Pocketful of Borders: In spring

detail from "In Spring" Pocketful of Posies 2010

The pressure is mounting to get these borders finished by September for the Pocketful of Posies show. I’ve completed four in the past week, including this one of a seasons rhyme, which begins “In spring I look gay decked in comely array”. 


It took several tries to get the background fabric and border colors right. I can’t explain why one shade or pattern works better, but it helps to compare and narrow it down until you’re satisfied. 


I chose a bright red floss for my initials and the date embroidery on the bottom corners. The photo doesn’t show the subtle variegation in the red thread. I have my eye out for variegated thread to purchase and find myself reaching for it first. It adds a complexity that mirrors nature better than solid colors. 


I had just finished writing the post about lettering and was inspired to add some words to this one. So, instead of doodling along the border, I wrote out the names of the seasons on the four side sections. 


Sometimes I write on the felt with a pencil and then embroider over it, but it can show through and look messy. For the seasons, I wrote out the words on a piece of paper to get the spacing and then eye balled the stitching. 


I made sure there were some doodles in the corners and sewed it all together. 


This piece is relatively shallow compared to the other illustrations from the book. To get an idea of scale, the birds are under 1 inch long. 


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

17 thoughts on “Pocketful of Borders: In spring

  1. Oh, to be able to free stitches like your letters! That must be gratifying. My handwriting isn’t good enough to begin with to do that, but love seeing yours. The rest of us do the transfer of OTHER peoples’ lettering and are thankful to have it to go by………Good luck with your deadline! Beautiful samples! Cate

  2. Whoops, meant to say, “Oh to be able to free stitch like you do your letters”. You probably “got it” anyway the 1st time. Cate

  3. Sally- I love everything you do. Would you share what thread that is you;’re using? It looks like a pearle. thanks!

  4. Oh, my favorite colors…pink and green! The trees and nests are darling. Love the four seasons, along with the sweet little rhyme. What a challenge you have had in this project. I can hardly wait to see all of it!!!

  5. The pressure is on! It can be inspiring or kill the joy. You lost so much time with your broken wrist. It looks like it is all going well though- I can’t wait to see these in person!

    • Hi Mimi, after experiencing a bit of panic last week, I feel like I’m moving ahead at a smoother pace. I have to force myself to keep it simple and not keep adding embellishment to these borders! As for seeing the originals here in Massachusetts- I hope that you can see the show in Falmouth (all 51 illustrations) or Framingham (1/2 the illustrations) this fall.

  6. I think this is my favorite panel so far, so soft and inviting, I want to sit under one of your little trees. How do you do the background of the sky?

    Hope you don’t feel too pressured to finish and can enjoy the process.

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