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 & Pearls (a ring from my great, great aunt)
Charm Bracelet (from my parents for my high school graduation)
Brass Locket (from my grandmother Anna Ruth, holding pictures of my grandfather, mom, and aunt)
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.)
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.
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