Parish Farm Girl Archive


Posted January 6, 2017 By suzanne

Wet , Cold and Dreary

That is what the weather man is predicting.

I on the other hand am predicting

warm, sweet and delicious

with plenty of cinnamon goodness!

Cold weather makes me want to bake

and this makes my kids


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ūüćÄIrish Linen

Posted December 30, 2016 By suzanne

While sorting through yet another box of vintage linens ( one of MANY), I came across a piece of vintage Irish Linen huck toweling.

I had forgotten all about this piece. ¬†Unused and it perfect vintage condition . ¬†They just don’t make toweling like this anymore.

I believe , that all of these beautiful textiles were meant to used, so I cut and sewed the edges to make three extra-large hand towels.

What I love the most about this particular piece -besides it being made from incredible Irish Linen which is super absorbent, is the shamrock motif that is woven into the weave.

I know I will thoroughly enjoy using these when I have company.

ūüí¶Here’s a fun fact that you may or may not know—washing your Cotton and Linen towels, whether new or vintage, with fabric softener (even dryer sheets) prevents them from doing their job —being absorbent.




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Cathedral Windows

Posted December 28, 2016 By suzanne

The “Cathedral¬†¬†Window” is a beautiful quilt pattern.

It is certainly a different twist on everyday quilting techniques.

It was also one of my Mother’s favorite and she is the one who taught

me how to make it.

My mom’s birthday is right around the corner, so I thought I would

make something to remember her with.

My Lavender Pillow is a nice way to incorporate this pattern into your

decor , without committing to a large piece, such as a quilt.

This one measures 10″ x 10″ , is backed with a beautiful antique linen

and of course stuffed full of French Lavender from Provence.

I will be adding this one and a few more you my Etsy shop.

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Vintage Handwork

Posted December 1, 2016 By suzanne

As I sat in my studio today working on new designs, I stopped for a bit to look at all the projects I have going currently.

As I have mentioned before, there is an almost unending supply of antique and vintage textiles filling all the crevices in my studio.

What I saw today is several examples of handwork.

Since I love so many types of textiles and handwork , I have a lovely collection to choose from.

I have been working with hand embroidered pieces with sweet little chickens and a really wonderful example of “chicken scratch “.

Most people know what embroidery is, but the art of hand embroidery is unfortunately being overwhelmed by machine embroidery.

“Chicken Scratch” is a simple country, almost primitive art form.

I remember my mother showing me how to embroider the “chicken scratch ” stitch onto a piece of gingham.

I much prefer beautiful Hand embroidery to machine embroidery.

Vintage crewel is another favorite.  While hand crewel textiles can be very expensive , there are several vintage designers that created a machine crewel for drapery and upholstery

Lee Jofa is one such designer and Jacobean is a very popular design.

 Here are some examples of the vintage hand needle and machine needle work I am working with.

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Grain Sacks and Buttons

Posted November 20, 2016 By suzanne

Being a Couturier has brought me in contact with some pretty out-standing textiles.

I mean, I actually remember breaking out in a cold sweat and pacing back and forth

in my studio before cutting on a piece of 400.00 a yard silk.  No going back on that one.

But…the pattern draft was great and the mock up was great… I held my breath and

went for it.    The dress was beautiful!!

I have a different feeling when I am working with my antique and vintage textiles.

The nerves are still in play , but for and entirely different reason.

I am forever reminding myself of the history behind the weave.

Especially the narrow hand woven pieces.  These were generally made on table top looms at the end of the day  (evening entertainment )


Grain sacks–and quite a few I have purchased actually have had bits of grain still in them, ¬†are more than just pretty striped bags with monograms.

They were the original reusable bag.  Each family had a weave pattern they liked and a stripe pattern/color specific  to them.  MonogramsРwell that is self explanatory .

I take the grain sacks and turn them into pillows, storage baskets, and various other useable and decorative lovelies and very often I add from my extensive collection of vintage mother of pearl buttons.  The contrast between the refined beauty of the buttons and the un-refined natural texture of the handwoven textiles is indeed captivating .

Below are some of my works in progress and some in my shop.

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Studio Activity

Posted November 16, 2016 By suzanne


For those who know I am a Couturier, being in my studio sewing will be of no surprise. ¬†To those who really ¬†know me, know ¬†when I am in my studio sewing, I am surrounded by shelves and boxes of antique and vintage textiles that I have been collecting for “ages”.

I absolutely adore making something beautiful and/or useful from these textiles and giving them a new life and I spend a good bit of time doing just that.

Above are some Christmas napkins made from organic cotton and the tree appliquéd on the front is made from one of my vintage textiles.

The napkins can be found in my Etsy shop along with many other items I have had fun making here in my studio.

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