I love weddings. This past weekend, I attended a gorgeous and pretty elaborate event to celebrate the marriage of my cousin. It was only the second wedding I've ever attended, and maybe because of that, I had been preparing for months. What to give? was on my mind from the day they announced their engagement.
Some of my favorite possessions are linens or tableware that my mother (or Grandmother!) received at their weddings- beautiful, timeless pieces that my family has managed to hold on to. I don't really have the funds to contribute to a set of silver, so I tend to take the handmade route. I had a pillow in mind.
I've been collecting embroidery floss for years, but seldom put my skills to the test. My grandmother embroidered, and taught me the basics when I was young. I remember a book of Crewel embroidery she showed me, with twisted and antiquated forms of birds, deer and bright, bulbous plants. She had little patience for dainty things, and her study featured a heavy foot stool upholstered in rough wool, hand stitched by her, in abstract streaks of red-orange and green.
I had recently been inspired by this series of posts by Kate Davies about the Great Tapestry of Scotland, which is truly astonishing in both scale and detail. It's the result of a generous effort in the spirit of recording history and celebrating ancestry. The tapestry also displays a collection of native plants and animals as an assemblage of cultural identity, highly connected to the land.
I decided to ground my design in the land where my cousin met her husband, and where they now live. I would ring their names in Colorado wildflowers, on a simple decorative pillow they could keep in their home.