Swatch of the Month Inspiration Bird on a Blade, DIY Sewing Materials and Notions


From top left: May 2021 Swatch of the Month; Embroidery Floss; Bird on a Branch Swing Skirt Kit; The Studio Bundles;  Bird on a Branch T-Shirt Top Kit; “this is my least favorite you who floats far above earth and stone the night that I twist on the rack is the time that I feel most at home” from Bird on a Blade by Rosanne Cash and Dan Rizzie (pages 50–51).

Last week, we shared projects and inspiration from the May 2021 Swatch of the Month design with the release of new DIY kits. This week, we share the design inspiration for our Bird on a Branch stencil—a collaborative book called Bird on a Blade from Rosanne Cash and artist Dan Rizzie. 

Published in 2018, Bird on a Blade features “fifty pairings of lyrics and images that speak to the experiences of love and loss, fear and faith, and the everyday hope that propels our lives.” Dan’s vibrant paintings, collages, and drawings complement Rosanne’s moving lyrics from a variety of her songs (including her newest material and beloved classics). Bird on a Blade inspires the imagination, and we have discovered beauty on every page. 

Rosanne is no stranger to the Alabama Chanin and The School of Making. We cried at her memoir, Composed; we danced and sang along to The River and the Thread (and all of her albums); we collaborated with her on a limited-edition tee for “The River and the Thread.”  

Rosanne partnered with her longtime friend, Dan Rizzie to create Bird on a Blade, showcasing his signature bird imagery that is featured in this month’s swatch. Dan is an acclaimed artist whose mixed-media pieces have established him as one of the most successful collage artists of the 20th century. Dan’s knowledge of art history informs his art deeply, and in off-beat, eccentric ways. His works most often contain layers of newspaper, paint, wax, and he often incorporates bold botanic imagery. In addition to layers of materials, his art also contains layers of symbolism from varied cultural experiences throughout his life. His art can be seen in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art among many more. 

Bird on a Blade is a unique representation of both Dan and Rosanne’s artistry and friendship. 

We give a heartfelt thank you to them both for sharing with us the magic of their friendship and artistic and collaborative spirit for our May 2021 Swatch of the Month. 

Subscribe to our 2022 and 2021 Swatch of the Month programs at any time and receive backdated swatches, materials, and exclusive newsletters. 

Find our new Bird on a Branch kits on our DIY Sewing Kit page.  

Get a copy of Bird on a Blade.  

Explore Rosanne’s music and writings

Learn more about Dan and his artworks.  


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