Friday, June 8, 2012

My Pretend Flower Garden

I guess since I haven't spent much time in the flower beds this spring, I can pretend that these are my flowers...

pretty little cone flowers...

...and meandering vines and zig-zagging dragonflies...

I've been working on silk ribbon embroidered pillows for the Lavender Festival. I have a pretty good stack of embroidered tops; I just need to make sure I leave enough time to sew and stuff them before the 16th.

I have been known to stuff just one or two more and sew them up while waiting for the festival to begin...

...but that was the first couple of years that I did the show and I didn't quite have the hang of being completely prepared a few days before-hand.

I've been doing this particular festival for at least 9 years... I think maybe a little longer...

...and it's much less stressful since Jess and I take our tables and props the evening before the festival and pack the car with inventory when we get back home that night.

Then early Saturday morning at about 4:30am we leave for Oak Ridge and arrive with plenty of time to unpack the car, then one of us parks it a few blocks away to leave room for customer parking, while the other one stays at the booth to get started with the displays.

You can still see some of the marker on them, but it will disappear in just another day or so. I don't use patterns --- I just draw a design on the fabric and then get busy embroidering. I love air-soluble markers... I can change my mind half-way through the project and just re-draw the new design and know that it will disappear later. The water soluble markers are great, too, but not when you are using silk ribbon. I like to keep my stitches loose and more 3-D like so I don't want to take a chance on ruining the design and flattening the ribbon.

Since I'm on a slim budget this time, I'm trying to use everything I already had on hand, other than having to purchase some silk ribbon and stuffing.

I have tote boxes full of fabrics, but prefer to use silk, linen, osnaburg, and vintage damask. Thankfully I had enough of those kinds hoarded stored away. I laundered them to soften the fabric a bit, especially the linen, and then I stained the damask with coffee and tea.

I made a list of how many pillows of each size I plan to have in my booth, and then cut all the fabric. Now all I had to was get started embroidering!

Sometimes it's hard to get started, but once I start looking at the colors, pulling out ribbons and flosses and trims... things start to fall in place and I finally get "in the zone".

I mostly use narrow piping on the little pillows, and fringe and gimp trim on the larger sizes. I didn't think I'd have enough to trim out all the pillows, so I decided to tear muslin and quilters cotton into strips and make ruffled embellishments for many of the pillows. I can also use the shorter scraps of gimp on the ruffles.

Ok.... that's enough chit-chat. I have more embroidering to do and I'll be back next week to share some photos of how I plan my set up ahead of time so I know it will work at the show.

Have a lovely, blessed weekend!


  1. The pillows are lovely! I'am especially fond of the dragonflies.I hope you do well at the show. Hugs! deb

  2. Beautiful work. I love those pillows, and the fact that you like using natural fabrics. So pretty. Best of luck on your sale.

  3. These are just sooo lovely! Your embroidery does indeed look like real flowers! I hope you are very successful at the show. I can't imagine you won't be with such lovely work!

  4. ...I was just thinking as I was reading this post, oh please show up photos of your booth - I would love to see it. :o)

    ...Your works are just nothing short of spectacular! The beauty of your dragonflies rival those of Mother Nature herself! ;o)

    ...Enjoy stitching and your weekend too!


  5. ...[ahem] That's supposed to read, " us...", not up. Geez. *sigh*giggle* :o)

  6. Everything is lovely and the best part is they will never wilt or die!

    Best of luck in all your hard work and planning!

  7. Your silk ribbon embroidery is exquisite! I know you will do well at the upcoming Lavender Festival! Not sure if we are going or not this yet. DH really hates the crowds, LOL.

  8. I love , love , love your work !!
    Love from the Netherlands ♥RINI♥

  9. I think these are some of the prettiest things I have seen. I love the dragonflies!