Friday, December 5, 2008

silverware rollup project

Stephanie Goddard has written an article detailing how to make a beautiful silverware rollup, featuring my Cutlery ribbon, in the current issue of Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine. Thanks, Steph! It is beautiful!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday offerings

I have recently decided to begin carrying a far wider selection of LFN Artist's Ribbons on my website once again; I have missed the everyday commerce since I joined LFN Textiles Ribbons with Renaissance Ribbons, so I will once again handle retail orders from my studio. I am adding ribbons gradually, by spring hoping to be up & running fully. There are currently 46 designs available.

You can check there now for the full range of LFN holiday designs (and be sure to find related giftwrap and tea towels at Crate & Barrel!). I also have available the wonderful Auricula, and some of the fabulous Suzani ribbons I have written about here.

Monday, October 6, 2008

a Fun pairing

One of the best parts of getting new ribbons in, is the fun I get out of matching them to other fabric designs. This Auricula ribbon, for Renaissance Ribbons, looks quite wonderful with the new Hellebore pattern from Funquilts, part of their Wild Bunch collection for RJR Fabrics. Bill Kerr & Weeks Ringle, the team behind Funquilts, have been wonderful professional friends for a long time and I am delighted to share this little "collaborative" pincushion with them.

The ribbon is available at fine independent fabric stores nationwide, or at several online stores -- please use the links on my sidebars.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

more auriculas

You can see from the last post how much I am still working with the wild and beautiful auricula flower motif. The towel coming out for Crate & barrel takes the flower more realistically (and you might remember the allover jacquard Auricula towel form the spring). We are also working on Auriculas for the fall Renaissance Ribbon line, though we are just now introducing the pattern at the Markets. So I anticipate both imminently!

fall flowers

I visited Crate & Barrel offices last week with a new portfolio of LFN designs -- I always love working with the buyers there. They are highly creative people and it is a privilege that they use my designs! In turn I was given some samples of new LFN designs which have just come out on the market:

Vegetables embroidered towel (it also comes in brown)
Arbor embroidered towel
Quinlan printed apron, potholder & mitt
Teapot embroidered towel
Stones pillows (there are 2 versions, the other is red chenille)
(You can find the Stones table cloth & napkins from this summer's line, on sale now)
Silverware towel (based on my Cutlery ribbon and on sale now!)
and the Tomato towel which I wrote about in my last post.

Here's the Auricula towel: such beautiful embroidery! The little bees are exquisitely detailed! But I am a bit ahead of myself here, as it is not online yet....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Midsummer Tomatoes

Another cycle feels complete. Before I have picked a single red tomato from my garden, Crate & Barrel has brought out a new towel printed with my tomato design. This is based on my wonderful Tomato ribbon (the very first ribbon I designed!), which in its turn was based on the many tomato tapestries I have woven over the years. I love all of the products I design with Crate & Barrel (the whole process is so very much fun!) but this one feels special to me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

samarkand blues

The last of the Samarkand colors arrived today -- so dense and rich! When I design a number of color ways for a ribbon I am not satisfied until I see them all together -- the full spectrum, as it were. So here, with the emerald, sapphire and amethyst to join the ruby, the tiara is complete!

Friday, April 25, 2008

more things to make with ribbon

Here's a beautiful new book: Ribbon: The Art of Adornment by Nicholas Kniel and Timothy Wright (Gibbs Smith, Publisher, $39.95, Hardcover, 224 pages). Nicholas owns the eponymous ribbon boutique, Nicholas Kniel, in Atlanta, a truly scrumptious and sumptuous assortment of ribbons and trims. He was an early supporter of my own ribbon line, and still carries them (though the book is more devoted to the kinds of bows and flowers you can make with ribbon, than to sewing ribbon as a trim). Do check it out! Maili Powell of Soutache in Chicago (see my earlier post) has been using Nicholas's flower designs for a couple of years and they are wonders to behold.

Friday, April 4, 2008

rainy outside, spring in here

Today was not what I would call a lovely spring day unless you are so into the fact that April showers are essential that you don't mind being cold & wet. So I played around with my pale spring green Moonflower ribbons and some pretty print fabric, and then I made little bird sachets (OK silly but sweet) out of the scraps. Their wings are a few of my simpler ribbons like Arabesque and Butterfly.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

new damask ribbons

We have been developing a number of damask designs in my LFN Ribbon line lately, with the idea of their usefulness as coordinates to the LFN designs as well as to coordinate with other Renaissance ribbons. Two new designs are the Dots, and Arabesque. At the moment Dots is available in just 2 color ways -- pink & yellow and black & grey, but it will eventually come in colors to match some of the most popular LFN ribbons. Dots echoes the polkadot pattern which is in the background of several of my ribbon designs (Allium, Dandelion, Pansy). Arabesque fits in with the exotic Suzani & Samarkand collections.

Both are 1 1/2" wide and polyester, made in a heavy and lustrous brocaded damask weave. Watch the What's New page at Renaissance Ribbons to keep up with what is coming (or visit my online retailers, via my website)

shopping for ribbons

This morning I mastered the art of inserting a new link into my website for ribbon shopping. As I noted in an earlier post, Renaissance Ribbons now is the exclusive wholesale distributor for my line of LFN Textiles Artist's Ribbons (leaving me free to design and dream and make my artwork). The website continues to offer a very small range of the ribbon in limited quantities, while I send most of my visitors on to the online retailers who carry my entire line. Vogue Fabrics, based in Evanston IL, is a fabulous fabric store that I have been shopping at since I first learned to sew around 1966. They have carried my full line of ribbon for some time and proudly support their "hometown girl" (though I have since moved to rural Indiana). Here is a link to their wonderful store, and you will find Laura Foster Nicholson ribbons in their very own section. I am so proud to be affiliated with Vogue Fabrics!

Click here to shop.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

exotic samarkand

I have received 2 spools of my new Samarkand ribbon from Renaissance Ribbons this week: one is online already and possibly in the stores. It is glorious, if I say so myself. We are also producing it in jewel tones of emerald, amethyst, and sapphire, which will be coming soon. Today's offering is the ruby red on pale pink, and it looks smashing with hot pink silk.

My suzani ribbons are an homage to central asian embroideries called Suzani. Samarkands are some of the most recognizable suzanis to those of us here in the west. The current craze for all things Suzani is inspiring; I follow them daily on ebay and have watched prices skyrocket over the last year as the trend grows here. Suzanis, you probably already know, are made by women, primarily as dowry items, from countries such as Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The pattern is drawn on handwoven cloth seamed together from narrow strips; then after the drawing is made the strips are separated and taken home by the various family members to embroider, then re-joined in a small miracle of matching. Some suzanis are vintage and even antique but it is good to note that there is a terrific trade in brand new needle work. These cloths often feature natural dyed silk threads embroidered densely over hand-woven silk/cotton fabrics. The quality is remarkable.

Friday, March 7, 2008

and now for something completely different

You can always make a headband out of one of my ribbons. Here, if you look above the bikini line, you will see that one of the girls on Survivor has in her emergency kit a length of LFN Textiles Dandelion ribbon tying back her tresses. Thanks to my sharp eyed friend Bari for spotting it last night!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

spring sewing

I had to make up a number of sachets for the Reading Public Museum's shop today -- they are hosting the Cranbrook Hothouse exhibition, which includes one of my tapestries, and wanted some LFN items for the shop. They got little zip bags, sachets, eye sachets, and larger zip bags, all trimmed with ribbon.
Here are a few of the things I made.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

in Vogue!

Yesterday Renaissance wrote and told me that my ribbons are very beautifully illustrated in the April/May 2008 issue of Vogue Pattern Magazine. See for yourself!

flowering sachets

Sachets again! I know I seem to make far too many of them, but the lavender is lovely and cheering to work with when you have a headache or low February spirits.

Here are 4 sachets I sewed with assorted silks and the new ribbons. They should be out soon -- they will be posted on Renaissance Ribbons under What's New, and if you check my web site you can find online vendors who will soon have them.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

spring flowers

Spring colors and spring flowers, and yet we have an inch of solid ice outside today!
Here are 3 of the new ones from Renaissance Ribbons -- my Poppy re-colored in pale pink on pale grey-green, my new Moonflower in honeydew and olive, and Morning Glory in blue on yellow.

Monday, February 11, 2008

some fresh things

I have long been fascinated with Auricula flowers, and have worked with their odd and colorful faces many times. Ten years ago I wove a lovely linen jacquard with large blooms; this then translated to an upholstery fabric for my short-lived LFN Textiles Upholstery line.
Recently I Licensed the design to Crate & Barrel for use as a kitchen towel. Not finished yet! I spent the last few weeks making some applique fabric samples to expand my design vocabulary (usually I just design at the loom or on the computer screen) to include more warm & fuzzy reality in my portfolio. I have had a wonderful time with elementary materials such as wool felt, along with my usual staple, DMC floss and a few high-end decorator fabric snips thrown in. So here are the Auriculas from that cycle.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sewing the Suzanis

I had some time last week to begin sewing again. I went to a store in Evansville specializing in fabrics for interiors (Grateful Threads) and thrifty me found the table of sample swatches they were selling off for a pittance. I came home with a fistful of new fabrics, all carefully selected to go with my Suzani range of ribbons, and each big enough to make 2 small zippered bags with or a couple of sachets. Just the kind of simple, pretty thing I like to make. The fun for me is in matching patterns with other patterns -- nothing so easy as pattern to solid which is conventional design wisdom! Here are some pix of the fabrics, and a few of the things I have made. Some of those bags are for sale at my Etsy store.