Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Great-Grandmother & Velvet Strawberries

My great-grandmother lived in a tiny house in a beautiful, old neighborhood in Salisbury, Maryland that was filled with beautiful things she has made with her own hands. She worked for The Singer Sewing Machine Co. as a young woman and my mother has many stories of making Barbie doll dresses with her when she was a child. My mother was named Catherine, after her.

Now I have my own Emily Catherine, named after them both, and I can still imagine what the inside of my great-grandmother's little Cape Cod looked and smelled like. It was there I learned how to make a cathedral window quilt and how to make perfect French knots. She had a kitchen decorated in strawberries and I'm sure my fascination with vintage strawberry Wilender linens began at her kitchen table.

These little velvet strawberries are of my design, but they are modeled after the thousands and thousands of velvet strawberries made by women for centuries, at least. Velvet strawberries like this showed up in sewing boxes and used as pincushions, on summer hats and attached to pert little straw purses, many decades ago. You can still find vintage velvet strawberries on eBay or in corners of antique stores if you look hard enough.

I can't stop making them! I'm hand-dyeing the velvet, hand-stitching the strawberries, cutting out little felt leaves, filling them with stuffing and a bit of dried French lavender, stitching them together and then lastly, hand-beading them. It is a delight to make them, from start to finish, and though I'm sure I'll tire of it eventually, for now it's my new favorite thing to do in the evening while I watch t.v. and sip hot cocoa.

I imagine them in lingerie drawers, part of sweet little vintage vignettes or given as a gift. You can hot glue them to a purse, use them as pincushions, give them as gifts, or whatever else you come up with! The possibilities are endless!

I have this little group of 3 pink and 3 blue velvet strawberries listed on eBay right now, so if you want to snatch them up, go HERE.


Jennifer Hayslip said...

Cheryl!!! These strawberry's are sooo sweet and pretty!!! I love the colors!!! Beautiful job! I love the last photo of them sitting in the bowl. Enjoyed the little history of them as well. ;) HUGGIES!!! XOXO,Jenn

Ele at abitofpinkheaven said...

hi Cheryl! I love velvet strawberries and also reminds me of my grandmother's house! Wonderful!