Saturday, February 25, 2012

Design & Styling

velvet over embroidered
in kashmiri chain stitch
It's a stinking hot late summer day today.  38 C (100.4 F).  Almost too hot to care to do much really. What to do, what to do, especially when a bit tired and needing to recover from a long work week.  I suppose you could say I was fluffing around a bit, not doing anything overly strenuous.  But I don't stay too idle, ever.  After some chores, I decided to make something.

close up of embroidery motif

Using a lovely piece of kashmiri chain stitch embroidered velvet I bought years ago in India, I finally made up the decorative bed throw cover I had always meant to make.  After searching about in my fabric stash holdings (which are now considerable in variety of choice), I found some sari silk, finely woven and of a colour perfect for backing the embroidered velvet piece.

the completed velvet & silk
throw, put in place
My creation took several hours, because I needed to piece the silk backing (it was not quite wide enough to do in a single backing piece).  And it being silk, was the usual tricky and slippery stuff to stitch up.  Handling this required careful pinning and repinning each step and seam to be sewn, to get things as straight as could be done.  Eventually the machine work was done and I had just a small bit of hand sewing to stitch up where I turned it all inside out.

Pookie won't get off the throw
 (I keep taking him off, he comes right back),
he likes the silk lined side too
I put it out to survey my work.  And immediately I had inspectors arrive.  Even though it seems way to hot to sit on fine textiles, the cats in fact really love to sit on velvet and silk.  I know this from prior experience, they particularly love the rustle and soft cool smooth feel of silk !  If ever I sew this by hand, they will come sit very close and feel the silk pass by as it is stitched in my hands, usually purring away quite contentedly.  Today, Pookie would simply not leave me or the new velvet & silk throw alone.  He just had to be on it.  Before long he was joined by Winston.
Winston's turn on the
velvet & silk throw

Displayed on the bed too are some lovely pillow covers I made out of linen prints.  Gorgeous cherub in soft aquamarine blue on natural linen, with linen coloured pompom trims.  And a gorgeous rose and raspberry print on a teal linen ground, with small velvet piping trim in a pale fawn colour.
linen pillow covers, my designs !

To complete my afternoon enhancing the aesthetics of my surroundings, here is a small vignette that sits in my office, on top of a small bookcase.  A vintage style clock, lovely encaustics paintings by Jacqueline Coates showing a day and dusk scene, and three old style paint brushes with green handles that I acquired in China a  year or so ago.
vignette arrangement on top of bookshelf

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