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Bed Suite 1 - ALK 3-2013

I am pleased to finally share a project that I worked on for the first few months of the year. Even if you are not a sewer or interested in decorating, I encourage you to scan through the photos and read to the end of the post because this is about more than fabric and color.

My husband and I collaborated with my Aunt and Uncle on creating a new look for their master bedroom, including a suite of bedroom linens that I sewed. We gave color direction overall and helped my Aunt pick out the color palette, wall paint, and fabrics for the bed linens. I sewed the Cal-King sized duvet as well as the European pillow shams and the hand-embroidered decorative pillows. All fabrics were purchased at the fabulous independent fabric store, Hart’s Fabric in Santa Cruz.

I did not realize what a challenge the Cal-King duvet would be to cut, piece, and sew in my little sewing room; It took a while but I did it:
Bed Suite 2  - ALK 3-2013

To add a personal heirloom quality, I embroidered a monogram on the center decorative pillow:
Bed Suite 3  - ALK 3-2013

I adapted the decorative elements of the monogram design to create this floral and trailing vine motif:
Bed Suite 4  - ALK 3-2013

This photo showcases the dance between the wall hue and the linen colors. Can you see the same blue in the duvet as on the wall?
Bedroom Suite 6 - ALK 3-2013

While the sewing involved in this project was not difficult technically, the amount of fabric and the multiple pieces inflated the amount of work and time I imagined would be involved. I am not sure I would enjoy doing many projects this big; However, for myself and my family, I value the quality and personalization of the things I invest my own work in.

There is something so special about looking at and using goods that your own hand literally made. Whether it was myself, or a relative whose hand was involved, heirloom pieces evoke a deep appreciation for and connection to the materials used, the skills practiced, and the time spent in creative creation. Surely this speaks to the growing revival of the craft, DIY, handmade, and even homesteading movements.

A closer look at the gorgeous 100% linen duvet fabric that was the jumping off point for all of the fabrics in the suite:
Bed Suite 5  - ALK 3-2013

In our modern culture, an antidote for the disposable, transparent, emptiness of the every day is so necessary. Running my fingers over the soft, strong linen fibers of a duvet, tracing the imperfect embroidered curves with my eyes, and wrapping a warm knitted scarf around my neck on a cool spring morning are the things that ground, calm, and connect me to each moment, in real human time. The power of the hand-made is not only seen. It is felt.

Do you find that heirloom quality hand-made goods, whether bed linens, carpets, clothing or otherwise are worth more than simply their utility?

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