In fine feather

Sometimes, hoarding precious fabric isn’t sensible.

In my last BM&I post, you saw a small piece of fabric featuring all kinds of feathers in shades of grey and light brown. I’ve had that fabric for 7 years, I think. Every so often, I got it out and thought about using it for something. And then I’d put it away again. I used a really quite small piece for the Parterre block, but I still had a sizeable chunk left. Back in the cupboard it went.

The other day I read a couple of things. The first was Anne Lawson‘s comment on my BM&I post, enjoying the feather fabric and pointing out that one of the feathers was from a guinea fowl, one of the types of feathers she has illustrated so beautifully herself. The other was a theme running through a number of Anne’s own posts, expressing a lack of inspiration to continue with much of her creative work, and worrying about how to address it. I thought perhaps I could offer a little encouragement…

Anne derives a lot of benefit and inspiration from artist residencies, taking time out to single-mindedly pursue inspiration and excellence in her work. If she’s anything like me, packing up and preparing creative materials for trips away is half the trick; so often I leave at home something important. Last time, it was my camera…

So I thought I’d make her something that combined the feathers she loves so much with something practical and useful. And here it is: an artist’s tool roll.

And of course – of course – there are plenty of feathers:  a large panel of the fabric on the outside, and one of the two levels of pockets made from it too. What you can’t see very well is that the binding is silver on black, not grey. I love that tiny metallic touch amongst all the softness.

Even the tie is made from the very last scrap of the feathers. And I’m so happy that Anne is the very deserving recipient of all this airy loveliness. 

Look out for it, Anne, it’s coming your way.

53 thoughts on “In fine feather

  1. Oh how lovely 🤩 Practical & Pretty

  2. Moira says:

    What a great gift!

  3. jmcheney says:

    How thoughtful, generous, & apropos. I’m sure she will be inspired by it to continue her path or fledge & fly off on another!

  4. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    I’m sure she’ll be over the moon! I told you before; you are an angel !!

  5. tialys says:

    What a thoughtful gift Kate – it’s beautiful fabric and so appropriate for Anne who loves feathers so much. I’m sure she’ll love it and use it all the time.
    I love giving hand made gifts – what else am I to do with my excess output? – and usually take something with me to a pre-Christmas lunch with friends who don’t bother with gifts. I tell them I really don’t care – I just like making things for people – but, this year, they’ve actually asked me not to do it as they have a ‘no gifts’ pledge and I’m in breach of it, apparently. I know what they mean but I feel quite offended somehow. This year I’d made foodie things I was going to put in little handmade baskets so now we’ll have to eat them all ourselves. Shame 😉
    Humbug!!

    • katechiconi says:

      I really just want to perk her up a bit as I think she’s getting a bit of a raw deal from life just now…
      *They* have a no gifts pledge, but do you? I’d be a bit grumpy about that too, it smacks a little of controlling. Why shouldn’t you give gifts if you want to? I have to give a Secret Santa at the Days for Girls Christmas lunch, but it has to be worth under $5. I think I’ll make something. That way I can truthfully say it was under $5 whatever it is!

  6. nanacathy2 says:

    I think that is not only beautiful and practical,it is also very kind and thoughtful.

    • katechiconi says:

      I just loved the inspiration that struck when I read her ‘guinea fowl feather’ comment. It was a real lightbulb moment! And of course, it gave me yet another chance to use up some nice scraps.

  7. Having recently got my creative inspiration back after a rather fallow period where I had to push myself to make/write, I can sympathise with Anne… I hope this beautiful gift helps to inspire her. I still use the hook and needle roll you made for me.

  8. craftycreeky says:

    A perfect present- beautiful,practical, thoughtful and with lots of love in every stitch 🙂

  9. claire93 says:

    what a beautiful and practical present – made with lots of thought & love, as always!

  10. […] of Christmas gifts, I commented on Kate’s post today about gift giving- although I sort of went off topic – and would be interested to know […]

  11. Lynda says:

    What a lovely and thoughtful gift. I’m taking your idea/example and running with it! You’ll see soon enough. 🙂

  12. Sharon says:

    This has to be the perfect gift for a crafter. It’s really so lovely and thoughtful!

  13. magpiesue says:

    What a brilliant and practical way to put that fabric to good use! It couldn’t be more perfect for Anne. Well done!

  14. A perfect and beautiful gift for Anne that is wonderfully thoughtful and practical. You never cease to impress me with your kindness and creative talent ♡

    • katechiconi says:

      “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama
      The trick is to give in completely to the smallest generous impulse, don’t let it fade away for lack of encouragement. – Me

  15. anne54 says:

    I have just caught up on my blog reading, and Kate, I am overwhelmed! To know that you thought of me and made something out of your beautiful, special fabric is magic. I have looked at other artists’ rolls with envy, but never got around to getting one for myself. I shall go and camp by the letter box!

    • katechiconi says:

      Give it a few days; I have yet to get to the post office this afternoon to put it in a mail satchel. But you’ll have it by Christmas for sure. I hope it works for you; the two levels of pockets will hopefully accommodate all the brush/ pen/ pencil sizes you need. And it’s all cotton, so you can fling it in the washing machine on a cold wash if you need to.

    • katechiconi says:

      Just back from the post office. It’s on its way! I’ll email you a tracking number.

  16. What a perfect and kind heart you have. That is a wonderful gift and tool. I have often thought about making one but no longer take classes or have room at home to work. You know how much fabric I have given away lately and sometimes I think of a way I could have used it. But that would mean not getting something else done. So the regret fades immediately. I’m sure it will be loved and cherished. Hope the eye is still mending nicely.

    • katechiconi says:

      Sometimes I look at fabric and bits and pieces I’m hanging onto, and wonder why. And then I think of something like this, and realise that I don’t need to go shopping for a single thing! (Which also makes the Husband happy – double whammy!). The eye is mending well; there’s still a raised lump and a red scar on the outside of the lid where he had to dig out the last bit, but hopefully it’ll flatten over time, and after all, it’s only been 10 days.

  17. Joanne S says:

    That is such a nice thing to do for someone. It’s simple and practical – the way I like it! 🙂

  18. What a lovely thoughtful and practical present. I am sure that every time she uses it she will be reminded of you and your friendship which will mean so much!

  19. how very wonderful. I love the internet, and all our connections. That’s such a beautiful and thoughtful gift.

  20. You are so kind, that’s a beautiful idea for your friend

  21. […] but her extra layer of thoughtfulness is that the pattern of the material is watercolour feathers. It was a special piece of material from her stash.  She knows that feathers are important  to me. How special is […]

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