Many of you will know that I love a bit of scuffling around antique fairs and flea markets. Well I thought I would share my latest find with you. There are at least a million pictures here - most of them of my usual poor standard.
So.. this is number 1. A long view of what I think is a mending sampler.
And this is my first mistake - obviously I turned this around before uploading, but here it is on it's side. Why is that??
Anyway, moving right on, this shows four practise monograms. The C L is obvious - the rest less so, but one might be an F.
Here are some lines of different stitches, with variations. The colours are very bright - red, pale blue and bright blue on a white linen. This piece of evenweave linen has been joined on one side with what I think is called a French seam and on the other with an open seam.
Again this photo has turned over again. The bottom pic shows the right side with blue blanket stitch and 2 red rows of running stitch, but the top pic is the underneath side which shows that one row of the running stitches is actually a back stitch.
(How much easier this explanation would have been if the pictures had just stayed where I put them!)
Here are both sides of some darning stitches. The dense red one almost looks like a knitting stitch and may be some kind of needle lace as it doesn't show underneath at all, nor does the more conventional diagonal darning stitch.
I like this bit, although it's not showing too well. There is a scalloped edge with a blanket stitch which varies in size to follow the curve, much as you would see on a pillow case, and if you lift the edge, there are two of those old fabric/metal buttons with buttonholes.
This is the wrong side of a patch with another monogram. You can see that the cloth has been darned down in this bottom corner and then securely covered with a patch.
Throughout there are examples of hemming stitch and pulled stitch work. The whole thing is bound with a binding which is invisibly stitched.
A nice little find eh?
I am not sure how old it might be, but it has to have some age as nobody would bother to learn or practise mending like this now.
I, being of great age and wisdom, was taught to do some of this stuff in the 50's. I can certainly patch like that - I remember stitching on the spare material on the right side, and then cutting a cross to the corners on the wrong side, trimming and hemming in the excess, so I think it must be at least 50 or 60 years old.
I negotiated calmly and casually with the stall holder and got it for £10, all the while thinking 'Whatever you say, I'm going to buy it'.
I'm not sure what to do with it now though. If I leave it out on show it will get dusty over time, but it doesn't seem right for framing.
A good problem to have.
If you read all this - have a gold star - you deserve it.
PS Apropos of nothing - President Obama gave a speech to both Houses of Parliament here, in Westminster Hall. Westminster Hall was built in 1097 by the son of William the Conqueror. Now isn't that something??