Monday, February 24, 2014


I always like to have a hand-sewing project to work on.  I call it my 'busy work' -- my grandmother called hers 'fancy work'.  Usually my project is a patchwork quilt, but I also enjoy applique and embroidery plus a rare knitting project.
Years ago, I gave up using existing patterns.  I find it more fun and challenging to just make things up as I go.

Lately, I've been exploring Suzani textiles, a central-Asian ethnic embroidery.  I love the geometrics of Suzani, but knew I would be in over my head to just embroider such an intricate design.
 So, I decided to combine a loose interpretation of Suzani designs and embroidery with the techniques (applique) and materials (wool) used in penny rugs as my inspiration for a pillow top.
I was about half-way done, and didn't like it; so had to refocus and salvage some of the completed parts.
This is what I ended up doing.

Part of the challenge was just using the fabrics I had on hand.  They were bits and pieces of wool from garments I have found at thrift stores.  The navy blue background fabric was a Pendleton skirt and the pillow flange was a Pendleton man's jacket.  Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein, and others are also represented in the fabrics.
My project was still labor intensive with the embroidery, so it kept me 'busy' for quite awhile even though the pillow is only 14" square.
Relying on just inspiration and imagination can be tricky.  Sometimes you end up with something unique and fabulous -- other times it's not so great!  

The verdict is still out on this project.
I'm joining the following parties.  Please check them out for a plethora of inspiration.
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at our Home
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday


Donna Wilkes said...

If I was on the jury, I would vote fabulous. I cannot imagine all the work you put into this. Love the textures, the colors and the patterns.

Donnamae said...

That was a lot of's gorgeous! ;)

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Well you have my vote! It's a gorgeous piece of art. SO unique and beautiful. I would love working with all the wonderful wools if I had the talent. I love that you show the detail. Just exquisite! (Yes, a lot of dirty hands and leg work to find stuff in the ABQ markets. As you know, you have to sift through mountains of nothing much.)

A Few Pennies said...

That pillow is gorgeous; I love how you pulled all those lovely colors together--in that sweet chair and looks good next to your pretty rug too. Such talent; I could not begin to have the patience!

aspiritofsimplicity said...

it is beautiful!! I love all the colors and think they compliment each other very well. It looks great on your chair!

Sue McPeak said...

A lovely country piece and made special by using what you had on hand which is the way our ancestors would have made it as well. I do like it as a pillow and can see it as a fabulous table runner as well. Nicely done and kudos on your creative skills.

Michal Woodruff said...

Fabulously gorgeous. It's so rich and comfortable looking. The pattern is inviting. Very nice pleasing design. It fits perfectly with your furniture too.

SmilingSally said...

Morning Sally,

I hate to correct you, but the verdict is not out: it's in--HOORAY! This is just gorgeous, and even a non-quilter like me can recognize that!

Happy Blue Monday!

Neesie said...

How can the jury still be out Sally?
It's fantastic and looks stunning.
I struggle to sew a button on so I'm in awe of your work.
Waving from a sunny Bonnie Scotland ;D
Happy Blue Monday!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

The verdict is not out with me! This is FABULOUS!

You really did an amazing job. I love it. It has great colors, and the design is perfection.

Pat yourself on the back heartily!

Happy Blue Monday...