Pocketful of borders (Jumping Joan)

Here’s the latest picture that I’ve prepared for framing from Pocketful of Posies. It’s the illustration for the short rhyme, “Here am I, Little Jumping Joan/ When nobody’s with me, I’m all alone”. 

"Jumping Joan" illustration from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

The original fabric relief is small (8 1/2″ square) and was enlarged to the printing size of 10″. Sometimes I want to have figures that are larger than wee folk size, so I have them blown up a bit. I made the original Jumping Joan as large as I could, using this technique (about 5″). The floss wrapped arms and legs don’t look right any bigger. 

detail of "Jumping Joan"

I tried out 2 different of shades of variegated pima cotton for the blanket stitched edging and chose the turquoise one. 


I then picked out some variegated embroidery floss to use in the chain stitching. 


Here are the top corner pieces, with a chain stitched curly cue line. 


I also chain stitched some loops along the scalloped side pieces. I wanted to give the whole border a lift, so I sewed on some 32 gauge cloth wrapped wire to the outside edge. 

I wanted the outside edge to have a crisp, defined quality, so I wrapped the wire with dark blue floss. 


I added my initials and the date to the bottom corners and sewed on wire, which was then wrapped with green floss. 


With the help of the wire, the finished border curves up like a plate. 


I thought it was finished and then my new order of upholstery fabric came in.  I’m excited about using these shades in future projects. 


I had run out of options from my stash, so I bought the minimum of 1 yard in a variety of patterns and colors. The people at the upholstery shop think I’m making pillows. It’s too hard to explain, so I didn’t correct them. 


I changed the background fabric from the brown to this pink and am much happier with the result. 

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

29 thoughts on “Pocketful of borders (Jumping Joan)

  1. So cool…words can’t do this work justice. Loved the picture of you yesterday by the way! 🙂 Jules Means

  2. Your hand-work is so fabulous. I am glad you are so good at photography too. Your photos are like the next best thing to touching your work in person. Thanks for sharing your work.

  3. It is instructive and so enjoyable to see the construction process, and the up-close pictures of your lovely stitching make me itch for needle and felt. What embroidery floss do you use? The variegated shades are so scrumptious.


  4. Your needlework is wonderful!

    I REALLY like those new fabrics–delicious colors! I love that pink background, too.

    Thanks for sharing so much–cannot wait to receive the book!

    • Jenny, it’s essentially the same as wrapping wire, but with 5 bends in it. Sometime, I might show how to make hands, but I confess that the idea of breaking down the process into parts is overwhelming. As I’ve said before, I work intuitively, so it’s hard to explain the process. Writing the blog is good practice in giving details of my work decisions, though.

  5. Oh, so pretty….I just love pink, so am crazy about your upholstery piece. The dimensional border is especially keen, too. I am sighing now……


    • Thanks, Dee. I used to give classes occasionally, but have no plans to teach. Sorry to disappoint, but these days I want to stay on track and spend as much time as possible in the studio.

  6. Rolls of untouched fabric, pads of clean paper, skeins of colorful new thread – makes you quiver with possibilities. Love it, love it, love it. Thanks again for the beauty of this visit!

  7. Discovering this site recently (via an old copy of ME’s Home Companion) has been such a gift of inspiration. Thank you for the wonderful photographs and descriptions.

  8. I have just found your blog and I am awestruck by your artwork! I can’t even find the words to describe how delightful and inspiring it is. I don’t know that I have ever seen anything quite like it. I can not wait till I get home from work so I can explore some more. Truly AMAZING! TFS, Nan

  9. I’ve been enjoying the technique posts that have been coming out lately. It’s fun to see how you do certain parts of the artwork.
    Keep it coming, even if I can’t get to my own stuff half the time, I can enjoy your progress!

  10. I am so glad you commented on my blog because now I found yours!!! Your art is just beautiful and soo inspiring. I’m excited about your new book!

    I look forward to following your blog and meeting you in Falmouth in September.

    happy day!

  11. Hi Salley,
    This is my first time visiting your blog. I saw your comment over at Marcia’s “child in Harmony” and I just wanted to say that I have a copy of your book too and we have had the best time with it throughout the years. Thanks for all of the wonderful art and creative inspiration you put out there in the world. I really like the work you’ve done for pocket full of posies. It is simply magical. Be well and happy summer.

  12. I am SOOOOOO glad I found your blog! Your Wee Folk book at our house is so dogeared I’m surprised it hasn’t fallen apart! Thank you so much for taking the time to share close-ups and details of your work. Even though the visions that I put together in my imagination are far different from yours, the ideas get sparked in a big way by looking at the wonderful work in your books. Since my daughter located your book that had been boxed away for a while, I have started working on a project finally, putting all those gathered bits to work! I am doing, or attempting LOL!, a Chinese garden piece complete with koi and lily pads and curved bridge and little Chinese figures. My daughters are adopted from China. They are skeptical as I don’t have a lot of confidence, and often fail to finish things, but I think I will finish this one if I keep looking at your books and blog because I ache to make something a fourth as wonderful as your pieces! I am taking every spare moment to work back through your blog – and I could look at every entry over and over. Please keep posting!

  13. i’ve wondered about the hands too, so was happy to see jenny had the same question. it’s been exciting to see each piece come alive here…as always thanks for sharing it with us.

  14. I would LOVE to have the gift for making such beautiful things. Alas I am artistically challenged. I must be lacking the creative gene. But I can REALLY appreciate how beautiful you work is!

Leave a Reply to Dee Comber Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s