Tuesday, June 16, 2009

an evolution of taste

last weekend, i worked on some baby duvet covers as a gift for a friend who recently had twins--a boy and a girl. we're sending husband's oldest daughter (she's 17 and a half) to the US this week, to spend the summer with my sister and accelerate her english, so i wanted to finish the baby duvet covers to send along with her in the otherwise empty suitcase she's taking for all of the loot she'll bring back. as i was putting them together, using fabrics i had on hand, i realized how much my taste has changed since i made baby duvet covers for sabin when she was a baby eight years ago.

here's the most beloved one that i made for her (it's really falling apart now, as she still uses that little baby dyne (as it's called in danish) as her hugging blankie and with her bears and such).  but this photo was on a plane in 2006 when it was still in good shape:


it was a bright cotton check that i bought at the dreaded wal-mart (before my vow never to set foot there again). it's soft and smooth and she has always loved how it feels. i sewed on a ribbon of rainbow-colored cord on the front and it has cute heart-shaped buttons. i remember i made it the summer when sabin was a baby and i was home visiting my parents while husband stayed home and tore out our kitchen and redid it. i sewed a lot that summer on my mom's sewing machine.

and these are the covers i made this weekend (#53 and #54, by the way, in the journey of creativity in 2009):


i feel there has been a major shift in my taste. and it's not only to do with what fabrics are available and in style today vs. then. although sabin has loved her little duvet cover--i made several that summer and the one above is the favorite above all--i wouldn't choose that fabric today. as you can see, i wouldn't make it all with just one fabric either.


my favorite colors are in evidence here. i love that i had all this stuff on hand--anna maria horner fabrics, some lovely hand-printed fabric bits with helicopters and cars on them from this etsy shop. the prints and colors i'm attracted to today are just different than they were.


some super cute japanese fabric with matryoshki on it from this etsy shop.

but aside from sourcing on etsy, what has changed? my taste, for sure. the available materials/colors, for sure. my entire sensibility? i think so. i think we cannot help but be influenced by the place in which we find ourselves. did it make a difference that i made sabin's little duvet cover when i was at my mom's house in the US and that i made these two here in my own little creative house in my garden? i think it did, so location is surely a factor.


of course, there is the intervening 8 years of input, inspiration and influences as well. all of the things i have done and seen have brought me to here, where this is what i make today, rather than still being there where i made what i made 8 years ago. we evolve creatively. we change and grow.


i've been seeing a lot of great embroidery out there...on flickr, on blogs, in advertisements...and so it influences me. i wouldn't have thought of embroidering on sabin's cover 8 years ago, but it was exactly what i wanted to do on these two.


but it also has to do with the availability of inspiring materials. like this ribbon from here. and choosing to use ribbon as a closure had to do with time pressure and not being there where my mom knew how to use the buttonholer on her machine and not having tried it yet on my own new machine. but it was also because i had such great ribbon at hand.


but mostly, i have a feeling that my eye has improved. 8 more years of living in a scandinavian design mecca has had to have some influence. the colors, the lines, the entire sensibility i have now is vastly different than it was then. there are so many factors that go into our design choices. it's really interesting and rather mind-boggling to try to consider all of the ones that brought you to a particular point at a particular moment in time to create a particular thing. with all that's swirling in us and around us, it's a wonder we get anything created at all.

27 comments:

Polly said...

I love the blue/green duvet cover, this is my fav colour comibination too!

and I love how creative you are in making all these things. I look at your photos and I think my life is simply not creative enough and I don't know why, is it for lack of inspiration, or time, or just being plain lazy?? so I'm hoping for a lot of creative inspiration this weekend and I'll be starting my own little workshop tomorrow

wv: pzfgsh - no vowels, no inspiration!

Kristina * said...

these are just so, so adorable and beautiful! i like the combinations of colours and patterns and all the little details. everything about them, in fact. the twins are very lucky indeed! :)

I_am_Tulsa said...

Good heavens! You are so artistic and creative...
Thank you for sharing so much, I am very very inspired to get creative too!

Soozie said...

They are simply divine! I'm itching to get to my sewing machine today, but must first finish some paid work. Yet, I'm procrastinating by reading some lovely blogs instead!

Off to check out those Etsy stores and waste yet more time!

Jelica said...

To be able to make something so beautiful with your own hands is absolutely fab! Sadly, I have no talent in that department whatsoever...

Delwyn said...

Hi Julie

you are such a clever creative pixie,
put two ticks on your creative chart from me...
I love the green and blue too...but I am also partial to the Japanese dollies- babushkas...is that what they are?

Happy Days

McGillicutty said...

You never cease to amaze me, do you have a time machine?? I adore these duvets and you know they will be so special to the twins (and their mother). Great pics...again!!!!
Ditto with Walmart....it's worse than ever!!!
Happy Tues.... hugs...Ali.

Dixie said...

I agree with you... your tastes are changing... as you mature...

Now that I am almost completely mature at 54... I find that my tastes for what surrounds me is pretty much in place... now I just add little touches to update... but who knows... once I pass into my 60's anything could happen...

I love your new designs and the fabrics you've chosen... thanks for the links.

Snap said...

I loved all the baby duvet covers. Well done! If we didn't change how we look at things and what we see, how boring life would be! Thanks for the links, too (I think ......):D

rxBambi said...

without being too gushy, you amaze me. But I think it's totally unfair that you got all the creative genes and I got exactly zilch. Seriously. It makes me insane with rage. Green with envy. Growling with...growls. Ok, that out of the way, I love thhe duvet covers.

Ady said...

I see the evolution, but I like all of the covers. :)

Loredana said...

You have some really great talent there. I love the cute japanese fabric with matryoshki on it, very chic and unique!

Now you make me want to go and sew my baby to be some duvet covers.

Good call!

The Fragrant Muse said...

Fascinating this business of evolving tastes. Your creativity has matured and become more "honed" over the years with more attention to detail. Your work is more sure of itself and shows self-confidence in its creation. And yes, I believe our local story has a definite influence on our creativity.

What do you put inside the duvets?

Bill Stankus said...

I was once in a crowded bar, the music was cool so this guy and I sang a duvet to a tune we both knew. Then we drank some more beer.

word verification: billyboo

Outstanding!

Bill

elk said...

wanted
to say
how
sweet
these
are.elk

Joanna Jenkins said...

These are all fabulous! I love your color choices and the embroidering-- What a beautiful person al touch!

Kamana said...

what great fabrics! i've been meaning to make a not-so-baby duvet for my kids for some time. i made ones when they were newborns(which they still tend to use!), but want to do new ones now. you've inspired me with all the embroidery and ribbon work too!

Cyndy said...

The duvet covers are fabulous! What special gifts--and the colors are amazing. Definitely see the Scandinavian influence. By saying that we get better over time (with experience and guidance), I am hopeful that the scraps and sewing machine I have collecting dust may someday become something very special!

Dear friends made our daughter a baby quilt when she was born. Periwinkle polka dots and yellow rectangles rest between blocks of flowers. 19 years later she still snuggles with this "blankie," a quick way to find her way home...

Molly said...

Love that babushka print, and those ribbons!
Gorgeous.
And how sweet is that pic of Sabin? She still looks so like that, 8 or so years later.

dutchbaby said...

I love all three of them. Sabin's for its nostalgic simplicity. The blue and green one for its strong graphics, especially with those two "God's Eyes" (are you too young to remember that craze of the sixties?).
And the pink one for that fantastic Japanese fabric!

Elizabeth said...

Have a japanese thing going on at the moment, so my favorite fabric is the japanese one.
Think is a lovely thing to notice that your taste is changing, (for me) it means your still growing and that is a good thing.

heidikins said...

I want--nay, I need--that matrushka ribbon.

xox

paris parfait said...

These are fabulous - what a special gift! And husband's oldest daughter is a lucky girl to spend the summer with your sister. Like you, I won't set foot in a Wal-mart either.

spudballoo said...

want...need..everything...! I completely see what you're saying, but that cover for Sabin is delightful and a true reflection of the time, and the place, it was 'born' in. You're so clever, I so wish I was crafty (in the good sense not the mean sense, which i am). x

Tara said...

The covers are gorgeous!! Thats wonderful you had all that great fabric on hand. It reminds me of my mom and her treasure of fabric in her sewing room. I would be in there for hours just making pillows and stuffed animals in all colors and patterns. I use to love sewing. I don't do it anymore. I think I should do some my husband did buy me a machine last christmas I don't even think its out of the box!LOL Love the ribbon instead of buttons!
Namaste
Tara

discounderworld said...

Love them! Going to sell on Esty too?

Char said...

the girls still love their blankies...or as the youngest calls her, her "mimi".