My love affair with small boxes continues to evolve as I explore the endless ways to embellish them. I have tons of fabrics to choose from, 3 styles of metal boxes, literally hundreds of threads, thousands of beads, crystals, shell, pearls, Sterling and glass, and mountains of ideas.
I usually begin by creating tatted elements that go together but in the case of this rectangular box I began with the fabric and embroidery.
The Poetry of the Garden
Crewel is one of my favorite forms of embroidery. I learned from a nationally renowned teacher when I was a member of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America. Not only do I like that the style is less rigid than other forms of embroidery but there is flexibility in the fabric and thread choices and endless styles of stitches to choose from. I basically used a free style of satin and long and short stitch for this design. I very faintly drew with a pencil a light design of the stems and where the flower and buds would go. I find if I don’t do this I will work right off the area I am limited to or will not make use of my space as well as I could have. A piece I am designing right now is less sketched out…we will see where that goes.
The stem was worked first, not only in the chartreuse I had chosen but a warm gray to tone down the green and make the stem recede more and add dimension. The leaves are mainly satin stitched and I tried to keep in mind that the light is coming from the upper left corner. So colors on the surfaces of leaves, buds and flowers needed to be brighter on the edges that face this direction. I use a horizontal long and short stitch for the buds allowing me to wrap the deeper colors around the bottom and light on top.
I like the natural greens and spicy flowers on the buttery colored fabric. The grays match the warm poetic writing in the background and I don’t actually know what it says. I didn’t stop to read the fabric. I liked the appearance and nostalgic feel.
The large blossom is several shades from pale peach to orange, rust and brick. I kept adding stitches, painting the flower into the fabric. The floss gives a wonderful sheen and like most crewel-work the entire garden is raised and has a lot of visual texture.
And how to finish my work? With sweet little 3-D PIXIE butterflies, of course! I chose a nice dark turquoise for contrast and stitched the little tatted buggers to be flitting around the garden. Ahhhh…the poetry of it all. Edged in matching satin cord that is doubled and fully lined with Victorian red felt this 4 1/4″ x 3 1/8″ hinged box was finished. I haggled through a few days trying to decide the name and finally it came to me…The Poetry of the Garden. Find this treasure and many others in my Etsy shop, Snappy Tatter
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