Sometimes, as I mentioned in earlier posts, I become obsessed with something and can't get it out of my mind until I incorporate it into a project. One of my current obsessions is embroidered fabrics. I don't know if its because I am extremely tactile and the way the threads rise up above the fabric like a relief map feels good beneath my fingers. Or if it is a Proust-ian thing. Let me explain. When I was a little girl, I would spend a week at the shore with my grandparents. Just me. No annoying brothers allowed. We would go shopping, spend afternoons at the beach and evenings on the glider on the porch. My grandmother was a strong willed, opinionated, outspoken, smart, glamorous woman. Her costume jewelry collection was vast and her dressing table was, to my 10 year old girl eyes, beyond fabulous. She always wore her platinum blond hair piled up on top of her head and the shade of red on her lips brought out the blue of her eyes in a way that I still remember. One summer, she taught me how to embroider. I remember going to the craft store and picking out a pillow case, a hoop and silky colorful threads, each with a paper band around them. Every evening, we would sit side by side on the sofa with the baseball game on in the background and she would teach me how to make french knots, lazy daisies, satin, chains and all the other stitches. I finished one pillow case and went home with the other to finish. Sadly, I don't think I ever finished the other. Back at home, playing baseball, riding my bike and swimming with my brothers left little time for such quiet solitary pursuits as embroidery. But when I see a piece of embroidered fabric, my hand automatically reaches out to touch it and the memory of that summer and evenings with my grandmother come rushing back, like the little cakes "Madeleines" in A La Recherche du Temps Perdu.
There are so many gorgeous embroidered fabrics available now so don't worry, you don't have to learn how to do it yourself! You won't be able to see the texture of these fabrics from the photos so the next time you are in a fabric store or design showroom, ask to see the embroidered fabrics. They are gorgeous on pillows, draperies, and bedding.
Although I don't have the right project for embroidered fabric at the moment, I believe that someone will materialize soon for whom this will be exactly right!