The Endeavourers’ Reveal Day 11 – Inspiration from a Friend

I am part of an online group, The Endeavourers, whose members produce small art quilts around a theme.  This time around we did a round-robin exchange of inspirational objects.

My package came from Wendy Tuma of Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life.  Knowing that I like vintage things, she had chosen a cute vintage handkerchief to send.

Vintage daisy handkerchief.

What I particularly liked about it was that the daisy motif was printed in different scales — one corner had a large bunch, and the other three sides had smaller daisies.

Hanging on the walls of my sewing room were several things that wanted to join the daisies.  First, this vintage bag gave me an idea for a garden scene —

Vintage bag with embroidered flowers.

Then, a large strip of light and dark “piano keys” called for a trellis to be added to the scene, and lots of ready-made yo-yos suggested hollyhocks and morning glories.

I thought I would find plenty of flowers to add, from among the handkerchiefs in my collection.  But I only found a few that seemed to coordinate in scale and style.  In the end I only picked one more, a print of hydrangeas on a green background.

I placed a very simple trellis on a batik background.  I tried a little free-motion quilting to suggest grasses and flowers, but it didn’t show up.  Then it was time to fuse on the flowers.  One thing I really liked about the handkerchiefs was that they were so light, and already had finished edges.  I quilted around the flower shapes, but I wish I had thought to add another layer of batting; the quilting did not make the flowers pouf up like I wanted.

Then the real fun started when I stitched on ribbon stems and yo-yo flowers.  I loved this part so much, and to make it even better, while I was stitching I was watching “Cocktails with a Curator” and “Travels with a Curator” from The Frick Collection in New York City.  It is the perfect series to watch while you work because they just put up pictures from time to time; you can glance up and see what they are talking about, and then look back at your work without worrying that you are missing a plot twist or something.  It was so lovely to listen to people talk about portraits and operas and mosaics.

Handkerchief print and yo-yo flowers.

Although I will admit that I got so carried away watching the videos, that I worked even when it got dark (there’s no good light in the TV room) and it shows in my stitches!

I had hoped to use the small daisies in the background, but I couldn’t find a way to fit them in.  I will have to do a companion piece!

I did add a beautiful whitework butterfly, cut from an old, patched linen pillowcase, and a caterpillar made from beads.

Whitework butterfly.

Bead caterpillar.

As usual, I could point out lots of places where there is room for improvement, but I just love this piece so much.  I find the motions of hand stitching so cheering, and now I associate this happily with all the works of art I learned about while working on it.  I want to add more flowers and little creatures, for the satisfying process more than for the end product.

The object that sparked it came from “Pieceful Wendy”, and the end result really made me feel peaceful, so I am calling it “Pieceful Trellis.”

Pieceful Trellis

I encourage you to go look at The Endeavourers website, especially the galleries.  It is a great place to get inspiration!