A recently purchased linen doily reminded me of a mat for a framed portrait. I didn’t have a photo on fabric that fit, and wanted to stitch something on this marvelous piece of linen with the wide handmade tatting.
A simple coneflower is always fun to appliqué, and I had seen somewhere the idea of using a spool of thread as the vase. So, a few snippets of fabric, a good tv show in the background, a bright light at my side, and the stitching began.
Once the appliqué and embroidery were done (see the French knots at the base of the seed head?), it was time to find a base to set off the oval. The French General print in red was perfect. So, I layered wool batting beneath the oval, threaded up the machine with silk thread, and echoed the appliqué with free motion quilting.
Once I cut away the remaining batting from behind the red fabric, it was time to seed stitch the piece to an old quilt as the back of the assembly. A yellow and white pieced basket quilt from an antique store fit the bill, but the white was a bit stark. A scrap of red ticking came to the rescue, adding another layer of matting to the frame job.
As I neared the finish, I hadn’t come up with a title. But my original plan to let the doily serve as an inner mat for a portrait was still on my mind, so Portrait of Red Coneflower was simple enough. One more vintage doily (with a history and stains to prove it) served as the label.
The finished piece measures 16” x 20” and the hanging sleeve utilized a leftover strip of the red ticking.