Friday, 27 May 2011

Mending Sampler??

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.

Irene xxx

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??

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Blackbird Design Exchange 7

I must apologise first of all for the poor quality of these photos. I did remember to take them before I sent my exchange gift off, but I did not remember to check if they were good enough to publish - and in all honestly - they're not!!

Anyways, this is the design I chose to stitch for Laura in Mexico. It is Summer Stars from the new Stitcher's Journey booklet. I chose my own colours - mostly hand-dyed-threads from Vikki Clayton and expanded the design a little to allow for folds in the needle book.

As you can (only just) see, I also stitched an extra piece to include an over one star and details of the exchange which I folded down inside the top cover.
I must admit, I quite liked this closure.
Instead of a button and hedebo, I stitched the ribbon down inside the back of the needle case and then brought it forward to fasten the front fold down in a bow.
You can see that here in this opened out view.
I stitched a little scissor fob, again edged in tiny beads, to complete the gift.
A final view showing the batik fabric I choose to line the needle case and the woollen needle pages.
I have to say that I found in my stash this little length of ribbon which perfectly matched the colours I had chosen. I had, only the previous week, given my friend Anne a similar length of the ribbon for her stash.
So when she arrived I asked her for it back to finish the fob.
I tell you - I give with one hand and take with the other.

I have quite a bit to show and tell this week, so hopefully will be back before long with more witterings.
Thank you for your comments and welcome to my new followers. How nice it is to think that someone actually reads this!!!
Irene xxx
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Tuesday, 10 May 2011

BBD Exchange - gift from Mayte

 Just look at this pretty thing!

It is my exchange gift from Mayte which arrived this morning and I can't tell you how pleased I am with it.

Mayte tells me she was inspired by a design in the Honeysuckle Manor book. She has used a variegated thread to stitch it and added a beautiful hand-made pin too.
But look how clever and original this is.

The base is a vintage mould which Mayte had and is an idea I will definitely be copying!

The final photo shows the pin cushion sitting in its base with the pin and the lovely card which came with the gift.

Thank you so much Mayte. I will add it to my collection of treasures.

Thank you also Patti, who in spite of being unwell, managed to organise the exchange again this time.

Irene xxx

Friday, 6 May 2011

OK quickly - before I change it back again!

 I thought I would quickly show you the little ornament hangy tree thing with its Easter egg display before I change it back to some stitched ornaments on it again.

Pretty eggciting eh??

Oh come on!
I couldn't let the occasion go by without one little pun!
This is a sweet little pillow I bought from Danybrod.  Again - quite small, stitched over one, on I think a 28 or 30 count linen. I used the recommended colours mostly, only changing the browns on the rabbits for a variegated thread.

It is called 'Spring Rabbits' (only in French)
My final show and tell this morning is my version of Summer Stars from BBD's Stitcher's Journal. This is such a lovely simple design, I think I will be using it a lot. I chose my own colours, using Vikki Clayton's hand dyed threads. It is not terribly clear here, but the blue patterned background is the backing fabric. It is a really pretty batik print.
It seems that I can't see beyond over one stitching - so naturally - this is over one - on a cream 28 count linen. I finished the hanging ornament with iridescent beads which echoed the backing fabric.

Thank you again for calling in.
I appreciate your company and your comments.
Irene xxx
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