Spring Has Sprung (In Stitches)

When the Spring Fever gets too strong too ignore, down comes the Winter Stitching and up comes the Spring pieces. Snowflakes give way to pink tulips, deer make way for rabbits, and crisp blue linens are tossed aside for soft Edinboro cream (my go-to Spring linen). These are the items that get hung with care on or about March 15th (yes, well before Spring proper, but what can I say? We love Spring around here!).

Flower Basket
Designer: Blackbird Designs

This one (and the “March Hare”, seen further down this page) came from “A Fine Collection“, which I think is, pound for pound, the best collection of seasonal pieces ever. I intended this one to be displayed just for Spring but I love how it turned out so much that it’s up all year round. For Spring, though, I move it to a more prominent location. This year it’s hanging in the front hall where I can see it every day. This was done using over-dyed floss and I think the variegation in the colors is used to great effect in the flowers and leaves.

The design is a more playful and informal take on the more traditional flower-and-urn motif that shows up in many of the historic samplers I like so much. Also, the flowers at the bottom of the urn remind me of fuscias; my dad used to put hanging baskets of fuscias along the porch when I was a kid and this reminds me of those exuberant arrangements. (That makes it more appropriate for Summer, but when it’s the end of March and you can’t wait for Spring this is the go-to piece!)

The March Hare
Designer: Blackbird Designs

I stitched this because I loved the archway of delicate spring-green tendrils, the bright orange carrots, and the adorable peapods. The colors used in the carrot and pink flowers were considerably brighter and flashier than the usual palate so I couldn’t resist! I also really liked how the alphabet was tucked in among the flowers, tendrils, and veggies. Now that I’m a gentlewoman farmer, I’ll admit I find the prospect of a rabbit frolicking that close to tasty veggies a little troublesome…

Spring Fling
Designer: Blackbird Designs

Blackbird Designs is obviously the place to turn to find great Spring designs! This one was stitched by Schnookie, who every year, in fit of Spring Fever, decides she must stitch a Spring piece. This one has a delightful nest of robin’s eggs and huge, cheerful tulips. I also love that it says, “Spring Fling” which was the name of the Semi-Homemade party we threw with our friends a few years ago. We all made “dishes” from Sandra Lee’s arsenal and each contributed an item to a Spring-themed “tablescape”. The end result was a ridonkulously ugly table setting, unbelievably and unimaginably disgusting food, and wonderful company!

Trellis With Birds
Designer: [I cannot for the life of me remember]

This is… not the most inspiring work of needlework ever. I also didn’t do a great job of stitching it. (I really should have torn out and redone the bunny at the bottom right but I was too lazy.) But this was the first project I stitched after moving back to NJ from AZ in April of 2003, so it has tons of sentimental value. Also, when you’re antsy for Spring what’s better than a trellis full of birds? I saw a tufted titmouse in the dogwood outside my bathroom window earlier this week, and even though it’s a Winter bird, I was still so excited to a see songbird traipsing around my favorite tree. We had to stop putting bird feeders out because of the deer, so we don’t get many birds at Maple Hoo save for the obnoxious flocks of starlings. This trellis is starling free, now and forever!

Spring Arbor
Designer: The Drawn Thread

This is part of a full four-season set; I didn’t take a picture of the Winter Arbor for some reason. The four companion pieces were a delight to stitch as they’re filled with special stitches and beads (beads!). Each tree is made up of a different stitch:

The top border (it was designed to go in a custom-cut mat but that’s not how I roll) shows the beautiful color palate and intricate curlicues:

I particularly liked the tiny hints of cheery daffodil yellow. The framing job is a little less delightful. We always request the framer use a dark wood frame to make it so there’s some continuity it our collection of wall art. This time she skipped the dark wood and used a weird silver-gold metallic monstrosity. Our house previous to Stately IPB Manor was a townhouse in a development so stodgy it was easily mistaken for a 55+ community; we liked to joke that this frame fit right it, it was so old-lady’s-powder-room.

Spring
Designer: Elizabeth Bradley

Here’s another of Schnookie’s works, and another one of a set of four. I simply adore this work, especially now that I’m a veggie gardener. The potager, laid out in ordered little plots, makes me so giddy for early lettuce and radishes. Also, the flower border is so Spring it hurts. Schnookie was not entirely thrilled when she completed this, as the dark blue background swallows up some of the design elements, in particular, the green trellis-fence:

The dark blue was supposed to tie the four companion pieces together, but since they never hang on the wall together, I think Schnookie would have preferred to use a light blue. Still, I love it and think it looks fantastic together with the “March Hare”.

3 Comments

Filed under Pins and Needles, Stitching

3 responses to “Spring Has Sprung (In Stitches)

  1. All of these are gorgeous AND impressive!

  2. Sarah

    as always the seasonal stitchery is amazing. I love it that you rotate your art. just like in magazines.

  3. Thanks, Caitlin and Sarah! And yeah, we are TOTALLY like a lifestyle magazine. Heh. I think Better Homes & Gardens has been planning to just drop by one day and take pictures of Maple Hoo for a big spread. No styling necessary. :P

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