Saturday 30 May 2015

Oyster Stitch ... by Mary Corbet

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow!

Happy Saturday!  well as promised this is the stitch that you need to combine with the twisted chain stitch from last weekend.  When you know both of these stitches you can create some beautiful pieces.  This is another great tutorial by Mary Corbet so make a drink and enjoy...

This stitch is stunning to make buds and flowers.  You can embroider beautiful little buds or make them into petals for a daisy and is a change or an addition to lazy daisy stitch.  In a row of
embroidered flowers is is lovely not only for texture but so that it looks like a cottage garden full of beautiful flowers .... add this to the seed stitch and the drizzle stitch for lavender and it can look stunning.


Friday 29 May 2015

My red on white hare/rabbit sampler...... nearly finished!

The rabbit or hare symbolises gentleness and purity.

I have been working on finishing some of my personal projects and this one is the one that is getting all the attention right now.  I love samplers as you all know and I simply adore hares so this cross stitch sampler was perfect to stitch for me.  I have neglected it and it is now going to be finished.

It is a red on white one and I have used a beautiful red shaker hand dyed thread for it.  I really enjoy cross stitching as well as other stitching.  I find it so relaxing to do.

The design has used motifs of ones found on samplers from a German sampler of 1738 and an English sampler from 1859.  I simply loved this when I saw it and started it ages ago it seems, well now it is to be finished and framed.

I am going to stitch vintage fabric around the aida to make mine a little different and also I think I may attach an embroidered saying onto some vintage linen and attach that to the fabric.  I am not sure but I think I am going to embroider the words ' Old and dear is this house here'  but I do not have to decide yet, what I must concentrate on is finishing this beauty.  There are 16 buttons attached to this
beautiful sampler and I have chosen some stunning little antique carved mother of pearl ones to stitch on to mine.

In the picture of the sampler (on the pattern) they have framed it in a white modern frame but I am going for something different.  When I have finished it I will up date you with photos.... It will take me a week, I think to finish and then I have to choose the fabric and attach it before taking it to the framers for a professional job.  As you can see from the photo on the right I have some gapes to fill.  On the photo above I have to put three tiny buttons above the squiggly line on the right!

This is the picture on the pattern with the frame that they have chosen.  I think a different frame and some fabric added as a border.... My own personal touch to this beautiful cross stitch picture.

So think of me after hours here working on this and at weekend, then with a clear conscience I can start my log cabin vintage fabric quilt squares...... ( still waiting for the ruler!!.. )

I am starting to make and finish bits for our house move ( when we decide to go) ... I also must finish stitching some bits for publication!... I am a busy bee indeed.

Do not forget tomorrow is Stitch of the week day and it is a great one so do not forget to come back.

Have a great weekend all and Happy Stitching!

Thursday 28 May 2015

A little quilting history ..... Quakers, Shakers and Amish!

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.

Personally I love patchwork quilts.  When you find a very old one and look at its detail and stitching, it is a wonder to me.  Who made it, when was it made.... it is the history that I love as well as the article its self.

Some quilts have a date on and who made it especially if you are lucky enough to see a Quaker friendship quilt.  When a young woman got married she would often make a quilt to say farewell to her family or if as a couple they were leaving where they lived for pastures new.
 Signature quilts, also known as friendship quilts, were often given as mementos to mark important community events in the Quaker community and there stitchery was more ornate in colours and in the making them pretty process.

Can you imagine bringing back some of these women for a day that made some of these beautiful quilts.  Firstly they would be in awe at how much these items fetch now!  I am sure there would be happiness that most of us want to preserve and treasure such items but they would shake their heads at the amount of money they go for.

Patchwork quilts were made from scraps of fabrics, generally with meaning.  A dress that no longer could be worn or a blanket that had seen better days.  Quilts were about keeping warm.  They were a necessity in keeping the chill out and not really seen as decoration, certainly in the Amish community.

However, during the mid to late 1800s, the Amish began taking to the art of quilting and eventually making it into their own style.  Because the quilt was a useful and necessary item, many Amish quilters believed that it was okay to use the coloured and patterned fabrics while making the quilts because it did not take any more time to make it more beautiful, while still remaining useful.
 As a result, the Amish began developing their own designs and methods for producing their attractive and intricate patterns. Simple geometric designs pieced together with tiny, equally spaced stitches quickly became the Amish quilter's signature style. The earliest Amish quilts used basic squares, triangles, or rectangles using solid, muted colours.  These Amish quilts eventually developed into more intricate designs that used brighter and bolder colours  Popular designs amongst Amish quilters were often inspired by nature, such as flowers, leaves, grapevines, stars, circles, or a mixture of a variety of these Amish styles.

In the Shaker world art and poetry and dancing was not frowned upon at all.  Although they made things that were useful and functional they were also encouraged to add beauty and detail.  The shaker tree of life is a beautiful yet simple thing and I have seen an original drawing made into a print at the Shaker village in America.  They would quilt and there are still quilts made and sold today at the Canterbury Shaker village.  I have several from there but they are small ones and I treasure them.  I have a few table runners made from there as well as some shaker boxes for my stitching. The picture on the left is one I took last year in the Canterbury shaker village shop of the quilts that were there.  Made in the traditional way and not on a machine.... They are beautiful..... Also I have a one with a tree and apples which I will photograph for you to see.  It is a wall hanging and I put it up in the Autumn.

I have ordered a book on the Quaker friendship quilts and I will share with you when it arrives.  I find it a fascinating subject and hope you will enjoy it as well.

Also I have
ordered a particular ruler for a quilt I would like to make ....log cabin style and from vintage linens, embroidery and fabrics with a little added embroidery from me.  I am hoping today it will arrive and I can start cutting out some strips for it.... again I will share with you what I am up to.

Anyway I must away to my stitching and keep an ear out for the postman..... Have a great day and of course as always Happy Stitching!

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Honiton Lace ...... and a lovely few days in Devon!

Having just spent a long weekend at a friends cottage near Honiton I thought you may like to know what this beautiful town is famous for, lace, yes Honiton lace.   The late Queen Victoria had her satin wedding dress adorned with lace made there.  Here is a little bit about Honiton lace for you to read.

Honiton lace is one of the many varieties of hand-made bobbin lace produced commercially over the past few centuries, a lace that has become world famous for it’s intricate, delicate and very beautiful design. Honiton lace has been made in the East Devon of England area since the late 16th century and during that time has been purchased and worn by the wealthy of the world.

Honiton had an early history of textile production prior to lace making and so had many workers who could adapt and take up lace making for a living when it became a highly desirable fashion accessory. Wool was woven in the area, and more importantly flax was grown here to make the very fine hand spun yarns used in lace making at that time. With many textile workers already, it was natural that they should turn their hand to lace making when it came about.

No one "invented" Honiton Lace. Early bobbin lace from Flanders in particular, is very similar to the Honiton Lace of the same period, however, over hundreds of years the lace made here in East Devon developed characteristics that are the ones now commonly recognised as Honiton Lace. If lace was invented anywhere it was probably Italy, and from there spread to many places with an existing textile industry. Honiton, being a wool and flax area was ideally suited to taking up this new craft.

The wedding dress of Queen Victoria was worn by Victoria, Queen of England , at her wedding to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg on 10 February 1840. She selected a white dress, which was considered an unusual choice at a time when colours were more usual, made from heavy silk satin and The Honiton lace used for her wedding dress proved an important boost to Devon lace-making Queen Victoria has been credited with starting the tradition of white weddings  and white bridal gowns, although she was not the first royal to be married in white.  She was so pleased with her dress with the lace made in Honiton that she commissioned a christening gown made from there which all her children were christened in.

In Honiton today there are lots of antique shops in this beautiful town.  Whilst I was there I had a little walk around most of them, searching for some lovely vintage treasures.  I picked I a beautiful box of vintage embroidery threads ( yes I know, you would think I had enough!!) also there were some lovely mother of pearl carved buttons and some delicate vintage hankies......  But my lovely find was some beautiful Honiton lace..... I was so pleased to actually find some.

It was a lovely few days and very relaxing indeed.  I did do a little stitching but only for an hour whilst my husband and friend were putting together benches for our friends garden.  Which we then christened by sitting on and having some champagne and snacks and listening to the birds and his waterfall that is in his garden.

I have to get sorted this week and back into the swing of things.  I have sorted out my stitching and really must get to some stitching again this week.  I am going to photograph my purchases for you to look at as well when they are all unpacked properly.

Have a wonderful day and Happy Stitching!

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Zhen Xian Bao ..... The art of folded secrets, thread books.

The little known subjects of this book have until recent times been hidden from wider attention, even in China, where people only relate to zhen xian bao if they have been part of their local tradition. The reason for their secret history lies partly in the fact that they are made for use in the home, to store the sewing accessories used in decorating elaborate costumes that are worn during festivals and ceremonies. Yet in themselves they are significant works of art reflecting distinct local artistic styles.

Needle woman the world over have some sort of container for there precious needle work haberdashery and tools of the trade.  As you know I met Martin Conian at Deans Court textile fair last Wednesday and he told be about these beautiful folded paper ones made by Chinese woman to hold their tools of the trade.

Unfortunately it has become a dying art and the older women, whose sewing days are over, are selling these Zhen Xian Bao to textile dealers and tourists.  As a result of this, the provenance and other valuable information about them is often lost.

Ruth Smith and Gina Corrigan have written a wonderful book about it and you can find copies on Amazon or order one from your local book store...

This book show you a basic construction of the twist and fold pop up paper boxes contained in these stitching wraps also goes into the history and regions that they were made.

Tracing the history of folded paper (zhen xian bao) has proved extremely difficult for lots of reason.  Firstly, paper disintegrates faster than other art materials and being utilitarian these little thread books wear out.  The second problems is lack of historical records as the Miao and Dong do not have written languages so basically there is nothing really written about these wonderful stitchery thread books...

The materials and techniques that go into making one of these beautiful sewing kits is quiet
something.  It includes paper making, weaving, indigo dyeing and paper folding, as well as the decorative techniques such as woodblock printing, painting, calligraphy and making paper cuts...

The book is worth buying to read and to look at some of the most beautiful sewing kits you will ever find and all made of paper!  Some have been covered in fabrics, patchwork style and also have the old type Chinese script in them.

This is a truly facinating read and the book has some wonderful photographs and explanations.  It is worth buying if you love stitchery and textiles .... which if you read this blog regularly you must... I love learning about new things, I had never heard of these before and would like to thank Martin for introducing me to this wonderful art  ...

This is the book and it really is a great read.  I hope you have enjoyed this toe dipping into this beautiful art of fold and twist paper thread books...... Happy Stitching!

Monday 25 May 2015

how to make a silk ribbon embroidered pin cushion ..... tutorial

Happy Bank Holiday Monday everyone!

As it is the Bank Holiday I thought a little tutorial for you.  This is a great tutorial and worth the watch.  Make a warm drink and enjoy.  It shows you from start to finish how to make this and teaches you how to embroider ribbon roses as well.

Also how you can colour in ribbon with special pens .... as this is not an item for washing it works very well indeed.
This lady uses ribbon for the leaves in the tutorial as well, personally I like it with embroidered type leaves, not formal ones but stitches to suggest them.... take a look at what I mean and then you choose! (picture on the left here)

I hope you are all having a wonderful long weekend we have been ( I will let you know all about it later in the week)

We have to leave wonderful Devon later today to make our way home but we have had such a wonderful time....

Hey Ho and back to work tomorrow.... I have missed my stitching though!

Enjoy the rest of your day and I hope you enjoy your watch of something different.

Saturday 23 May 2015

Twisted Chain Stitch by Mary Corbet

Good Morning and Happy Bank Holiday weekend!

I hope you are all having a great time.  I am in Devon again this Bank Holiday at our great friends cottage.  I will let you all know next week what we have been up to.

For now though it is the lovely Mary Corbet and the twisted chain stitch for you to watch and learn.  This is a great stitch and helps with the oyster stitch, which I will be showing you next week!

These two stitches will help you embroider beautiful flowers so both are worth learning .....

This is a great tutorial and one that is very good for embroidery both for flowers and borders.  Can you imagine what you could do with this stitch and the wonderful colour threads you could use? Enjoy your weekend and enjoy this tutorial ......

Friday 22 May 2015

Deans Court textile fair ... My show and tell purchases...

 The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it ....
 I can resist everything but temptation!
Oscar Wilde 

( I would have got on so well with this clever man!)

As you know I attended Deans Court annual vintage textile fair on Wednesday and you had a look yesterday at the photos of who was exhibiting.  Today I am going to show you what I bought.  Actually I was very restrained (honestly, I could have bought lots more especially one of those beautiful dresses and the sampler - but I did resist the temptation and did not yield to it!!)

So my first purchase of the day was from the lovely Liz (wow that skirt!) of The Washerwoman fame.  Liz often goes to France to find beautiful items to bring back to Blighty to tempt us all with and she had the most beautiful pieces of French fabrics but there  was a large piece of eiderdown fabric and you know I really can not resist that!.  There was a much smaller piece of the same one but I went for the larger.  Two reasons there is such a nice amount you could even make a few cushions with it if you so desired but also I can use what I need and then the rest can go into my inspiration fabric packs that will be on sale at the Vintage Bazaar in October ..... The fluid motion of vintage, I love it!

Right next door to Liz was Sue who owns Vintage to Victorian and as I have said before Sue has
such  eclectic displays that you can honestly be there ages.  I love it.  She has little drawer there partly open so just peeking at you, you can spy vintage monograms, hankies, threads, buttons and all sorts of my kind of treasures.  Sue had vintage Welsh blankets, beautiful eiderdowns, little rolls of vintage pieces of blankets, quilt pieces and so much more.  Well imagine my delight when she had a vintage H monogram, so this quickly stayed in my hand along with some more really beautiful pre 1960 embroidery threads ( I think in a past life, I must have run out and had felt like the mice in Beatrix Potters The Taylor of Gloucester .. no more twist!)
 To be honest although there has been a fare bit of this around at the moment, It is going fast so when you see this sort of thing, simply you buy it or loose it ....

And as if by magic right next to Sue was Donna Flower and her lovely mum who was helping.  Donna had very kindly asked me if there was anything I had been looking for and she
would check her stock and bring what she thought might fit the bill,  I had said about ribbons because I have some new designs in my book which require some and I actually did not have much at all.  Well there were a nice bundle to choose from and I picked up four.  Then there was this kilner jar and it was full of dear little vintage embroidery threads in all the colours that you could possibly need .... Yes it came home with me too.  Then this was the laugh and the coo of the day for me.  I saw a beautiful vintage French curtain pelmet ( not ones that need curtains as well, but the sort of little one that you have at the top of a window or lower down and look over it)  It has beautiful little flowers on it and a hand crochet little frill detail on the bottom
PLUS the original plastic rings to hang it. ... That is the coo part as it came home with me.  The laugh? well as you know we are hoping to move to pastures new soon and I bought this pelmet for a window in a pantry/utility room that I don't actually have yet!!!!  I like to call it forward planning! My husband would call it madness.   I have a box going on with bits for our new home (included in this is that roll of vintage wallpaper I showed you earlier this week) and a few more items......I call it it my moving trousseaux!!

You can see in this picture the fabric of this dear little pelmet ( actually it is quiet large so it will fit
most windows) and the pink crochet detail plus the original plastic rings for hanging it.( bottom pictures on the right)  I just fell in love with it.  My imaginary pantry/utility room is going to be so beautiful ( designed in my head already I may add)

You can imagine can't you when looking around houses and saying to my husband " yes that was a lovely house but it will never do, there is no window in the pantry/utility room" or variations along that theme!!

I had a laugh with Donna and her mum over this but they totally got it....

So after feeling very satisfied with my decorating purchase and haberdashery plunder I found Sarah of Blue Zinnia Vintage and she had lots of haberdashery as well.... Now there were a few embroidery threads but my
appetite for them had been quenched but my ribbon ration had not been fulfilled and she had some beautiful lingerie ribbon still in its original packaging and a lovely light blue ribbon again in its a beautiful vintage piece of cotton all hand embroidered and it was white on white.  I love this sort of find you can add this to so much of your work for added detail and beauty so yes it was paid for and put in my very large tote bag that I bought from Emma of Little Wren Vintage.....

Finally as I said yesterday I met Martin of Slow Loris who I had a long and interesting chat with about the Zhen Xian Bao stitchery rolls from China.  I bought the book from him about it and I am going to do a blog about that subject next week... It really is fascinating and I have started reading the book already.  The book really is worth a read and I think I might give making one of those twist and fold pockets myself and paint and lacquer them into a small roll for a personal project....  You can also cover it all in fabric but the original basis is paper so I might give it a whirl...

I hope you have enjoyed this little show and tell brought to you from Devon today... Have a great Bank Holiday weekend and do not forget it is Stitch of the Week tomorrow and this is a real beauty and not to be missed, brought to you by the ever lovely Mary Corbet...

Happy Stitching!

Thank you Deans Court ..... See you next year! x

PS>  I made a mistake about what I described to you all as wall paper samples ( bought from Donna Flower at The Decorative Living fair)  They actually are hand painted textile designs.  They were painted first before before being made into rollers to print up fabric.  These are very special indeed and I got it wrong completely.  I have one which is framed and in my workroom  already ( I bought last year from Donna) and the one I bought from her at the weekend that needs to be framed and put next to the other one in pride of place in my workroom!!  .....  So I am a very very lucky lady!  Thank you Donna xxx

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Deans court vintage textile fair.......... This is a yearly event not to be missed!

 I long for the countryside.  That's where I get my calm and tranquility -
 from being able to come and find a spot of green!

 Emilia Clarke

The textile fair at Deans Court in Wimborne, Dorset is an annual event and not to be missed if you are a lover of all things vintage and especially stitching.  It is a textile fair in the main but also people do have other objects on their stalls as well .  The setting is really beautiful as well and unless you new that Deans Court
was behind the trees you would not be able to see it.  It is still a personal home but does have events there and I believe you can hire it for weddings as well.  Any couple wishing to marry could not go far wrong as the setting for photographs is outstanding.  With a stream running through and willow trees and a beautiful stone bridge ... quiet a backdrop.

Yesterday they had a huge marquee set up in the grounds filled with delicious fabrics and goodies on beautifully presented stalls..... It was like walking into wonderland!

The sun was shinning and they had table on the vast lawn by the river with waiters taking orders for drinks and cakes.  The marquee was set out beautifully with paper pom poms hanging from the fabric draped ceiling inside.  The first people I saw was Liz and Jack of
The Washerwoman fame!  Liz always has some beautiful French fabrics and yes I found some to bring home with me.  But what also caught my eye was the skirt that Liz was wearing that she had bought in a vintage sale for herself.  There was embroidery and applique and it was colourful and bright and she looked lovely in it and she let me take photos for you all to see.  Liz had such a beautiful stall set up with fabrics, books, shoes, buttons, ribbons, embroidery stamps .... everything us vintage lovers adore!  I will show you pictures of her beautiful skirt at the end....

Next to The Washerwoman was Sue from Vintage to Victorian and as always Sue has the most eclectic stall.  There were beautiful eiderdowns, Welsh blankets, monograms, embroidery threads, buttons, pieces of old quilts and so much more to tempt people with.  I did succumb to more embroidery threads, a girl doesn't want to run out!! and I bought a beautiful monogram as well ( all in the show and tell tomorrow)  By now the marquee had started to get busy and Sue had people waiting to get into look so we said goodbye and I went off very happy with my bag of goodies!

Like ducks in a row I found the lovely Donna Flower and her lovely mum was helping her today so we all had a little catch up... Yes I know I saw Donna on Saturday but still!!  Anyway as always this lady does not disappoint and I had been asked by Donna if there was anything
I would like and she would have her look in her stock and bring it to the fair.  So as promised she had sourced some lovely ribbons for me and in addition to that a kilner jar full of darling little embroidery threads ( as I said a girl does not want to run out!)  so just as I thought I had got all that I needed I saw a little French curtain pelmet that is simply beautiful.... Yes I did, need you ask!

So happily with my purchases I went along my merry wander as there were lots more stalls to see.  None of which I had seen before so it really was a wonderful walk of discovery for me.

I found a lovely stall by the name of Paice at Home and there was some beautiful china and glass wear on display.  A tiny blue and white china set caught my eye ... No I didn't ( my dresser would have broken under the strain)  but I am sure that someone with an eye for beautiful china would have snapped it up and taken it home.  I believe it used to be for children to play with ( I know!) but there was not a chip or crack on it.......

Then I found this amazing stall all with very beautiful and colourful
textiles and shoes called Treasures from the silk road.  The embroidery on all the items ( even the shoes) was outstanding.  As an artist the colours just jumped out to me along with the ornate embroidery ..... 

Then I came across this lovely lady Carole Wilson who had such a wonderful display of vintage dresses! Oh My! they were gorgeous.  I know a lady who would have been floating on air at this stall ( Sally!)  Not only that but she had
lots of silk appliqued flowers to stitch on to whatever you wanted, lace, shawls, table linens and all sorts of wonderful textiles.  I just stood there and stared at the beauty.
You can not see the beading detail on these photos as it was just impossible to capture it but I did take a close up of one of the dresses.  Look at the sheer bead work in lines like pearls.... so beautiful.

Blue Zinnia Vintage was the next stall and there was lots of fabric and haberdashery items on display.  I managed to pick up two original, still in its packaging Lingerie ribbon ... a very happy purchase, plus another ribbon in still with the original paper around it and this was a beautiful blue colour, along with a lovely piece of embroidered cotton  ribbon....

There was little packs of original needles and some dear small bone crochet hooks as well but I was happy with my three purchases so I said goodbye and walked on.

Next door to the above exhibitor was Deborah Simmins and she had some very tempting things on her stand including a beautiful large sampler.  It really was lovely.  I do
collect samplers for my hallway but this one was a little too large for me .... It was vintage heaven with lots of different and unusual things to look at and purchase....

Unfortunately ( only for photo purposes) the sun was on the sampler so you can not see it terribly well but believe me it really was a beauty.

Then as I moved on I met a very interesting Man called Martin and 
his stall was called Slow Loris.  He specialised in Oriental Tribal Textiles and vegetable dyed clothing.  There were quilts as well.  Martin was telling me all about Zhen Xian Bao. or to you and I 'needle thread pocket' ..... They unfold like a sort of wrap and inside they are exquisite.
 The little square like pockets unfold into a boxes.  This is where they kept there needles and threads, basically there sewing kits..... The most beautiful sewing kits you have ever seen believe me.  There is a book on the art of making them and there origins and history!..It is by Ruth Smith and Gina Corrigan but Martin has written the foreword in there.  Martin had some on his stall and the were stunning.  They were a lot of money but very beautiful.  I have bought the book and was talking to Martin for quiet some time.  I will be doing a blog on this subject because it is truly fascinating.

In the meantime though I have a photo to show you inside one of the wraps and Martin kindly opened up on of
the puzzle like pieces that then magically turned into a box!!  they call it twist and fold boxes.

As you can see these are really rare now and really rather special.  I would have loved one.  The thing is though I felt it was probably too fragile to use and to simply just have it in a drawer would be a waste..... ( look out for a blog on this next week)

It was time to say goodbye to Martin as I still had two more stalls to visit.  So I made my way to a really stunning display and that to had a vintage sampler on it .... I was really tempted.

stall belonged to Cher and Michael Todd and they deal in samplers, folk art, quilts, toys and naive paintings just to mention a few.  The stall really looked beautiful with a very old teddy bear sat in a china bowl and a toy cat curled up on a quilt.

There was a little rocking horse on top of some shelves and really beautiful vintage goodies every where you looked.  The stall was very busy with eager customers.....

My last stop was Samaya Lings beautiful display with a black beaded dress, some lovely pieces of vintage jewellery and some gorgeous hats as well.  It was a truly stunning display.  There was a black feather boa around the neck of the beaded dress and they had opened that part of the marquee and the sun shone through and made the beads look like tiny diamonds sparkling.... Again my friend Sally would have been in heaven.

This textile marquee was now in full flow of eager buyers and by now it was 12.30 and it was time for me to leave.  I had lots of stitching to get on with so I had to say goodbye.  I went around to those I knew and said my fond farewells and then I walked back to my car... passing over the stone bridge with the willow trees and ducks .... Past beautiful wild flower borders and to the green field that was the temporary car park.

Deans Court is a great textile event and I am so pleased that it is near enough for me to attend.  What a great way to spend a Wednesday morning!....

I will leave you now with the pictures of Liz's skirt as promised and then I am away to do so stitching and packing for my weekend away in Devon.... bliss..  

Tomorrow do not forget to come back and I will do a show and tell of the beautiful vintage goodies I purchased yesterday...... Happy Stitching!

Isn't that skirt amazing!  ... Thank you Liz for sharing xx

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Take a little look at my purchases at the Decorative Living Fair at the weekend!

 Why hurry over beautiful things? Why not linger and enjoy them?

Clara Schumann

As you all know my confession about the Decorative Living fair was that I did go into buying with enthusiasm! and I did promise you some photos, so here we are!

The thing is I am off again today to a vintage textile fair at Deans Court in Wimborne, Dorset!  But I am not going to any at the weekend you see as I will be in Devon again at our good friends, along with some hand stitching and my design book!..... Its ok I am just trying to justify all this to myself!

Firstly I would like to show you what I bought from Alison of Betty & Violet.  As I said to you Alison makes some really
beautiful things and one of them are these little dolls.  They are a thing of beauty and totally female, for most of you ladies out there you will know and see what I mean.  Also Alison makes lavender sachets but not the normal kind but ones that are stuffed to the gills with lavender and they are beautiful.  She makes the one that I bought and she makes ones that are like a manikin and you hang them.  All dressed up with vintage mother of pearl buckles, buttons, feathers and lace .... anything stunning.  You can see why I said it looks like it came from Versailles Palace.

They are truly exquisite.  You can find Betty & Violet on Facebook and Alison always lets you know where she will exhibiting next.  There are always beautiful photos on her page and I am sure if you contact her, if you can not make a show she may be able to post to you. Although the doll is delicate and has china arms and legs.... She is hand painted in some places and all the wings and clothes are made by Alison.  I will be doing an interview with her next week so you will all be able to learn about this talented lady!

The next purchase that I made were some cushions by Jo of Hesta Nesta!  Jo had made these beauties last week in her workroom.  She has made the fronts from strips of vintage  eiderdown fabric and has cleverly included on the side the gathered eiderdown ribbon detail.  The backs of the cushions are made from vintage grain sacks and although I forgot to ask, I would say that they are French.  I am so thrilled with these beauties.  I love to change the beds around at home ( by which I mean there dressing)  One month our bedroom may look like it is red and christmasy and cosy and another Spring like.  I love to put different throws, eiderdowns, quilts on the beds and change about the cushions.  It is the artistic nature in me.

Now Donna Flower had some really beautiful things on her stall and honestly can say I have never walked away empty handed from this ladies displays, be it at a show or her
wonderful shop in Barnstable!!  This day was no exception, you see she had some wonderful fabrics and ribbons and a set of three dear little antique books as well.  When I turned there was the eiderdown! it was all too much!( The picture is not fabulous I am afraid because it has not brought out the beautiful green colour)  but then I spied a little card and this has a story to it.  Last year I bought an antique wallpaper sample from Donna in blue and white and I have had it framed for my
workroom.  These are very rare and really beautiful.... And there was another one there and I thought that if I took that back with me and framed that it would look splendid with the other one I have.  I love to have beautiful vintage or handmade paintings, and pictures in my workspace it is pure inspiration!  So you can see a theme going on .... most of what I have shown you is for me personally and not my business.. except the fabric and ribbon from Donna!  

But ladies and Gents I did do better.... for a while anyway!  I found The Old Haberdashery and Sonia who owns that had some amazing stock with her.  Vintage embroidery threads!! yes pre 1960 ones and they were in every colour that god ever made!  I was in heaven.  Plus she had some fabric inspiration packs, vintage knitting needles ( I have an idea for these) and some vintage pure cotton string.... all beautifully presented and when I saw those and the knitting needles an idea popped into
my head and then of course they came home..... All of these purchases are for my business so I felt redeemed in some way!..

The embroidery threads are the colours I choose for projects that I have ongoing and ones for the future.  These are my sorts of colour range but believe me there were so many boxes of them to choose from any embroiderer would have been happy.

Opposite The Old Haberdashery was Christine from The Sea Garden! oooh!  Now Christine comes from Cornwall a little further than Donna so both had travelled to Kent for this show and to have them both under one roof was outstanding!  Christine is famous for her shell pictures
 but also she does some beautiful stitching as well so she collects stunning fabrics to create with.  When she has used and kept what she needs, she makes up inspirations packs as I think we all do.  This is the pure beauty of vintage .... it is fluid.  So I picked up some inspiration packs here.  Oh my I think you will agree these are really beautiful.  The colours, textures and the way they are presented are enough to make the fabric addicts in us squeal with pure joy!!  There were also some handmade yo yo's in the pack made from delicious antique fabrics.... I forgot to ask if Christine had made them and not used them OR she had bought them from another source...... I must get in touch to see.

When I was wandering around in a fabric comma I found Velvet Ribbons ... This lady had beautiful furniture and glass, enamel objects but also fabrics!! So in I dived to see what beautiful things were on offer
and I was not disappointed.  They were in little tied with string bundles done up with a button and I saw some beautiful fabrics and little bits of antique quilts that could not be rescued.  So had been cut up to be made into something and once again be admired.

As you can see these are my kind of fabrics because they have a delicate pattern and I am able to cut them and applique with them but you can still see the detail.....

Then the last personal purchase of the day was the most beautiful 1930's tea service! This was on Emma of Little Wren Vintage stall!  Now Emma is so talented both in stitching and in displays.  Her exhibits and displays are beautiful.  Glass cloches with ribbons underneath, quilts displayed on chairs and ladders or hung on a wall.  The way everything is set out is just pure eye candy.
 On her display was the most beautiful tea set with 6 cups and saucers, 6 tea plates and a sandwich plate as well in the most beautiful embossed cream colour and it has painted delicate little roses for more detail.  I was stood there admiring it and my husband came along...... He bought it for me!  I was over the moon and I am a very lucky lady.  Most men ( sorry guys but its true!!) say" what do you want that for?" or barely glance at something... Not my lovely husband, he gets it! and actually adores antique eiderdowns and quilts......  His pleasure is land rovers and land rover parts..... He shows me his purchases with enthusiasm and I really try to have some back but fail mostly.  I know I know I must try harder because he supports me totally.

Well I must leave you now and start off for Deans Court in Wimborne.... I will let you all know what it was like tomorrow so be sure to come back here.  Then on Friday I will do another show and tell... But I must have a little restraint .... fingers crossed!

Have a wonderful day and I leave you with a close up of a teacup and saucer from that beautiful set.

Happy Stitching!

A thing of beauty! ...... and it will be used as well.