Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Roses, Gingham and Vintage Damask


Freshly cut this evening with the rain droplets still on the petals.

Just one stem of this lovely pale creamy white climbing rose, delicately scented, so as to see the rest of the blooms flowering above and peeping through the large dark green laurel at the bottom of the garden.

This time of year my garden has pockets of beauty and colour, but doesn't look as good over all as it does in late Spring with all the bright azaleas and rhodedendrons flowering profusely - I need to work on putting more in for this time of year, plugging the gaps, buying flowers and plants in flower so I can see what looks good where. Each year I add a few more.

Last year I added a couple of new roses to the front garden from a local nursery.

One was "Blue for You", a beautiful lilacy blue floribunda rose.

Here it is a week or so later, some blooms past their best but still beautiful.....more faded....the light must have been different too as it looks much more lilacy here.

The other was this gorgeous David Austin rose "Noble Anthony". Its only just started to flower so not many photos yet, but it is rather gorgeous.

More photos of what's flowering in the front garden, taken over the last couple of weeks......

I always love these Rose "Ballerina" - I had them in my last garden and was so pleased to find them here too. Above, a couple of weeks a go - below, a day or too ago, so now in full bloom.

The deep crimson peonies are over now, and they have been glorious this year, but once the rain and wind comes they suddenly drop all their petals


A couple of years ago I planted two Cistus. I can't remember which variety, but I have always had these in my gardens as I just love the bright pink papery flowers, that only last a day or so, against the soft greyish green foliage.

Campanula Glomerata - another usually reliable favourite of mine, although the one's in the back garden have not appeared this year - maybe overzealous weeding at some point? 

Will have to move some back round from the front garden.


Regular visitors to my blog will know that I have been dabbling with a type of embroidery on gingham called Chicken Scratch  (see this post and my last post here ).............

..............which is a form of embroidery on gingham practised by women in America earlier in the 20th century.

At the flea market last week I came across some examples of the English version of embroidery on gingham in the earlier half of the 20th century.

Much simpler but still decorative in a different way.

Both these are worked in quite large stitches on large squared gingham,( 1/2" squares).

I like this hemming stitch below - might have a go at this. But it seems, from these examples, that the English version uses ordinary embroidery stitches whereas the American version seems to have its own named stitches for embroidering on gingham.

But I have only briefly looked into this, using only two or three sources, and when I have time I will look into it more.

Both of these pieces are small square tablecloths for tea, and are rather sweet.

Apart from the odd gingham apron, these are the first examples I have found since I have been buying vintage fabrics. I shall keep a look out now for more examples.

Vintage Damask

On the cushion front, I have finished off two more works-in-progress.

The cushion above I started a year or so ago, after finding this lovely vintage print. I teamed it with a lovely delicate and timeworn beautiful damask, and then came to a halt as I got caught up in the next thing I had an urge to make.

But the fabric is so pretty, and I have wanted to finish it so today I did. I lined the front then added a back of more vintage white damask, and trimmed it with a beautiful wide edge of fine vintage crochet.

It has an Oxford edge with two rows of stitching for added detail (not that you can see it in the photos!)

Also a few days ago I finished off this vintage sheet cushion by adding an Oxford edge, again with the double row of stitches in a contrast pink on the natural linen. Again you can't see this in the photos, but I like to add small details and finishing touches like this that show when you see it in person.

Both of these cushions are now available here in my shop.

Thank you all for your lovely comments on my last post. As you can probably tell, I'm on a bit of a roll with the cushion making at the moment so I'm sorry you've had to see even more today, and no doubt there'll be more to come! 

I'm pleased to say (well truthfully I'm a little sad to see it go! ) that the recycled work shirts patchwork and quilted cushion shown in my last post is now winging its way across the ocean to its new home in the United States.

Lastly, just before I go and whilst we're on the subject of patchwork, Bella and I have been playing around with patchwork of a different kind today - let me show you a quick peek.

 We used old Boden and Next catalogues to cut up pictures of fabrics to decoupage a useful shoe box, so no costly special decoupage papers, just some thrifty recycling!

Hope you all have a great week wherever you are!


  1. Wow and Wow! So much beauty here Gill I can hardly take it in! Your garden is such a wonderful treat and I especially love the 'blue for you' rose - look at that colour!
    I never tire of seeing your gorgeous cushions and embroidery - please keep them coming - your talent and imagination are amazing - I love the extra thought and work that you put into them!
    Thank you so much for sharing your titbits and cheering me up on a day that for me is definitely winter - the lashing rain can't seem to stop! xoJoy

  2. You have the prettiest flowers! I think id be outside just staring at them all the time. Lovely

  3. Thank you for beautiful photographs.

  4. Your garden is looking beautiful, so much colour and lovely roses!! I hope that your cushions all do really well as they are lovely. xx

  5. Stunning, truly beautiful garden, the "blue for you" floribunda rose is a delight I have never come across that one before. As always the cushions are an amazing sight, beautiful. Have a great week.

  6. Your garden looks so beautiful, you are making me wish for some more plants. We are planning a trip to David Austins Rose garden in the next couple of months so no doubt that will include a purchase or five.

  7. I LOVE your garden!!
    x Margriet

  8. Your garden is looking lovely Gill, I love that blue rose!:)
    I remember in primary school, embroidering on gingham, I just had a little flashback looking at your photos!!
    Amazing cushions as always. :)
    V x

  9. I think I'm quite new to the rose party. When the children were younger I used to steer a bit clear (thorns in eyes scenarios, etc) but now they're older, I'm dreaming of a garden full of different colour roses. I just love the plummy colour of your Blue For You.

    Gorgeous cushions too, Gill - there's something about the combination of natural linen and a pretty print which always attracts me like a magnet. The little puffs are a wonderful addition and, yes, it's those little touches which make handmade a squillion times better than mass-produced any day of the week.

    Have a lovely week.


  10. Isnt it the best time of year?
    Is that fuchsia hawkshead?
    I have 5 cuttings which I bought on ebay!!!
    Cannot wait for it to grow big enough to bloom!
    ps I love filling in the gaps with new friends :O)

  11. Roses. Peonies and vintage fabric cushions, 3 of my favourite things. I can almost feel a Julie Andrews song coming on. And that lovely simple early embroidery on the gingham is gorgeous, it reminds me of the work we did as children in school. I don't suppose that happens any more.

    Jean xx

  12. My goodness so much beauty packed into this post! The flowers are incredible, I can almost smell the roses! And your embroidery is so charming! Chrissie x

  13. Such a delightful post to read and gaze at :-)
    Tracey xxx

  14. Your flowers are so beautiful, I love the roses especially. Love the new gingham embroidered pieces you found and your own embroidery is really pretty!
    Helen xox

  15. Love your chicken scratch embroidery, it's on my list of things that I'd love to do but don't really have time for!! Beautiful cushion too, I do love a bit of vintage fabric :)
    Lovely blog, I will visit again soon! xx

  16. That's my kind of crafting. Cutting and gluing, And you've made something so useful too.
    Love the photos of your garden flowers.
    My dad loved roses and his name was Anthony, although he hated it and was called Tony by everyone.
    Lisa x

  17. Oh my goodness, your world is so pretty :)

  18. The flowers in your garden are all looking lovely, I especially like the Campanula glomerata. How lovely that you found some vintage chicken scratch, your own is especially pretty though. Love the vintage print cushion. Have a great weekend.
    Jane xx


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