A big welcome to this Saturday's featured sponsor, Gypsy Forest. Stephinie, the crafter behind Gypsy Forest, hand makes the most gorgeous quilts, playsilks, aprons, and other fabric goods for kiddos. She additionally writes a beautiful blog, also called Gypsy Forest. Stephinie was recently nice enough to answer a few questions from me.
Me: As I think I might have said a few times now, I'm in love with your spindrift quilts. Both the curvy edges and the fabric choices you make are just beautiful! Can you tell us the story of when you started making those?
Stephinie: The very first spindrift quilt was an idea for my littlest one. He was born in Alaska on an island with a rocky coastline. I wanted to capture the movement of the waves along the edge of a quilt. After much trial and error I finally figured out how to do it. Several baby gifts and years later I opened my shop to sell them and only then chose the fitting nautical name. You can read the whole story here. Spindrift means “finely divided water swept from crest of waves by strong winds.”
Me: You're also currently hand-dyeing playsilks, both as a play item and to use as wrapping for your quilts. Can you tell us about that process?
Stephinie: I use natural acid dyes for my silks. The dyes are environmentally friendly and the “acid” used in the process is plain old white vinegar. All of my silks have a variegated color to them, which I think really mimics colors in nature. My own kids have found so many uses for this lovely open ended toy. I’m really happy to share some uniquely dyed beauties in my shop.
Me: As your blog says, you and your family move often. From Alaska to way down South--with four kiddos in tow--it sounds like you've seen a lot of the United States. If you had to pick a place to put down permanent roots, where would that be and why?
Stephinie: This is such a big question for me right now! My husband is awaiting details on our location for our next (and hopefully last) move this coming spring. In the last fifteen years we have lived on every coast in the US and the Great Lakes. But in the very beginning of this journey, I left a bit of my heart in New England. There is something about the autumn season there that pulls me in. My fingers are crossed that we will be heading back there in a few months.
Me: But even though you've moved a bit, you have such a pretty garden. You have a series of postcards in your shop called "Thrive" that feature photos of veggies from your garden, and each time I see them I think how nice it would be to get a letter with a beautiful bowl of squash blossoms on the front. As a fellow gardner, I have to ask, what grew best for you this year?
Stephinie: The kids & I spent the summer in cool coastal Alaska and my sweet husband took care of the garden while we were away. It was smaller than years past, but the basil and peppers all did really well. We’ve got a freezer shelf full of yummy pesto and plenty of spicy hot sauce to show for it.
Stephinie has generously agreed to giveaway a set of her postcards. (You can see a set here, just as an example.) To win, visit Gypsy Forest and come back and comment on your favorite item in the shop. If you see something you have to have while you're there, Stephinie is giving My Bit of Earth readers 10% off for the next 10 days. Just use the code "gypsyearth" at checkout. As usual, I'll pick a winner on Wednesday.