Wednesday 30 April 2014

With this wonderful vintage paisley fabric.....

Good morning all

I have been staring at some stunning vintage paisley fabric that I bought at The vintage bazaar a couple weeks ago!  With its light green, duck egg, pink and beige colours......( one on the right)

I love it so much and today I am going to do a design with it as the star of the piece.....  I have a few idea's but I am going to keep sketching until I think it is just right for that particular fabric.  I will then go through my beautiful hand dyed shaker embroidery threads for just the right colours to enhance the design.... Today dear readers I am in vintage heaven my pure and utter utopia !!

When I finish here I will be sharpening my pencils and starting a new page in my design journal, probably a few pages to get it just so...........

I hope you all have a most wonderful day whatever you are doing and enjoy your stitching.

The vintage paisley in question is the one on the right of the picture!
It really is stunning is it not?

Happy Stitching Day !!!

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Vintage Summer begins....with vintage fairs and stitching projects!

Good morning all

Well we must not speak too loudly must we but here in England it looks like the summer is starting.
I will be doing my hanging baskets for the garden and get out the wooden garden furniture ready to eat Al Fresco and to be able to sit in the garden and do my hand embroidery and stitching.

I am being inspired by the flowers that are appearing, all the lovely daisies and all the bumble bees that are starting to buzzzzz busily around.  I feel a new design coming along.

Sometimes when I look into the sky at a white fluffy cloud passing by I see a shape in it and that sparks an idea for a design.... New and wonderful designs are all around us and they are inspiring me.... how about you?

I have an idea for a design and have been sketching and water colour painting in my journal.. I think it may be ready soon for me to have a play as to how to put this together.  I would like a few pairs of arms to stitch two projects together sometimes (although buying a top would be fun) It is just me at Homespun Stitchworks so I have to try and put things in order (and importance sometimes) commissions and magazine work has to be at the top and the other bits fight for the right in my head!!

I love my seasons and there really is not one I do not like.... and each one brings new and exciting ideas for me. What season is your favourite?

So I am away to wander around nature for some summer stitching inspiration.....

Happy Stitching!

Monday 28 April 2014

The sewing room!..... A woman cave!!

Good morning all

Well today I thought I might discuss sewing rooms.  Now I know we are all not lucky enough to have one, I in fact only got to have a room for that 2 years ago.  I do have a single bed in there just in case. We have another double spare room but well if you can have one more bed it is always good.  I have quilts over it and vintage cushions so it looks like a day bed but it is very easy to make it look like a comfortable nights rest place.

I love my stitching room and have a built in double wardrobe for storage plus a chest of drawers and bits, but confession time, the room is filling up.....

I was up early today to do a bit of a tidy up and sort through but I now really only have what is needed in there... I guess dear readers if I had double the space I would fill it!!

The thing is I know I am lucky but I would love a cutting table.  I have a lovely vintage table with my sewing machine on and at the back of that there are two antique enamel pots with scissors and marking pens in, and a small basket with bits of stitching examples in that I toy with., BUT I need to take it all off to cut out or gather what I need and go to our dinning room table! so I had to tell myself I am lucky and not to complain because so many have not got the space that I have.

Whilst taking a break the other day I put 'vintage craft and sewing rooms ' into google..... WoooooW!!
That is when I was designing in my head what I might have if I had double the room... then I realised I would just fill it with fabrics and buttons and notions ...... and then run out of space again!

Well that is my rambling for today and I hope it has at least made you smile and maybe some of you will relate to it and some will say BE THANKFUL YOU HAVE WHAT YOU HAVE -

Have the happiest of Stitching days - wherever you are lucky enough to be sewing!

I hope that made you all smile!! ...... 

Sunday 27 April 2014

Vintage Wedding Samplers


Just to let you all know I am taking commissions for Wedding samplers as gifts.  I can work within certain prices ranges.

 Email me if you are thinking of one for a special gift and truly a unique wedding gift.

It will be stitched on Vintage French linen as the backdrop and of course there will be vintage carved mother of pearl buttons.  Each one designed individually with hand embroidery...

email me at
Happy Stitching!

For a truly unique and special gift .........

Saturday 26 April 2014

Dates for your diary.....vintage fairs/Miss Ivy's Journal

Good morning to you all

Well today I thought I would share with you some up and coming dates of vintage fairs that some of my lovely readers have emailed me with.  I have lots of date but I will do a few months at a time so they are not forgotten.

All Things Vintage and Lovely show.
Guildhall, Plymouth
10.30 - 4.30
April 26th 2014

The Art of Vintique
Great Barrington village hall
Nr Burford
OX18 4TB
3rd May 2014
10am - 4pm

Moore Things Vintage and Lovely Spring Garden Fete
Moorland Garden Hotel, Yelverton
10.30 - 4.00
May 5th 2014

A talent for textiles
Deans Court
Wednesday 7th May
10am - 5pm

The Orignal Vintage and Handmade Fair
Chipping Sodbury Town Hall
Broad Street, Chipping Sodbury , South Gloucestershire
(no times given!) aim for 10am and I am sure it will be open.
31st May 2014

Miss Ivy's Revival
Cockington Court, Cockington Village
10.30 - 5.30
May 31st and June 1st 2014
A vintage packed weekend with 80 plus stalls. There is a make do and mend workshop. Classic cars for the fella's. Brocante market and lots more.

Vintage handmade fair
At Park Hall
Parkham Road
Charnock Richards
1st June...6th July....3rd Aug 2014
no times given.... but I always aim for 10am.

The Vintage Bazaar
Vintage and antique textiles and lots more.
Cheese and Grain, Frome, Somerset, BA11 1BE
Saturday 21st June 2014
9am -3pm

Well readers that should keep you all busy for a while this summer!  I will be going to some of these.  If there are any more in your area, even if you are not in England, let me know.  I have readers all over the world and it would be lovely to have something for everyone on here.  On the homepage you can email me with details.

Also look out for this NEW vintage booklet.... Miss Ivy's Journal, below is the first addition which is out now.  There are dates for your diary included and articles on vintage businesses and in this addition a vintage lovers guide to Totnes.... and so much more. It is distributed all over the South West.  Well worth looking for and picking up... This is a great vintage read. Miss Ivy's journal has a facebook page too.

There will be more on this journal on my blog and I believe they are going to be quartley.  Second addition therefore you will have to wait until August!! something to look forward to.

Well I must away and start my embroidery and stitching.  Whatever you are all doing today have a wonderful day.

Happy Stitching!

Friday 25 April 2014

Florence Caulfield........ Embroiderer and specialist in flora.

Good morning!

Have you ever seen any embroidery of Florence Caulfield? Well if not there is an exhibition in the V & A in London.

Florence Caulfield was an incredible embroider and specialist in South African flora.

Florence arrived in London in 1909 and had her photo taken in a beautiful dress that she herself had hand embroidered with a grape design, it is simply stunning.  Florence then set about organising an exhibition of her 52 'needle paintings' at the Horticultural flower show.  Some of her pieces were purchased by Queen Alexandra and the princess of Wales ( later Queen Mary) and with this success another exhibition of her work was shown before she returned to South Africa in 1910 when she started to write her book.

The book included line drawings of her patterns, some designs were naturalistic, whilst other works were in an Art Nouveau style.  Most of Florence's work was in satin stitch and she preferred to stitch without a hoop.

The illustrated needlework book was due to be published in 1914 but it seems that the out break of World War 1 may have stopped it going to press!

The needlework exhibitions in the Victoria and Albert museum are wonderful......take a look, worth a day visit if you can.

Florence Caulfield in her hand embroidered dress.


Wednesday 23 April 2014

Elizabeth Parker ....... stitches from the soul.

Good morning all

I wonder do you know of the Elizabeth Parker sampler? I did not and it is very haunting I think.

Elizabeth stitches a 'one page journal' I would describe it as.  There are no pretty patterns or pictures or indeed ABC or 123.

It starts ... ' As I cannot write I put this down simply and freely as I might speak to a person to whose 
                  intimacy and tenderness I can fully in trust myself'

You learn as you read on that Elizabeth was born in 1813 to a simple life. Her Father was a labourer and Mother a charity teacher, and Elizabeth lived with them and her 10 brothers and sisters.
At the age of 13 Elizabeth leaves home to become a nursery nurse in a house, and stitches, she works for Mr and Mrs F.

She endured terrible cruelty there and because she spurred Mr F and his sexual advances he threw her down some stairs.

This tormented poor Elizabeth and she speaks of her desire to go to the woods and end her life, although her faith stopped her.  The sampler as it has been named records her personal emotional turmoil.

It ends ... 'What will become of my soul'

As you read this sampler you can not help but wonder what happened to this poor young woman.  In addition what would she think of her most private thoughts being read over a 100 years later. I felt guilty about reading it on one hand and privileged on the other.

This piece of stitching history which bares Elizabeth's inner feelings is stitched in red and all in tiny cross stitches..... It jumps out at you.

So what did happen to Elizabeth?  When reading it, she makes you feel she will die young and unhappy.

Well in 1998 Nigel Llewellyn established Elizabeth,s identity  with details of her family - however it was an American historian Maureen Daly Goggin who uncovered her adult life.

Elizabeth remained a single woman and went on in the foot steps of her mother and became a school teacher back in her home town of Ashburnham.  Elizabeth lived in one of the Almshouses there and died on the 10 April 1889 aged 76. One of her sisters children lived with Elizabeth so you feel she was surrounded by her family and was happy.

This amazing piece of stitching is on show at the Victoria and Albert museum in London.  The V & A opens daily at 10am.

I have given you a taster but it is worth going to see if you can.  Happy Stitching!

This is Elizabeth's sampler.

The haunting journal of Elizabeth Parker...

And the winner is....

BETH MEDHURST wins the Easter competition! Vintage goody bag for you Beth.

I need your details Beth.......

Then I can send your prize!

Well done and enjoy! X

Embroidering and positioning of monograms.

Good morning

I thought today I would chat to you about monograms, firstly the history of and secondly how beautiful they are and actually not too hard to do.  Of course you could hunt vintage sheets down and look for your initials or that of both of you and your partner. My name being Sarah and my husband Andrew, I love it when I find a sheet with A and S on it....

Historically, women embroidered their household linens beginning in their childhood as they built their trousseau.  Traditionally it was with the brides maiden initial, as of course she had no way of knowing what her married initial would be.

When embroidering sheets it was custom to embroider at the top, so that when the sheet was folded over you could see the beautiful design, and pillow cases  along the open side of the hem.

In addition to the above of course, they served as laundry markers not just embellishments but laundry ribbons became available for that purpose ( these are sought after now too!)

Printed books first appeared in England in about 1477, so prior to this time girls would work from the letters they had been taught and the stitches they knew passed from grandmother to mother to daughter.

Later on especially on French linen's, I have seen some stunning examples of monograms with flowers and leaves and hearts stitched with initials.  You could buy a stamp with ink as a stencil or you were able to buy raised initials in plain cotton to position on your work and then stitch in white thread over the top with satin stitch.

Because of the popularity of the all things vintage, monograms have become sort after to incorporate into peoples sewing.  People add them to cushion covers for the bed for instance. They in fact have become very expensive now.

Because I use vintage French linen sheets in my work to cut up and use as the canvas of my pictures, I do try and buy them with initials of my own or my family - that way I can use the sheet for my work and have a little bonus for my personal use.

You can find original stamps on Etsy or Ebay or indeed original patterns as well.  Also you can still find the raised cotton ones to stitch over yourself.

Of course you could design your own and just simply stitch over your light drawing of it with white embroidery thread with any stitch you like.  Some early examples are in cross stitch and that really is a very easy stitch to master.

Have a go yourself, it really is worth the effort.  You could embroider some pillow cases as a gift for an engagement present or as part of a picture for a wedding sampler.

I hope you have a wonderful day and Happy Stitching!

Isn't that stunning work... from a vintage sheet.

Vintage pattern of monogram patterns....

Vintage embroidery stamps on Ebay...

Example of the raised cotton monograms to stitch over.

Monogram 'H' which is my surname initial..... now that is breath taking is it not.
Cut around and stitched on to a cushion for your bed or in a sampler picture...

Have a wonderful day and I hope you give it a go yourself or decorate with some antique ones.

Later today the winner of the Easter competition will be announced.......

Monday 21 April 2014

All the fun of The Vintage bazaar and photos of the prize for tomorrow.

Good morning all

I hope you had a wonderful Easter and enjoyed you long weekend.

As you know I went to The vintage bazaar in Frome in Somerset on Saturday!  It was wonderful.

It was held at the Cheese and Grain and there were around 40 stalls of vintage loveliness and also a wonderful cafe where you could get drinks and a meal or cake and coffee.  Parking was easy and all together it was a wonderful day out.

As I promised I bought the prizes for the competition draw tomorrow.  I have a stunning vintage fabric pack to give away with lots of good size pieces of fabric.  I bought some from lots of different stalls there, plus there is some vintage ribbon and pack of vintage needles in the pack. It  includes a vintage paisley and other stunning fabrics.

I also bought two packets of buttons from Will and Bea and they compliment the fabrics perfectly.

In addition to all this there is a stunning pin cushion made from vintage fabrics and hand made by Nostalgia No 1 and a really beautiful lavender bag made by Little Wren Vintage.......

This is the prize for the lucky winner.

The vintage bazaar was so good, the atmosphere as well as the stalls and the lovely stall holders who chat away to you and are lovely people.

There were people there who were dressed in forties clothes, two gents who looked dapper and a lady who looked stunning in an aqua outfit with hat, shoes gloves and make-up.  These people were not stall holders but people who had come to the show to look and buy.

These two photo's are Will and Bea's stall where I bought the two packs of beautiful buttons for the prize.

Will and Bea

Little Wren Vintage where I bought the stunning lavender bag for the prize.

 A whole jar of beautiful lavender bags, I just popped my hand in and pulled one out!

 This is the gorgeous stall that belongs to Nostalgia No 1.... This is where I bought the vintage pin cushion from.  This lady also has a shop  at 1Market Place, Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

I had such a lovely 3 hours around the show, choosing fabrics for my business and collecting some wonderful prizes for the draw tomorrow..... all you have to do is 'join' my blog and your name goes in the hat!!! Then all those wonderful goodies are yours!

I went to see Liz and as usual she had some amazing goodies to tempt everyone.  I spied some different paisley fabric and there was two large pieces of it which came home with me!  I have cut some  off and put it in the vintage fabric pack for the prize........

This is part of Liz's large stall of wonderful vintage goodies.

The paisley from Liz's Stall..... how could I leave this?

Well dear readers by now I had a hungry husband on my hands and I must confess so was I, so we went into the cafe at the Cheese and Grain and had a lovely meal and drinks.  They had beautiful cakes there as well as different salads.  In addition they had handmade burgers in both beef and lamb served with salad and homemade chips.......

The cafe had lots of seating including comfy sofa's and a child's play area and lots of windows.

After we had a sit down and something to eat and drink it was back into the vintage bazaar to carry on looking for some wonderful fabrics.  I did not have to look far and bought two really beautiful pieces of paisley.  One is 1930's and is 18" by 28" and the other is 1950 and measures 39" by 24"

 The paisley on the right is the 1950 one and is so beautiful with its colours.  There is a soft green and duck egg with beige and pinks!  .......

These two really beautiful paisleys were from vintage eiderdowns and I bought them from Hesta Nesta's stall.  Wonderful lady who loves pug dogs. Hesta Nesta can be found on facebook.

 This is Hesta Nesta's stall! lots of wonderful things to tempt you and OH! the fabric packs.

This is a panel of 1805 toile jouy that I bought from a lady at the show , it really is something!

This is a few vintage fabrics and trims that I purchased from various stalls at the vintage bazaar... I know they are beautiful aren't they?

Then finally when we left the bazaar we had a wonderful wander about Frome.  It really is a lovely place to visit.  There is a great hill in Frome which is cobbled and is called Catherines Hill.  It has the most lovely shops.  There are lots of vintage shops and artisan coffee shops and independent shops where people make things to sell as well as buy some products in.

I bought a wonderful bundle of vintage wool blanket pieces from a shop called Mary Kilvert.  I also met the lady and she makes a lot of things in her shop and its all her art work.  Her and her husband were delightful as was their wonderful King Charles Spaniel!!

 OOH! great colours for journals...........

All in all it was a wonderful day filled with meeting like minded people and buying for my business.  My husband and I had a great day in Frome and we then drove around looking at the surrounding areas and then stopped for a meal on the way home.

I would like to thank The Vintage Bazaar and all the lovely stall holders for putting on a great vintage show and I look forward to the next one which is also being held in Frome again at the Cheese and Grain on the Saturday 21st June.  That is a date for your dairy! not to be missed.

I hope you have enjoyed having a look and hope that some of you will enter the competition for that stunning vintage bundle of goodies, that is the prize.

Happy Stitching!

Competition Prize!!!!

Good afternoon!

A quick pop in to show you the prize pack!  You could win all this if you join this blog today or tomorrow! The draw will take place on Wednesday.

Do not forget to read all about the vintage bazaar that I went to on Saturday.... All about it tomorrow with lots of photos of show and stalls!!!!

There is so much in this vintage goody bag ...... read about it tomorrow and join today!!!!

Easter Monday....2 days to go!

Good morning!

Just a quick pop in to remind all who are reading this, you have today and tomorrow to 'join' my blog  for a chance to win a fabulous vintage goody bag.  At the show on Saturday I bought some wonderful vintage bits as the prize.

There is a vintage scrap pack of vintage fabrics.
Two cards of vintage buttons
A stunning vintage fabric pin cushion
And finally a beautiful lavender bag made from vintage linen and a lovely mother of pearl button sewn on with vintage ribbon.......

Photos tomorrow and photos of the show and information of the makers of the above.

I will send anywhere in the world so If you are reading this and you are not in England, no problem....



Sunday 20 April 2014

Easter Sunday...

Good morning all and a very happy Easter to you all.

I have just popped in today to let you know to read my blog on Tuesday...... All about the wonderful vintage Bazaar and textile market that I went to
yesterday.  I will be uploading pictures of my finds and more.....

Do not forget to email me with any events you know of with details and I will feature them on my blog for people to attend.  Anywhere in the world as I have readers from all over.

In addition do not forget if you are not a member of this blog, then join by Tuesday and be in for a chance of winning great goody bag from the Vintage Bazaar I attended yesterday. I am not giving anything away but there are vintage fabrics remnants included....... Great gift all you have to do is 'join' this blog......

Have a wonderful day today with family and friends and if you can not be with them for whatever reason then smile at your memories.

Happy Easter and Happy Stitching!

Saturday 19 April 2014

The Vintage Bazaar

Hello Hello!

Well the day has arrived for the vintage bazaar! in Frome......

I am looking forward to seeing Liz there, who always has some stunning vintage fabrics! how she parts with them I am not sure but Oh so glad am I that she does!!  I will be able to have a lovely chat with her too and pick up leaflets of up and coming events.....

Anybody reading this blog in other countries such as America, China, France and beyond, please let me know of vintage events near you...... Although I can not attend :(( I can let other readers in your area know of such events..... there is a contact email section on this blog page, just drop me a quick email and I will feature your event.....

Anyway dear readers, I hope you are all having a lovely Easter weekend...... I will let you know all about today on Tuesday........

Happy Stitching!!

 The lovely Liz on the left......

Friday 18 April 2014

Happy Easter!.....

Good morning all

I have just popped in to wish all my readers a very Happy Easter and hope that you all have a lovely four days with family and friends.  Take advantage of this lovely weather!

If you are doing a sewing project then enjoy!

I will let you know how the Vintage Bazaar textile market is tomorrow!  I am very much looking forward to it! maybe some of you are going?.....It is in Frome and starts at 9.30 am.  Go and have a look at some wonderful vintage fabrics and textiles......  Do not forget to 'join'' this blog.  If you do you could win a VINTAGE goody bag from the vintage bazaar tomorrow.  I will be buying some things as a giveaway.  I will be pulling a name next Wednesday.  Anyone anywhere can join I will send prize to any country.........

Happy Easter!

Thursday 17 April 2014

Easter competition!....HURRY HURRY

'JOIN' this blog by next Tuesday and win a vintage goodie bag from the Vintage Bazaar in Frome!

I will be buying the vintage goodies on Saturday and the draw will be held next Wednesday!

Included in the prize will be some bits of vintage fabrics!!

All you need to do is subscribe on the homepage, it is easy............ join homespun stitchworks today.

There will be so much choice it will be a lovely

Vintage vintage all the way!

Good morning all

Today sorting myself out for Easter and for my return to work in earnest after Easter I am going to sort through my big cupboard I have in my stitching room.  I have stacked clear drawer units in there and thought I would go through and make sure of contents....

With sorting through things it gives a fresh and uncluttered start.  Plus as you know I have the vintage textile bazaar to attend on Saturday so making room for new vintage goodies to make new and hopefully lovely things out of.  I will be going to see Liz who has the most scrummy textiles on her stall and the difficulty is choosing!  There are over 40 stalls on Saturday in Frome....... choices choices!

I have a lot of work to get through in the next few months with published work and a little to sell.

I enjoy very much thinking up and designing new products.  I live by my journals too.  I have one just for quotes and sayings that I like and may use in my work.  I also have one that I list things I have bought for my work. What, where and how much..... this enables me to price my work at the end of the day.  I also have my design books that I keep, in the margins putting little notes about which fabrics, buttons etc that I think will be good for the design.... in brackets if I have these in my stock or if I have to have a search for them.  In my work I like to keep notes of everything I do and buy, it is helpful and needed.

I would like to collect some vintage embroidery books as well, You will remember in an earlier blog this year I recommended one such book, but I am looking for more....  I would like to learn old techniques and designs to incorporate in my vintage style work.

So with my little bit of a Spring clean and stock check I will feel happier starting my working week again.  My cough and cold is hanging on, but I am hoping with this nice weather that has started, it will be forced to leave me so that I can get on with my busy week next week and not feel so tired!

What ever you are doing today have a good one.

Happy Stitching! 

Embroidered vintage book binding...... I must decorated my own journals more!!

Vintage Bazaar Frome..... with the lovely Liz on the right....

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Felting vintage wool

Good morning all

Today I thought I would talk to you about felting.  In some of my new designs I am using different mediums to make textured work.  I thought some felt would be good in some of my designs.

I do buy some felt for things that I make but not work that I sell.  Why? because the work that I sell has to be vintage fabrics, buttons, linens etc.  So what I tend to do is find vintage old sweaters (1950's) and then I set about felting the wool for my use in some pictures and little quilts.

Firstly when I was looking into the origins of felting I found some amazing stories and thought I would share one with you.....

One story is involving Noah's ark.  The sheep on the ark shed wool and being that it fell on the floor it was trampled under foot and also they had urinated on it and trampled and so the process went on.  When Noah finally found dry land and let the animals off the ark he found a felted rug left behind!!... I must say it must have smelt a bit!!.... but a lovely little story.

When you felt with wool fibres you need a rolling mat and soap and water and plenty of space on a kitchen table...You place fibres in different directions on the mat and wet the wool and rub with soap and massage the fibres.  You can keep adding different colour wool and massaging it until it binds together.  You have to rinse it well and let it dry and this can be cut and used for crafting.

With old jumpers I tend to boil wash them in the washing machine to shrink them and combine the fibres and then tumble dry on hot...... this does the trick for pieces of patterned felt for my use.  That way I have felt that is more that 50 years old to add.  You can also do this with vintage wool blankets as well.

You can successfully cut felted bits of blanket and jumpers and use the water and soap procedure rubbing and pulling and stretching to ad ere bits of wool and blankets together, this makes for interesting textures to cut and craft with.

I always use a good soap and normally either a lavender or rose scent....... just because it pleases me!!

When you have a piece of felt that is dry you can add it to work or make flowers with it to add to things or you can, if you make a large piece make it into a cushion or bag......

bundles of felted wool........

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Sherborne Artisan Markets..... diary dates!

Good morning

I have learnt of a great event in Sherborne in Dorset...... get your calender out!

The first one was held this weekend past (Sat 12 April) and the next dates are as follows:

Saturday 12 July
Saturday 11 October
Sunday 7 December

The Sherborne Artisan market is especially for smaller makers of interesting products that you will not find on the high street shops.  It includes handmade accessories, local foods and so much more!

It is held at the Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Road in Sherborne and has FREE entry.  It starts at 10am and finishes at 3.30pm.

It has a very high standard and to get a stall you have to first be approved and show what you wish to sell. I think it is a wonderful idea and possibly will have a table myself, I will let you know.

Today I am still sorting bits out and getting my projects sorted, I will be doing some hand embroidery and trying to finish my home sweet home sampler to be framed.... I love when a piece of work is finally finished and back from the framers!!

Well whatever you are doing today have a wonderful day!

Happy Stitching!