Friday, February 17, 2012

A Special Shopping Trip

It's not uncommon for people to travel to New York to go shopping for a wedding dress, for an engagement ring or for other special occasions.


Me? I happen to go there to look for the perfect sewing trim for a special piece of needlework.

Luckily, I live 3 1/2 hours by bus from NYC and its Garment District.

So yesterday, my friend Helen and I traveled to New York to find just the right ribbon to help me frame Audrey.


When I first pieced the block that became Breakfast at Tiffany's, it was years ago and I was just starting to crazy quilt.

At the time, I had no idea that this block would become the base for a chandelier, lace stumpwork flowers, a butterfly and for Audrey herself. I made the mistake of not giving myself enough of a seam allowance around the edge of my piecing...


I have a dream of framing this piece in a shadowbox...with the shadowbox "sides" being made of mirror.

My hope is that the mirror will reflect the light and will highlight the three-dimensionality of the needlework...


I can't put the mirror directly onto the edge of the embroidery or the frame will overshadow the stitched area...so I set out to New York to find a wide ribbon I could add around the edge of the work to extend it.

Convinced I would have lots of choices, we went to Mokuba first.


The only ribbon I found there that might work was this velvet...


I left Mokuba liking it, but not sure if it was the right thing...

Next stop was Tinsel Trading...


Tinsel Trading is a feast for the senses selling both contemporary and vintage millinery, ribbons, trims and other fripperies.



It just seems to get better and better there. I love it all but I'm particularly attracted to their special area of expertise, vintage metal ribbons...


Metal trims....


Metal fabrics...


And metal threads.


Most of the items were manufactured in France in the 1930s and are not being made anymore. You can read the history of this family-owned store here.

I looked around for a while by myself, seeking something I might use to extend my Audrey block...


And I didn't see anything so I enlisted the help of Linda Ashton who has been working at Tinsel Trading for as long as I can remember .


Linda is an artist and a milliner.

As President of the Millinery Guild of New York, she was raving about the show, Hats: An Anthology by Steven Jones, at The Bard Graduate Center. I'll have to travel back to see the show before it ends on April 15, 2012.

Anyway, Linda found this vintage row of chevron silver ribbon. It had enough of a textural interest that it just might work...


And we liked it. It seems to unify the silver/mirror frame.


Today, I brought out both to compare and I think I need to sleep on it.

I like the velvet...and I like the silver...but I'm thinking I might need a combination of the two...or that I should cover a mat in the same velvet fabric I used in the piece and edge the inside of the mat with a silver trim...sheesh...so many decisions.

I'll think about it for the next few days. Regardless, it was a grand time in New York with my friend Helen...and what's not to love about Tinsel Trading?

It should be on your "Must See" list when you go to New York.

Having said that, it's especially fortunate to be able to go there when there is something specific that you're shopping for...

And they still have lots of those vintage sparklies I mentioned a few months ago...


Happy Weekend everyone!

40 comments:

Createology said...

Oh My...that was a very special trip to NYC. Those shops are amazing. I like what Linda suggested for your priceless Tiffany piece. I also like the velvet ribbon. Your vision is perfect however you are correct in not rushing into your selection even though it seems overwhelming. Just the right look will appear when you least expect it. Hugs dear...

Linda H said...

Aaahhh, what a wonderful day you had. I was thinking of you two all day, reliving the day we had last April. What fun! Both your choices are great- I'm sure a day or two of pondering will help you make the right choice!

Vicky aka Stichr said...

i thank you for the peeks into stores in NYC that i probably won't see....only because driving around that town in an rv would be madness!!!!

anyway, i am going to add a 'what if' here....i wonder if you put the silver ribbon first, then a thin line of black, then the velvet...maybe even fold the velvet for dimension?? maybe....

just imaginin' here....

FlowerLady said...

How exciting and fun to have been on that hunt.

I loved the silver. But the velvet is oh so lovely too.

Decisions, decisions.

FlowerLady

Miriam said...

Ohh, my goodness! I think if I ever got to Tinsel Trading I may never emerge again! What a treasure trove of goodies!

I looove velvet ribbon (bought a little bit myself, yesterday!), but I am sure after a little while of thinking you will find a combination you are happy with.

MosaicMagpie said...

Oh, envy....no other word for it! What a great place to shop. I never knew places like this exsisted! All those miles and miles of trim and ribbons.
A great idea to frame the piece and the mirror will add so much dimension and light. Susan, I have to ask...what are those tan circles around the edge? I am thinking maybe thumb tacks and you have covered over them?
Deb

Marty52 said...

Yummers!!!

Susan Elliott said...

Those tan circles are brass tacks that are holding my fabric to the stretcher bars.

Nancy said...

What wonderful shops...I have never seen so many choices in one place. Both ribbons are beautiful! Can't wait to see which one you choose!

Saturday Sequins said...

Sounds like an amazing day!

Boy, I wish I lived close to NYC. I've never been to the garment district before, and I really want to go! Vintage sparklies. *Drools.*

Mary Ann said...

Oh my I would love those stores...absolute heaven...LOL

Shirlee Fassell said...

Looks like a fun filled day!! Makes me want to go back to NYC!! I don't think you would go wrong with either choice. I framed one of my pics with velvet matt board.. that may also be another option.
XO

Melisa Bakos said...

I was wondering about the choices and looking at your options. Have you considered using velvet for the trim on the piece and ribbon on the side instead of mirror. or the other way around my concern about the mirror is if the viewer catches a reflection of the block from the side that is where their eye will travel instead of all over the lovely work we all have drooled about as you have made this block.
just my two cents hope it helps you

Allison Aller said...

Oh I wish I had been able to go with you two! Very fun to see those familiar haunts. I'll bet your bus rides each way were wonderful, too. xox

Teresa said...

What a fun adventure. It is so nice seeing the Tiffany piece again. I am a new appreciation for the piece seeing Linda hold it. It is so much smaller then I imagined. Now I really am amazed with all your detailed work.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

verobirdie said...

I've just boarded the TGV for a 3 hours ride to Paris.
I need some varieggated ribbon for a certain needlebook, and maybe some trims just for the fun of it. My daughter will take me to a shop she has discovered, but we might well drop by Mokuba as well... Yes, I know, copycat...
I like the velvet around Audrey, but you are the one to decide!

verobirdie said...

I've just boarded the TGV for a 3 hours ride to Paris.
I need some varieggated ribbon for a certain needlebook, and maybe some trims just for the fun of it. My daughter will take me to a shop she has discovered, but we might well drop by Mokuba as well... Yes, I know, copycat...
I like the velvet around Audrey, but you are the one to decide!

Sheila said...

Such an eye for things that are beautiful in their own right, but will also tempt others who want to make beautiful things! Such a gift, you have!

I went back to look at your two choices of trim and decided that each ribbon makes me see different things:

The textural Chevron makes my eye wander around the different textures in your piece: the vertical lines of the Chandelier, the black lace netting, the white lace netting, the vertical lines of the polka dot fabric. I noticed your most textural elements when it was framed with the chevron striping.

With the velvet ribbon, my eye went more to Audrey's arms and her dress, and the elements that are more solid in color. My eyes lingered on the simpler quieter elements, and the textural elements kind of faded away.

It reminds me of a color theory exercise called Simultaneous Contrast. I bet if you google it, there will be some excellent wikipedia article on it.

Either looks great, so I don't think you'll go wrong with whatever you choose. Both colors look great.

Would one trim define your story better than the other? What elements of your story do you want to stand out the most? You can always toss a coin! (That's one of my favorite dilemma solvers when the answer is either one will work.)

Good luck! And thank you for the vicarious visit to the garment district. I had a great time! *grin*

Masha E said...

So lovely day!
I also like both, silver and velvet. And I would have something third, just for complication :-).

Catherine said...

What fun places! I love the vintage beauties at Tinsel Trading!! My eye was drawn to the velvet ~ loved the softness of it next to your piece. Can't wait to see what y choose and how you incorporate it all!

Catherine said...

What fun places! I love the vintage beauties at Tinsel Trading!! My eye was drawn to the velvet ~ loved the softness of it next to your piece. Can't wait to see what y choose and how you incorporate it all!

Ati. said...

Oh my, I know, I know, when I EVER go to NY I must visit that shop Tinsel trading, It looks like paradise. LOL
Wish you good luck with your decision, I know you make the right one!

Heather M. said...

My heart almost stopped when I saw the picture of the Mokuba store! If I ever get to NYC again, I am definitely going to both these stores.

I prefer the velvet ribbon. I think it frames without being distracting and the colour looks spot on. Can't wait to see what you decide.

Wendy said...

What a great trip you had! I cannot wait to see how you decide to finish your lovely block off for the shadow box.....

Laurel's Quill said...

Oh Susan..I am so envious. I would have died there, in any one of those shops. You inspire me with your Tiffany's piece. What can I do..how do I start.. I think about it then get bogged down with where to begin and what to do.. Laurel

Elizabeth said...

I have wanted to travel to Tinsel Trading for forever!! that is one of my dreams!! I want to go with some one who knows the ropes! Someday!! Thanks so much for taking such fabulous pictures and for sharing Audrey with us again!! can't get enough of that block!!

char said...

Living in a small town in Alaska, I am just in awe of that shop Tinsel Trading.....I would be so overwhelmed I wouldn't know what to buy. Wow..and all your Vintage gems....makes my mouth water. Lucky Lady....your piece will be beautiful in which ever one you finally choose. I kind of like the softness of the velvet, but in person I'm sure both look beautiful.

Wanda-Maria Roszak said...

Susan, you had a wonderful day, lots of different beautiful trimmings, and is plenty to choose from and almost all come in handy always, thanks for the beautiful pictures, regards :)))

Marnie said...

How wonderful! The piece is so special, I don't blame you for stressing over the finishing touches. The choices would still have my head spinning. Best of luck! I know you'll land on perfection!!

Judy S. said...

It'll be interesting, Susan, to see what you choose! I like the velvet personally...and also Vicky's suggestion about a thin line of black...or maybe a darker aqua. Do you have a local quilting friend? Generally they're really good with borders and sashing advice. (It seems to me that's what you're dealing with here.) I'm sure whatever you pick will be just right!

Rachel said...

I think I prefer the silver, but it's hard to be sure with photos, and I expect that some combination of the two would work even better..

Louise said...

what a fantastic store!! I am wondering why I wasn't aware of this shop in NYC? I great up on Long Island and lived there for years..perhaps that is why..didn't get to the city all that much..but I do remember when I did go to NYC..it was amazing! Fun place :)

Love all your pictures, the colors just pop!

Raggedystitches,
Louise

Louise said...

forgot to mention..I did purchase my wedding dress 25 years ago in NYC..it was the most beautiful dress!! I went to some huge store that was many stories tall..all they sold were wedding dresses. It was so hard to choose. I do know that this place for wedding dresses was very popular back then..wonder if it is the same place you were going to? Hmmmm............

Louise

Rosa said...

Thank you SO much for all the wonderful pictures and the links.
I 'collect' them, so I'll know what to see when I visit NY.

deb said...

Thank you for taking us on a visit to those shops. For someone on the other side of the world it is a real treat! I just love your Tiffany piece.

KMK said...

Lucky you to have such easy access to such lovely supplies !

Elmsley Rose said...

I vote the silver! Added reflection with the mirror. Maybe an underlay of the velvet, to heighten the silver trim, and just have a little poking out, either on the inner or outer edge (or both - the silver looks pretty wide).
Oh, and I hate you! *dribble* It's just as well such stores are on the other side of the world from me. I'm running out of places in my home to wrap odd, pretty ribbons and vintage trims from...my carers just hate me!

Hélène said...

I like the blue velvet, but I think the silver ribbon adds something, because it has a special texture that looks slightly ragged and pure luxury at the same time. Also it almost looks like curtains and so it gives the impression that we are peeping on Audrey whi is looking outside Tiffany's.

I'm in love with that flower garland in the window. If ever I go to NY I will have to go to these shops !

Alex said...

Definitely the silver - it falls just like curtains by the chandelier and the ribbing is the right scale.

Kimberly Servello said...

I just found your website (referred by Elmsley Rose). I love your Breakfast at Tiffany's! I've read the book and watched the movie, and for once, I can say that I like the movie better than the book. I really like your interpretation of it!

P.S. Like you, I recently went to NY to shop for trim for an embroidery project, and Tinsel Trading was my solution as well. What a great store!

Related Posts with Thumbnails