Friday, June 14, 2013

Centerpiece in Poppies by E. J. Buckman

Sketch of the finished poppy centerpiece.
      These are not the kind of poppies that will put my readers to sleep. Indeed, I very much fear that you will become so fascinated with the work on the centerpiece that I am offering today that you will be tempted to stay awake too long!
      But here they are before you in an unusual design, with the stems growing from the outer edge toward the center; and isn't the outer edge charming in its departure from the usual round scallops?
      Well, let us begin. The white work is still in the first place with needle-women, yet even here just a touch of color is possible. In the center of each blossom pale yellow or the faintest green can be used for variety's sake.
      You will work the petals in a short-and-long stitch, allowing about one-half inch of solid work to outline the edges. The cuplike portion of the seed drum should be worked solid, with the oval top in outline; the rest of the center is yours. French knots are quick and effective, yet the introduction of eyelet work will repay you for your extra trouble. Over-and-over stem stitches for the long, slender stems, if you have plenty of time; if not, a heavy outline stitch, with the final whipping to give a corded effect.
      The leaves must be treated to outlining, with the stems suggested by heavy lines. Another effective method is that of working one-half of the leaf form solid, starting the stitches in toward the vein.
      When working the buds, a combination of solid work for the sides and seed stitches for the center is good, for these are small enough not to make the task seemingly endless.
      Of course, the edge is delightfully easy in its straight simplicity, and you will use your regular padding of darning cotton and buttonhole stitch for the finishing touches.
      If your tastes lean toward the colored embroidery for a library table, tan linen forms an excellent background for the bluish greens of the poppy leaves and stems. A silvery green is the most natural color to select, and harmonizes as well with yellow of the California poppy, shaded pink, or deep red. The seeds you will work with yellow, and a linen edging placed at the edge will give a pretty contrast to the border, which can be of a darker green or golden brown.
      For you summer work, to be taken up when the spirit moves, a centerpiece is always delightful. Let me know how this appeals, won't you? by Adelaide Byrd

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