I just realized I should call this column "Pattern Design Classics" rather than "Fabric Design Classics" as it's always hard for me to stick to only one crafting material! So here we go, with the second edition. As spring is slowly making its way again into this part of the world, today it's about "Millefleurs" or "Mille-Fiori" as the Italians call it.
Inspired by old persian flower and plant patterns, the mille-fleurs design became very popular in France and Flanders during the late 15th century as a background for tapestry scenes. It was used on big scale wall-hangings to cover up all those brick castle interiors. Lighter versions have become a classic for textiles of all sorts, and actually put the flower design in the foreground. I found two lovely examples with this 60-ies Alexander Girard design (máXimo should put it into their collection of screen printed fabrics again!), and a print called "Edenham", from the master of flower designs: Liberty Fabrics.
Maybe solid flower fabrics are a tad too much for you? Then you could add these bias tapes as a sweet accent to your sewing projects...
In case you are more of a paper crafter, you might already be familiar with these Carta Varese block prints. I bought a couple of floral ones, as I'm working on getting the backs of my file folders a face lift.
Another line of inspiration for this pattern comes from the glass mosaic beads called mille-fiori. The technique to make these colourful glass flower canes can be traced back to the Romans, and was rediscovered, and put into practice on a big scale in the nineteeth century. Apart from the pretty glass work, I also love the execution of this technique in a modern day material like polymer clay. One of my Flickr favorites, Tami Shvat makes gorgeous pieces, which she offers in her Etsy shop as unbaked canes, ready to be cut or sliced to your liking.
Last bit before I leave you: These simple felt flowers I made a while ago, which look so nice in a group, and for the patient crafters amongst you: A beautiful, modern cross stitch pattern for a round cushion(seen at Quality Needlecraft, UK). Design: Wendy Hope-Falkner, inspired by the well-known mille-fiori paper weights.
Maybe I could pass on a bit of "tiny-flower-love" to you, and I hope to see you back soon with a post on a recycling project.