Looking for the Red White and Blue?

Having a family get together this 27th day of May, Memorial Day?

Wikipedia has some interesting facts about how this day of honor for lives lost has come about.  Read about it here .

If you are looking to jazz up your home for the Memorial Day and, or upcoming Fourth of July, how about some red, white, and blue? Maybe a new handmade tablecloth and a spiffy new kitchen valance can brighten the atmosphere to a patriotic level.   Or, perhaps a new set of handcrafted placemats and a kitchen valance.

placemat redwhiteblue

You have to be super careful not to burn your fingers pressing the handmade bias tape for the placemat set.

kitchen valance redwhiteblue

The woven plaid design fabric is upholstery grade 100% cotton. These items are machine washable; tumble dry; no bleach.

tablecloth redwhiteblue

The fringing of the tablecloth is time consuming but I love that “homespun, Grandma’s house”  look.

All these products I have designed and created in a clean environment where no cigarette fumes of any kind exist.   I do not use formal patterns in my home decor designs.  When an idea strikes me for a valance, pillow cover or sham, tablecloth or curtain, my tape measure and scissors are valuable tools that get alot of use.  I get out the fabric, roll it onto my cutting sheet over the table, measure and start cutting.  Then it’s off to the sewing machine to put the pieces together.   Pressing every seam is the key to professional looking products whether they be home decor items or garments.  (I use commercial patterns for modern day garments.)

I have these products and more in other colors and fabrics at my studio on Artfire.  Click the link at the top left to browse all the products there.  Comments are welcome.

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LeaflettesRegal King Pillow Sham

PillowShamLRThis large king ruffled pillow sham coordinates with the latest new custom curtain set in my ArtFire studio  .  This vintage fabric pillow sham has an 1-1/2″ extension behind the ruffle to allow for an overstuffed king pillow.  Along with a lapped opening in the back allows ease of installation and removal of the pillow.  The color is wine and plum on an antique background.  Check out my ArtFire studio for this and other custom home decor products.  All fabrics shown (except for child’s name banners) are available for custom  accessorizing to your liking. Actual pillows are not included in items being offered for purchase.

Custom Handmade Window Treatments

CurtainLeaf1

Here’s a new handmade floor length two panel custom curtain set.  This is vintage fabric from the Summer Hill Ltd collection.  The colors are wine and plum on an antique white background.   Check out all the details at my ArtFire studio here .

Toile – What IS it?

Toile. When I first heard this word that was referring to a fabric I’d purchased, I was mystified. The person who spoke of it pronounced it as “twall”. Now, I had not seen the spelling at that point, but I thought to myself, what a dumb name for a fabric.  My enlightened friend told me that it was a very popular fabric. I, myself, was not that wow-ed by the fabric but was so very delighted with my good fortune of the purchase.As I began to use the fabric, I became more intrigued by this toile. Specifically, I wanted to know more about the scenes that were depicted on the fabric I had purchased. The edge of the fabric shows that the design is an exclusive to the manufacturer and that the scene is called Rosewarne. I researched Rosewarne on the internet and found a manor in England named Rosewarne and I presume this to be named for it for some reason.

 

But I wanted to know why the fabric was called toile, what made it a toile, and where did it originate. Merriam Webster defines it as “any of many plain or simple twill weave fabrics, especially linen”. I went back to the internet and researched toile.  The term toile appears to refer to the type of fabric, the type of printing on the fabric, and the designer who originated it.

 

Check out my toile tablecloths at my studio, UniquelyHandmade on ArtFire.  I hope you enjoy reading what I have extracted and pasted below about toile from some interesting articles on the internet.

 

From the Design Sponge ( http://www.designsponge.com/2010/03/past-present-toile-de-jouy-modern-toile.html ) I read:

Cotton Banned in France Before we can get into the nitty, gritty of the pattern, we really need to start with the fabric. When cotton was first imported from India to France in the 16th and 17th century, the light, colorful, and easily washable fabric was a wild success. It was used for everything from clothing to wall coverings, curtains and bedclothes. It was so much in demand, that the French government became concerned about the financial impact that this competition would have on French manufactures of silk, wool and cloth. So in 1686, all cotton was banned in France – production, importation and use. Even with the threat of arrest, the fashion continued – clandestinely. Finally in 1759, when the ban proved impossible to enforce, it was lifted and French factories sprung up to satisfy the demand for printed cotton.

 

From AJ Moss, The Bedding Blog (http://www.ajmoss.com/blog/2011/12/16/origins-of-toile/), I think is a very pictoral description of toile:

Origins of Toile

An Oberkamp Toile

Toile designs, more than any other fabric designs, connote luxury, opulence, and aesthetic sophistication. The scenes depicted on toile fabrics are always pastoral and ancient, often European and always pleasant—they generally present idealized visions of common life. In these visions, peasants dance to flute music and carry baskets over-laden with produce. Farmers rest by brooks, and children frolic with farm animals, while in the background flowering vines wrap around the columns of crumbling temples.

The visions depicted on toile fabrics are distinctively rural, but they are intended for urban applications—for the salon, not the stable. Toile designs are most commonly printed on fabrics, and these fabrics are used to construct comforters, pillows and drapes. However, toile designs are often found on wallpaper, as well, and on plates and upholstered chairs and couches. Recently, designers have used toile designs to decorate lampshades, dresses, handbags—and even boots.

In medieval France, the word “toile” was used to describe “a canvas” or “linen cloth”—fabric one might paint upon. In the 1770’s a Bavarian block printer named Oberkamp, who had moved to a small village near Paris called Jouy-en-Josas, produced his first toile prints. His prints soon became very popular, and they were called “Toile de Jouy” prints, after the town in which Oberkamp settled. These detailed wood blocks presented agricultural and hunting scenes, Oriental and Persian themes, and Classical scenes—Roman and Greek myths and historical events.

Overall, Oberkamp’s toiles reflected the style favored by King Louis XVI (1774-1792)—his court, after all, was in Versailles, very near Jouy-en-Josas. Louis XVI, reacting against the excesses and even bizarre fancies of his predecessor, Louis XV, preferred classical themes and ideals. One can easily see the classical aesthetic in Oberkamp’s toiles. His characters and scenes resemble the pastorals represented on Greek Urns. The toiles show a longing for days-gone-by and celebrate the divine simplicities of manual labor and earned leisure. They also eternalize a moment—a summer day or harvest day—an immortalization of physical vitality that is almost bitter-sweet in that it represents an unobtainable perfection.

eHow (http://www.ehow.com/facts_6764854_history-toile-fabric.html) also has some interesting info about toile:

Origin

  • The popularity of Indian printed cottons in the 17th and 18th centuries led the French monarchy to create a program to recruit foreign specialists who could compete with the imports. German-born Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf founded the Manufacture Royale de Jouy the following year, in 1760.

Early Method

  • Workers at the factory initially used the Indian block-printing method. Early toile designs were floral.

New Technology

  • The invention of copperplate printing in 1752 allowed easier fabric printing that used a cylinder system to transfer images to cloth. Images produced with this method were more precise and detailed.

Toiles de Jouy

  • Oberkampf’s lead artist, Jean Baptiste Huet, created images based on both Oriental subjects and nature scenes of Provence that came to be known as “toiles de Jouy” (“Jouy fabrics”) or “Provence fabric.”

Characteristics

  • The famous toiles produced by the Oberkampf factory are monochromatic, printed in red, blue or black on a white or cream background.