What makes you fanatical? When my children were little it was those little stuffed animals called beanie babies. They loved building a collection and searching for their favorite animals when they were in a new store. For my sister it is fall foliage. She lives in a part of the United States that most would consider absolutely gorgeous but come October she yearns for the gold, orange and red hues of the leaves, fields of pumpkins and the smell of the crisp air in the northeastern part of the United States. And me? Well I do confess that a chocolate shop can raise my blood pressure but so can a fabric store. You're not surprised are you? We were recently asked where we get our fabrics for the stoles at Carrot Top Studio. Here are a few examples of our many sources...
Commercial fabrics, like in this stole, are accentuated with hand painted details. The base blue of this stole is very common fabric from a national retailer. The border is specialty fabric purchased from an online quilt store.
It's exciting to be able to use fabric that supports ministries like this border fabric that is from the Congo Cloth Connection. Our purchase of this fabric supports a ministry of the Mennonite church where they believe "every stitch is a prayer" and which they build relationships with their brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We have used some of their fabric in a red stole here and this fall will debut one in green and one in purple.
We are slowly finding more resources for eco-friendly fabrics such as the tone on tone white background fabric of this labyrinth stole. Bamboo is a sustainable plant because it grows so quickly. We also like it because the texture is silky smooth.
Supporting other artists with our fabric purchases has been quite a privilege. We offer a line of stoles using hand dyed silk used in the appliques. The silk is dyed in LaCroix, Haiti by a delightful group of young women. Our purchase of the silk and in turn your purchase (we give 50% back) supports the women's education fund.
Lastly we haunt several different sources for vintage fabric. We consider this re-purposing of the fabric to be another earth friendly source that is good for our stoles and honors this world's creation by not allowing good fabric to end up in a landfill. We have several of these on the cutting table to add to our new fall inventory. We're also working on stoles created out of fair trade fabric. We dream of using a lot of fair trade fabric but we've sadly been challenged with finding resources that are affordable so we can keep our price point in a good spot for our clients. We'll keep searching for fabrics here and there. You can make sure to stay tuned to the website and our Facebook page to see what's new!