Friday Favorites 2/17/2012

Paula M. Bodah, Senior Editor
I’ve been on a serious fabric-buying binge since my husband surprised me with a new sewing machine for my birthday earlier this month. Sad to say, my go-to fabric stores in Rhode Island have been closing up shop lately, so I’ve been trawling the internet to satisfy my fabric jones. My latest find: Brick House Fabrics, a Maine-based online fabric store where I can spend hours in a state of blissful indecision, browsing through an amazing collection of fabrics. Besides having a huge selection, including many high-end choices like Scalamandré, F. Schumacher and Duralee, the site also describes each fabric in lots of detail. They even include photos of the fabrics alongside a measuring tape–very handy for online buyers who want to be sure the size of the pattern is just right for their needs.

Here are a few of the ones I’m drooling over this week.

Isn’t this F. Schumacher fabric the sweetest? I love the mix of muted green, gold, rust, orange, cranberry and purple with shades of beige. I’d love to make a few toss pillows for my living room with this mid-weight cotton.

F. Schumacher Babies; photos courtesy of Brick House Fabrics

The scarlet background of this Clarence House fabric is so pretty. There are actually twenty-five different colors used to create the stylized chrysanthemums, peonies, morning glories, celosia and other flowers. And here and there, a bird of paradise swoops in to get a taste of the berries. I’d love to cover a wing chair with this one.

Clarence House Bird of Paradise

This Schumacher fabric, with its gnarly tree branches covered in stylized flowers, fruits and leaves, looks like it could have come straight from eighteenth-century Marseilles, home to a host of companies who wove the Indienne fabrics so popular in Europe in the 1700s and 1800s. I’m thinking of using this for a new set of curtains in my family room. It’ll look wonderful against the room’s sage-green walls.

F. Schumacher Indienne

Cheryl Katz, Contributing Editor
Friday afternoon at our studio is usually a hectic, schizophrenic mix of almost-the-weekend giddiness and frantic we’re-not-ready-for-next-week’s-meeting energy. Suffice it to say, it’s not the best time to schedule visitors.

But the powerhouse behind bius, Mary Little, proved unflappable as she came through our door at about three o’clock a couple of Fridays ago, carrying a chic shroud and a slender tablet.

Little and her partner Peter Wheeler have worked together, since 1997, creating furniture that is carefully conceived and beautifully crafted. The company offers both custom work and a small line of ready-made pieces. Little thought our studio might be interested in their work, and since she was in the neighborhood decided to pop in. (Full disclosure–she did call first and I did say sure; a little distraction is not a bad thing when it all starts getting a bit out of hand.)

By four o’clock we were all eyes and ears as Little, still unruffled by our Friday afternoon chaos, extracted the Zsa Zsa Ottoman from its shroud. Constructed of felted wool and painted steel, Zsa Zsa sports a saucy central zipper that runs front to back, and is as stylish as a little black dress, as whimsical as a plaything and as comfortable as the best seat in the house. When Little left, we were all smiling. Not a bad way to end the work week.

Zsa Zsa Ottoman by Peter Wheeler and Mary Little

Kyle Hoepner, Editor-in-Chief
In lieu of the ice we mostly haven’t seen this winter in New England, I give you these glittering creations by Rhode Island glassblower Tracy Glover:

Prospect Hill Drawer Knob, Primavera glass with pewter

Prospect Hill Drawer Knob, White Lace glass with pewter

Parrish Wall Sconce, White Lace and Crystal glass with brushed nickel

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