Antique-Inspired Freeform

Lilly Plate Needleart GJN 03-P1110052

Most of the time when I embark on a Freeform project, I just start. There’s no plan. I don’t even know what the piece will be when it grows up, and much of the fun is in the discovery. But sometimes I like to interpret a specific thing, just for the challenge. And of course, flowers are my favorite subject. So, this little handpainted, papier mache plate from the late 1800’s was a likely candidate for my adventure. It’s an elegant little thing, with a moody background and lots of depth in the flowers.  The flowers, the colors and the dimensionality were my inspirations. I chose crochet to add some whimsy.


Lilly Plate Needleart GJN 12-P1110061Lilly Plate Needleart GJN 09-P1110058


The little clumps of geranium petals were my starting point. They are clusters of five popcorns made into a ring out of a thick combination of worsted wools held together. All the other flower and leaf shapes followed, with a background of single crochet (worked into the back loop) that connected all the loose shapes. The flower stamens are embroidered bullions and stem stitches. There are some finishing details still to do, and I don’t know how I’ll use this piece, but great fun was had in getting it this far! Now, what would happen if I knit instead……..


Lilly Plate Needleart GJN 07-P1110056

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2 Responses to Antique-Inspired Freeform

  1. Julie August 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    Dear Gretchen,

    I had the pleasure of visiting your lovely Florigelium last week and instantly fell in love. To say it is beautiful would be a sad attempt to describe the sublimity of this tribute to fiber.

    Whenever I travel, visiting local yarn shops is always on my list of things to do and I have toured shops in the U.S. and Europe. I can confidently say that your offering is superior to them all.

    Thank you for Florigelium. I found several skeins of yarn, roving, beautiful threads and lovely geode slices for ornamentation of a future project.

    I will be back again and again as the venue is so lovely and filled with inspiration.

    The young lady was so helpful demonstrating a lovely knit shawl using the silkpaca lace weight yarn from Malabrigo. I was also very happy to receive the invitation to bring a lace knitting project to the shop for a tutorial which I will do this Winter.

    Your interpretation of this lovely haindpainted plate is stellar. Maybe I will be on display and I might see it in my next visit.

    I will be sure to spread the word of your lovely venue to my friends and acquaintances.



  2. gretchen August 21, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    Dear Julie,
    Your kindness has left me speechless……

    I am always thrilled to meet others who love the same things. That is really why we built Florilegium and have loved being there every day for 21 years. It’s the kindred spirit and creativity of our customers that give Florilegium it’s soul. Your thoughtfulness will be remembered by all of us.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I hope to meet you soon! Gretchen

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