Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Sham for Sharon

I finished a project last week that I've been working on for a while.  My friend Sharon asked if I would make a pillow sham for her.  She's an occupational therapist and has taken on a new kind of job traveling all over the country for temporary assignments in hospitals.  She's been in the south, Washington D.C. area, and New York among other places.  It's the perfect thing for her at this time.  What an adventure - seeing the sights and making friends all over the country! 

Sharon asked me to make a sham so she could have a piece of home with her no matter where she finds herself.  She gave me carte blanche, which can be a dangerous thing... if you're like me.  When pressed, she said she liked birds and thought perhaps a two sided sham could be seasonal.  

Birds?  Seasons?  Complete creative freedom?  I said yes.

I am obsessed with homey Granny Chic these days 
and my 70s fabrics were calling my name.
Add a few doilies, embroideries, birds...
plenty of ingredients for a two-sided pillow sham.

I wanted a patchwork and needed to lay it out
on the computer to get the right balance.
(I'm visual on top of visual.)

Any good Granny Chic piece is going to have embroidered words.
Finding the perfect poem by Victor Hugo for Sharon and her current situation, 
I stitched it onto a piece of vintage linen.

"Be like the bird in flight... pausing a while on boughs too slight,
feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings,
knowing that she had wings."

I moved and moved the lace, the bird, the swatches,
the doilies, the embroidery around for the longest time

until I was satisfied with the layouts for both sides.

I had to pack it up for Christmas, so this is when the computer layout
became the key with stapled corners of the fabrics.

Yes, I am sloooow at these things, but the sham is now finally finished.

It is lined in cotton and opens on either end with 16 matching
mother-of-pearl buttons I was lucky enough to find in my collection.
After considering big mismatched 70s buttons of blues and yellows,
I decided to let the shell buttons calm down the overall design instead.

The warm side.  Summer and fall?

A beautiful old piece of embroidery.

A bird applique cut from a vintage tablecloth. 

It was fun to create this sham.
I hope you like it, Sharon.
And I hope you enjoy pausing
on your latest 'slight bough'
in Rapid City, South Dakota.

See you the next time you wing your way home!

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