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Flowers & Flower Baskets

Each year when the calendar changes to February, my thoughts turn to flowers. My mind is ready for colors and spring, having become tired of winter’s neutral palette. I know that living in Colorado means spring may still be many weeks in the distance but that’s where fabric, floss, and antique samplers can help.

Many antique samplers feature flowers and flower baskets. During the eighteenth century, elaborate floral borders evolved featuring carnations, roses, or other blooming flowers and were commonly used to frame symbols, alphabets, pictorial scenes, or verse. Flower baskets were often more formal as well, taking the shape of urns or vases. As the American Revolution came to an end, and so did the 18th century, a more relaxed approach to flowers and baskets began to take hold in parts of America.

The style of flower baskets or flower basket samplers became simpler through the first several decades of the nineteenth century. Elaborate, formal floral borders were replaced with springs of flowers and urns evolved to reflect a more basket type of shape. Sometimes silk chenille or crinkle silk would be used for a more textural effect. Symmetry even became optional, with some samplers having three non-matching borders and a green lawn at the bottom. A beautiful sampler by Priscilla Talley, 1839, combines two vertical strawberry borders with a top boarder having tulips, carnations, and roses! Across the bottom border is a lawn covered with a pairing of cows, sheep, and dogs.

Our February meeting is sure to be an exciting one! Our annual Silent Auction is at hand! Linda has worked very hard to provide an exciting array of samplers, frames, and other needlework related items to bid on. Make sure to bring something to stitch on while you await the end results of the auction.

As a reminder, the church doors will open at 2

pm for members with the meeting called to order promptly at 2:30.

Until next time, happy stitching!

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