Saturday 30 August 2014

Bullion Knots

Good morning all

This is our stitch of the week, the fabulous bullion knot.  You can do so much with this wonderful stitch.  I hope you will give it a go.

It makes wonderful flowers in embroidery, especially in a busy flower border!

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Stitching!

Friday 29 August 2014

American Museum .... Part four

Good morning all

Well this is the final part of the American Museum write up.  I could not finish about this wonderful place that has so much culture and amazing stitchery and history attached to this stunning Manor house, without mentioning the florist there as well.

It is situated near the wonderful cafe they have with tables and chairs outside and overlooking the Limpley Stoke Valley.

There are lots of flowers and herbs for sale and in my opinion the piece de resistance is the wonderful smelling and gorgeous looking Tussie Mussie's!

They are gathered into pots and are filled with herbs and very scented flowers and truly are a wonderful thing to bring home to fill your house with an amazing fresh scented smell.  They were called nose gays in Tudor times and helped disguise horrid smells and were said to protect you from the plague!!... in these times they are a stunning looking centre piece that has the most wonderful aroma for the pure pleasure of it.

Also do not forget that there is a wonderful cafe at the museum that sells light lunches and drinks and afternoon teas.  You can choose from two soups of the day and have warm baked bread with it or half a sandwich of your choice, which I plumbed for.  I had a wonderful, slightly spicy vegetable soup with half a cheese and pickle on brown cut into two little triangles and it was delicious I can tell you.  There are quiches and jacket potatoes and childrens meals as well.

You can buy a little booklet in the shop called Old fashioned American recipes, which I did and this is a recipe from it.... It is a lovely little booklet and only costs £2.50, you may be able to order from their website.

Mary Ball Washington's Gingerbread 1784

This recipe was found in an old worn cookery book.

Half a cup of butter
Half a cup of dark moist brown sugar
Half a cup of treacle
Half a cup of golden syrup
Quarter cup of cooking sherry
Three cups of flour
One cup of sultanas or raisins
Half a cup of milk
2 tablespoons of ground ginger
1 and a half teaspoons of mace
1 and half teaspoons of nutmeg
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 orange - rind and juice

Cream butt and sugar. Add eggs. Mix well.  Add slightly warmed syrup and treacle, alternately with the flour, spices and bicarb.  Add raisins, orange, sherry and milk.  Mix lightly.  Bake in lined tin 9"x 6"x 3", for approximately 40 minutes at 350F.

The American museum also runs courses in lots of different crafts as well.  One lady runs a course on making copies of the WW1 hearts.

This is an orginal.

These are samples of what the class teaches you.

Go to American Museum in Bath website and there are a list of classes being run and you are able to book with them.  What a stunning setting to learn something new!  I will be booking a course next year.

I hope this has been an enjoyable few days of reading and that maybe some of you will be able to visit.  For those of you who are not able then I hope you have enjoyed a taster of this adorable place with all its American culture and stunning settings in our wonderful British Somerset countryside.....

Happy Stitching!

Thursday 28 August 2014

Kaffe Fassett @ The American Museum ....Part Three

Good Morning all

This is a great little movie to watch which has Kaffe Fassett talking about his work and the American Museum.  It shows you his exhibition as well.

Take a virtual tour around his work and enjoy!

Wednesday 27 August 2014

American Museum in Bath .... Part two.

In poetically well built museums, formed from hearts compulsions, we are consoled not by finding in them old objects that we love, but by losing
all sense of time......

Orhan Pamuk.

Phytolacca Americana Poke Root.

The four men who started this wonderful museum firstly had to find a suitable premises and boy did they!  The Manor its self is stunning and the grounds in which it is nestled are outstanding. The museum opened its doors in 1961.

Ian McCallum proposed himself for the job of curator and he moved into a flat on the top floor of Claverton Manor.  He supervised building work and dealt with officialdom and recruited and trained the oiginal staff.

Dallas Pratt and John Judkyn bought the items for the museum itself except for about five percent of which was donated to them.

Young designers of the time (Kaffe Fassett and Laura Ashley) found there inspiration here and also helped to revive the passion for patchwork and quilting again alongside wood work from the Shakers.  American friendship and understanding by giving its British visitors a new way of seeing America as a place with an interesting history of its own and its own ways of civilisation and traditions and way of living. Kaffe Fassett has his own exhibition in the grounds at the moment and is not to be missed.

The gardens and grounds are set into the valley of the Kennet and Avon canal.  The American Museum employed Lanning Roper to design a mixed border.  There is a Colonial Herb Garden and a Mount Vernon Garden, which is a re-creation of George Washingtons' garden.  The arboretum has a collection of American trees.

The grounds total some 125 acres, of which 35 are open to the public.  George Washington sent some plans seeds and a gardener to help.

There are quilts and textiles there ranging from eighteenth to mid twentieth centuries and the museum has a collection of over 200 quilts.  Over 50 quilts are always on view in the textile room, also on display are a selection of Navajo weavings', hooked rugs and woven coverlets.

There is also Dallas Pratts map collection as well.  An example  of the first map ever printed is included in the collection: the 1494 edition of Columbus' letter to his patroness Isabella of Castile, in which he informs her of the 'islands in the Indian sea' he has recently discovered.

This Christmas 2014 - A Winters Tale.
Saturday 22 Nov - Sunday 14 December
Tuesday - Sunday 12 - 4.30  closed Mondays.

The period rooms will come to life as they recreate scenes from popular fiction that is set in America.  Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Celia Rees' Witch Child.

Also of interest to you lovely crafter's there is a Christmas Craft fair on Saturday and Sunday the 22 and 23 November 2014.  Also a Christmas shop.

This is a wonderful place and I really hope you can enjoy and see for yourself and if not you have enjoyed this little bit about such a wonderful  piece of American history in England.... with such focus on stitching and quilting.

Happy Stitching!

Monday 25 August 2014

American Museum vintage fair.... Part one

Good friends are like quilts, they never loose their warmth.

What can I say but WOW!  The American Museum in Bath is stunning.  Set on the hillside about a mile from the centre of this beautiful city.

The weather was wonderful and the grounds in which this vintage textile event was held is so pretty.  The textile fair was held in two buildings in the grounds, the stables and coach house.

The view from the main house looks over fields, hills and dales and is breathtaking!

They had been busy yarn bombing trees, lamp posts and bikes in the grounds and even men who were there were exclaiming WOW!

There was a Kaffe Fassett exibition on in the grounds as well.

The vintage textile fair had people selling fabrics and quilts and buttons Plus there were some great stalls selling embroidery threads and hand made felt.  I bought some stunning embroidery thread which reminded me of shells.......

The lovely Donna Flower was there selling stunning fabrics and vintage goodies as well as a selection of vintage clothes and quilts and eiderdowns! ( yes I succumbed ... could not help it!)

Donna Flower.

Some of Donna,s quilts and eiderdowns, minus the one I purchased!! ... Will show you in week.

This is one of Donna's dresses that is for sale.... It is so beautiful!

There was also a folk art exhibition as well and there were some beautiful pieces in there including this quilt with a carved wood giraffe in front.

There was also a statue of an Indian with a bundle of cigars in his hand which were tied with ribbon.  The Indian carving had come from outside of a tobacco shop and is C1880.

You can see in his right hand, the tied cigars......

Well the ribbons were always silk and had the name of the cigar on them.  Somebody stitched lots together with herringbone stitch and made a quilt wall hanging.... It is so lovely.

It is behind glass so forgive the photography.

The grounds in which this museum is set are outstanding.  Well kept grounds with wonderful flowers and borders and box bush maize....  There are lots of levels and stone steps with little pathways and almost secret garden setting.

The flowers were still in full bloom and the sweet peas smelt divine! in the sun.

There are beautiful and tranquil nooks and crannies all over the grounds to sit and look at the views and the flowers.

The little box hedge maize....

 Every little place there was unexpected yarn bombing going on and it looked lovely!

We did not go into the big quilt exhibition as we ran out of time.  On Saturday it was only open at 12 until 5pm so with the vintage fair and the grounds we did not have the time but will be going back to have a look around.  We have some friends coming next year who live in New York and we are going to be taking them to Bath for a few days and this is on the list....

The story of the origins of this extraordinary museum, which is housed in Somerset in England
in a old manor house is as diverse as its grounds and maize's.  Four men  Dr Dallas Pratt, John Judkyn. Nick Bell-Knight and Ian McCallum who happened to meet each other, got on well, and pooled their diverse abilities into this joint enterprise, and was only possible because Dr Dallas Pratt had inherited the necessary fortune to fund such a wonderful and extraordinary project.

The American Museum is a great place to visit.  There is also a fabulous little cafe where you can get great lunches and drinks.

I had an amazing afternoon there and the bonus was a vintage textile fair.

Happy Stitching!

Tea dying vintage French linen and lace.

Asking a stitcher to mend is like asking Picasso to paint your garage!

I love Bank holidays it makes the weekend stretch just that little bit further.  

I thought as it was a long weekend I would have a go at dying some of my precious vintage French linen and some little lace bits for a project I have in mind.  Have you ever tried?  It just makes the fabric look a little older and when cut out and stitched on to the same linen that has not been dyed, it stands out more.....

I have a fabulous idea for a new project and wanted to gather all the components ready for the off this Winter.  When sitting in side stitching by an open fire is really very wonderful.

I know it is not Winter just yet but like a squirrel I am getting ready for the inevitable.  I had both of my chimneys swept last week in readiness for when I return from America and the change of clocks will have happened.....  So I want to have some hand stitching ready for me to get started on.  Al my other projects will be completed for my commissions by then.

Start with making tea in a bowl.

Whilst the tea is brewing in the bowl, gather your fabrics you wish to dye.
I wanted to dye some wonderful vintage French linen and two lace bits.

Then you have to soak your chosen fabrics in the tea mixture.

Then when you have let it soak for 10 minutes you need to rinse it and just wash it a little in some mild wash to get the tea smell out.  It will go lighter so depending on how dark you would like your fabric, you need to soak it longer or shorter time.  Just keep and eye on it.

Then all you need to do is to hang it on a airer to dry and then it is ready for your design.

I loved doing this.  I thought I might have ago with beetroot juice next week to get a raspberry colour on some vintage French linen as well.... I adore doing natural dying and I will let you know how that one goes...... If I can wait until next week as I have been bitten by the dying bug for this particular project.

p.s.... blog tomorrow about the American museum and the vintage textile fair.

Happy Stitching! 

Saturday 23 August 2014

Rope Stitch Embroidery Video

Good morning all

Well I am off to Bath today and will report on it next week on the blog.

I have a great little tutorial for you on Rope stitch!  It is the lovely Mary Corbett and I find her tutorials easy to watch.

I have never done this stitch before and will be watching myself next week whilst practising it at the same time.....
For me that is the great thing about these tutorials as you can watch and learn at the same time.

Have a wonderful Bank holiday weekend and Happy Stitching!

Thursday 21 August 2014

American quilt museum In Bath with a vintage fair!!!!

Good morning all

Well tomorrow we are off to Bath to a vintage fair being held at the American Quilt Museum.  I am very pleased to be going.

Firstly what a wow setting for a vintage fair with fabrics and the like but Oooh then there is the matter of all the antique quilts and the views of the gardens...

I will of course next week be doing a write up of the fair and I promise to take lots of photos for you all to see.

The lovely Donna Flower will be there and I can pick up some fabric from her and there will be some wonderful vintage stalls.  There is a lovely cafe for a drink and light lunch and I am very much looking forward to it.

I have to settle down and get on with finishing the banner and then I will be able to get on with lots of different things that I need to complete for my new on line shop before it can open..... after all what is a shop with no products in it!!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and Happy Stitching!

This is the American Quilt Museum.

A taste of things to come! Wow.....


A bed without a quilt is like a sky with no stars!

After my wonderful purchase at the vintage fair on Saturday at the Cotswolds and the fact that I am attending the vintage fair at the gorgeous setting in Bath at the American Quilt museum, it has me all fired up about the origins of my beautiful buy.

I will never know of course, the exact date of the quilt or who made it but I do know it was made before 1900 so it is a very old quilt indeed.

I was looking up basket quilts on google (my friend for knowledge) and found it is a very popular design and there are variations on theme.  Some just a basket, like mine and some with flowers too.

An example of  a vintage basket quilt pattern.

I am going to love walking around the museum in Bath and be able to look at lots of different quilts and be able to do, I hope, an interesting blog for you on it.

I am going to see If my quilt can be dated at well and give me some idea if it is English or American.

This is a beautiful example of a log cabin quilt but done in such a way that it looks very 3D and layered.  This is so lovely but I am afraid I do not know who made this to give credits to.

I am thinking about doing a wall hanging for behind our bed in vintage fabrics and all by hand not machine at all.....

Well I am off to my sewing room, so have a wonderful day and Happy Stitching!

vintage American stamps with basket quilt design......

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Oyster Stitch

Hello and good morning!

I came across this great little tutorial on oyster stitch.  I thought you would like to see it.

You can add it to designs incorporating other stitches and I think you will agree it looks really lovely.  You could do different colours for a flower border...

Take a look and have a go and see what you can make with it.  I thought it may be lovely on the bottom of a cardigan just in the corner?

Have a wonderful day and Happy Stitching!

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Vintage quilt find!... Oh my

Those who sleep under a quilt, sleep under a blanket of love

Having told you a little about the Cotswold vintage fair I attended on Saturday, I thought you would like to see one of my favourite possessions that I am now the proud owner of.

I bought the most beautiful vintage quilt ..... It is in a faded raspberry colour and cream.  It is all hand stitched and quilted and will be taking pride of place on our bed as soon as I have washed it .. CAREFULLY!

Isn't it stunning?

It has the basket pattern all over it and there is a strip of the wonderful faded raspberry fabric that runs around the edge.  There is a few little holes and I may or may not do a little mending on it.  I think probably not though unless the tiny holes get a little bigger.  I think it adds character and charm to this beautiful quilt.

I am so thrilled with this find.  The lady who was selling vintage quilts said it was one of her favourites and I thanked her for letting me buy it!  I can not stop looking at it.....

So later today I am going to fill the bath with luke warm water and some special washing liquid for vintage fabrics that I have, It smells of roses and will be very gentle on this very special fabric.  The quilt will be going on our bed as soon as it is washed, dried and aired!


The edge all the way round it in that wonderful raspberry fabric and has little white spots on it.  I am so very thrilled with it as I think you are now very aware!! 

Anyway I am away to now to my soaking of quilt and my stitching......

Have a wonderful day and Happy Stitching!!

Monday 18 August 2014

The Cotswold vintage fair.

Good morning all or should I say afternoon!  I am late today.

I went to the Cotswold vintage fair on Saturday and it was amazing.  The organisers had gone to an awful lot of trouble and the event its self was stunning and well organised.

The village hall was in a beautiful setting surrounded by fields.  There were stalls inside and out and although the sky looked a little menacing, the rain did not come at all.

The hall was packed with beautiful stalls.  There was a lovely little cafe inside selling drinks and cakes and light lunches and snacks.  There were tables and chairs outside to sit and also there was a huge marquee with wonderful stalls inside and down the middle lots of chairs and tables to sit and have a drink and something to eat, whilst looking at all the stalls that surrounded you!

There was ample parking and the vintage fair was packed with eager and willing buyers.

I was able to go to some of my favourite suppliers and pick up the most delicious fabrics.  Lots of beautiful vintage eiderdown fabrics.....

This was the marquee outside with wonderful stalls all inside and tables.  There was a lady selling vintage quilts and I brought one home with me..... Photos tomorrow.

There were other gazebos outside filled with wonderful goodies including the lovely Liz who had some wonderful fabrics for me.

Then there was the lovely Hesta Nesta and again I was able to get some wonderful fabrics from her amazing stall.  I am kind of known now and people do know my taste in fabrics for my work and designs....

There were lots of wonderful stalls with all sorts to tempt you with.  Fabrics, vintage china and glass, buttons, fabrics and.....

Vintage blanket stall.

There were some extremely talented people there and one stall was called Gentlework and the lady who made all the stunning things on that table was very talented.... Stunning stunning work.  You can find her on facebook.
She made her own dolls from papermache and then made outfits for them from vintage fabrics.  Stunning brooches and birds just to name but a few things.

The lady who owns The Sea Garden was there as well and I bought an inspiration pack from here of stunning cream laces and fabrics and old buttons.

The day was wonderful and to have that much talent under one roof was fantastic.  

It was a great few hours for me and my next one is at Bath at the American quilt museum next weekend.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and have a great day today.

Happy Stitching!

Saturday 16 August 2014

Mountmellick Stitch

Good morning blogers!

Well this is a great stitch for our stitch of  weekend.  It is called Mountmellick Stitch and is a great stitch for a border I think.  I hope you are having a great weekend .....I am off to a vintage fair so will report about it later....

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy what ever you are up to .......

Happy Stitching!

Friday 15 August 2014


I will be taking photos and have lots of vintage news next week.........

Making the most of summer and vintage fairs!

We have had such a wonderful Summer so far.  There are a few more vintage fairs that I am attending this month as well.  I  am off to one in Gloucester and in Bath!

I have ordered some delicious fabrics from some of my suppliers and must pick it up PLUS there will be lots of vintage goodies beeing sold by the wonderful vintage stall holders!

When i have finished my banner then I have some new designs to get going on...... i am working towards wonderful vintage goodies to sell on my NEW web page and shop which will be opening soon I hope,

There is to be a great new competition coming soon to win a really great prize, so if you are reading this and are not already a member of my blog JOIN today to be in for a chance to win.

Have a great weekend what ever you are up to, I am off to one of those vintage fairs I was on about so pictures next week.

Happy Stitching!