M & S Schmalberg, as I have written, is the largest manufacturer of hand-made custom fabric flowers in North America. I first learned about them from an article in the Wall Street Journal last summer. You can see the short video about the Schmalbergs here on their webpage; it is embedded, so scroll down to it. When I saw it, I was a goner.
Most uncharacteristically for me, I called them out of the blue, and our friendship began.
I'll get to meet them at last in New York in a few weeks, and am very excited about this!
So you can imagine it was quite a joy to make them a wallhanging for their showroom.
What a fabulous place!
As you can see, the walls are yellow and the tables a nice rich maroony-wood. That is what determined the background color and edging for my little wall-hanging.
Once the lettering was on, I started by laying out a base of leaves. These are sewn on with a clear thread in a narrow zigzag stitch.
Then I pinned on all the flowers.
I decided the pink letters needed a little more definition, so I just straight stitched around them using an Aurofil #12 thread. I pulled the thread tails to the back afterwards and knotted them.
It was fun picking out the various beads for all the flower centers.
I can tell you, it will be a total honor to have this hanging anywhere in their showroom.
A family business that preserves this artisan tradition while providing good jobs for others, in the face of foreign competition, rising prices at home, and changing markets....they embody an American ideal to me.
Plus...oh my heavens....the FLOWERS!
I'll be sure and post about my visit there in a few weeks... ;-)