Florilegium began in 1992 in an 8′ x 10′ booth at an antique mall in Madison, Wisconsin. We moved to a tiny (500 sq. ft.) storefront the next year, and one year later moved across the street to a space 5 times larger. Our specialties were antique textiles, beadwork, embroideries, crazy quilts, ribbon, buttons, lace, and everything floral. There were floral Italian and French lamps, inlaid papier mache furniture, paintings, rugs, crazy quilts, flapper dresses, and so much more. But, the textiles were my favorite part. Slowly, new yarns, canvas, ribbons and beads began to creep in. It became a treasure trove of everything I loved.
In 2004, after twelve fairy-tale years in Madison, my husband’s job brought us to Kansas City, Missouri. Here we responded to an increased demand for yarn, ribbons, beads and IDEAS. People began coming to Florilegium for inspiration. Every day they asked “how did you do that” or “where do you come up with all these ideas?”. So, after nine years, I decided to answer those questions in a new way. This website is the result. Here we will offer unique ideas and projects I have designed with custom-made materials you won’t find elsewhere.
We will also offer one-of-a-kind materials from our Kansas City studio and beautiful goods from our favorite suppliers around the world. We will share Antique Inspirations from our collection, and my hoard of ideas for purses, clothing, jewelry, lampshades, trims, embellishments, puppets, games, wallhangings, and more, more, more….
Many of my projects are small, but they incorporate ideas to take with you into bigger, more elaborate creations. You will see the influence of our passion for antiques. You will also notice that many projects combine several techniques. For instance, our Tiniest Entrelac Bag combines knitting, crochet, machine-wrapped cord, and buttonhole stitch, all in about six square inches. This is how I have expanded my repertoire of techniques, over the years, and it can also create more interesting and complex results.
I like to make unusual – and I daresay not always practical – things. I imagine myself more as a crazy scientist in a wonky laboratory than a granny knitting in a rocking chair. In my “laboratory”, serendipity rules! Mistakes are welcomed, perfection does not exist, and I leave lots of tidbits out to tempt my muse. (Yes, that means it’s messy!!) I hope you’ll join me. Bring your imagination and a spirit of adventure…..
and we’ll have a Marvelous Time!
Gretchen Nutt (aka Floril), owner and founder of Florilegium Antiques and Needleart