I had the good fortune of spending Saturday afternoon with two amazing men – Stiles Colwill and Jonathan Garguilo – partners in the incredible store, Halcyon House. Stiles had given me some information regarding the original Baltimore toile pattern, and with their extensive collection of books on textiles and knowledge of fabrics, we were able to work out some more of the details of the Toile de Baltimore.
The gentlemen even gave me a sample of the most amazing toile so that I could approximate the weight and weave of the fabric. Here’s a snippet of it – with the amazing brownish-grey ground and blue and saffron figures. The repeat on this is very small and the detail is incredible. We had a long discussion about the size of the repeat of the Toile de Baltimore, and they showed me examples ranging from about a 40 inch repeat, to the one above, which is probably less than ten inches. Since we will be printing the toile on a polished cotton, and most likely, it will be used for pillows and other small items, we thought that the repeat should be scaled to that.
From the library lessons, we moved to the garden, and what a garden it was! I was so busy picking and choosing the flowers I wanted, that I didn’t take any pictures. Suffice to say, it was one of the best private gardens I’ve had the good luck to visit, second only to this one. Stiles and Jonathan picked buckets and buckets of flowers for me, including dahlias, zinnias and globe amaranth. Jonathan whipped up an arrangement for me which included Rainbow Chard leaves around the edges to set the flowers off to perfection. I took that one out to my mother’s house today. I also gave a handful of flowers to the two elderly women who live across the street and to my friend, Halas’ mother, Cat. The remainder were arranged rather loosely in a low metal urn I have.
They are just gorgeous and are sitting just inside my front door. When I see them, they will remind me of an afternoon of great fun and even better company. Thanks Stiles & Jonathan!