Pocketful of borders (Pat-a-cake, etc.)

pages 18/19 from "Pocketful of Posies", Houghton Mifflin 2010

This double-page spread pictures 3 rhymes from my upcoming children’s book, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. I’m preparing the fabric relief illustrations for a traveling show, which you can learn about here.  

Illustration mounted on foam core board

 I chose a border of dark felt to contrast with the light lavender background. The outside edges were blanket stitched with variegated pima cotton. 


The corner pieces have the usual squiggles, along with my initials and the date. 



The 4 side border pieces are green, with variegated embroidery floss loops. These pictures show the tea house, which illustrates the rhyme, “Polly put the kettle on”. 

detail from "Polly put the kettle on"

 Here’s the cobbler shop from “Cobbler, cobbler mend my shoe”. I cut out the wooden signs with a jig saw and painted them. The shoe sign is a little over 1″ long.   The cobbler’s apron is made of leather.

detail from "Cobbler, Cobbler, mend my shoe"

Here is the finished border mounted on the stretched upholstery fabric background. 

pages 18/19 with the finished border

This shows the bakery for “Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake”. The baby buggy is made with floss wrapped wire, coiled around like a basket. Yes, I admit that it’s a bit obsessive. 

detail of "Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake"

detail, page 19, "Pocketful of Posies"

Note: See other posts from the Pocketful of Borders series here.

19 thoughts on “Pocketful of borders (Pat-a-cake, etc.)

  1. Salley,

    You continue to amaze me with your fabulous and whimsical work. I can’t wait until I receive my pre-ordered copy from Amazon.

    Thanks for sharing and wetting our appetite!!


  2. seriously?? i have no words. this is just sososo … sososo GREAT.

    and you even carved your own wood pieces.

    obsessive? maybe, but the buggy is perfect. and love that mom is carrying both a purse and a crocheted (?) bag.

    do you ever keep track of how much total time goes into a piece like this?

    i’m so glad mimi told me you have a blog. i’ve admired your work for so long, it’s nice to have this access to see what you are doing.

    • Hi Kristin, I’m glad that you are enjoying the blog. The Mom’s bag is actually made with a sewing needle and thread, not crocheted. I haven’t learned how to crochet yet. Got an instruction book, but had trouble following the directions. I’ll have to get someone to show me in person. And, I’d rather not know how much time I spend working on a piece. I could easily compete with computer game addicts!

  3. I look forward to seeing your beautiful work posted every day or so; it is AMAZING. I can see the hours of tedious work in each piece. I’ll be buying your books when I go back to America this summer. Do you ever sell any of the flat pieces?

    • Laura, It’s so nice to have you visiting from Israel. Your fantasy hats for children are wonderful! I do sell my originals, but haven’t priced the ones from Pocketful of Posies yet.

  4. Thanks so much for the unusual angles in some of the photos. They really helped me get a better sense of the scale and dimension in these beautiful works of art!

  5. Beth
    I just found your blog via Mr X-stitch. Your work is awesome! so much detail. And the love is just oozing out of every picture.. It is truely inspirational.
    Do you keep track of how many hours you spend on every piece? Is it financially viable or is it a hobby/love-job?

    • Thanks, Beth, and welcome to my blog. I have made my work a career, but would find it hard to support myself only on my artwork. And, since I can’t speed up the process, I don’t keep track of hours spent working. It’s too frustrating to know and takes away from the enjoyment and theraputic value of working.

  6. Dear Sally, I bought your Felt Wee Folk book quite a while ago and took it on a trip last week to enjoy it. That inspired a google of your name and a long browse of all of your books, projects, etc. Signed up for your blog and then, today, went online to try and find your books. Even though it wasn’t “in the budget”, I ordered The Hollyhock Wall, Wee Willie Winkie, Hey Diddle Diddle, Jack and Jill, In the Heart, and preordered A Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. One book is coming from an antique bookseller in Pasadena, California, and one is Jack and Jill is waiting to come back in stock. So….you see that your work is very inspirational. You are a very admired artist!! Thank you for your inspiration!! Cate Jones

  7. The Jack and Jill book eluded me (who knows if it really WAS going to come back in stock) so after a further search, it DID show up as available somewhere else and is on its way. You probably know that one of your books is available for over $700.00 from a bookseller (it is an out-of-print one and that’s what a listing was….can’t remember who from, but that’s impressive!).

    • Cate, I’m glad that you were able to find a copy of Jack and Jill. The publisher sent me a letter saying they were not going to print any more, so this may be it. As for the $700.00 item, that sounds like a mistake that shows up occasionally on used bookseller’s websites.

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