Blog Posts Tagged ‘organic cotton’

Euclid Avenue in Haven Organic Fabric

 

I’ve been loving the Euclid Avenue quilt that Kristy and Shayla from Sassafras Lane Designs made for our Quilt Market booth in May, so I thought I’d give it it’s own post today. It was a huge hit at the show, and I think it really works well with the subtle, fresh palette of Haven. These two are such sweet and talented designers, and I love the style and spirit of their company. You can buy the quilt pattern here, and the fabric is available here.

Euclid Avenue in haven

 

I love the irregular linear quilting they used – it’s subtle, but gives the quilt a really nice texture and structure.

Euclid Avenue in Haven closeup

 

Here’s the quilt, paired with some pillows that also made an appearance at Quilt Market, sewn by Jeanne Verrinder, a local sewist.:

Euclid Avenue and Pillows in Haven

 

And on display in our Quilt Market booth in May. Thanks, Shayla and Kristy, for your beautiful work!

Haven at Quilt Market

woodland organic cotton knit fabric

Three of our popular Woodland organic cotton knits are now back in stock! Swedish Forest, Foxy Knit and Polka are here and going fast. Get ‘em while they’re hot!

woodland organic cotton knit fabric

It’s been a busy week here! Meadow and Urban Patch arrived on Tuesday morning, a few days behind schedule, and I spent the day unpacking, taking inventory and stacking bolts on our new shelves (I put Dave to work last week, as seen on our facebook page). Then I spent Wednesday shipping out dozens of boxes of fabric. It’s fun to know that the new prints are making their way all over the world! It’s always fun when the new collections finally arrive and get shipped off, but I only get a moment to savor the completion, because next week I have to have the final designs done for spring. Whew! Off and running… I’ll share a peek when they’re ready to go.

 

urban patch organic fabric

 

urban patch organic fabric

 

meadow organic fabric

 

meadow organic fabric

We had a great neighborhood photoshoot for Urban Patch last weekend! I had to coax the boys from across the street out of their Ninja Halloween outfits and into some cute little button down shirts, but once dressed they were the perfect models. We got some good photos, they had a blast, and Anabelle got a little more attention than usual from the big kids, putting her in a good mood for the weekend. Everybody was happy! The fabric has been a dream to sew with, and I’ve used it for everything from boys shirts to girls outfits, women’s pajamas and a couple of quilts. I’m super excited to get it in the shop in just a few more weeks!

 

urban patch organic fabric

urban patch organic fabric

urban patch organic fabric

urban patch organic fabric

urban patch organic fabric

urban patch organic fabric

We got the sample bolts of our new organic fabric collections last week, and I’ve been busy sewing and photographing ever since! We had a weekend of fun photo shoots and can finally show the fabrics in action. There’s tons of new stuff coming, so here’s a little preview.

 

First up: our new Woodland knit collection! This is soft, 100% GOTS-certified organic interlock knit printed with some of our most popular designs – Foxy, Swedish Forest, A is for Apple, Shroomy, Dotty and our Geo Dot. The fabric is ideal for t-shirts, yoga pants, play clothes and baby clothes like our new Little Bee onesie and pant pattern, as modeled by Mila and Elias here. We will also be introducing organic jersey knits in some of our our Raaga prints, and photos of those will be coming soon.

Little Bee sewing pattern

woodland organic knit fabric

woodland organic knit fabric

Next up is our Urban Patch collection, a playful group of prints inspired by our local urban gardening community. This group is printed on our soft 100% organic cotton poplin, and is great for quilting, kids clothes, adult clothes and all kinds of other projects.

urban patch organic fabric

urban patch organic fabric

Finally, we had a fun photo shoot yesterday with our Meadow collection, a warm and vibrant group of quilt-friendly woodland designs. Lots of organic goodness coming to the shop soon!

meadow organic fabric

meadow organic fabric

meadow organic fabric

meadow organic fabric

 

Tune in on Thursday for a guest post by the fabulous Karen LePage of One Girl Circus! She’ll be sharing a stylish peplum blouse tutorial based on our On the Go dress pattern.

 

The strike-offs for our new fall collections arrived last week, and I’m so excited about them! We have two collections coming out for fall market, Meadow and Urban Patch, and I’m now busily planning out projects to sew up and show at Quilt Market. What would you make with these fabrics?

The strike-offs are hand-screened versions of what will be machine printed in final production, so there are always some little differences, and I love seeing the way they resolve the screen ends, like in the photos below. It won’t look like that in final production, but it’s cool to have the one-offs!

 

The Free Range collection is in, and has been flying off the shelves! One of the fun parts of my job is doing photo shoots for each fabric collection, and we finally got a few photos taken yesterday. Here are some of the takes, and outtakes. Happy Friday!

anabelle and the chickens

 

anabelle and isabelle

 

apple barn cow dress

 

 

 

 

Our new Raaga collection arrived late last week, and the weekend was a flurry of unpacking and taking inventory. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but every time we get a collection in I’m amazed by the huge number of bolts and seemingly endless stacks of fabric. I love stacking the bolts on our shelves, seeing the patterns repeated over and over. And then I especially love packing them all up in boxes and sending them out across the country and the world. I’m just starting the shipping process now, and I love thinking about those bolts heading off to Japan, the UK, Australia, Spain… all those places I’d like to go but can’t right now. The other day Anabelle was playing in the studio while I packed up a box heading to Hong Kong. She climbed in on top of the bolts and announced that she was going to Hong Kong too! Maybe someday soon…

the raaga collection

 

 

lila lounge pants

 

 

tea blossom tunic

 

Raaga

Good things come in priority mail packages! I’ve been working with the talented Melissa Lunden, of Lunden Designs, to develop a chevron quilt pattern for Havana, and I just received the sample quilt in the mail. So pretty! She worked two prints into each chevron stripe, and the back is a really nice patchwork using four different prints. I love it, and I hope you do too! The pattern will be available soon.


I grew up in a family and community that was very aware of environmental issues, and pretty active in the environmental movement. My mom started the first recycling truck in our neighborhood, we were members of the local health food co-op, and I learned how to make solar panels in my third grade class. So I knew about the benefits of organic products, and I would buy organic cotton when I could, but it always seemed hard to find, and with limited options. I was interested in supporting organic cotton, but it didn’t seem easy.

 

In 2009 I had just started licensing my designs for fabric when I heard a piece on NPR’s All Things Considered that profiled the health effects of pesticide use by cotton farmers in India. It really personalized the issue for me, and prompted me to learn more about conventional cotton farming and the alternatives that organic cotton could offer. What I learned surprised and impressed me. Here are some facts:

 

-Conventionally farmed cotton is one of the most chemically dependent crops, using up to 25 different pesticides and fertilizers, several of which are toxic to humans or are known carcinogens

 

-Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic synthetic pesticides and herbicides, and without synthetic, nitrogen-based fertilizers. Instead, organic production uses farming techniques that focus on soil and plant health, including crop rotation, companion planning, local plant varietals and beneficial insects to produce a better crop.

 

-The synthetic, nitrogen-based fertilizers used in conventional cotton farming dramatically increase the carbon footprint of the cotton crop. Excess nitrogen can escape into the atmosphere, streams and groundwater, contaminating the water supply and contributing to the proliferation of greenhouse gasses.

 

-Alternately, organic cotton farming represents a significantly smaller environmental footprint. It releases less greenhouse gas, does not contaminate groundwater, uses less energy and, due to the improved quality of the soil, uses significantly less water. There is an interesting blog post on this issue here.

 

-Conventional cotton farming can pose serious health risks to the farmers and farming communities, particularly in areas where proper use guidelines may not be followed. In addition, the finishing process for conventional cottons can involve numerous toxic chemicals, exposing mill workers to health risks as well.

 

-Conventional cotton can contain residues of pesticides and finishing agents, particularly formaldehyde, that can cause skin irritations and health affects to the end user.

 

-In contrast, GOTS-certified organic cotton is produced using no toxic chemicals throughout the entire production process, ensuring a healthier working environment for the farmers and mill workers, and a healthier, higher-quality product for the end user. Additionally, the GOTS certification signifies that the product is fair-trade, ensuring that it was produced under safe, healthy and equitable conditions. Read more about the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and what it covers here.

 

After learning all this, I realized that I wanted to help promote organic cotton farming in whatever way I could, and I decided to launch my own organic cotton company, Monaluna. Although the first few collections were too small to use the GOTS-certified dyes, we – my husband Dave and I – are now producing GOTS-certified collections exclusively, and we are committed to supporting organic and sustainable farming practices.

 

These days, organic fabric is much easier to find, and the choices are wonderful and varied. They are still more expensive, but in light of the above points, the benefits are vast. Next time you’re in the market for fabric, do yourself and the environment a favor and try an organic alternative.