Sunday, 30 March 2014

Vintage fair and Market on Saturday...... All the links, news and pictures of my purchases/more vintage paisley!!

Good Morning all

As my regular readers will know I set off to a stunning village in North East Hampshire named Hartley Wintney.  The village is beautiful.  My lovely friend and neighbour who died this year actually used to live there with his wife and children, so it was a lovely day for many reasons. ( He used to work for J P Coates for over 50 years)

The vintage textile and vintage goodies event was held in Victoria Halls.  There was good parking and people coming and going.  Inside was an Aladdin's cave of beautiful stalls to tempt you.  Also there was a lovely vintage cafe inside selling homemade cakes and freshly made sandwiches to order along with Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and soft drinks.  All of the cups, sauces, plates and cutlery were vintage and lots of tables spaced apart to sit.

There were some great stalls and I met some amazing like minded people who understood my needs and also must have attitude!!

The first person I met was a lovely lady called Michelle and this lady, with her husband who drives her around, goes from vintage fair and markets to vintage fair and market all across the UK.  Michelle writes a weekly news letter and takes photo's of the events that she attends weekly.  The  Michelle is on Twitter ( search for The Vintage Girlie) and she also has a page on facebook search the vintage girlie and read her news letter,  I think it is wonderful, Michelle has over 7,000 readers of her vintage news and keeps you up to date on forth coming events and also covers the events with a news letter and photo's.

Now wandering around ( actually I was probably not that sedate!) I found Liz and Jack, Liz was the lady that I bought the 3 meters of the 1930's paisley from, guess what... she had the same amount again, it was her last of that amount...... Yes I did, I bought it! Along with another stunning couple of meters of delicious fabric and some mother of pearl buttons!!

I also bought some other fabrics that are awesome and vintage trims, lace and yes J P Coates threads.... very fitting in that village I thought.

We spent 3 hours in the fair and it was not only fruitful for my business but to meet with such wonderful people who all have a passion for vintage was such a joy.

To get an in depth look at the show take a look at Michelle's vintage news letter and all the photo's. Michelle will be loading her news letter today.

I also collected a handful of leaflets on up and coming events and that is something you will see on Michelle's news letter.

Well I have lots of washing and pressing of fabric to do, but it is not a chore... I love doing it.  I also love sorting my beautiful dresser out in my kitchen with all my vintage and newer china on and other little bits ( vintage cutlery and sugar tongs etc)  I bought something for that as well... I couldn't help it!!!

Look at that stunning pile of goodies!!

The jug cover and vintage coasters for my dresser!

pieces of vintage quilt, mother of pearl buttons and some vintage paisley.

YES! 3 meters of that fab paisley again plus buttons and some stunning fabric from Liz and Jack!
Thank you Liz ( how you can part with it, I do not know, but I am pleased you can!)

More stunning fabrics, can you believe and more vintage carved mother of pearl buttons.

Two lovely plates ready to be made into a bon bon plate!

I know! ... it takes your breath away!

A beautiful selection of vintage hankies, earmarked for a personal project for our home.

Thank you to all who made my business buying, a day out as well.  See you all at the next one.

I hope you have all enjoyed today's blog and Happy Stitching!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Happy Mothers Day!

Good morning

I would just like to wish both of my mums a lovely day today.

Thank you for all your help and support and for lots of laughs as well.

Happy Mothers day to all mums around the world, it is a very hard job with no training but worth while....  Put your feet up and enjoy today, whatever your family has planned for you.

If you can not be with your mum today or you are a mum who can not be with her family today for what ever reason, then enjoy your day peacefully and smile at all your lovely memories.....

  he vintage fair was amazing yesterday.  Read blog tomorrow for detail.  OH! the fabric I bought and a surprise!!!.... You will never guess.

Another vintage textile fair.... what treasures lay in wait.

Happy Saturday!

Well today I am off to another vintage textile fair ! It is in Hartley Wintney in Hampshire.

I am am very excited as to what I might find, remember last month that three meter length of paisley 1930's fabric? miracles still happen !  So I have my cash ready and I can not wait.

I did a little inventory of fabrics, linens, lace/ribbons and buttons to see what I have.  I have also been very organised in the fact that I looked at my design book to see the little notes in the margins.  This is where I scribble ideas of colours of fabrics and patterns that I think may work.  So today I have my little wish list as well.....

I will let you know what I find and upload some pictures next week.

Have a wonderful weekend whatever you are doing.....

Happy Stitching!

needle and thread feeds the soul.......

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Buying vintage fabrics


I thought today I would talk about buying and collecting vintage fabrics for using to make beautiful things for your home.

When buying vintage fabrics you should look them over carefully if you are at a textile fayre.  Make sure of the condition of what you are looking at.  It is well to remember unless you are buying a piece of fabric that has never been used, which is getting more and more difficult, that some battle scars are inevitable.

If the fabric is very delicate then you can use it to applique a picture for your home, using scraps and also knowing it will be behind glass and protected.  I would suggest that if you are cushion making then your base of the cushion should be good quality vintage linen which is strong and then simply embellish it with scraps of fabrics and use vintage buttons and embroidery to make the design.

You can also buy vintage fabrics on line such as Ebay.  There you need to look at the photos that are supplied and also the description.  Do not be afraid to ask the seller about the condition of the fabric that you are looking at and also the age.  Most people selling vintage fabrics on Ebay are doing it as a living and really should know their stuff.  If you are not happy about something then walk away.  The other thing to be careful of on Ebay is not to get carried away with the bidding.  Decide what you want to pay for something and stop at that.

The other place I know of on line is Rag Rescue and is run by a knowledgeable lady named Sandie.  Her fabrics are washed and pressed and come in little bags and she can tell you approximate age of fabrics and whether or not they are French or English etc.  Find Rag Rescue on google.

Rag Rescue also sell rag bags, bits of fabrics all of the same sort of colour palette and that makes it easy to choose.  You can cut out applique shapes to sew on or cover buttons with the contents.  This website is well worth a look at.

I personally buy from Rag Rescue and also some people from Ebay, but my favourite time is rummaging at a textile fayre.......

If you do buy from a textile event then you more that likely need to wash and press your fabric.  I have a little bottle of rose smelling delicate fabric wash.  I put a little in a bowl and pop my fabric in and swish it about.  Do not forget to rinse very well.  You will be amazed at the colour of the water!
Press very carefully and put a clean cloth over the top to protect your precious fabric underneath....

I store all my fabrics in a set of drawers and wrap and label each one in tissue paper.  Also I put a cedar block in the drawer for moths.  Not that my fabric stays in there very long as I make things for my business to sell and for magazine work.

I hope you have enjoyed this today and found it both interesting and helpful.  Email me if you would like to know anything and I will answer you and try and help or leave a comment.

A heart pin cushion made by a WW1 soldier.  They would send them home to their sweethearts.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Changi quilts

Good morning

Today I wanted to show you one of four quilts made by women prisoners of the second world war. A lady named Ethel Mulvaney got ladies to make patches for quilts with a little of themselves attached.   They were sent as quilts to military hospitals to sick men but actually had secret codes hidden in them. One such code told a husband that his wife had given birth.

One quilt hangs in the Red Cross museum in London and two are in the Australian war museum.  The forth quilt was given to the Imperial war museum and was given by the daughter of Mrs Innis after she died.  It is named  the girl guide quilt. A remarkable woman named Mrs Ennis started a guide group for the children who were in the camp and they would meet once a week to break up the boredom  for them and take their minds off of the horrors they witnessed.  Those children started that hexagon quilt. They would unpick clothes they had that were falling apart and re use the thread.  20 girls made the quilt as a Birthday present for Mrs Innis and each girl embroidered her name in the middle of each hexagon.

These quilts are stunning and have so much history and a little of every woman who stitched them is attached to the quilt squares.  The cleverness of Ethel for thinking of this idea was amazing. And the 20 children who risked being punished who sat and stitched the quilt for the lady who inspired them and taught them the constellations.

Have a google and see for yourself the work and souls of these courageous women and children.

Have a wonderful day and Happy Stitching.....

Exciting News....... sneak preview...

Good morning all

I have decided to be naughty and give you a sneak preview of one of my NEW design needle cases
made from vintage quilt pieces with heart yo yo with carved mother of pearl buttons and hand stamped design on each.  There are five in the series.

Each one has a stitching saying and a different hand stamped design..... These will be featured later in the year in a magazine.  They are exclusive to Homespun Stitchworks.....

They are useful and very pretty, I am very pleased with them.

What do you think?.... let me know.

Have a wonderful day and Happy Stitching .......

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Country Living show goodies

Good morning

Well today apart from fighting a dreadful cold and cough that will not go away I am going to be doing some hand embroidery.

Firstly I am going to show you some of the bits I picked up at the show last Friday.

I wandered about looking for vintage goodies, some stall holders make from vintage fabrics as I do and when a project is finished they sometimes sell little packs of bits and bobs and also some good size pieces of vintage fabrics too.

My first find was some stunning vintage ticking and a whole reel of vintage cream silk ribbon, 18 meters of the beauty...... It had to come home

So I have the ribbon ear marked for Wedding and Baby samplers of the future, it is in great condition and was made all those years ago in Switzerland.

Next was three packs of vintage bits and bobs, buttons, lace, crochet bits, embroidery cuts, ribbons and all sorts of goodies to attach to future projects.....

As you can see some adorable bits and bobs to adorn some samplers and other ideas.

Then I wandered to Mandy Shaw as I told you yesterday and I bought some stunning felt from her.  I thought some different colours inside my needle cases would be nice.  Her felt is pure wool as well and very good soft quality......

Then after our lovely chat I said goodbye to Mandy and went around a few more stalls near her and found a lady selling fabric paints dyed with natural things and some hand carved stencils made in India out of wood and they are treated with olive oil.... All you need to do is iron over your design  to make it permanent and you can put them on any fabric.  Make tea towels or on ribbons or designs for wall hangings.....

So I will be giving this ago and think I may do a table cloth for Christmas ??

Then it's the goody bag made from fabric and there was all sorts inside including some green and blacks chocolate, a magazine, body lotion, a jar of piccalilli made by the truckle company, a show guide which is normally £3, hand lotion, Eco liquid, 3 meters of Jane Mears ribbon and lots more!

I also bought a few presents for people for Christmas there!! yes I know but when you see it and it is not on the high street, then you must snap it up......  I have a lot of arty friends and family who love bespoke and handmade goodies.......

I left the show to meet my Husband and we wandered slowly along the Thames back to Waterloo station.  Along the way we saw the Globe Theatre, which is amazing and almost breath taking.  We also saw the Golden Hinde galleon which was Sir Francis Drakes ship.

We continued along the river and went to borough market where they had the most amazing selection of tomatoes that you can imagine, all on the vine and the smell was wonderful, well a few bundles of all colours had to come home with us as we both enjoy a tom salad.  We also bought some olives that are the size  of 6 normal olives put together!! we bought a few more bits and then set off to Waterloo, where we had our evening meal before we set off back to Bournemouth.

All in all it was such an amazing day!

  The Globe

The Golden Hinde

Borough Market ....

Well I hope you have all enjoyed sharing my day out in London and I hope you all 
have a wonderful day to day..... 
Happy Stitching......

Monday, 24 March 2014

Spring Country Living show 2014......

Good morning all

Well as you know I went to London last Friday to the Spring Country Living show.  I enjoyed it thoroughly but was disappointed that a few very prominent people who would normally have a stall, in fact did not.  I believe they are now only doing the Christmas one.

Never the less there were some very talented people at the show and some great speakers and some wonderful demonstrations by some well known people.

I met Mandy Shaw and had a great 20 minute conversation with her about her work and about writing craft books and lots more.  This lady is adorable and very passionate about her designs and what she does.  She has written six books and there is another one coming out later this year too.

The show was busy and bustling and there was some great talent there too.  Also I noticed that people have the bug to have a go themselves now.  Where as before they just wanted to buy something already made, they were buzzing about the fabric stall that was there and also looking at any fabric packs that some stall holders had for sale.....  Mandy Shaw is very passionate about that and wants to promote 'having a go yourself'.....

I had a VIP ticket and it was wonderful being able to sit and have a coffee of drink whenever you wanted and with no trouble with table space.  I was given a most lovely goody bag when I left too.

There was lots of beautiful handmade bits and bobs for Easter decorating for the home or different gifts for children besides chocolate....

I took a little video of the show from on one of the balconies for you to look at.

The day was wonderful and I picked up a few vintage treasures which I will share with you tomorrow.

All in all it was a wonderful day and with lots going on.  You can watch someone like Mandy Shaw demonstrate red work or learn how to make a bunny brooch and lots more.  If you have never been and can travel to London it is well worth the ticket.

These are a few snaps of Mandy Shaws stall and she gave me permission to put them on my blog for you to look at.  She was selling her books and also patterns and fabrics on her stall to make some of the things that she had displayed.  Her red work heart quilt is stunning and all HAND EMBROIDERED!!

This lady was wonderful and gave me some great advice with some of my up and coming projects in the literary world and some lovely encouragement too, it was a honour and a pleasure to have met her and her lovely daughter.

Mandy Shaw.....

Have a wonderful day and Happy Stitching.....
tomorrow have a look at some of my goodies that I bought back from the show and some snaps of London when my husband and I wandered by the Thames after the show.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

vintage fabric covered buttons.....

Good morning

This morning I wanted to show you all some buttons I have covered in vintage fabrics.  They look so lovely I think, and I am very happy with the outcome.

I am going to use a little of my precious paisley find (see previous posts) and I am going to cover some buttons in that as well for the back of a cushion cover I am making from vintage linen with embroidery and applique panel on the front.

It is very enjoyable, covering buttons, I love doing it and the results are fabulous if done with care.  It is wonderful to see such beautiful fabrics being used in this way....

You can stitch them on to cushions or applique pictures or Christmas stockings, which I did for my ice skate design last year.

I had the most amazing time at the show on Friday and will upload pictures of my finds and the show for you to see next week.... Don't miss it!

Anyway I must away....... Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Stitching !

Friday, 21 March 2014

London Country Living Show........ vintage all the way.

Good morning all

Well this is a very quick good morning to you all as I am off to London today for the Country Living show at the Islington business centre in London.

I have my bag packed and will be travelling by train to Waterloo station.

I have my lovely husband as my travelling companion, as he has some work to do there, but we can go and come home together which is great.

I am going to see a few old friends there, and also hunt for some vintage bits and bobs as some stall holders do sell packs of vintage scraps. It can be an expensive way to buy BUT if a pack has exceptional notions within it or fabrics it can be worth it.

I enjoy looking at talented peoples work and wandering around all the stalls.  I can then stop for a coffee and probably a nice cake!! I have a squeeky voice at the moment, and cough but that will not stop this lady..... not where this show is concerned!!!!

Have a wonderful weekend  and enjoy your day today.

Happy Stitching...... 

must not miss my train!!!!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

French General fabrics..... The best that new can get.

Good morning all

When working on my designs and picturing in my head what I would like the finished product to look like, I always go through the fabrics that I have and if I do not have them, what I need to purchase.

I adore vintage fabrics, as you know, but sometimes it is not always possible to use them.  If I am putting a pin cushion in a vintage kilner jar for example, then it would be fool hardy to use such delicate fabrics.  They could not take constant use of pins and needles in and out of the fabric.

So my choice is always French general fabrics.  The designs are stunning and so are the colours.  Kaari Meng who is responsible for the designs and the name is such a talented woman.  The designs are vintage in many cases and capture past times beautifully.

I adore her work and have a few of her books which give such inspiration and show great use of colour ways.

If you have never seen any of her fabrics, give it a quick google and up they all pop.  It can while away hours, so be warned!!

Today is one of those days that I have to look at my French general stash for some fabric on a design, I have to say I enjoy it thoroughly so I am away to my stashes with a smile on my face......

Have a great day stitching!

Kaari Meng ... founder of French General.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Vintage wool blankets ....... finds and stashes.

Good morning all

Today I am talking blankets, the vintage pure wool ones.  I use them as some of my bases on my journals and always cut my vintage Christmas stockings from them.

For the Christmas stockings I think it is important to have a robust fabric to stuff little gifts into.  I embroider, applique and generally embellish them before sewing the stocking together on my machine. It is important that the stitching is strong and I often go around twice.

I have a small collection of blankets and I am always on the lookout for cream ones or red.  Red is very hard to find but I did find one.  I have a lovely young lady by the name of Maizie, who in her holidays, from school, comes in to cut out Christmas stockings for me.  She enjoys learning things about stitchery and really enjoys working here with me for pocket money.  Maizie is now 14 and I am not sure how long I will have her for but I know she will be with me this summer holiday....

In addition to that she is extremely good at covering buttons with vintage fabrics and does not waste a scrap!

I am hunting down vintage blankets right now and always on the lookout, if they are in good condition they are robust and useful.  When I wash them I always dry them in the tumble dryer to felt them slightly, I think it suits my work very well.....

I have another vintage textile fair coming up so I will be on the lookout for some more blankets, I am already making my list.......

Have a lovely day and Happy Stitching !

Vintage cream blankets.....

Vintage Welsh blanket.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Vintage fabric bundles..... found at textile fair

Good morning...

With lots of stitching to do for publication and some for selling I am a very busy bee at the moment, and it is how I like it.

I bought some vintage fabric bundles back in February and will be using some of it in my Summer/Sea sampler......

I wish I had more drawer space because I would dearly love to have drawers for different colours, but alas it is not possible.  I really should not complain as I am lucky enough to have a room dedicated to my work and stitching room, plus I work from home, so I am very lucky.  The thing is some of my fabrics seem to be in organised chaos !

Never mind I am going to pop these lovely's away after being washed and pressed and dream of what they might become.

I am away to do that now and then to pick up my sewing........ Bliss !

Whatever you are doing today, enjoy yourself.

Happy Stitching......

Monday, 17 March 2014

Happy St Patrick's day

To all my lovely Irish friends and to all who celebrate today with such style..........

Vintage embroidery book find...... take a look it is wonderful.

Good morning

Today I thought you might like to see one of my vintage finds, this time a book.  It is called Dorset feather stitchery and was published in 1957.  It is not a rare book but neverless a treasure to me. I had a good read of it over the weekend.

I loved the style of writing in there, it's a good read and funny in places.  There is a section for 'suggestions for taking a Feather Stitchery Class'......
quote: keep your class under control, all working on the same stitch. Curb the fast or careless ones and take your timing from the medium group before moving on to the next stitch.  The late comers and slow workers must, alas, follow the best they can....

Can you imagine if you were running a class like that today? no one would come back!

Olivia Pass who wrote this book dedicates it to her sister, who, it says, has helped me all the time and who has staged for us and tidied up afterwards!

The patterns are made up of Feather and Buttonhole stitches, Chain Stitch and Lazy Daisy (fly stitch).... quote: with the skilful use of good designs, colour and surface over whipping, embroidery of originality and beauty can be achieved.

There are diagrams for blanket stitch, chain, closed feather, spine, double feather and wheatear stitch. This book is wonderful.

If you look at a pattern in the book, when it is stitched it looks like paisley fabric design...... one of my favourites as you all know.

I think there is some of these books on Amazon so have a look, it is a charming book and I believe beautiful patterns can be achieved.

Anyway I am off to have a little practice and will let you know the results.....

Have a wonderful day and Happy Stitching......

I can thoroughly recommend this book if you see one to purchase.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Happy Saturday and vintage stitchery...' New ' Garden Journal..

Good morning all

Well today I am going to do a little tidy up and sort through of my sewing room.  I have been rummaging alot over the last couple of weeks and things have got a bit untidy to say the least.  Everything is away but not very neatly!

So today I am going to tidy all of my fabric drawers and take a little inventory of stock as well.  In two weeks time I am off to another vintage fair for fabrics ( what will I find this time I wonder!) and so I must take stock and make sure of the room I have.

Yesterday I completed a garden journal that will be for sale.  I think it is rather shabby and chic and made from vintage blanket with antique French linen and a piece of vintage quilt.  I have hand embroidered a bird on there using French knots, running stitch, blanket stitch, chain stitch and cross stitch.  There is a very old carved mother of pearl button on there to hold the vintage silk ribbon tie...

I picked up a vintage embroidery book on my travels last month so I am going to cuddle up in a chair and have a little read this weekend too, I will let you know how it is......

I hope you all have a most wonderful weekend and enjoy the rest.

Happy Stitching....

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Vintage quilt panel find...... it's a beauty !

Hello and good morning.

Spring is very much in the air I believe and the delicate flowers that this time of year bring are blooming in my garden.  Some days it is warmer and others it is bitter with rain and wind, still those little delicate flowers prevail.....

When I went to the vintage fair and flea market in February I found a wonderful panel of old quilt.  It is hand quilted and the most beautiful colours...... This will have to remain as a panel, It would be a sacrifice to chop this up for anything.  It is a panel of beauty and I am not sure yet what will happen to it.  It could of course,  be a panel on a cushion ( but people leaning on it it would never do) but I think it will be framed and have some embellishments to make it into a picture...... watch this space.  The first thing today is to wash this beautiful panel and get it nice and clean.  I will keep you up to date on the progress........

The delicate creams and dark pinks are stunning, I think you will agree.

So today I will leave you with this little gem to look at, and me? well I am going to do some hand washing and then off to my inner sanctum of my stitching room and I think I might start the day with some sketches to include this beautiful find and then it will be some stitching for me.......

Enjoy your day and Happy Stitching......

Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces,  joy and sorrow,
stitched with love.......


My hare designs...... good luck and happiness.

Good morning

One of my favourite animals is the hare, I think they are stunningly beautiful creatures and they are very shy so it was with such joy that last year I saw a pair in a field jumping about.  It was on a spring day and my husband was driving so I was able to take in the wonderful countryside that we were travelling through.....

Since that time my love of these lovely animals has intensified and this year I am doing more with a new design that I have been playing with.

I am so excited about the designs and hope that others will be pleased with the outcome too! I will have to do a slight timetable as I have several pieces on the go....

I have a few hares about our home.  We have a brass one that lives in our lounge, staring up at the moon on the window sill  and a pottery one hand painted on to  a large ceramic tile that is in our kitchen.  In addition I have made a picture of one from fabric which you have all seen on one of my other posts.  They are supposed to bring happiness and peace to your home and thus far it's working well here.....

Have a great day stitching!

This is the beautiful tile in our kitchen.......

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Homespun Stitchworks News....... Exciting things a foot !

Good morning

Well today I continue on with some more designs that I have been working on, including a Christmas stocking design.... Yes it's true.

As I am so busy with magazine work and writing I am only taking a few orders this year so I want to get a few ready for anyone who might like one for their home.  It will be on a first come first served basis...

I am in the middle of building a web site to sell some of my vintage works and I will be selling vintage fabric packs to buy which will include buttons, lace, fabrics and ribbons as well as beautiful vintage china (dainty teacups and saucers and cake plates ) hand picked by myself ....

This means I am  coming off of  Etsy and opening my own little store on line........ With lots of new products and it will be very unique. It is a very exciting project and I am enjoying creating things to sell, on my new venture and creating a beautiful vintage shop to look around..

There will be discounts and news letters for my blog readers who have joined.   They will be the first to see new things that appear in my vintage shop and the blog will have a link to my little on line store for ease.

Join my blog and you will be able to get information about new vintage goodies.........

Well I am away to my stitching sanctum and wish you all a lovely day.....

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Competition Journal pictures!

Good Morning all

Well as you know I am running a competition at the moment and if one of you gets eight friends to join my blog then you go into a draw and the prize is a vintage kilner jar with pincushion top and a journal designed by me.....

The kilner jars you have seen on a previous blog but today I have loaded some pictures of the journal that goes with a jar.

The journal is hard back and has good quality plain paper inside.  The cover is from a vintage cream blanket.  There is fabrics cut out to depict a ink well and feather and there is very old vintage lace and vintage buttons and ribbons.......

Good luck to you all and get your friends to join us soon.........

Happy Stitching!!

A vintage cover with journal for all your scribblings !