Cattails and Dragonflies
An original design worked on Aurora Flax, the leaves of the cattail plant are worked in satin stitched in varying shades of green and are then outlined in stem stitch. The cattails are worked in satin stitch over a padded foundation in their naturally occurring nutmeg color. The dragonflies are worked in long and short stitch in varying shades of either blue silk thread, orange pearl cotton or gold pearl cotton thread beginning with the deepest shade and fading into the lightest shade. French knots are worked for the eyes, and for the seeds at the tip of the cattail.
In Japan, dragonflies are regarded as symbols of courage, strength, and happiness, and are often found in art and literature. In Native American cultures, dragonflies are considered swift and active. During the Arts and Crafts movement, dragonflies, like other inserts, were a popular motif. With a natural geometric shape, their form was often rendered conventionally and appeared on several decorative objects including jewelry, wallpaper, stencils and stained glass lamps. Since many artisans of the Arts and Crafts movement were influenced by Japanese art and architecture, and by Native American art, it is likely that the positive views of dragonflies were received from these cultures rather than from European cultures where the insect was viewed as sinister; the Norwegian name for dragonfly literally means 'eye poker'. Subsequently, there is even folklore that depicts the dragonfly as the serpent's helper mending snakes if they become cut whilst performing their evil bidding. Select from three silk-thread color ways including: Blue, Red or Gold. Also available in Orange cotton perle thread.
Pillow Size: 21" by 21"
Table Scarf Size: 14" by 52"
An original design that captures the naturally occurring geometric shape of the Spiderwort (a beautiful prairie wildflower that blooms in early summer throughout most of the great-plains). Spiderwort flowers are short-lived blooming for only a single morning. However each plant produces 20 plus flowers per stem. The genus of spiderworts is named for John Tradescant, a gardener for King Charles I of England that grew the plant from seeds brought back from America. Spiderworts are still a popular flower in English gardens today. The stems, leaves and flowers of spiderworts are all edible.
Repetition of shapes, and adapting the natural geometric form of the spiderwort (two fundamental design theories emphasized in Arts and Crafts), the plant was rendered into a conventionalized design. Balance and repetition create a simple form. As embroidered, the spiderwort design is worked using the satin stitch, long and short stitch, stem stitch and French knots. An excellent project for both the beginner and skilled embroider the spiderwort design is also available stenciled with outlining in stem stitch, with French knots worked at the top of the stems, and in the center of the flowers. Available on Natural Irish Linen, with white pearl cotton for the petals, yellow for the centers of the flower, and an evergreen pearl cotton thread for the foliage, and on Pasadena Flax Linen, with the petals worked in a deep rust color, gold French knots within the center, and green foliage. The completed project creates an aesthetic contrast, allowing its placement within many interior color palettes.
Pillow Size: 21" by 21"
Table Scarf Size: 14" by 54"
Carrie's Garden is an original design inspired by the beautiful array of lilac cornflowers that thrive in my friend's garden. The design is rendered in full embroidery on Camel Devonshire Art Cloth using satin stitch, coral stitch and French knots. The natural lilac color of the flower was retained, and silk thread was employed to mimic the silky feel of the petals. The head of the cornflower is filled with alternating canary yellow, sage, and deep brown French knots, while sage green is worked across the leaves in satin stitch, and deep brown thread worked in the coral stitch creates the stems. The design is also available in pearl cotton thread using gold for the flowers, with olive green leaves, brown stems and flower heads are filled with alternating gold, olive green and brown French knots. The gold color way also works well using Pasadena Linen in Flax.
I encourage the intermediate beginner (having completed one project) to try silk thread. Although cotton thread allows undesired stitches to be pulled out and re-stitched several times, silk thread will also allow for re-stitching, but would perhaps snag upon repeated re-work. Ample thread is supplied in all kits to allow beginners additional strands for practice or re-work.
Pillow: 18" X 18"
Table Scarf: 13" X 52"
An original design, roses were often conventionalized and adapted to a number of handicrafts during the Arts and Crafts movement. Recognizable stylized rose motifs from the period include a rose designed by Dard Hunter, which was displayed on the front cover of Little Journeys by Elbert Hubbard, and the "Glasgow rose" from Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
This design displays a conventionalized rose inspired by the form of a bloom that has been opened for a few days. The crescent shapes represent the elongated tops of the softly bent petals that generally take a few days to form on the newly open bloom. The petals are stitched close together to further indicate this "mid" stage of the rose. New buds reveal little about the overall shape of the petal, while spent blooms reveal the entire petal shape and most of the interior structure. In contrast to the relatively circular shape of the Glasgow rose, or the square shape of the Dard Hunter rose, this rose is asymmetrical, but its placement is balanced.
In the western culture, roses are given on a number of occasions, and are marked as a beautiful gift to be received on birthdays, St. Valentines' Day, anniversaries, and even Christmas. In Greek mythology, the red rose is a symbol for love and affinity. It is interesting that the red rose has withstood the test of time as the ultimate symbol of love.
The Rose Pillow is worked entirely in satin stitch over a padded foundation in hand-dyed silk thread on Aurora Flax. The Rose Pillow is also available in pearl cotton on Pasadena Flax.
Pillow - 20" x 20"
Table Scarf - 13.5" x 35"
An original design inspired by a period stencil I encountered several years ago. A playful motif that captures the smooth texture and colorful appeal of these beautiful insects, which were often used during the Arts and Crafts movement as decoration on hand-painted ceramics, and were also used to decorate vases, wallpapers, and textiles.
The diverse patterns and colors displayed across the butterfly's wings are formed by hundreds of scales that contain a pigment that produces black and brown, while blues, greens, and reds are created by the scattering of light within the microstructure of the scales. As told in Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things, by Lafcadio Hearn, the butterfly is believed to represent the personification of a person's soul, whether they are living or already deceased.
The Butterfly pillow is worked in hand-dyed silk thread in full embroidery available in purple or cognac color way on Natural Irish Linen. A pearl cotton option is also available in a red color way on Aurora Flax. The design can also be stenciled with embroidery outlining each area in the stem stitch in corresponding thread color, and smaller areas (circles and oval shapes) filled with satin stitches. Available complete or in kits in the following finished size:
Pillow - 18" x 22"
An original design inspired by the continuous joy I receive from my pond. As an avid water gardener, I am simply amazed by these aqueous beauties. Like most plants, water-lilies must be rooted in soil, but they also need to be fully submerged in water. The leaves and buds grow toward the surface of the water. Unlike lotus or tropical lilies, the flowers of the hardy lily float on the surface of the water, and the lily pads are generally circular and include a single pie slice notch that occurs on all species with the exception of the Victoria water-lily; one of the largest water-lilies with a pad span of 28 inches (and I was impressed with the plate size lily pads I get in June)!
The Water Lily motif incorporates soft Art Nouveau lines within a clean Arts and Crafts layout. The water lily petals are worked in satin stitch in pearl cotton thread. The stems of the plant are completed in two rows of stem stitch, and the lily pads are embroidered using the long and short stitch. This design is also available stenciled and embroidered. Water Lily comes in Pink Petal and Fire Lily color-way on Pasadena Linen in Flax; available complete or in a kit in the following finished sizes:
Pillow - 18" x 21"
Water Lily Minor (Short Table Scarf)- 13" x 35"
Water Lily Manor (Long Table Scarf) - 19" x 54"
A fascinating species, bats made several appearances during the Arts and Crafts movement. As a distinct object within the hand-carved frieze on the Gamble House's living room wall, in Pasadena, California, the bat form also inspired designs for pottery, and is notably recognized in a stained glass lamp created by Tiffany and Company, and in a tray by Rookwood Pottery.
As the only mammal in the world naturally capable of flight, Chinese cultural views the bat as a symbol of longevity and happiness. In Western Culture, the bat is a symbol of night and the unknown, and has a more foreboding nature. Based on these two distinct views, the design is rendered on both a light background, and a blue background. Ivy coupled naturally with the bat design, repeating similar lines found along the wings of the bat, and evokes the thought of ivy covered castles and dusk.
The bat motif is an original design worked on Blue Devonshire Art Cloth or Craftsman Jute with the bats appliquéd in brown and couched in a complementing thread color. The ivy leaves are worked in satin stitch using olive green thread, and the vine is worked in the stem stitch using a nutmeg brown. Whether the bat motif becomes part of your everyday décor or is brought out during autumn time, it is truly a fun and playful design. Available complete and in kits in the following finished sizes:
Pillow - 24" x 24"
Table Round - 25" diameter
Bat Minor (Short Table Scarf) - 13" x 35"
The Cornflower design is an adaptation from a table scarf that was originally produced by an American company at the beginning of the 20th century. I adore this design and it is one of the only adapted designs in the collection. The colors in the design are based on the original piece; however the scale of design was increased. The design is worked entirely in satin stitch and is an excellent project for a beginner and for needle crafters' seeking to practice or improve on this widely used stitch within Arts and Crafts textiles. Worked on Pasadena, the use of a thick thread creates a stitch that appears padded and three-dimensional without going through any extra effort.
Pillow: 20" by 20"
Table Scarf: 14" by 52"