Monday, 2 November 2015

Threads for inspiration

I love the colours of these threads which I have loosely grouped in pairs - each pair having an intense version and a paler version of a similar shade.

They are grouped together, on my favourite cane chair in our conservatory - the chair being covered by three of my favourite vintage cloths, each edged with a lovely hand-crocheted lace - inspiration indeed!!

I thought something simple in shape and vaguely retro in design would be in keeping with these colours. I added some felt and some flocked furnishing fabric to my collection of materials:

I cut my favourite pouch-shaped purse pieces, including this time a flap lining, from the fabric. The felt was cut into bookmark panels and the corners rounded to make blanket stitching easier.

I began with some purses - two with a rose motif and two with roses:

Stitching the purses was a little wearing on my fingers so I moved on to the softer felt of the bookmarks. I began with the daisy motif and liked the result so much I decided to use this for all the bookmarks:

Having added matching ribbon tails these first six have been completed:

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

County Durham - Barnard Castle

I am just back from a lovely ten days staying at a campsite at Barnard Castle, which proved to be an excellent spot from which to have many lovely days out - mainly wearing walking boots and carrying cameras. There was so much inspiration for so many stitcheries. The next few posts will be an attempt to share these with you. Jotted down somewhat quickly, I don't intend to agonise too much of the wording of these posts or there will be no stitching time left!

The very pretty little town sits on a hilltop behind its ruined castle and spills down the hillside to the river crossing. Sitting slightly below the top of the hill, the huge castle is almost invisible from the main street, being 'hidden' behind the modest proportions of the Methodist Church. For us, there were two particularly notable shops - Wool Mouse (from which I purchased a hank of locally dyed wool and silk blend fine yarn in a lovely heather shade), and a fantastic proper 'old fashioned', in the best sense, hardware shop where we resisted the inevitable " for' 'andles " comment and marvelled at the enormous range of their stock whilst buying a fuel can. (Motorhome fuel gauge/range calculater being hugely optimistic up to the last gallon where both suddenly plumet to near zero - the only fuel station being at the top of the hill, the campsite being at the bottom .......... )

We walked to the town centre through a beautiful, largely un-managed woodland from the campsite. This photo doesn't do it justice

The first view of the castle is from a foot bridge crossing the river

Having crossed to the castle we emerged into the town centre at the top of Bank Street and popped back down to get some images - I always wish I could vanish the vehicles and street furniture but these shots will give me something to stitch from:

Between us we managed not to keep a shot of the market hall - unless its on my son's phone - I'll ask when he gets back from cycling. Meanwhile, I'm off to try some stitch sketches.

Here is a stitched sketch of Barnard Castle ( now listed at Folksy - click the image for details)

Monday, 19 January 2015

How do you like my Tea Cosy?

.... or perhaps I should say my 'ex' tea cosy.

Please excuse the inside of my light tent. This is half of a tea cosy cover from my vintage linen horde. It wasn't actually damaged in any way, so I felt a bit guilty cutting into it, but the old fashioned cosy (a padded but plain cosy - made pretty by the addition of an embroidered cover) doesn't seem a very practical item in my home. These cosies are a brilliant source of embroidery - they tend to be stitched on both sides.

Yesterday I listed a new type of bag in my Etsy shop (the flap cut from a vintage embroidered table runner):

This cosy has now provided the inspiration, and the flap, for a second:

The photo shows the main panels for this second bag. All (including the lining panels) are backed with fusible interfacing and the raw edges tacked under. A lining panel has been cut for the back of the bag consisting of a flap shape attached to the pouch shape of the body of the bag.The embroidered flap panel, and a blue toned outer back panel have been pinned to the lining panel as shown in the photo.The gusset is shown lining side outwards - it is pinned to an identical panel covered in the same blue toned floral fabric shown on the bag back panel. The lining panel for the front of the bag is shown. The bag front panel has been cut from a vintage cotton napkin chosen to match the colour of the tea cosy. Carefully choosing threads to match the colours of the cosy design as closely as possible, an embroidered design has been stitched around the base of the panel in the same style as that of the cosy.

The bag will now be assembled by hand. Each backed panel will be blanket stitched to the corresponding, backed, lining panel. The seams of the bag will then be formed by over-sewing through the blanket stitching.

It would be perfectly possible to draw a standard pattern and make a variety of these bags from new materials embroidered as I pleased. These bags are cut from patterns individually designed to make best use of each vintage embroidery. However, the inspiration derived from the varied vintage stitching is invaluable and I derive great pleasure from giving a new lease of life to someone's needlework. Fortunately, I have a very large stash of threads and fabrics and finding good matches is usually possible.

Hopefully, I should be able to show you the completed bag in a day or so!