Wednesday, 30 January 2013

So So Sewing




Or.... you win some, you lose some.........

I'm going through one of those phases where whatever I sew the end result is only "OK". No more than OK. No "hey, that's not bad,  I'm pretty pleased with that".......

It's frustrating when you know how you want something to look, but the final thing is a bit disapointing.

Take the bag.
Just wanted to make a vintage sheet bag in a simple shape I hadn't tried before. Reversible. And with a different front and back.
I even used a pattern from a pretty good book that I would have thought would have been reliable - no names no pack drill.
Yes, I know it could've done with some interlining, but even so the shape just didn't work anyway. It's "OK"ish but not how I thought it would be. And I had to alter the pattern to make it fit over my shoulder, it wasn't cut generously enough, so lots of faffing just for it to look "OK".

So now the search for a similar but better pattern - sigh.

And then a cushion.




The cushion is only "OK" too, but that's my fault - I was trying out smaller squares and machine quilting and didn't want to use "good" fabrics in case I spoilt it, so contented myself with using up scraps in colours I wouldn't normally choose, mainly vintage 70's and 80's, and guess what?

Surprise , surprise, it looks like something from the 70's that you'd find in a jumble sale for 50p!

Actually, I rather like the pretty cushion back fabric, and because of the colours I chose I meant it for my daughter's room (oh great, thanks Mum...........your rejects.......) as it would go well with the colours of her room.

And it does actually.

It's growing on me, the more I see it, and after all it was only a try out.

And she says she likes it - good, faithful daughter, lots and lots of brownie points!!!

Thank you, kind blogging friends, for visiting and leaving lovely comments - they make my day!
(especially when it's a "bad sewing" day!)

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Monday, 28 January 2013

A Country Walk





This weekend, after the rain and wind on Friday night which saw off the last of the lingering snow, the sun came out in our part of the world.

So we set off on what we knew would be a very wet and muddy walk - but with the warm sun on our faces, and blue sky above us, we didn't care.




Our first gloveless walk this year!


heaps of rejected apples piled up along the edge of a field - a sad sight


a rare sighting of a shy woodland creature amongst the trees

not sure what I was looking down at, but I expect it was Logan!

Despite the warmer temperatures over the weekend, and having looked at the detailed five day forecast for our neck of the woods and not having seen any of the nasty minus numbers, I was surprised to see this sight on my car this morning.

But how beautiful!


The sun is still bravely but rather weakly shining this morning now the frost has gone, but in a wishy washy whitish sky, so I'm not yet tempted out of doors into the garden.

Like Logan I shall stay indoors today, having done the school run, but not at quite so much leisure as Logan - look at those crossed paws, Mr Laid Back!


A long mental list of jobs to be done awaits me - not sure yet what I shall choose - I don't like to write a "to do" list any more as it seems to be the kiss of death for those jobs and they never get done - I would rather just get on with whatever needs doing at the moment, or as the weather dictates, or as the mood takes me, and stick to having a mental list - I know all too well what's to be done, but I don't like to see it in black and white if it's a job I'm not looking forward to!

Are you a list person?

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Saturday, 26 January 2013

Vintage Linens and Embroideries - 1

1. Cross-stitch and woven vintage mats

Yesterday I was lucky enough to pick up a HUGE shopping bag full of vintage linens, laces and embroideries from vintage linen dealer Heather at a local market.

I was as excited as a child in a sweet shop, sorting through gorgeous white work linen tablecloths, embroidered tray cloths, intricate crocheted edges and trims, and folk-style cross-stitched mats, a few scraps of vintage floral fabrics, and came away with a great bag full for a good price.

What was particularly exciting for me was a bag of unseen white linens and laces that Heather had bought on my behalf, knowing they were just my thing, and so when I got those home it was like Christmas!  Each item I pulled out the bag seemed prettier than the last, and there were a few surprises in the form of a very fine linen or cotton/lawn nightdress trimmed with lace, and a white work nightdress case or bag for storing stockings.

As there are so many lovely things that I think vintage and textile lovers out there will enjoy looking at, I shall spread the goodies out over several posts. 

I'll share with you the cross-stitch mats and woven mats in this post - most have a folk art feel to them, maybe embroidered in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and some I think may be European, maybe collected on holiday, or inspired by European folk art and embroidery.

Some of these have been embroidered by the same person I would think, as there is one design which comes up three times in different colour-ways. I'm not sure if they all belonged to the same person, but certainly some must have.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, and if anyone has any info on these type of cross-stitches then please feel free to share!

















Although at the moment I feel I wouldn't want to part with any of these as I shall enjoy looking at them for a while, and seeing if I can find a place for some of them in my home (the 50s style leaf runner (above) and the french knot roses cloth (below) are keepers I think!), as I have so many pieces now I will most probably make some of these available either through my Etsy shop or my blogshop.

Many of them are runners rather than mats, some are a little damaged with frayed edges where there shouldn't be, or the odd pulled thread, but most of them are in good condition.

Above all, the handmade pieces are a little snippet of social history, made with care and love by some unknown hand, in an unknown place and time.




As a footnote, I must just thank you all on behalf of Logan (who, as I type, is basking in some winter sunshine on the back of the sofa, whilst keeping an eagle eye on the occasional passer by)  who says he was thrilled to read all your lovely comments about his post.

He's asked me to add that he would be more than happy to do another post in the future.

A Huge "Welcome" to my new followers too!

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