Thursday, 20 March 2014

Small stitches

Yesterday was mostly a sewing day for me, finishing off cushion fronts ready for making into cushion covers to put into my Etsy shop. These I made a while ago from some pretty 1930's repro fabrics and white cotton, and have been waiting to have simple hearts embroidered in the white patches.

I have also finished constructing the little bunch of fabric flowers cushion front entirely by hand using some beautiful vintage white linen, so this will be a cushion for our home. I often make things completely by hand, it makes me feel in touch with the history of sewing, with women in the past who had no choice but to construct everything by hand, when all seams would have been hand sewn with tiny neat stitches before the advent of the sewing machine.

When I was in my 20's I made several pretty cotton nightdresses, full length ones with lace trimmed bodices and narrow straps, completely by hand. It didn't take as long as you might think, and there is something very peaceful, simple and so very satisfying to the soul (to mine anyway) to see a garment take shape in your hands, held together by your own small stitches. My stitches aren't as tiny and neat as those that would have been sewn in the past, but they are small stitches that do the job. 

Those nightdresses are as good as the day they were made, after many years of washing and wearing.

I did a lot of sewing in of ends for the back of the crochet blanket yesterday too, which is now nearing the point where I can crochet the edge and it will be finished.

Also on the yarny front, I was a very lucky giveaway winner of some hand dyed yarn! 

The gorgeous multi-coloured yarn you have seen photos of in this post was hand coloured by the very talented Bev at Dinkyflowerpots 

Do go and visit her blog as she is currently experimenting with dying and colouring yarn, and as well as using acrylic paints (yes, that is how she did this!) she is also experimenting with natural plant dyes.

This gorgeous yarn came wrapped and tied with yarn she had dyed with turmeric.

 It is the most lovely rich golden yellow colour. I'm pretty sure she won't stop there, so keep an eye on what else Bev does!

I can't wait to try it out, but first I must finish "the blanket" and also make up the cushions, and then I'm free to make something with the multi-coloured yarn.

But what?  What shall I make? Any ideas?
There is a generous 100g there I think although it looks and feels more. I kind of have a hankering for a simple, one large granny square cushion front, as it would show off the different colours.

Or a small basket. They are always useful for carrying around bits and bobs for sewing projects. Yes, similar to this one that I made a few years ago from string. That might look good, maybe with a contrast colour top, and it would show off the yarn.

Hmm, what do you think?

But I would love to hear your ideas!

Many thanks for all your comments in my last few posts, and welcome to my new followers!

The sun is out today, the pink camellia has lots of open flowers on it now and looks lovely, so a long walk through the orchards and fields first with the dog ( a good 3 mile round trip), then a spell working in the greenhouse and garden, and in between that and the chores, I will sew in a few more ends on "the blanket".

Hope you have a great day wherever you are.


  1. I love your cushion fronts. Just so very pretty. and lucky you for winning that yarn! Cannot wait to see what you do with it!

    Have a super day!

    Vanessa xxx

  2. Your hand stitching is beautiful Gill!
    What a lucky win, the yarn is gorgeous and yes a crochet cushion front would be lovely, I think you need to use the yarn continuously to get the full effect of the dyeing!
    Enjoy your day, we have rain sadly,
    V cx

  3. Your cushions and blanket are looking lovely!!! Hope that you have a good day with all of your different endeavours! I know what you mean about the hand sewing, although I don't sew clothes, and would use a machine if I did, I do like to hand sew little things and it is a very peaceful occupation! xx

  4. Your stitching is simply beautiful, Gill. The fabrics, the floss, all the colours are sublime, and the hearts are perfect! I completely agree with you, there is something so grounding, soothing, meditative (choose any or all the above words) to hand stitching, perhaps that is why I'm enjoying learning about embroidery so much. Thank you for sharing your creations, they are inspiring! And as for that beautiful yarn, a cushion cover would be lovely, but a lacy, open scarf or shawl might showcase the different colours nicely, many patterns and ideas to choose from! Chrissie x

  5. You always are doing such beautiful crafts!! Your hand stitching is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your beautiful projects!!

  6. You are very busy Gill, and producing lovely goodies - I think the yarn would make up so nicely as a cushion front, or maybe a bag? Perhaps there wouldn't be enough for that, but that basket you made does look very nice so another of those would really show off the colours I think!
    Your stitching is lovely and how nice that your hand stitched nighties are still going strong. I hope you enjoyed your nature walk, how nice that the sun is shining for you! Joy xo

  7. Everything is "sew" pretty! I especially like the cover on your ottoman! Did you make that too? Have a lovely weekend!

  8. Hi Gill, your cushion fronts with the hand sewn hearts are very pretty. I agree, I love hand sewing, it is so very relaxing. I too look forward to seeing what you create with that beautiful yarn. Sarah xo

  9. Good Morning and Happy Spring. Your work is so inspiring. You do the simplest stitches, like the heart and the bird and they are beyond perfect. Seems like I over do things and then wonder why I don't get that sweet innocence in my work at you seem to get in each piece. You know how to pick the perfect colors, the perfect amount of stitches, the perfect combinations . . . Your work is "Perfectly Divine". I love everything you make. You're a true artist :)
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)

  10. Baby blanket is looking lovely and congrats on winning that yarn, it's so pretty. I love the mixture of embroidery and patchwork on your cushion panels - superb. Have a lovely weekend.
    Jane xx

  11. Such a pretty and fresh breezy springy post. I love your new header.
    Your new cushion covers are so lovely.
    Lisa x

  12. I love your cushions. I find hand sewing very relaxing and it sounds like you did to.
    Anne xx

  13. Love all your small stitches today, Gill, and your giveaway gift of colourfully dyed yarn is such a treat! I look forward to seeing what you make with it....I really love the crochet bowl in your photo, and that would look so pretty in the variegated yarn :)
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
    Helen xox

  14. Wow Gill! Thanks for all the lovely things you have said about the yarn! I think it looks it looks really great on your blog :) :) :) :) - it's so weird to see and read other people's thoughts on something that I have made. Doesn't it go well with that nice flowery does the turmeric string!
    You certainly have those small stitches down to a fine art. I would be needing my big glasses and a good light for working anything that detailed these days. I need to get the sewing machine going again too. There are so many things that I want to be doing.
    Enjoy the yarn :)
    B x

  15. I agree with you about "handwork" of any brings me peace and a feeling of stepping back in time. The most enjoyable hand sewing I did was hand quilting a little doll quilt and then I really enjoy my hand stitched wool applique.
    The yarn you received is gorgeous. I was thinking a shawl as I just got done visiting Susan B. Anderson's blog where she did a similar skein of many colors in Martina Behm's Brickless pattern (all are on Ravelry). I'm not even a shawl person and I "faved" it as it was so pretty and looks easy and Susan said she loved working the pattern. Anyway, just a thought. No matter what it will be gorgeous in that yarn! Happy Spring to's here now too and flowers are blooming and I need to mow also! LOL! TTYL!

  16. What a beautiful post with such stunning pictures. I love a bit of hand stitching too, I feel inspired after my visit to your gorgeous blog!


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x