Artistic Table centres

By Edith Nepean

The Influence of Colour-nature's Colourings are the Ideal-raised Roses of Shaded Ribbon-muslin and Gauze are Effective when Embroidered or Painted-circular Table-centres - The Simple White Linen Centre - A Quaint Effect in Two Shades of Satin - The Charm of Lace Centres

There are many who aver that their emotions are influenced by the colours they wear or by the decorative arrangements of

Square of book muslin edged with lace insertion with butterfly design.Square of book muslin edged with lace insertion with butterfly design. Sweet peas with their own foliage are painted on the muslin their particular environment.

Square of book muslin edged with lace insertion with butterfly design. Sweet-peas with their own foliage are painted on the muslin their particular environment. , Blue, by some, is declared to exercise a depressing effect, whilst green is said to possess a curiously restful influence. Pink, on the other hand, would appear to others to have the. happy faculty of raising the spirits to such a point of exuberance that the dullest dinner-party becomes an amusing function.

Square of book muslin edged with lace insertion with butterfly design. Sweet-peas with their own foliage are painted on the muslin their particular environment. , Blue, by some, is declared to exercise a depressing effect, whilst green is said to possess a curiously restful influence. Pink, on the other hand, would appear to others to have the. happy faculty of raising the spirits to such a point of exuberance that the dullest dinner-party becomes an amusing function.

Perhaps there is more truth in these theories than would at first appear, for from childhood have we not heard of the magic of "rose-coloured spectacles"? However, perhaps it is a point worthy of note by the hostess who aspires to social success that she may select a good colour scheme for her table decorations.

Already many hostesses prefer one general scheme of colour for the decoration of the hospitable board. Flowers, candle-shades, and the table-centre, even the menu-holders, blend and assimilate in perfect harmony of tone and colouring, and, when the idea is carried out well, it must be acknowledged that the effect is a decidedly beautiful one. For such a colour scheme a vivid rose is undoubtedly a good choice. There are so many exquisite flowers, which seem to run riot in the entire gamut of rose and crimson, that one cannot do better than follow the wonders of Nature's art when thinking out an artistic scheme, and keep to her handiwork as closely as possible. We strive for the ideal in colour. For instance. sweet-peas are now grown in marvellous shades of rose. They are admittedly unrivalled as floral decorations for the table. Therefore., follow out their variations of colouring for your pink table-centre.

For the one-colour scheme a very beautiful table-centre can be made by selecting a rather dull "Roman" satin for the background of the embroidery. Have a good bold design of marguerites stamped all over the satin square. Select a rich shade of rose-pink filoselle, and choose some rose-pink "mallard" floss, about two shades lighter. Outline the marguerites in stem-stitch, using the filoselle. Each stitch should be taken in a slanting direction; it almost gives the impression of a cord when worked evenly. The centres of the flowers must be embroidered thickly with "French knots," but the petals of the flowers should be left bare, to show the sheen of the ivory satin. This is a most effective note when the work is completed. The entire background should be filled in solidly with the "satin" stitch. Six stitches are worked horizontally, then six stitches

Shaded rose pink ribbon worked into blossoms and buds on white muslin. The stems are embroidered, the leaves of ribbon

Shaded rose-pink ribbon worked into blossoms and buds on white muslin. The stems are embroidered, the leaves of ribbon

Pale yellow poppies painted on fine muslin, which is edged with Valenciennes insertion.

Pale yellow poppies painted on fine muslin, which is edged with Valenciennes insertion. Round .able-centres are much used embroidered parallel. This gives a pretty chequered design. The same idea can be worked out successfully in two shades of mauve, green, or yellow; but the palm must be given to the rose-coloured scheme.

Another beautiful idea is to work a fairly wide ribbon on to a white muslin table-centre. For this take a shaded rose-pink ribbon, and work it rather loosely into large roses, which look very exquisite, as they have a raised effect, and give the impression of the actual growing flowers. The leaves are worked in shaded green ribbon. Embroider the stems in the chain-stitch, which is worked by taking a stitch down, and, before the needle is brought out of the muslin, bringing the filoselle forward under the point of the needle.

Muslin is really a very beautiful fabric for making into table-centres, it being so delicate and transparent. Muslin is also particularly beautiful when paint and brushes are used in the place of needle and silk.

Round dinner-tables are so much in request that it is well to discuss the possibilities of round table-centres. A very pretty one was made of fine muslin, edged with a dainty Valenciennes insertion in a circular medallion design. Very pale yellow poppies had been painted on to this in water-colours, and real poppies were scattered in masses around the table-centre.

Another hand-painted muslin table-centre was made of a square piece of book muslin, bordered with an exquisitely fine lace insertion of a light butterfly design. Sweet-peas in their, natural colours were painted in masses over the entire fabric, and the effect was certainly very charming.

For those who prefer embroidered transparent table-centres, gauze presents unlimited charms. It must, however, be mentioned that embroidery on gauze tries the patience of even the skilful needlewoman. But, as may be imagined from its fairy-like qualities, the result more than compensates one for all the trouble which has been expended. A bold design of nasturtiums embroidered in satin-stitch, in their own colouring, requires a very formidable rival to equal it for originality and beauty. Nasturtium leaves and their tendrils also lend themselves perfectly to an artistic decorative scheme for embroidery. Pansies, too, worked in soft velvety shades of mauve, look wonderfully well on gauze.

The gauze table-centre should be finished off with a buttonhole-stitch all around. Choose for this an ivory shade of filoselle. Lace insertion does not seem to lend itself to gauze so perfectly as it does to muslin.

Some hostesses prefer a simple white linen table-centre, embroidered profusely in a conventional design with satin-stitch. White mallard floss or filoselle are successful silks for this work. Four silver vases, containing delicate maidenhair fern, should be used at each corner, and a set of antique silver dessert spoons on the table-centre makes a pretty, refined adornment. Fine white linen table-centres are certainly attractive, for they can be embroidered in such a manner as to become actual works of art. And,

Pansies worked in soft shades of mauve

Pansies worked in soft shades of mauve. Finish the gauze with buttonhole-stitching in ivorv filoselle another point in their favour for everyday use is the fact that they wash so well. Care should be taken that "washing" silks with "fast" colours are used for their embellishment.

A very pretty idea for a linen table-centre is a design of large butterflies, worked in satin-stitch in various soft colourings. When the embroidery is completed, the linen at the outside is cut neatly away from the butterflies with a sharp pair of scissors. The butter-then rest on the delicate white napery of the tablecloth in a charmingly effective manner.

A quaint and original idea for a table-centre is to procure two squares of satin of the same size, one of ivory satin, the other of a shade of green. Fold the green satin into four. Take a pair of scissors, and cut it at will into a fantastic shape, cutting some of the satin away altogether, leaving the four sides intact. Unfold this, and place it over the white satin, and tack it down. The white satin will show through the green satin in the places where it has been cut out. This forms a sort of fretwork of satin, and gives a quaint Japanese appearance. Then buttonhole the fantastically cut green satin on to its background of white in pale gold silk, and outline this in stem-stitch in black filoselle. Such a

A quaint effect obtained by cutting out green satin in a fantastic design and laying it over a white satin background

A quaint effect obtained by cutting out green satin in a fantastic design and laying it over a white satin background. The edges must be finished with satin-stitch in black, and the square edges with gold braid table-centre should be finished off with a good dull gold braid, about an inch wide. It can be made more elaborate by working Japanese characters upon it. if desired; but it is a fine piece of work without this addition.

Lace table - Centres are also useful. They are very effective made of braid lace. One very beautiful specimen was composed of exquisitely fine Irish crochet. This table-centre had a set of dessert d'oyleys of Irish crochet en suite. There is a great charm about lace table-centres, so filmy and dainty are they; whilst their appearance can be constantly varied by laying them over satin of various colours.

The charms of artistic table-centres are indeed diverse, and they allow of ample choice. A fascinating field of exploration lies before those who desire to become collectors of these charming adjuncts for the glorification of the modern dinner-table.