Cherry Pits On My Mind

My new spring collection is called Creature Comforts. In today’s article I’ll talk about how I chose that name and the inspiration behind the collection. I’ll talk about how I chose the colors and fabrics and if I used zero waste when designing. I’ll also cover what inspired me to make reusable warmers and how I figured out I could use cherry pits to fill them. 

colorful cherry pit grain bag is surrounded by candles, air plants, and a fern on a faux fur blanket.

When I was younger before we shopped at the Big Mall I would comb through my favorite catalogs JCPenney’s or Delia’s. When the Big Mall was built an hour away from home; it was always a treat to get to shop in person. Ya know, pick up an Annie’s pretzel for a snack. Eat at Panera’s Bread for a meal. Some of my favorite stores were Wet Seal, Gap, and Old Navy. I thought the best thing about shopping in person was finding clothing with the softest fabric. 

"walking between the tight-knit racks of clothes, running my hands through every item of clothing. I would always stop on the softest piece and hope that it would be cute enough to wear under my school uniform."

There was something so special about walking between the tight-knit racks of clothes, running my hands through every item of clothing. I would always stop on the softest piece and hope that it would be cute enough to wear under my school uniform. Even better if it could be worn on the weekend when the uniform was not a blip in my brain radar. I was always jealous of the “cool girls” who could afford Abercrombie and Fitch without shopping from their sale rack. I remember their t-shirts always being the softest. I bought a shirt to college from A&F, from the sale rack of course, and it was in constant rotation. Until I grew out of it *cry emoji*. 

"Baggy pants were *the thing*. It was the 90’s/early 00’s afterall."

I went to an unconventional private school. Meditation and yoga were part of the curriculum. The first and last “class” of the day was a yoga and meditation class. We were required to wear the uniform at all times, even during this class. But everyone would typically wear long pants under our skirts, for obvious reasons. Baggy pants were *the thing*. It was the 90’s/early 00’s afterall. I always wanted something soft and comfortable to wear. Something soft, flowy, and a little stretchy. Those early memories of shopping for soft, comfortable clothing always pushes me in that direction when I’m designing. I’m always looking for the softest fabrics to use. 

Creature comforts came to me when I was designing this collection. I’ve heard the term used in other contexts and went to look up the definition. The Oxford dictionary defines creature comforts as “material comforts that contribute to physical ease and well-being”. 

"I’m always searching for the comfort factor."

I’m always searching for the comfort factor in everything I wear or things that I interact with in life. I think I’m always looking to recreate feelings of comfort in different ways. Creature Comforts seemed like a great fit for items in this collection. 

Inspiration for the collection came from a few different avenues. One, I wanted to take fresh photos of the jewelry I designed, refresh a few of the items that I’ve had, and introduce the cherry pit warmers. The inspiration for the bow earrings came from men’s bow ties. I used to make men’s bow ties and I wanted to create a bow that was more “feminine” so I went with this classic bow design. I had some small pieces of leather and gold paint leftover from another project. So I painted the leather and made them into delicate bow earrings. 

The brass earrings came from a chance encounter at a local jewelry store. They were having a sale on their jewelry as well as jewelry components so I picked up a few items that spoke to me. That’s where the double V and the XO earrings started. All the earrings are very lightweight and comfortable to wear. They have sterling silver hooks and are hypoallergenic. 

"Last year, I sewed hundreds of face masks. I had a good amount of scraps leftover." 

I’m always looking for ways to reuse what I have in the studio and reduce the amount of waste leftover from other projects. Last year, I sewed hundreds of face masks. I had a good amount of scraps leftover. I started using some of those scraps for hair scrunchies, but there were still larger scraps leftover that needed to be used. It wasn’t until last month that I decided to make something from them. I thought it would be fun to create some patchwork pieces so I made a large patchwork piece and then cut it down into smaller pieces to use for the cherry pit warmers. 

I started making face masks with fabric that I had on hand and then supplemented with cheerfully bright colors, fun florals and prints. I used the scraps from those projects to make the cherry pit warmers. 

There was very little fabric waste leftover from this project. The tiniest scraps will be recycled, but the leftovers could probably fit into the palm of my hand. There are still more scraps leftover from mask making and I’ll keep those scraps around for another project. 

"[Grain bags] were a small bit of comfort for a crying child." 

I was a sensitive child growing up. I used to cry at sleepovers. At one of my friend's house they had these grain bags they would heat in the microwave for a couple of minutes. They were small fabric pouches filled with grains that warmed up nicely in the microwave. I think they were filled with flax seeds and rice. They were a small bit of comfort for a crying child. We would put them under the covers and warm our tummies or our feet. I eventually grew out of crying at sleepovers but the grain bags stuck around. 

"I remembered those grain bags and how much comfort they brought me."

With all of the face mask making I was sewing a lot more than usual last year. There was a lot more stress in my neck and shoulders than I was used to. I remembered those grain bags and how much comfort they brought me. In my research to find the best filling for reusable warmers, cherry pits came on my radar. 

One of the main differences between cherry pits and other types of grain is that they can be washed and dried. Corn, flax, rice, and walnut shells are all typical filler for reusable grain bags. However, the first three will eventually mold or turn rancid and become unusable. I couldn’t find a good source for walnut shells. 

Cherry pits seemed to be the best economical choice, have a small carbon footprint, and last the longest. I was able to source cherry pits directly from Michigan. Michigan is the number one grower of tart cherries in the US. And since they’re a natural by-product of that industry it seemed like a natural progression to use them for warmers. Here are some other reasons why cherry pits are so great: 

  • create a warm, moist heat 
  • conform to your body to help ease tension
  • reusable and durable (you can wash them, unlike other grain bags like rice or corn)
  • are sourced straight from Michigan, the largest producer of tart cherries in the US
  • a by-product of the food industry - otherwise they would be thrown out!
  • can also be placed in the freezer for a cooling pack

I sourced cherry pits as the filler and sewed up a couple for my husband and me. Now after a stressful day my husband will ask for the cherry pit warmer to ease the tension in his shoulders. We keep a couple around so we can both use one when needed. The warmers are also very soothing for when you have period cramps. They’ve been a frequent request (where’s the cherry pit thing?) on many days in our household. 

Collage of cherry pit warmers, yellow tulips, air plants, and leather and brass earrings

I’m always looking for more ways to find comfortable clothing or surround myself with comforting items. Creature Comforts are some of those items for me. I hope they’ll bring comfort to you as well. Bring ease to your shoulders with a cherry pit warmer. Add some fresh earrings to your wardrobe. Bring some more comfort and light inside this spring with the Creature Comforts Collection.

What brings comfort to you? 

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