_MG_7940.jpg

Inspiration Board | Maura Grace Ambrose

Folk Fibers

Since she was child, Maura Ambrose, owner of Folk Fibers, has embraced a passion for vintage objects and fabrics. When she traveled from her home in Carey, North Carolina, to her grandparents’ in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Ambrose spent countless hours in her grandmother’s attic, discovering lost treasures and antique fabrics. “I’ve always been drawn to items of history,” explains Ambrose, “but it all started in my grandmother’s attic.”

As Ambrose grew older, she took her interest to the professional level by studying in the Textile Design & Arts Fiber program at the Savannah College of Art and Design. After graduation, she worked a number of different jobs—from the corporate offices of Urban Outfitters to a small organic farm. In 2011, Ambrose started to prepare her own natural dyes and stitch quilts full time. (We featured her in the Makers’ Issue of TRIBEZA in 2012.) Since then, her homegrown business has flourished—and Folk Fibers has gone beyond the local and garnered national attention: she was nominated as a Tastemaker Honoree by Martha Stewart and has over 52,000 followers on Instagram. Nowadays for Ambrose, organic inspiration still comes in the form of vintage objects but also in the handmade tools that she uses to create her dyes and quilts. “I get a sense of connection with my materials when I’m working with my hands.”

_MG_8075.jpg
  • Quilt box: “My handmade cedar boxes are built by Austin local Kelly Dewitt. My husband, Chap, laser-etches the logo, which is designed by Ryan Rhodes and Renee Fernandez, who also live in Austin.”
  • Bunny: “One of two rabbits that have joined us on our move from Philadelphia to Austin.”
  • Indigo-dyed woven cloth: “This fabric was a collaboration with my friends Leslie and Jay from Tangleblue [a textile consulting business in San Francisco], using linen I dyed in the indigo vat.”
  • Feathers: “Hawk and turkey feathers collected on a four-month road trip that my husband and I took a couple years ago in our VW camper van.”
  • Mortar: “I use this tool to grind indigo.”
  • Awl and spindle: “I found these handmade tools at the Golden Nugget in New Jersey.”
  • America’s Quilts and Coverlets: “An antique book that I bought in Maine.”
  • Blue thread: “Cotton bamboo yarn that I dyed with indigo.”
  • Clothespins: “Old-fashioned clothespins are beautiful and useful objects.”
  • Kentucky quilt: “A quilt I made using naturally dyed and vintage fabrics, available for sale in my online shop.”
  • Chinese printing block: “A hand-carved woodblock I found in San Antonio, a source of inspiration for sashiko stitching patterns.”
  • Star: “Vintage fabric remnant to be used for a quilt.”
  • Slippers: “Hand-stitched, rabbit-themed children’s shoes.”
  • Postcard: “Amish horse and buggy postcard from a friend living in Pennsylvania.”
  • Indigo cake: “Natural indigo cake ready to be ground up and used for dye.”
  • Madder: “Chopped-up roots ready to be soaked and used for dye.”
  • Cactus postcard: “Flora and fauna found in West Texas.”
  • Sashiko sample: “Muslin fabric with red sashiko stitches showing samples of patterns to aid in teaching stitching workshops.”
  • Wooden rabbit: “Hand-carved by my late grandfather-in-law, Harvey.”
  • Turtle shell: “I found this walking in a pecan grove in Austin with my old farm boss Brent Johnson.”
  • Travel clothesline: “A vintage keepsake that includes tiny clothespins, cotton cord, and two glass-head pushpins.”

Credits

Photography by Bill Sallans

Related Articles

  • 0f8dfbf1-b6d6-4c56-b842-05d45acda39c.gif
  • image1.JPG
  • Elite 25_300x250.gif
  • unnamed-37.jpg
  • Copenhagen_Feb2015.jpg

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY

eNewsletter

currentIssue.png
June_Cover-108x108.jpeg
  • 1cb151d1-621d-47f9-941e-7259eea04612.gif
  • Subscribe.jpg
TRIBEZA BLOGS
Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 2.07.04 PM.png

As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.

For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.

more
unnamed.jpg

The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...

more
TRIBEZA04.jpg

Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.

more
6cac5c5a8c8ab233e90140848463bee7-d1026fbadb4e268d7fc0f385121f57a3.jpg

JUDE GALLIGAN

Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.

Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?

From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...

more
IMG_4713.jpg

As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.

Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...

more