Saturday 28 February 2015

Stitch of the week is The Spanish Knotted Feather.... by Mary Corbet

Good morning all.

The stitch of the week is the Spanish knotted feather and is once again brought to you by lovely and talented Mary Corbet.  This is a very pretty stitch and one you should add to you ever growing list of accomplishments in embroidery. This is a very pretty pattern for edging a table cloth or putting on as a border on a picture maybe... whatever you decide to do this is a very pretty stitch indeed.

This is a very pretty stitch and can be used for decoration on clothes or indeed a pillow case maybe.

I hope you enjoy this weeks tutorial and have a wonderful weekend. Settle down with a warm drink and watch the master at work!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday 26 February 2015

Threads of feeling ... part two.

Foundling fabrics and tokens of love

Printed calico with a bird. Foundling 13476
a boy admitted 20 June 1759.

Having been fascinated by this subject I have done a little more research before my visit.  Apart from little tatters of fabrics other tokens were left with the foundlings.  Some very macabre and others pretty little bits of history.  Although only a few children were reclaimed by their parents, the process of leaving a token means that these little ones are not forgotten even now!

I have also learnt that not all children were admitted and there was a process.  It makes you wonder about those who were refused.... This subject has touched my heart.

‘Dear Sir, I am the unfortunate woman that lies under sentens of Death in Newgatt…’  So begins a letter of 1757 addressed to the powers that be at the Foundling Hospital in  London’s Bloomsbury. Written in a strong hand, it contains the poignant petition of a woman on death row, Margaret Larney, that her children, who have been admitted to the hospital separately, might ‘know one and other’. Even if the younger child hadn’t died shortly after admission, Margaret’s eloquent plea would certainly have been in vain. When an infant entered the hospital, its former identity was erased and siblings remained ignorant of their blood ties.

But now, some 250 years later, Margaret is getting a second hearing. Her letter forms part of a small but compelling display of ‘tokens’ at the Foundling Museum, which is on the site of the former hospital. These are the everyday objects left by the desperate and destitute mothers in the mid-18th century who delivered their babies into the care of the Foundling Hospital. Hidden stories unfold through scraps of Georgian life that range from the quotidian— coins, keys, buttons, pieces of fabric, a hairpin — to the intriguing — a diminutive bone fish, a hazelnut — to the downright ghoulish:

‘Child 5588, John, renamed Robin Carr’ was admitted with a caul, a piece of membrane that can cover a newborn’s head and face and which is considered to be highly auspicious. Robin Carr needed all the luck he could get. Of babies taken in by the hospital about two thirds died.
On admission, a child was given a unique number as well as their new name. The document bearing his or her details (known as a billet) was used to wrap the token, which the mother had been advised to bring, in case she should ever be in a position to return to reclaim her offspring. (The mother’s name was not recorded by the hospital.) By identifying the object, she would prove that the child was hers. These miniature parcels, marked with the child’s admission date and number and sealed with wax, represented the hope that one day parent and child might be reunited. As such, they were powerful symbols of love, loss and longing.

When the hospital opened in 1741, more than half the babies born in London died. Parents of poor or illegitimate children had to choose between leaving them in the care of the parish poorhouses or giving them to the workhouse, where the mortality rate was over 90 per cent.

The little piece of sleeve on the left was made from speckled linen with cuff of cotton. left with a boy, foundling 235 admitted 23 May 1746.

The philanthropist Thomas Coram, horrified by the sight of babies being left to die in the streets of London, established the Foundling Hospital 'for the maintenance and education of exposed and deserted young children’.
The hospital was a charity that relied on donations and, as there was not enough money to accept every child, admission was restricted to babies aged two months or less.
Only 20 children were admitted each month, and this was done by a ballot system. Women who brought in their children had to draw a coloured ball from a bag; a white ball meant that the baby was admitted, a black ball that it was refused.

Because the process was almost always anonymous, few details exist about the mothers. Most would have been from poor backgrounds, and documents in the archives describe the terrible state some of the babies arrived in: a baby boy admitted in 1757 was described as 'Clothed with Rags and Swarming with Varmen’. Another baby admitted in 1759 was 'A Mear Skilinton Covered with Rags with a hole in the Roofe of the Mouth’. About two thirds of the babies given to the hospital died.
Occasionally, the pieces of fabric were accompanied by a note. One boy left in 1749 had a note pinned to his documents that read: 'having a most dear and Tender regard for it… I have trusted it to a Charity establish’d upon so good a Foundation as knowing my circumstances will not permit me to take so great a Care of it.’

While some babies were simply abandoned on the steps, others were taken in with the intention they should be retrieved once their parents’ circumstances improved.
A pink and white flowered ribbon pinned to one registration form of a baby girl brought in on 13 January 1758 had a letter with it. It reads 'Ann Gardiner Daughter of James and Elizth Gardiner was Born in St Brides Parish Octor ye 6th and Baptized and Registered in the Parish Church Octor ye 10th 1757. Begs to have care Taken of her and They will pay all Charges in a little Time with a handsome acknowledgement for the same and have her Home again when they Get over a little Trouble they are in: She is not a bastard Child your Care will be most Gratefully Acknowledged by your most obliged Humble Servant JG.’

The textiles themselves were often testament to the mother’s love. Many chose fabrics showing hearts. One cut from red woollen cloth was pinned to the cap of a girl admitted on 22 November 1758; given the name Isabel Crane by the Foundling Hospital she died a few weeks later on 16 December.

Sometimes the mothers provided fabric with initials, names or dates of birth stitched on to them, and some chose fabrics with pictures of birds, butterflies or acorns, perhaps an indication that the mother hoped the child would have a happy life.
The children who did survive were sent to wet nurses, who fostered them until they were about five, when the hospital took them back and educated them. At about 10 years old, they were apprenticed in and outside of London.

Catherine Walton, who was admitted to the hospital in 1745 when she was three weeks old, was eventually apprenticed in 1757 to a watch-case maker of Fleet Street.

A boy who was brought to the hospital at about nine months, named Theodosius Williamson by the hospital, was apprenticed in 1769 to a bricklayer in Essex. A Theodosius Williamson later married at St Leonard’s, Shoreditch, on 29 October 1776.

Of the 16,282 babies brought to the hospital between 1741 and 1760, only 152 were reclaimed.

Foundling Hospital in 1750 this building was
demolished in 1926.

Today in our modern society it may seem odd that mothers of foundling babies used cloth and tokens to express their most tender feelings.  The truth is that most were probably illiterate.  The language of ribbons and hearts was accessible by all and was for them, self expression  and not just the second best thing.  Little tokens left to identify your child seems extremely fragile but those parents that came back for their child were indeed able to identify them by this thread of love......

Wednesday 25 February 2015

History of Muslin ....

Woven air, running water, woven wind these are
just some of the names been given to muslin.
A cotton textile so fine and sheer that it sometimes
appears to be invisible!

This amazing textile originated in India where it was coveted but very expensive and was exported to places such as Ancient Rome, Middle East, medieval China and other parts of South Asia.
 In the 17th Century it became a commodity and was under the control of the British East India Company in Bengal.  Buy the late 18th Century, the skilled weavers of Paisley and the textile manufactures of Glasgow and Manchester, astonished at the delicacy of the material made on hand looms in India, strove to imitate it.  Muslin became in such demand over Europe that governments banned imports of it to protect their domestic textile industries.

The picture on the left is a beautiful muslin gown with white work embroidery.

The word "Muslin" is derived from the name of the ancient port town "Maisolos". Muslin clothes were traded by ancient Greeks and Romans from the East Indian port town Masulipatnam, known as Maisolos and Masalia in ancient times and the name 'Muslin' originated from the name Maisolos. The chief merchandise of Maisolia, eagerly sought for by the merchants from the Roman world, was muslin-so favourite a wear with fashionable Roman ladies of that age that a legend has it that an ounce of muslin used to sell in Rome for an ounce of gold. Because of this trade Roman gold coins poured into Maisolia. Several Roman coins were found during excavations of Buddhist towns located near Masulipatnam (Maisolia).
Subsequently, the word Muslin found its place in various European languages as French mousseline, Italian mussolina.

Jamdani - flowered muslin.

Whether figured or flowered, jamdani is a woven fabric in cotton, and it is undoubtedly one of the varieties of the finest muslin. It has been spoken of as the most artistic textile of the Bangladeshi weaver. They are traditionally woven around Dhaka ,Bangladesh and on the brocade loom. This is a supplementary weft technique of weaving, where the artistic motifs are produced by a non-structural weft, in addition to the standard weft that holds the warp threads together.Jamdani is a fine muslin cloth on which decorative motifs are woven on the loom, typically in grey and white. Often a mixture of cotton and gold thread were/was used.
The standard weft creates a fine, sheer fabric while the supplementary weft with thicker threads adds the intricate patterns to it. Each supplementary weft motif is added separately by hand by interlacing the weft threads into the warp with fine bamboo sticks using individual spools of thread. The result is a myriad of vibrant patterns that appear to float on a shimmering surface. What’s remarkable in this weaving technique is that the pattern is not sketched or outlined on the fabric. Instead, it is drawn on a graph paper and placed underneath the warp.

Advert  1904 for summer dresses made from muslin.

When this was fashionable the ladies had corsets and various under garments so muslin was delightful in the summer.

Today not so many clothes are made from it and people associate it with culinary skills such as jam making but more clothes made from this wonderful fabric would be fabulous, especially with white on white embroidery.

In India it is still used for saris beautifully decorated with embroidery, beads and sequins.  Some saris are just pure works of art.
The delicate nature of muslin combined with such beautiful stitchery skills makes collectors want to buy them.

I personally love to find antique muslin and this can be found in Victorian and Edwardian children's garments.  Nightgowns, dresses and of course christening gowns.  At the vintage fairs that I attend sometimes you find little fragments of very old muslin that has been cut from something that could not be preserved and restored as it is too bad a condition.

But one man's rubbish is another's treasure and any little bits like that will come home with me to be lovingly stitched to something and then it will be seen again once more.....

I hope you have enjoyed this very small trip into the history of muslin and will yourself look out for some delicious vintage bits to up cycle yourself.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Vintage fair dates .......

Diaries at the ready ladies!

So having been to Pamphill vintage fair in Wimborne Dorset on the 14th February, I was able to pick up leaflets that were kindly left on the little cafe tables for people to take away..... So here are some dates for your diaries in February, March and April so sharpen your pencil and jot them down so you do not miss them..

Vintage and Retro fair
Seager Hall
Union Street
Wells, Somerset

Saturday 28th February
10 - 3pm  Entry fee £1

Dee Dee's Vintage
West Monkton village hall

Sunday 1st March
10 - 3pm Entry fee £1

The Vintage Bazzaar
The Corn Exchange
Market Place
SN10 1HS

Saturday 7th March
9.30 - 3.30pm  Entry fee £2

Vintage and Decorative pop-up
Ashmore Village Hall
Green Lane
Ashmore Dorset

Thursday 19th March
9 - 4pm  (no information on any entry fee)

A Talent for Textiles
The Meeting House
TA19 0AN

Thursday 26th March
9.30 - 3pm  Entrance is free.

The Vintage Bazaar
The Cheese and Grain
BA11 1BE

Saturday 18th April
9 - 3pm  Entry fee £2

Dairy House Antiques and Interiors
Station Road

Sunday 19th April
The leaflet does not say times but here is a phone number 01747 853317

Vintage at the Village Hall
The Corn Exchange
Market Place
Blandford Forum
DT11 7AD

Monday 27th April
10 - 4pm Entry fee £1

I am going to sneak one more in for May......

The Vintage Bazaar
Giant Jumble Sale
The Cheese and Grain
BA11 1BE

Saturday 16th May
9 - 3pm  Entry £2

Well this should keep you all going for a while, I will add to this as and when I know about them.  Asking people who organise Vintage fairs all over the country to contact me.  There is a lady in South Wales who would like to know of any..... please get in touch as lots of ladies contact me in different areas of England, Wales and Scotland to ask.......


Monday 23 February 2015

A V&A book review .....

Pretty little bits of white on white.

I made a trip to the V&A in London last week and I picked up some books in their shop. Firstly though I must say that the Victoria and Albert museum is worth a visit.  It is free to go in and only a few exhibits you have to pay to go in, other wise you are free to roam its vast corridors.  There is an amazing exhibit with costumes and I gazed at the tutu worn by Margot Fonteyn in Swan Lake ... simply stunning.

There is a cafe and two shops, one of them being dedicated to books to I picked up a few.  This is my review of one of them.

The book I purchased was  White-embroidered costume accessories  1700 - 1840 as I wanted to learn a little more about the history of white on white embroidery used on clothes.

Lots of it is turning up at vintage fairs and has over the years been cut off of gowns and shawls and I want to know what dates I am buying.  As you all know if I use anything in sampler picture I always give the dates of materials used.  For me my trusted dealers are a mind of information but I feel two years into the business and I should be able to stand a little on my own two feet where dating is concerned on fabrics and lace.

This book by Heather Toomer is just the ticket and has wonderful illustrations and information on white embroidery on white cottons.....

There is information on stitches that are used on the examples in the book and as one of my loves is embroidery this has been a great read for me.  The examples of stitches and stunning photography with information that is useful and her knowledge has made this a keeper in anyone's personal library....

There are sections on kerchiefs and shawls as well as chemisettes as well as ruffs, collars and cuffs and so so much more....

Patterns are dated and knowledge of stitches used is such a wonderful thing to know for me.

This is a very good book in my opinion and well worth buying if you want to learn more about the history of white embroidery and to date bits you may be lucky enough to find at vintage fairs or antique shops.  These little bits of embroidered fabrics are a wonderful addition to your stitching or if you are lucky enough to find a whole collar or cuffs to simply have them framed is a lovely idea as well......

I give this a ten out of ten for information and wonderful photography, it is teaching me an awful lot.

Take a look at these beauties!

Happy Stitching!

Sunday 22 February 2015

Antique embroidery book find.... An American Beauty!

Such a wonderful find with a small hidden treasure inside.

I was having a sneaky peek on Ebay under the heading antique embroidery books and came across a little beauty.  I put my bid in and joy of joy I won it!!  It has arrived all carefully wrapped in tissue and it was even more stunning in the flesh!
The cover is enough to please most of us who love stitchery and embroidery as you can see.  It is an American book and I am so happy that it has come to live with me.

I carefully opened the first page and started to look through at embroidery hints, vintage adverts for cottons and threads and then as I turned the page a little vintage treasure was tucked inside much to my absolute delight!
A small little flower embellishment was hiding with in the pages.  I love finding little things in books, it makes me wonder who put it there and all the possibilities that go with someone like myself who has such an  imagination.  I bought a antique poetry book and inside was a pressed flower and that got me to thinking about who had owned the book and what this flower must have meant to someone or who was it who gave it to them......

The details in this dear little book are so lovely, such as the story of the silk worm, and where it is native to as well as all about when the worms are born and their eating habits and advertising Richardson's spools of silk.  

It has a section on laundering embroidered linens as well as a section on some embroidery stitches with tent stitch, simple cross stitch, persian cross stitch, herringbone, fancy herringbone stitch, brier stitch, cat stitch, clover stitch and coral stitch as well.  Then there are colour photos of finished embroidered flowers to gaze upon.

The photos are beautiful and the book has been perfectly preserved ......  I am indeed a very
happy buyer.

Happy Stitching!

Saturday 21 February 2015

Stitch of the week ..... Rosette Chain Stitch by Mary Corbet

The only place that stitching comes before housework
is in the dictionary!

Good morning

Today the stitch of the week is brought to you by the ever talented Mary Corbet and is the rosette chain stitch. 

This stitch is very pretty and obviously based on the normal chain stitch but yes, with a twist!

This is a picture I found of the stitch ( not my embroidery) could not find the name of the person who stitched it so beautifully BUT it shows you what can be achieved with the stitch and colour thread change and some normal chain stitch included.....

It can make a beautifully different way to embroider something, it would make a lovely border on something.  Maybe a cloth or a child's piece of clothing or indeed on a pillow case.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial, so make a warm drink and settle down to the lovely Mary Corbet and the way she makes everything look easy!

This little bit of stitching here is by Mary Corbet and just shows you needle position and how different this stitch looks in a straight line....

Have a great weekend. I hope you enjoy this tutorial, make a warm drink and Happy Stitching!

Thursday 19 February 2015

My hand embroidery sampler update.......

Tiny little stitches ........ 

Last week I showed you a sneak preview of a sampler that I am working on.  It is stitched on antique French linen and I am using muted colours to hand embroider this piece.  Adding a little white on white lace and some stunning carved mother of pearl buttons.....  

I have been stitching a away and it is on the home run for being finished, It will be so lovely to see it framed but I think it will be like a tiny bereavement to me as I will miss stitching this one so much.  I am over the moon with it and it is going for publication...... When you see the whole thing I think you will see why I have fallen in love with it so much.

Starting a new project is always exciting so next week should see me doing just that.  The photograph has to be taken at the studio before framing (close up work ) then it will be framed and returned to the photographer for final photos....

I have taken a few little snip shots for you to see but honestly it does not go anywhere to doing it justice, but I had to share bits of  this one with you all.... (naughty me!)

I am finishing details and have a few more days stitching to go but here are pictures snippets for you to see.

I have also broken off to get together two more design baskets ready, as you know I put all that I need for a project in a basket and then I can pick it up and get on with the delightful task of stitchery.  
I have got some pieces of French linen cut and gathered buttons and threads in delightful readiness with a photo copy of the design in each basket so I know where I am at.....

So I am away now to my favourite arm chair to continue my tiny little stitches ...... All copyrights are reserved for Homespun Stitchworks but I hope that you enjoy your little peek!

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Threads of feeling ... tokens of fabric left with foundling children in London.

Hard is my lot in deep distress
To have no help where most should find
Sure Nature meant her sacred Laws
Should men as strong as Women bind.

A verse left with a baby in 1759

The London Foundling Hospital was founded by royal charter in 1739 and its work continues to the present day.  There is a museum in London called the foundling museum and is situated in Brunswick square.  There they have on show some of the things pinned to the babies found.  There were little notes and sometimes rhymes with little scraps of fabrics attached or little tokens for the child to keep from their birth mothers, mothers that had no other heartbreaking choice but leave the care of their child to someone else.....

The charity from the beginning tried to keep records and requires a vast 250 mtrs of shelving for the ledgers and entry books, so can not be such a surprise that they also hold 5,000 small textile scraps dating from the middle decades of the 18th Century that are pinned to registration documents. These scraps are both poignant and beautiful, yet sad as it reflects the life of a infant and a mother who had to give up her child.

When mothers left babies at London’s Foundling Hospital in the mid-eighteenth century, the Hospital often retained a small token as a means of identification, usually a piece of fabric. These swatches of fabric now form Britain’s largest collection of everyday textiles from the eighteenth century. They include the whole range of fabrics worn by ordinary women, along with ribbons, embroidery and even some baby clothes. Beautiful and poignant, each scrap of material reflects the life of an infant child and that of its absent parent.

The enthralling stories the fabrics tell about textiles, fashion, women’s skills, infant clothing and maternal emotion are the material of Threads of Feeling.
The importance of the Foundling textiles – 5,000 rare, beautiful, mundane and moving scraps of fabric – lies in the fact that so few pieces of eighteenth-century clothing have otherwise survived that can be identified with any confidence as having belonged to the poor. Ordinary people’s clothes were worn and re-worn by a succession of owners until they fell into rags, or they were cut up and reused for quilts, baby clothes, and the like. If, by chance, they outlived the eighteenth century, they were unlikely to excite the attention of collectors or museums. The Foundling collection includes the whole range of textile fabrics worn by ordinary women – exposing a lost world of camblet and fustian, susy and cherryderry, calimanco and linsey-woolsey – along with ribbons, embroidery and even some baby clothes

Along with scraps of fabric some parents left little tokens such as thimbles, lock and key, even a small ring as well as little token bits of metal with something engraved on. It must have been distressing to leave your child and the fact that they left it with something from their birth family showed, I think, that they cared but had no choice what so ever.

Because of the very well kept records in a time when things were not recorded as they are now we also get an insight into fabrics of the time.  Fabrics that belonged to everyday people and would by now have disappeared and we would have no knowledge of.

A silk fringe: expensive flowered dress silk of around 1750
with a matching piece of fly braid.  Foundling 2584 a little girl
admitted 27 October 1756..........

Occasionally some children had some home embroidery or stitching attached to them which you can only assume that their birth mother had stitched.  There were bits of patchwork, Dorset buttons, samplers  Some of the identified stitches included satin stitch, chain stitch, crewel work and black work.
 The needlework was often a little crude on the decorative  front among the foundling textiles and this suggests that the needle skills of the working women were not as good as once thought.  They stitched for their family, clothes and bedding and they mended but obviously did not have the time or the money for the materials to produce decorative pieces just for show.  Also they were taught weaving and knitting rather than stitching as it often this was better for work purposes later on.

This is an embroidered sampler attached to foundling 14695, a little boy admitted on 6 December 1759.  

'worckt with flowers' linen or cotton with flowers attached to foundling 14084 a little boy  admitted 3 October 1759.

I have bought a book on this subject called Threads of feeling by John Styles so that I can learn more about this sad but interesting subject.  I have also done my homework on line to read all that I can.  I have used images from google and these are I am sure images taken by the museum and for this outstanding book.  I have enjoyed learning about the foundling tokens and with my love of vintage, fabrics and embroidery I have found it extremely interesting and extremely heart rendering....

I hope that you enjoy reading about this piece of history.  If you would like to visit the museum the address is :
40 Brunswick Square

Opening times Tue - Sat 10.00am until 5pm  Tickets are £7.50 per adult ( there are concessions and children under a certain age go in for free)

I myself will be making a visit to the museum in the next few weeks as this has touched my heart and taken a grip of my interest.

A flowered silver ribbon with a paper sewn to it which reads.
This silver ribbon is desired to be preserved as the Childs mark
for distinction.
Foundling 2275 a boy admitted 6 September 1756.

Flowered all over with cards.
cotton or linen printed with a playing card pattern.
Foundling 14922 a boy admitted 24 December 1759.

 Foundling entry book!

I will leave you with this last picture and a happier note.

A patchwork needle case made from printed and woven fabrics, embroidered with a heart
and the initials SC and cut in half.  Foundling 16516 a boy admitted 11 February 1767.
Christened Charles, but given the name Benjamin Twirl by the hospital.  Reclaimed by his mother, Sarah Bender on 10 June 1775.


Tuesday 17 February 2015

A stunning rare find .....

child's/dolls eiderdown quilt.

Take a look at my wonderful find.  It is a tiny eiderdown.  There is hand embroidery on it as well as the most stunning of fabrics and beige silk. It is either a child's crib eiderdown or indeed one made for dolls in a wealthy family home.  Personally I think it is for a child as a dolls one would be smaller.  It measures 30 x 20 inches and it really beautiful.

It is circa 1930 and when I got it not only did it smell badly but the colours were hidden buy dirt. 
So I took the bull by the horns and washed the feather eiderdown in special rose and cedar delicate wash liquid and then watched the years of dirt disappear....  You need to dry them quickly and not on a line where feathers that are wet will sink to a corner....  when it was dry and all plump and utterly beautiful once more I gave it a light spray with rose and cedar so that it would smell even more wonderful and repel moths as well.

The results are outstanding and I am very pleased with my very rare find indeed.

Across the miniature eiderdown there are little embroidery circles with the middle cut out and it really does look so pretty.
 The details on this beauty enhance an already perfect thing.  The colours are a delicate beige and reds with all the beauty that only vintage hues can bring.

I am not sure if this will be for sale yet as I am indeed taking the bull by the horns and later this year attending a vintage fair myself with inspiration packs, buttons and vintage goodies as well as some of my own embroidered and applique work ( pictures and samplers and more) So it may well be on my stall..... I think this would look wonderful in a nursery and would be a wonderful future heirloom...

What do you think?

Happy Stitching!

Monday 16 February 2015

All the fun of the vintage fair!!

Vintage buttons, fabrics, crochet, threads, china in baskets, ribbons and more!

As you all know I attended the first of this seasons vintage fairs and it was held at Pamphill, Wimborne in Dorset!  This is around 10 miles away from where I live and so off I set to attend this first of many this year.

What an event Elaine who organised it did so extremely well.  The stall where all brimming with such goodies that it made peoples eyes go wide.
 There was also a wonderful little coffee and cake shop tucked in the corner as you arrived in the hall.  The lady running it was serving tea and coffee and some really beautiful home made cakes, of which I had a piece of the chocolate one and it was beautiful.  The hall had been decorated inside and out with fabric bunting and the place was buzzing with great stalls and buyers...

There were cloths on the tables and flyer's for the up and coming events for people to collect and take away with them and the when people were walking in you could see the excitement on there faces.

There were lots of beautiful stalls selling all manner of items.

This stall caught my eye with all the beautiful vintage buttons for sale as well at lots of other goodies.  This lady Leonore Holder also has an on line store

The stock on this stall was over whelming and I came away with some stunning mother of pearl buttons for a Wedding sampler that I will be working in soon.

Vintage to Victorian  was in attendance along with the Washerwoman both selling some wonderful antique fabrics and other goodies.  There were Welsh blankets, and tiny childs nightgowns and dresses all antiques and in muslin for only £5!

There were threads, pegs and vintage monogram stencils along with some gorgeous pieces of antique quilts.  Sue who own Vintage to Victorian also has a shop within Dairy House near Shaftesbury.......

There was Tilly D and Jenny Jones who both had wonderful stalls and the array of items was incredible.  There were old suitcases, fabrics, china and the china along with vintage magazines tied with string to carry home.  The temptation was endless. 

Quilts piled on painted ladders with vintage eiderdowns and cushions made from stunning vintage fabrics. I actually bought a beautiful crochet covered cushion for my stitchery room on my chair along with two stunning small cushions with antique linen, lace and buttons on..... the choice was endless.

People of Wimborne and the surrounding area were heaving into the hall all with the intention of buying and they did.....

The fair started officially at 9.30am but the line of people queued outside by before 9am was staggering, all waiting to see what goodies they could procure for themselves.  Lots of people were buying blankets, quilts, cushions for their homes and wanting vintage beauty instead of the modern mass produced stuff in the big department stores, it was so wonderful to see us all turning back the clock to a time where things were crafted not mass produced and they were hungry to own some history ......

People had armfuls of loveliness and going to their cars and back inside it was crazy in a wonderful way... Pictures and vintage linen hearts flying out the door along with kitchens utensils and china.

The tables were becoming bare by 11.30am and the fair did not close until 3.30pm ......

I have picked up lots of leaflets of all the shows coming up in the next couple of months and they are all over the country.  If you do not live in Dorset please do not dispair.

I will be making sure you are all in the know when I am of up and coming events, this one was however a great start to the vintage season and shows us all how popular vintage has become.  Some of the ladies who were there were buying materials to make their own bits for the their homes, however there were lots of them who do not stitch and really wanted to buy products made by Artisan makers, bespoke made and up cycled for their homes.

As you can see from the photos there was plenty to choose from and when you had finished a lovely drink and slice of homemade cake was very very welcome.

I am now looking forward to my next fair.  Watch this space for some details coming up in the coming weeks ahead.

I hope you have enjoyed a peek at the kick off to the vintage fair season........

Happy Stitching!!

Sunday 15 February 2015

Needle Felted Pumpkin Tutorial 3: Finishing Details by Sarafina Fiber Art

Finishing touches and lots of fun!

This is the final part to felting a pumpkin.  I hope you have enjoyed this series.  It does teach you techniques that are so very useful when tackling other projects.  As the ladies who do this say, this is the perfect beginners project and having done one myself I totally understand that statement.....  Again the final part is as quirky as the last two but go with it.... The tutorial is very useful.

I would love to see anybodies pumpkins please mail me your picture and if I do get some I will feature them on a blog..... Go on give it a go!!

 You do not have to do faces on them you can in fact make a pumpkin and use it as a pin cushion or just decoration......

I am going to make some more.  White ones with brown and some face ones with light orange faces instead of the one with the brown face..... I use my first one as a pin cushion.  I am going to make more to decorate with....  These tutorials helped me do Bonnie the bear because they taught me techniques.  I made my pumpkin first before I made my bear....

Or indeed go with a cute face!

Enjoy the last bit of the tutorial....... Happy Felting!

Saturday 14 February 2015

Knotted Pearl Stitch

Doubt thou the stars are fire
Doubt that the sun doth move
Doubt truth to be a liar, but
never doubt I love....
William Shakespeare.

Hello! and happy valentines weekend to you all!

Today I am off to the vintage fair in Pamphill and I will let you know all about it next week, but for now it is stitch of the week time....

This weeks stitch of the week is the knotted pearl stitch and once again is brought to you by the lovely and talented Mary Corbet.  This is a much unused and beautiful stitch.  It is a great outline stitch as well.

Look at what can be achieved .... This looks like paisley to me and you all know that I adore paisley.
I found this picture of the knotted pearl stitch, although it did not say who had stitched it.

I think this is lovely with the French knots it makes it quiet beautiful.  I am going to give this ago myself.  I have done some paisley work with Dorset feather stitch, you may remember last year I showed you the vintage embroidery book that I found dedicated to that stitch.  This is another way to get a paisley pattern and I am thrilled to see the knotted pearl stitch made into such a wonderful pattern.

I hope you enjoy this weeks tutorial and enjoy your weekend.

Happy Stitching!