Tuesday 30 June 2015

Sarah Moore's Summer pop up Vintage fair ....

It was lovely to return to Sarah's home again, where she lives is beautiful and when we arrived it was buzzing with excitement.
 The big paddock was open for parking and as we got out of the car Sarah opened the side gate to us and in her hand was a beautiful plate full of hand made scones and bramble her black Labrador was sniffing the air  with excitement ( you could see that she thought yum someone must drop a little piece of some of these lovely smells!)

There was seating outside the pop up vintage cafe and there were beautiful things everywhere including plants for sale.  Everything had been merged so that it looked like one big home in way and there were some beautiful pieces outside as well as inside the big
barn as well.

The weather was fabulous and the sun shone and it was wonderful wandering around looking at all the amazing vintage things on offer to buy.

I made a few little purchases and then we went to sample those scones, which were delicious.  They even had my favourite jam (blackcurrant) which which was yummy!  The temporary cafe had drinks on offer and freshly brewed coffee plus lots of different cakes as well, however I had a scone.

One lady had brought some of her eggs to sale from her hens that she had collected that morning, and you really could not get fresher than that.

I met a few people there that I knew only as social media friends but we actually met in the flesh so that was wonderful as we all caught up on what we were making and doing.

There was a bit of a buzz there as the BBC were present as well ( but that is another story) but they mingled and so everyone just got on with chatting to one another and making their lovely purchases.

It was a very casual and relaxed few hours we spent there and when we said our goodbyes my husband and I went to a couple of little towns to have an explore and a light lunch before we headed home to the South Coast, stopping in the New Forest for our dinner.  The weather was beautiful and the Forest with the deer and the ponies was a lovely end to a lovely day.

Sarah has two more of these events planed for this year One in September and her Christmas one in December.  I would again like to thank Sarah and her husband for a lovely welcome and their hospitality.

Bramble laying in the sun but near the scones! She is one cute
little girl  and she has grown so much from earlier this year.

Sunday 28 June 2015

Hand stitching --- In the garden, what a joy!

Little things seem nothing, but they give peace.  Like those meadow flowers which individually seem odourless but all together perfume the air.

Georges Bernanos

I simply adore what I do, I love getting up in the morning and bloging and checking emails to answer and the social media whirl, then it is setting up my days stitching.  I either stitch or design or indeed split the day up by doing both.  

Having said that, one of life's pleasures of working from home, is as long as I am working I can decide where to do it and at the moment the weather is beautiful and I choose outside sat at our garden furniture with the large umbrella up so that the sun does not damage the vintage fabrics that I am working on and so that I can see what I am stitching.

Watching the birds on the feeders I have hanging from our pear tree and the butterfly's and bees busy with their daily routines as I sit quietly stitching listening to nothing but

I have three projects on the go at the moment so basically three baskets of work.  One I only do for so long at the moment as there are lots and lots of French Knots to be stitched and I do have a break from that after a while and stitch something else so that my eyes uncross!!!

The garden is blooming and it really is a pleasure to stitch out there on great days, however, if it is raining and not cold I can stitch under the umbrella and not get wet and heart he rain tapping on the brolly and if it is cold then I curl up in an armchair and stitch there.... I am a lucky lady.

I have been sorting through my threads ( the ones that I buy in America, the hand dyed Shaker ones) and getting just the right blends, as one of the pieces I am stitching has lots of flowers in it.  I am happy to say we are returning to America this year again so I have been taking stock of what I need to order ahead of our visit later this year ( I can not wait!)  Also where I can, I do use vintage threads and I often use normal cotton thread on a single strand if is is a delicate flower of some sorts.  I have just taken delivery of some absolutely stunning green ribbon and I may use some of that in a picture I am doing as kind of grass ( I can not explain fully as I have not fully decided how it would be done but watch this space!)

Anyway I must away and stop talking about it and actually get going.  I did manage to do a little more cutting out of my vintage linen log cabin quilt at the weekend so that pleased me.  I went to a vintage fair too so read all about that tomorrow....

Have a great day and of course Happy Stitching!

Memories are stitched with love........

Saturday 27 June 2015

Open Chain Stitch

Her needlework both plain and ornamental was excellent, and she might have put a sewing machine to shame.  ~James Edward Austen-Leigh, about Jane Austen

It's Stitch of the week time again! where do our weeks go? and it's the end of June....

Well today it is open chain stitch and this is such a great stitch, you can leave is as is or fill it in.  You can do any shape with it, it really is versatile and beautiful.

As always the lovely Mary Corbet is going to take us through our paces.
So make a drink and enjoy this tutorial and if any of you have a go, please leave a message on here as I would love to hear from any of you about what you think or what you have done.

Have a wonderful weekend and as always Happy Stitching!

Look at the shapes that you can achieve with this stitch!

Friday 26 June 2015

My personal vintage fabric quilt project ... with the log cabin ruler!

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

Well the first intrepid steps have been taken and I have to say I am impressed with the log cabin ruler that my friend Suzy told me about..... Happy purchase.

I cleared my dinning room table and put the cutting mat down and brought down a beautiful vintage French linen sheet to to cut up for my new but vintage log cabin quilt.  I would also like to do some hand embroidery on there as well as incorporate some vintage embroidery.  I would like to put some names and dates on there too ( a sort of signature quilt) .... My father 's Birthday and name must be included ( he died 16 years ago and I miss him so much, he was like a teddy bear to me.. very hug -able and missed greatly) There is so much I want to talk to him about daily, as I did..... So it is only right and fitting he is firmly placed on this project.

I got my trusty rotary cutter out with a new blade for the start of a new project and then crossed my fingers that I could cut straight and true with the instructions from the ruler I was going to be using!

I am so excited about this project and it is one for the sewing machine.  I am making headway with my hare cross stitch sampler and that is nearly done, but I wanted to start cutting for this project so that I could cut several pieces out to stitch up several squares at a time.  I have been sorting through my vintage linens with embroidery on for me to cut the middle squares of the log cabin squares as well, so it is all go!

The log cabin ruler combined with a large cutting mat and rotary cutter is working brilliantly and it is fairly quick.  I say fairly, a more experienced quilter would zoom through it I know but I am so intent on getting it straight and true so that it can be stitched in the ditch that I am probably faffing about a little to be honest, but well I want this right. My friend Suzy has a long arm quilter and if my quilt is good enough then she can quilt it on there for me or I may have to do it by hand and that will take me forever because lots of free personal stitching time, I do not have!

So for now I am cutting out strips and choosing vintage embroidery bits to go in the middle squares.  Then it will time for me to sit and do some stitching on my sewing machine.  I think it is better to get a rhythm going on these things.... cut out a few and then stitch up a few.  Then when I have decided that is a big enough line of them, stitch them all together and then repeat!  This way you break up the project.  I do not want this to become a chore but indeed a labour of love!

I am off to Sarah Moore's Vintage pop up fair tomorrow and we are at a B B Q on Sunday lunchtime and there is the weekend!! but I will get some cutting out done on Sunday morning again and I may finish working today about 4pm and get an hour or two in as well.....

Do not forget lovely people it is stitch of the week tomorrow as always so please do not forget to come back and have a look ... Lovely variation on a simple stitch, you will love it..

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and as always....
  Happy Stitching!

There is nothing more exciting than starting a new project!!

Thursday 25 June 2015

Hand stitching and Embroidery ..... I am never happier!

Some may wonder if hand sewing, with its seemingly endless stitches,
 has a real place in today's busy home. 
Just as comfortable a place, we reply, as the rocking chair in the nursery. 
--Sarah Howard Stone

Having been asked why I do not do more machine work or machine embroidery! trying to hold my voice at a reasonable tone  ... simply I prefer hand stitching and embroidery.  Now before some might shout at me for this, I do stitch things on my machine if it is say a Christmas stocking or some of the wall hangings which need some real strength to them as well as cushion covers but pretty hand stitching and embroidery, to me, still looks better than machine embroidery....  Also I like the art of hand embroidering and being curled in a chair doing so...

I believe that there is still a place for it in our busy lives, it just depends on what you like doing with your free time or as a job.  I prefer stitching and reading to TV, that is my personal preference.  It is what we choose to make time for.  If people prefer machine embroidery then that is their proactive but me well it just does not have the look that I like.
Personally I  wish they would teach it in schools in needlework.  I feel with all the options of today they should.  There are the artist of us who need to learn not just making an apron and a skirt or a bean bag frog .... there is crochet and embroidery and invisible mending!... 

As for me, I  enjoy teaching myself a new stitch as well, it gives me such pleasure and then designing something that I may use my new found talent on.

With each stitch of a feather of a bird, the bark on a tree or flowers in meadow in a picture that I stitch is brings my pleasure and a sense of achievement.  I think maybe when we do move I will give some lessons maybe or volunteer at a junior school to do a little embroidery course with them and try and get them hooked at an early age!! ( one woman crusader!!)

Applique I enjoy as well, both the invisible kind and when I embroider the edges to secure it in place ( I like to do that on a house/cottage roof as to me it looks more rustic and finished) .. basically I adore my job and what I do and how I go about things in my own way and hope that the finished piece is pleasing to others..

When I start stitching each day I thread my needles, if using several colours I thread one of each to get me started AND sometimes I thread several of the same colour if I am using quiet a bit of it.  This helps me maintain momentum, which I enjoy.  When you are in full flow and have a rhythm going it is frustrating to have to stop and keep threading.

Well it is time for me to get going on with my day and my embroidery.  I hope you have a great day yourself and as always HAPPY STITCHING!

I cannot count my day complete 'til needle, thread and fabric meet.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Ladies and Gents ..... Diary dates of vintage events!


So ladies and Gents more dates for your diaries so sharpen your pencils and start putting these beauties on your calender ..... Great vintage events!

Sarah Moores
Home and Garden pop up
The Old Diary House
Hill Lands Farm                                              
North Marden
West Sussex
PO18 9JY

27 - 28 June
10am - 5pm

There is also a lovely pop up vintage tea room with homemade cakes and served with drinks.... Yes I am going!!

The Country Brocante Summer Show will take place on Saturday 4th July 2015 in the beautiful Petworth Park in West Sussex. This year we will be holding the event in marquees, trade stands and alfresco tents. We will have over 60 exhibitors from all over the UK and beyond with wonderful antiques & vintage stands with lovingly sourced pieces for your home & garden. Starts at 9.00am

An event not too be missed if you love hunting for unusual, one-off treasures. Our fair is a real labour of love, our passion for antiques and pretty country home interiors shines through at our events. 

Special guests Country Homes & Interiors Magazine will be joining us with subscription offers and goodie bags.

For more information www.thecountrybrocante.co.uk

10 - 5pmn - £5
Early Bird tickets on the door £10 from 9am

The Vintage and Handmade Fair
Vintage Jumble Sale
Rangeworthy Village Hall
South Glos
BS37 7LZ

11th July 2015
10.00am - 1pm
FREE Admission.

We are thrilled to announce another Summer Vintage and Antiques Fayre to be held on Saurday 18th July at the Clarence Hall in beautiful Crickhowell. Doors open at 10am

This fab event has a reputation for an excellent atmosphere and a great line up of well-known vintage & antique dealers! We have unique and varied good quality range of Antique & vintage home ware stalls, French furniture, classic design clothes, European brocante, vintage jewellery with an artisan tea room serving homemade cakes and all in true vintage fashion!

This year, our chosen charity is - Wales Air Ambulance we will be holding a raffle to raise funds! Entrance £1.00 under 16 free For more information tel 07977846509 www.facebook.com/VintageandAntiqueFayres

Crikey Its Vintage
Poltimore House
Tel: 01392 248938

25th - 26th July 2015
For more information call Shelley on 07585118574
Public camping... held to help raise money for this beautiful house.
100 stall holders, bands playing, bar, classic cars and so much more!

The Cotswold Vintage Fair
Toddington Village Hall
Stow Road
GL54 5DU

Saturday 22n August
10am - 4pm
Entrance fee £2
Drinks, cakes and light lunches available.

So ladies and gents some lovely ones to be going on with if there are any more I will fill in the blanks as soon as I know.

Have a great day and HAPPY STITCHING!

Monday 22 June 2015

Some vintage fabric, sea shells & sand dollars and a little embroidery.....

My soul is full of longing for the secrets of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I do love walking along the seashore and beach combing, it is still one of life's free great pleasures.  We have a beautiful beach in Poole in Dorset called sandbanks and there is a cove called shell bay.  At shell bay when it is not in full swing with beach goers, sunbathers, sand castle makers and family playing games there, you can walk along the seashore in blissful quiet and listen to the waves lapping at the shore and the gulls calling you to feed them.....

There are some beautiful thing to pick up and I have, before now, found sea glass there and some lovely shells and driftwood.  However I have a fondness for sand dollars as you all know and these are not found on our shore but in the States.  You can of course pick them up on the beach but they have to be treated or they will smell considerably bad and rot.  So last year when I was in the States I purchased some sand dollars and some other lovely shells from a shell shop and Ta Dah! they survived the journey home.  I have them in a beautiful box that I bought and they are wrapped in tissue but it is time to take them out and do something wonderful with them for our home...

I am going to make a picture with them which will not only involve the shells and sand dollars but vintage fabrics as well.  I think I must set too this weekend and do it because I have some pictures to go to the framers next week and the more I take at one time the more discount I receive, so it makes perfect sense ...

It really will not take me too long as I have already decided what I would like to do with them and how to go about it.  It will make a great picture for the bathroom or en-suite so I am going to get out my glue gun for the shells and choose some lovely fabrics.... Then it is decide on the saying or poem to go along with it.

I have some beautiful sea china as well and have collected over the years so I must do something with that as well.  But for now I am going to concentrate on the beautiful sea dollars that fascinate me so much.  If you break one open they have little star type pieces inside so I am going to sacrifice one to get some of these out for my picture.

Well I must stop dreaming of the Oceans now and get back to my work in hand ( some hand embroidery and a little applique - So for now I hope you all have a wonderful day and of course as always..

Happy Stitching!

“The sea will grant each man new hope, and sleep will bring dreams of home.”
 Christopher Columbus

Saturday 20 June 2015

Bullion Rose Bud Video Tutorial ... By Mary Corbet

This is a great way to make a beautiful embroidery rose bud.  It uses the bullion knot stitch which we have already learnt.  When you watch the tutorial it will come back to you.

This is a lovely little stitch and the rose bud is beautiful.  The possibilities are endless with this delicate little flower and you can decorate all manner of things with it....

So make a warm drink and  enjoy this tutorial whilst Mary Corbet takes us through our paces.

Imagine these dotted around in an embroidered garden border or indeed one just embroidered onto a pillow case in the corner.  This is a wonderful thing to learn how to do with bullion stitches.

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Stitching!

Thursday 18 June 2015

Wordsworth, vintage threads, stunning antique fabrics and antique carved buttons!

 Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.
William Wordsworth.

When I am designing a picture to make I always like a saying or quote to go along with it the majority of the time.  I love some of the old poets and as you all know Shelley, Byron and Wilde are amongst my absolute favourites but I do love William Wordsworth also.  I have two very old little books that are Wordsworth and I cherish them.  I love to read and look through their dear little fragile pages sometimes..... It is a peaceful pass time.

I am designing a picture and looking at sayings, quotes and poetry to see what might fit along side its embroidery and applique to be read and loved..

I have been sorting threads, looking at vintage embroidery books and sorting through antique transfers for inspiration ..

Loving this part of a project so much and this one is rather special and for publication so it has to be just so in my humble opinion.  Piling up vintage beautiful fabrics and threads and bits and bobs and stepping back and staring at the thrown together displays helps me decide on designs and colours of fabrics and hues of threads to be used.

Loving, as I do, my work and what a sense of achievement I personally get from thinking of
something different to stitch is immense.  It is so lovely when people like what you have worked on.  It takes so much time and you hope that others will see the beauty in what you are trying to achieve and stitch.

I do have a mammoth job when selected fabrics, I only buy what I love and so when you have such wonderful choices as this picture will show you ( tip of the iceberg, let me be honest here) then the job in hand can be a little tricky as to how long it might take to choose... (grin) it's not a hardship, may I point out, but there are slight time limits as to how many hours can go by being spent on this pleasure!

So today I have got a few out and will go back and look at them later to eliminate, then get some more out and do the same.... Then it will be the final of 4 and then the choice will have to be made.  For now though it is getting on with my stitching.  

I can not believe it is Friday already.  Do not forget my lovely readers that is STITCH OF THE WEEK tomorrow once more, so please pop back to have a watch of the great tutorial I have lined up for you all.  Have a wonderful weekend all and Happy Stitching!

Poetry is spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings:  It takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility 
William Wordsworth

Wednesday 17 June 2015

An interview with With Betty and Violet.....

 Beauty is whatever gives joy.
 Edna St. Vincent Millay

I have been lucky enough to persuade Alison, who owns Betty and Violet, to talk to us about how, why and what she does.  This is an extremely talented lady who makes the most wonderful and beautiful things.  Alison has such a wonderful nature and a passion for vintage, which shines through in what she does and loves to do...... This is what she had to say. 

Ever since I was a little girl I have dreamt of having my own shop, selling beautiful things and creating lovely displays.  I can remember collecting bits of fabric, colour paint charts and cutting out pictures of rooms at a really young age enjoying putting collages together to create interior schemes!

I studied Interior Design & History of Art, not really knowing where it might take me but after leaving college landed a great first job at the famous Warner Fabrics company in London and although was a lowly ‘showroom girl’ I worked in a huge room stacked with shelves full of fabric samples ~ I had found my true home!  I was privileged enough to view the company’s historical archives of fabrics including the purple silk velvet woven especially for the Queen’s Coronation amongst others.  From there my passion for researching and collecting was borne and started me on my journey with textiles!
I have worked for myself since the mid 1990’s (showing my age!) working freelance in PR and marketing for textile and interior related companies and for six years had a small business styling and organising weddings.  I took a break to have my gorgeous girl, then in 2008 I started Betty & Violet (named after my grandmothers).
Since then I have participated in many, many antique & vintage fairs, set up my own website and sell a range of goods that I am truly passionate about.  I make unique one off small pillows and decorations using antique textiles and trims ~ all those little treasures I love to collect such as sparkly buckles, buttons, ribbons, embroidered and beadwork appliqu├ęs ~ you name it, I collect it!  I collect and sell
anything sewing and fashion related ~ I have an addiction to vintage handbags in particular ~ especially those made from beadwork and embroidery.  In addition, I offer for sale a select range of handmade items from Scandinavia ~ I love the vintage French Nordic style!  I am also a distributor in the UK for the Vintage by Nina books. 
My style is continuously evolving although I am naturally drawn to a soft pastel colour palette and feminine pretty things , but will always remain faithful to my roots which are firmly grounded in textiles.

I would like to thank Alison for sharing with us and I think you will agree her style and her work is stunning.  I love Ali's hanging lavender manikins which are always dressed exquisitly.  They take a great deal of care and work  - Alison's love of what she makes lives in her products and I am the proud owner of a few of her makes....

If you would like to see more or ask Alison a question she has kindly sent us her link to her web page.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and of course HAPPY STITCHING!
Website:  www.bettyandviolet.com

All images belong to Betty and Violet.


Tuesday 16 June 2015

Daisies, Cow Parsley, stitching journals and designs.

"The Earth Laughs in Flowers."
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson  

With our English Summer time only appearing at odd moments I have not been able to stitch outside a great deal.  When the sun has shone I have had some quick walks along country lanes so that I can pick some wild flowers to photograph and to flower press.  

I have decided with some of my new designs that I will be, and am stitching, that I would like a few more detailed flowers and the only way to do this is to get up close and personal with them, study them, take photo's and press them and keep some for the future, so that I may take a look even in the Autumn and Winter months ahead.

You can then study colours and hues, how a flower grows and dances in the breeze and you are more able, I believe, to capture their beauty in thread!

Sorting through my threads has been great and I am able to match threads to a flower that I have picked.  I can then, when I have photographed a particular flower, pressed it and catalogued it, I am able to put little samples of threads by them so that in the future some of the pre stitching work has been completed and I feel I have achieved a little in preserving nature and keeping great records of my work.

As you know I buy lots of threads from America which are the hand dyed Shaker threads and they do several white colours.... yes they do, not all whites are brilliant white or cream.  This has enabled me to be a little picky as to which one I use to match as closely as humanly possible.

I enjoy the wander around the lanes picking a few little flowers and coming home and cataloging them after taking the photos.  I put them, as you can see, in a jug in my kitchen and give them water until later I am able to pop them into my flower press.

As you can see I have been up early today and was able to get some great Cow Parsley before it all disappears and some lovely wild daisies..... What a great find.

Well I have lots to do today so I will leave you now and get on with my day and my stitching.

Have a great day yourself and Happy Stitching!

I took this photo last year at the lavender farm in Hampshire....

"Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into."  
-  Henry Ward Beecher, Life Thoughts   

Monday 15 June 2015

Seasons & Stitching go hand in hand ........

“A poor old Widow in her weeds
Sowed her garden with wild-flower seeds;
Not too shallow, and not too deep,
And down came April -- drip -- drip -- drip.
Up shone May, like gold, and soon
Green as an arbour grew leafy June.
And now all summer she sits and sews
Where willow herb, comfrey, bugloss blows,
Teasle and pansy, meadowsweet,
Campion, toadflax, and rough hawksbit;
Brown bee orchis, and Peals of Bells;
Clover, burnet, and thyme she smells;
Like Oberon's meadows her garden is
Drowsy from dawn to dusk with bees.
Weeps she never, but sometimes sighs,
And peeps at her garden with bright brown eyes;
And all she has is all she needs --
A poor Old Widow in her weeds.”   

Walter de la Mare

At this time of the year I love stitching in the garden.  Now we have not had a great Summer thus far but we get the odd moment of warmth and sun, which I make the most of.  The light outside is amazing for embroidery and especially white on white work, so I try not to miss opportunity's when the sun has his hat on!

Towards the end of the Summer season I do concentrate on some Christmas bits, normally for publication as it has to be in early in the season for photography and the design set ups of magazines.

Right now though I am stitching what I call Summer themes and I love it.  The inspiration all around us is incredible.  I am lucky enough to live near the Sea and the New Forest and the Jurassic Coast is not far at all, so inspiration is everywhere.  As I have said before it is sometimes hard for me to settle to a project when something else catches my imagination and I would like to start that as well,  Now if I had three sets of arms all would be well and good ( although I might be stared at in public places ) I could then stitch three things at a time......

At the moment I am settled to finishing each project, other wise you can jump around on things but actually get no where in the finishing stakes and that is no good at all.

I did yesterday cut out some things for another project, just really to rest my eyes on the close stitching that I am doing at the moment, sometimes a change is as good as a rest, as the old saying goes.  I have been cutting out, writing little sayings and poems so as not to forget them and thinking about how to improve on one project that I am keen to start.

The sun has brought out the bees and beautiful butterfly's PLUS we had a small woodpecker in our garden the other day, I could not believe my eyes.  He was munching on the sunflower kernels and having a great feast!

Whilst stitching in the garden I always keep my camera with me and my note book should anything unexpected turn up in my head or my garden.  The trouble was I was so interested in this new addition to the garden I forgot to take a photo.  I have now bought some more of the seeds he/she was munching on with relish, in the hope I will entice it back......

I had another idea about flowers as well but I will tell you about that another day.....  I have to get to my stitching now or the day will have finished before I have achieved much at all today.

Have a great day and of course as always Happy Stitching!

Flowers have their own language .....

Saturday 13 June 2015

Rosette Chain Stitch .... By Mary Corbet

Good |Morning All

Well can you believe it, it's Saturday again and you know what that means? yes stitch of the week brought to you by the lovely Mary Corbet.

This is a chain stitch but is a rosette chain stitch which is so pretty.  Now watch this tutorial carefully as it is a little tricky but when you get in the swing it just seems to flow......

This is a very very pretty stitch and could be a border or indeed you could make a flower from it or a pattern (like a paisley swirl).... which means it is a great stitch to learn and is very versatile. In addition I thought that if you stitch it upwards it would look like a lupin flower? ... I am going to try that!

So make your warm drink and enjoy being taken through your paces by the lovely Mary.....

Have a great weekend and Happy Stitching!

Thursday 11 June 2015

Killerton House visit - Part two ... The F- word exhibition!

Having spent a wonderful few hours in the workroom at Killerton it was time for me to step away from the beautiful dresses and costumes that were contained with in its walls and move off to look at this years fashion exhibition - The F-word.  This explores how revolutionary innovations in fabric, cut and fastenings have changed the shape of fashion for ever.   The exhibition is on the top landing and some origins of the collection were from a passionate enthusiast Paulise de Bush, who  happened upon a cache of beautiful clothes which were on the point of being thrown away and these form the basis of this important collection.  Paulise also kept all her mothers clothes as well and Killerton have these in their collection.  Paulise died in 1975 and had written a letter to a great friend and asked that they might find a home for her collection and luckily they are looked after now by the National Trust and go on display at this stunning house.

Killerton hosts an annual exhibition of fashion selected from its collection of more than 10,000 items.
This is over two centuries of fashion and textile history and is really wonderful both to the curious visitor of the house and to fashion students and historians.  They can not display everything that they have in their collection for space reasons as well looking after the fabrics but it is rotated.  In addition to that you can go on line www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk and there are photographs and details of thousands of items from ball gowns to underwear and shawls.

The displays are amazing and behind some there original little films running for you to look at.  The
thought and the vision that has gone into this exhibition is outstanding. There are hats, both ladies and gents and stockings, shoes and several decades of fashion are represented from the earliest gentleman's coat C1690 to a knitted bridal gown from the 1970's.

The 20th century is particularly well represented with couture pieces by Patou, Chanel and Molyneux.  Many of the 20th century dresses were worn by Paulise de Bush's mother.  As you know from yesterday my favourites ( which are not currently on display) are the Georgian gown and the woven silk dress C1700's.  This is possibly because they were there for me to look at and I was so
close to the exquisite detail.  There is a section from the 1960,s and 1940/50's as well on display and an amazing informal polonaise gown C1790 which is embroidered with fine crewel work.

There is also a displays from an exciting design competition and Shelley also keeps a close connection with fashion and textile students at a number of colleges.  Many of the students use the collections as inspiration and for practical research.

On this floor there is a room which you open a wardrobe door to get into and inside there are robust replicas of costumes for children and adults alike to try on and take photo's.

Wandering around this great exhibition there are several corsets on display and there is one that was
designed for shop display C1890 with a wasp waistline ( how did they breathe!)  I have a friend who would have loved these as she is a collector!

By the dressing up room where the 1970's knitted wedding dress is displayed there is also a quilt.  It is displayed on the wall for all to see it was a staff and volunteer project and the object was to raise funds for specialised storage of the textiles and fashion collections.  The quilt was designed by Charlotte Eddington who is the assistant to the costume curator (Shelley).  This quilt was mostly stitched by hand by a very dedicated team of 10 ladies, some of which had never quilted before!  The quilt was started in 2012 and finished in July 2014.  The raising of funds was done by selling raffle tickets to members of the public across the country. In August 2014 the quilt was entered into The Festival of Quilts competition at the NEC in Birmingham and was awarded 'Highly Commended' and came 4th out of 47 entries in the group quilt category.

In February 2015, with over 2000 tickets being sold to win this beautiful quilt the quilt was raffled.  The lucky winner decided to donate the quilt to Killerton so that its legacy will live on for generations to see.  The quilt has 336 leaves, 140 apples, 84 blossoms and 20 bees in its design.

In addition to the quilt there is a display cabinet with stitchery items in there plus some 'pockets' which would have been worn under the dresses worn with hoops.

Our time with Shelley had sadly come to an end and it was after 2pm in the afternoon so we said farewell to a lovely lady with an abundance of knowledge and I could have listened to until the wee small hours of the morning!

We went and had a drink and a sandwich and then we had a look in the gift shop and a little walk around.

There is so much to see and do at Killerton and not just for adults.  The house is beautiful with The Entrance Hall, Study, Music Room, The Long Corridor, The Drawing Room, The Library, Dinning Room, Staircase, Fashion Collection and the Laundry.

Outside you have The Bear Hut, Rock Garden, Terrace, Ice House, The Goyle, The Memorial, The ladies Garden, The Stable Block, The Walled Kitchen Garden ( with the car park) and The Lodge.

The facilities are fabulous with restrooms that are beautiful, Cafe, Shop and Garden Hut as well as a second hand book stall.

Through out the year Killerton have events going on and they are advertised on their website but here is a couple of thing for your diaries ladies and gents....

Theatre in the Garden. Bring rugs or chairs and enjoy a historic evening in the gardens.

Emma on Thursday 16th July gates open at 6.30pm ( starts at 7.30pm)
Twelfth Night  on Tuesday 4th August gates open at 6pm  ( starts at 7pm)
Mr Stink  Saturday 15 August and starts at 6pm.
Advanced tickets available - call 0844 2491895

Killerton Cider and Apple Festival - Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th of October 10.00am - 5pm

Christmas at Killerton - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Saturday 21 November - Sunday 3 January 2016  open daily 11.am - 4.pm

There is so much more including a Harp Concert, Father Christmas and Dine out Specials.

For information go to their web site or call 01392 881345

Killerton House

 When I was talking to Shelley she told me that in 2016 the Fashion Exhibition is going to be  called - Fashion to Dye For and I for one must go and see this.  This interests me greatly as my regular readers will know I love natural dyeing of vintage fabrics and have done quite a bit of this myself so I will be extremely interested in this next year.  The work that goes on behind the scenes of Killerton is immense and the staff are all so enthusiastic and protective of this house and its legacies.

I went into the shop and I brought home these! Well you have got to don't you think?

I enjoyed my day there and will be going back to explore some more at some point because I just did not have time to see it all and walk around the vast grounds and the apple orchards.  This is a wonderful place and well worth a visit.  I would like to thank all the staff at Killerton and especially the ladies in the cafe who revived me
when I got there with a wonderful coffee and shortbread, Shelley Tobin who has so much knowledge that I would like to spend so much more time with and chat and learn and Bryony Wilde who was wonderful and had been talking to Nicole from Pretty Nostalgic and helped organise this...... Plus Kim Collins who was the other lady who came along on behalf of Pretty Nostalgic.  We had a lovely late lunch together and will be keeping in touch, It was so lovely to meet her.  Kim has a real love of Killerton and volunteers there as well as having been a member of staff in the past.  She is lucky enough to live on the estate and of course walking around with Kim, she was able to answer questions that I had as well. Now it is time for me to get some stitching done and the weather outside does not look so great, I just heard a rumble of thunder so we shall see....

And I leave you now with some more images from the collection, I hope you have enjoyed a little look at this exquisite House and the textiles that are on show.  I have only been able to show so much so please if you can make the trip and see for yourself do so, you will not be disappointed!...  Do not forget it is stitch of the week day tomorrow so pop back and have a look its a beauty!

Have a great day and Happy Stitching!