Preparing for Tat Days

Getting ready to attend Tat Days in Toccoa, GA has consumed nearly all my energy and waking moments not devoted to something else!  You wouldn’t think a simple weekend away could take that kind of concentration, but it has.  And mine was only a fraction of the effort that went into putting together such a conference for 122 tatters!  The efforts by so many were seen everywhere!

Myself and a “Partner in Crime” were  assigned the task of creating enough “party favors” for 2 tables with 8 attendees at each table plus 4 additional for officers.    Of the 10 themes from Tat Days conferences gone by, we were given the “Flower Garden” Theme from the 2007 gathering.  Maggie wasn’t going to be able to attend this year so were were going to have to work out some way of accomplishing this across a distance of several hundred miles.  After a wonderful phone conversation, Maggie sent me a small package with 3 tatted flower blossoms inside.  They were delightful!

Maggie Brown’s Beaded Flower

So this is where we started.  Through the heat of the summer and the hectic work schedule she and I both endure, we kept our September 1 deadline in mind.  She set about creating 48 flower heads and I began working on 48 leaves.  She already had the flower pattern, but the leaves were to be another story.

I didn’t know leaves could be such a hard tatting pattern to find!  No wonder the Theme for 2010 had leaves as a part of it!  I didn’t find those patterns until after I had found some others which included Mary E. Fitch’s leaf pattern that Palmetto Tatter Mary Donohue had already adapted.  That pattern proved to be too large for Maggie’s flowers, so I had to modify it to meet the size criteria. I also found leaf patterns in Linda Davies’ “Petals to Pearls” collection and two others  in Mary Maynard’s book “Tatting: Ring of Flowers” that didn’t require any adaptation.  So between varying the colors of threads, adding or leaving off beads and the 3 patterns that were available, almost every leaf was unique.

Sally’s 48 Leaves

Using techniques learned as the child of a florist, I began wiring both flowers and leaves as well as created “buds” that might accentuate a small spray of flowers.  Maggie’s color combinations were phenomenal and what came of it all was this:

How the flower sprigs were turning out

Meanwhile, Maggie and her mother had gone shopping and come across some wooden wheelbarrows.  It wasn’t long before I received a box in the mail with them in it.  Because of their size (about 4″ x 8″ and about 5″ in height), the only thing we could do was fill them with something that would set off the flower sprigs.  First came a block of styrofoam, then a large white hydrangea type head of silk flowers held down with Philly fern pins.  Several leaves from the hydrangea stem were also wired and inserted into the styrofoam base.  Curly-Q’s made of glitter chenille stems were also wired and inserted.  The flower sprigs were added last as well as a raffia bow.  This was the end product:

Finished table decorations for Tat Days Banquet

Altogether there were 2 wheelbarrows for tables, a third for the silent auction and several additional sprigs of flowers for the speakers tables. My roommate Linda had offered to help and created 6 butterflies to add to the final set.  They made for a striking centerpiece for the tables & auction.

Linda’s butterflies were added before placing on the tables

In fact, while this photo does not do the lady or the flowers justice, at least one recipient walked away with “flowers in her hair!”

Hannah from Sweden wearing her party favor

More Tat Days to come!


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