embroidered, and crocheted tote bags, makeup pouches, and wallets, too. Many quilted items are available in calico print fabrics or pieced patchwork designs. They are colorful, cheery, and can cushion a laptop computer or iPad. Embroidered items need not stop with the personalization of your initials. Hand stitched borders and panel designs may be floral, leafy, or otherwise scenic. Favored slogans or quotes look stylish when hand embroidered rather than machine stitched or stamped in ink.
You’ll find handmade tote bags with a variety of convenient features. Interior or exterior pockets, buttoned or zippered closures, shoulder or handheld straps, and matching wallets, purses, makeup, and lunch bags are all possibilities. Even though such accessories are technically designer items, their creators respect your identity and style. These designers insert their labels and logos inside purses and bags. They don’t expect you to be a walking advertisement for their studio or boutique. There’s more prestige in carrying a handmade item; its design reflects the creativity of its maker. There’s little artistry in decorating an item with a logo.
While the materials used by major designers are usually specially sourced and high quality, such sources are also available to fiber artists. Unlike the former, though, fiber artists often are fabric designers, dyers, spinners, or weavers. Their materials are not only high quality, they are sustainably produced. Due to hand production, quantities of materials are limited. Each batch of yarn or fabric they create varies in texture and shades of color. Combined with the artistry of the designs, they make art accessible and useful. It needn’t just grace a wall, it can insulate a room from noise and extreme temperatures. You can bring your art as well as your wallet and computer with you when you carry a handmade tote bag. Turn your shopping trip into a gallery walk soon to put more fun and style into your life.
Copyright, American Brocade, 2019