Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016

4.19.2009

Vintage Parish-Hadley

If my friends ever want to blackmail me, all they'll have to do is whip out some pictures of the dreadful handmade presents I used to give them. But in the right hands homemade objects are the very thing that can bring a hard-to-achieve charm and soul to a room. I've asked some designers and artists to share their thoughts on handmade gifts -- when to give and what not to give -- so you'll read their ideas in the next few days. In the meantime, I'm posting a little more vintage Parish-Hadley. (Keep in mind the pictures are from the 60s when diverse movements were taking place -- a passion for Mod hues along with a renewed interest in Americana, just to name two.)

You may remember that Sister Parish and Albert Hadley championed American crafts. Sister commissioned the Freedom Quilting Bee in Alabama to create a patchwork fabric that could be used for interior design, and Parish-Hadley was known for upholstering wing chairs and sofas with quilts.

In 1968, House Beautiful sang the praises of quilting. Editors Lois Bohlig and Richard Fitzgerald said, "Patchwork is a needlewoman's poetry. Rhythmic in design, with rhyming colors."

The magazine story explained that the making of patchwork quilts was having a revival: "With less need and more leisure for such needlework, women are rediscovering its pleasures...there is now a fine liberty not known in earlier days. The difference is color. The enormous choice available. The freedom to create non-traditional combinations, to deal with color adventurously, as fashion designers do, as interior decorators do. Exhilarating!"

Projects -- indeed very groovy, very colorful projects -- from the design studio of Parish-Hadley were used to illustrate the feature. Three less time-consuming projects were included as "a quicker kin-to-patchwork." One was a bench covered with grosgrain ribbon pieced together on the diagonal. I think that idea is still pretty interesting. A pillow made with grosgrain was also highlighted. And I had to do a double-take with the little footstool. Underneath the padded and piped wildflower material, a cluster of tin cans were secured together forming the base.

Interestingly, Smythson's luxe version of a sewing box is currently generating buzz. Even Vogue is talking about needles and thread.

Related past post: Craft and High Style

Thanks to Holly Goes Lightly for reminding me to add this great link about the upcoming book, Sister Parish Design: On Decorating!

13 comments:

Jade Creative said...

Love the colors and textures that are created with all of these hand made pieces.
Everyone needs a sewing box, and this one is indeed classy.
Have a great day!
Darlene

Style Court said...

Darlene -- enjoy your day too! It's a beautiful box but pricey :)

Ivory Pearl Interiors said...

Great bright colours. Enjoy youy day!

Style Court said...

Thanks Ivory Pearl! You too.

holly goes lightly said...

Sister's New England aesthetic is still fresh today. And the renewal of 'homemade' lends itself to a true Parish revival. Can't wait to see if the release of Sister Parish Design: On Decorating reinforces this... thanks for the great post!

Style Court said...

Holly, I think that's an excellent observation. And I agree with you. It will be interesting to watch this. Thanks for stopping by!

Mrs. Blandings said...

The footstool and the bench were my favorites. Makes me want to recover a cushion right now.

Style Court said...

Patricia, you should try the grosgrain thing.

mary said...

wonderful post - as always - but I'm really waiting to see you handmade goodies ... we've all done it you know!

Style Court said...

Thanks Mary. I definitely won't subject you to samples of my handiwork!

Rose C'est La Vie said...

No useful ideas about handwork, but I *love* those grainy photos, particularly the whimsical little clown against the lattice cushion on the floral sofa. Actually, I might get out my sewing box.. ThAnk you!

Style Court said...

Hi Rose, these colors look so bold even through the grain and fading. Your comment made me realize that :)

Mélanie said...

Great patterns ! love patchwork , there is one from Etro that I love