My Mom, Aletha Scutt Meek, was an artist. She would have denied the fact, vehemently. The lovely bit of lace under the blue vase pictured above is an example of her crochet work. I think it's gorgeous. Here's another view:
Whenever I admired her needlework, Mom said that "Anyone could do that," simply becuse she followed a pattern. I don't think she realized how much skill, concentration, planning and a love of beauty came together in her handiwork.
This past Saturday (Sept. 17) marked the first annivesary of Mom's death. I miss her. I wanted to celebrate her life by sharing some of her artistic creations. She was very prolific, so there will be a lot to share, not all at once but a every once in a while, over time.
CABINET OF WONDERS: SEPT. 2011, Aletha's Embroidery
You may remember that I like to fill my dining room "Cabinet of Wonders" with a rotating display of seasonal or spontaneous collections of objects-- kind of a collage of curiosities. This month it holds samples of my Mom's embroidery.
The two pieces on the left (the green design on white and the red and black on yellow fabric) are called "Swedish Weaving", or "Huck" Weaving. To create this intricate effect, Mom painstakingly picked through the weave of the background cloth with her needle and green thread, carefully counting the correct number of threads in the weave to get the design placed just right.
Here's another hand towel Mom decorated, this time in a blue design on yellow:
For this towel she also added a tatted edging which she created:
(This particular item is being displayed on top of a sideboard, not in the Cabinet of Wonders. )
The other items on the top shelf are not tapestry. The pink floral motif (also currently shown on the blog masthead) is embroidery, and I believe the white butterfly and floral motif on peach colored cloth is a technique called Trapunto, or "stuffed work", which creates a raised design with the thread.
Shelf number 2 (above) shows a little more Huck weaving on the left, and a collection of colorful embroidered flowers.
Shelf 3 (above) features cross stitch figural and floral designs.
And finally, there is a charming "black work" (black thread embroidered) palm tree design, and some appliqued flowers on blue cloths.
My Mom was a modest person, and kept these beauties hidden away in a drawer (along with other treasures in needlework which I hope to share with you). And although I have been adamant about using and enjoying fragile items like china dishes, I am much less likely to use these hand towels for their intended purpose, only because I want to keep them in good condition and avoid the stains anad tears that come with use. But I will find ways to display and safely enjoy them, no doubt. This Cabinet of Wonders is their glorious debut! I love to look at them and think of Mom.