July 30, 2018

Quilts, Again…

If you’re following me on Instagram, you have seen that I am have been seriously collecting Amish and American patchwork quilts in preparation for the upcoming Pigtown Anglo-American Pop-Up Shop.

One of my theories of retailing is that I would never sell anything that I don’t love, would not have in my house or would not collect. When I began thinking about these quilts, I realized that I have been collecting them for several decades!IMG_0058In fact, over the weekend, I opened a container only to find my first quilt purchase.

But it’s not just me who has a renewed interest in quilts. This recent piece in Fashionista outlines the resurgance in using quilts in fashion.  And in the recent article on my friend’s house on Nantucket in Architectural Digest, there were quilts everywhere. In the “Design Notes” there was a mention of the quilts, with a reference to Calvin Klein. It was noted as “price upon request” which generally means that if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it. image

From the Calvin Klein website, comes this:

CALVIN KLEIN is pleased to present a series of vintage quilts, hand-selected from across the country, exclusively for the brand’s Madison Avenue flagship. Emblematic of both American heritage and a homespun, handcrafted ethos of days gone by, these one-of-a-kind pieces range in origin, dating from the 19th to early 20th centuries. Some arrestingly graphic, others intricately wrought, these heirloom objects are entrenched in America’s visual vocabulary, and synonymous in many ways with Chief Creative Officer Raf Simons’ vision for CALVIN KLEIN. At Simons’ debut for Fall 2017, vintage quilts lined oversized, utilitarian parkas, or became panel detailing on classic Wall Street topcoats; most recently they were seen on the Spring 2018 CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC runway, tucked under models’ arms.


Click the image above to see all of the quilts in the collection. No prices! image

But Klein is not the only one who is using patchwork quilts in their designs. Rosetta Getty had these designs, using the Log Cabin pattern, in her spring 2018 collection. image

I would murder for this jacket, from the collection of Emily Bode, image

this is from Libertine, image

and these are from Mimi Prober, all from their Fall 2018 collectionsimage

Quilts in fashion is such a trend that the New York Times has even written about it, in a piece amusingly titled, “This Old Thing?” For quilts that aren’t in museum condition, you can always re-purpose them like these pieces from Kelsey Parkerhouse’s Carleen.image

So, I am letting you know that quilting is having a moment, and I am here to help!

July 24, 2018

Parch Marks

For most of the summer, many of us have been suffering through a horrible drought (it broke here in Baltimore over the weekend with 6+ inches of rain since Saturday!), but it’s still going strong in the UK. This drought has uncovered a trove of information, much previously unknown. Appearing in the grass and on the lawns of many historic sites are what is known as parch marks. These marks are the remnants of what existed in the space in the past.

In this garden at the historic house, Hardwick Hall, you can make out the original garden design with the original design just below.



Here’s a general explanation of parch marks, or as they’re sometimes called, crop marks:

Crop marks appear due to the principle of differential growth. One of the factors controlling the growth of vegetation is the condition of the soil. A buried stone wall, for example, will affect crop growth above it, as its presence channels water away from its area and occupies the space of the more fertile soil. Conversely, a buried ditch, with a fill containing more organic matter than the natural earth, provides much more conducive conditions and water will naturally collect there, nourishing the plants growing above.

The differences in conditions will cause some plants to grow more strongly and therefore taller, and others less strongly and therefore shorter. Some species will also react through differential ripening of their fruits or their overall colour.

Here are some additional images that which have been discovered over the past few weeks in the UK. In the UK, the big drought in 1976 revealed many unknown sites,  but many of these parch marks are only being found now because of the availability of drone photography which provides the perspective needed to see the marks.

Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashireimage


This house at Clumber Park was demolished in 1938, but the outline is now showing.image

The outlines of a former circular garden at Knole.image

WWI Trenches in Kentimage

Outlines on the lawn at Chatsworth (still peeved that I couldn’t visit)image

A newly discovered henge in County Meath, Irelandimage

Remains of a former RAF airbase in Hampshire.image

Parch marks of a large prehistoric enclosure in Wales' Vale of Glamorgan (where I used to live), with the faint footings of a probable Roman villa image

The remains of a Roman town in Norfolk.image

WWII air-raid shelters in Cambridgeimage

Although the drought is not a good thing, it’s certainly fascinating what it has been revealing!

July 10, 2018

Announcing the PigtownDesign Pop-Up Shop!

For months, I’ve been watching a space at a shopping village close to my house play host to a revolving cast of pop-up shops. Last week, I signed a month-long lease for all of September for the second third Pigtown Design Pop-Up Shop!postcard smaller

After my recent trip to the UK where I visited the Wedgwood Museum, and realized how many pieces I of Wedgwood I have at home, imageand with my recent acquisition of a number of stellar Amish and Pennsylvania quilts, imageI decided that the theme of the shop should be Anglo-American! Amazingly enough, that’s my heritage – my father was British and my mother is American. I have dual citizenship throught the UK’s Right of Abode.Anglo American Flag

I will be selling a wide range of decorative items, including china and books (including some give-away Book Thing books!), image

imagemother-of-pearl and French ivory-handled silverware, image

imagea selection of cloches and domes, image

pennants and bunting, image

pillow covers, image

silver, image

tea towels,image

and much, much more!

The Pop-Up will be at the Shops at the Village of Cross Keys in Baltimore, and it will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. I hope that you will stop by and check it out!

July 5, 2018

#Instagram: Whirlwind Few Months!

It’s been a whirlwind few months, with work events, a trip back to England and all of the other things I try to fit into my weeks! I will have a fun announcement in a few days, so stay tuned for that, both here and on my Instagram.

Sadly, a lot of magnolia trees were badly damaged over the winter. Luckily, this one wasn’t!image

My friend did the flowers for this spring wedding. Just stunning.image

Friends with benefits! In this case, a huge hedge of lilacs, and permission to snip away!image

We took a quick trip up to historic Odessa, Delaware, a completely charming village.image

It’s always fun to spot your childhood home on someone else’s Instagram feed!image

I was invited to a beautiful dinner at the Walters Art Museum. image

Before it got too hot to eat outside!image

There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a gin & tonic on a steamy afternoon.image

Our hearts were completely broken by the newsroom murders in Annapolis. image

This might be a hint. image

This might be a hint, too.image

Check back soon for a big announcement! I hope that you’ll be as excited about it as I am!