Friday, 31 July 2015

Vintage fabric packs of inspiration!

Stitching fills my days and designing fills my thoughts.

When I go to vintage fairs I always look for fabrics as you know and I have been lucky enough to find some really stunning fabrics over the last year or so.  I have managed to buy some good lengths of beautiful paisley fabrics as well.

In addition to that I search out inspiration packs for me to take home, little pieces of fabrics, buttons and ribbons that others have finished with and that can come back with me and be built into my designs and stitching (never waste even the tiniest of pieces! - that's my motto!) it is wonderful having the vintage world be so fluid.  When you have finished with and used what you would like you can sell on fabrics for others to own and enjoy.

As you all know by now I am going to have a stall at the Vintage Bazaar in October and one of the
things that I will be selling is some vintage inspiration packs that I have made up.  There are some beauties I can tell you and with some stunning pieces of paisley in them.  Some have quiet a bit of it.
I am putting in mother of pearl buttons, ribbons, threads, fabrics and some even have iron on embroidery designs in them - everything is pre 1950 and some pieces are as early as 1900..... So these are well worth looking out for.

I thought would take some photos for you to see the kind of bits and bobs that will be going into these beautiful packs and have laid out some bits for you to see.  Some of the fabrics are really really stunning and you can use them in quilting as well as other things you may have in mind, such as an applique picture with embroidery or a cushion for your favourite armchair, your imagination with these beautiful vintage treasures can go wild in designing or adding to a design or a piece of stitchery or quilt that you may be making or indeed looking to start....

I am hoping to have around 30 bags but I know they will run out of the door so if you are thinking of coming do try and get there early and come and see what I have for sale.

I will also be bringing along some vintage kilner jars that I have put a pin cushion top in and can be used for storage in your sewing room or space along with a couple of original pictures that I have stitched and had professionally framed as well.... and other pretty vintage goodies including a tea set.

So I hope you will put Saturday 31st October in your diaries and come along and introduce yourself to me......

Anyway I am away to make more beautiful packs up, have a wonderful day and Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Homespun Banner is coming along .......Getting ready for the Vintage Bazaar in October.

Designed and stitched with love.

Finally I decided on the background or backdrop of the banner and it was a piece of French linen with some red strips which looked good when I put the H and S applique letters that I cut out on it.  The piece of vintage quilt I bought looked all wrong but will be used for something else later down the line.

Then I appliqued on the two large letters and have embroidered the rest of the letters to Homespun Stitchworks which will stand out at a vintage fair.  The banner is about 20 inches by 20 inches and also will have a few stitchery sayings embroidered on.  There is a little bit of English paper piecing going on in the same beautiful paisley fabric as the the two large letter along with buttons and lace.

It will be backed with a beautiful piece of paisley fabric as well and will have its first public appearance in October at the Vintage Bazaar in Frome on Saturday 31st October.

It is all hand stitched except the backing will be machined on finally along with the ribbon at the top to tie it on where ever is needed.

I am enjoying doing it along with another piece I am working on for a valentines publication next year ( I know it seems crazy this far in advance but that is the world of magazines especially when they are only quarterly)

I am enjoying stitching the banner and hope it will become a firm favourite for people to look out for. I am also making up inspiration packs to sell at the at the VB as well so there will be some stunning fabrics in these including beautiful paisleys and some vintage mother of pearl buttons as well.  Probably some ribbon too .... So I hope to see a few of you there.

I am using some of my lovely hand dyed shaker threads on the banner and I am starting to get low on one of my favourites 'holly berry', which is a beautiful cranberry red colour, thank goodness I am returning to pick up more in October just before the VB ( will be slightly busy month)...

Anyway next week should see the banner done I hope so I will put a finished picture on here for you all to see.

Have a wonderful day and of course Happy Stitching!

Monday, 27 July 2015

Impressionists worked with paint & I work with faded and pre loved fabrics .....

Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul.

Henri Matisse

Impressionism is a 19th-century  art movement  that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s. Impressionist painting characteristics include relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles.
The Impressionists faced harsh opposition from the conventional art community in France. The name of the style derives from the title of a Claude Monet  work, Impression, soleil levant (Impression Sunrise), which provoked the critic  Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satirical review published in the Parisian newspaper Le Charivari.

If you look (or in my case stare for ages) at a Claude Monet you can see everything clearly.  His interpretation of things was well before his era.  I love the fact that it is not clean lines but it is still all
there to look at.  His water lilies studies are so beautiful and remind me of a beautiful piece of faded and worn fabric.  The reason for this post is not because I dare to compare my works to the likes of Monet or Renoir but because I was asked why I liked to stitch with such whimsy!  There are lots of people out there who embroider and applique beautifully but it is so real you feel it will jump off the page and run into the garden or fly away ... I however love interpretation.

When I am doing a picture or sampler and cutting something from fabric say a cottage roof, we all know they do not have tiny roses over them but my work is an impression of something and not meant to be a perfect copy of something .... it is my signature if you will and somewhere inside me I am sure I have been influenced by the Impressionist movement because of my love of these paintings for me it is an expressive abstract!

A while ago now I did a picture of beach huts, I know lots of people have and still do, but my beach huts had ice -cream tops for roofs not the normal square kind but a wonderful whirl spiral top
instead.... my interpretation!  You could still see they were beach huts but through a person who sees the world through a different sieve than others.

I love what I do with beautiful fabrics and enjoy creating and being a little different.  There was a photo going around with some little girls all dressed in ballet clothes.  They were all stood in a row holding the bar facing front except one who was hanging up side down from the bar.  The caption ... Dare to be different! .. that was always me as a child and now as an adult.

Well I am now off to continue with my stitching and my designing, I hope you all have a wonderful day and of course Happy Stitching!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

How to draw a simple paisley pattern

Good Morning

I have brought you a slight change this Saturday morning.  This is a great tutorial on drawing a simply paisley design.

This would be great to stitch.  You can then draw your own design on a piece of fabric, lightly in pencil and embroider over it and voila!

You can take a look at some paisley fabrics to get some ideas and you are away.  I am going to have a go at drawing one and stitching it.  So enjoy this great little tutorial and see what you can design for your stitching.

Have a great weekend and Happy Stitching!

Friday, 24 July 2015

The Women's Institute .... During WW2

During the second world war the WI felt it important to keep going to meetings and gathering together not only for moral but indeed to help war efforts.

The Ministry of Food allocated sugar to the NFWI to be distributed to WI Preservation Centres in order to make jam and can produce which would otherwise go to waste. All the produce then went into the nation's food supply -

During the war, the WIs contributed an enormous amount to the Home Front. From the outbreak of war in 1939 they co-operated with caring for evacuees, but, as in the First World War, the main contribution was in growing and preserving food. Between 1940 and 1945 over 5,300 tons of fruit was preserved; that is nearly 12 million pounds of fruit which might otherwise have been wasted, provided food for the nation. This was the war work for which WI members became renowned (and the 'jam' image has stuck ever since).
One positive event in the 1940s was the formation of the WI’s Denman College which opened in 1948.

They raised money  for things badly needed during the war as well including ambulances and helped with the Dig for victory gardens and community air raid shelters too.

In the country side the WI members wove potato baskets as well and really did help with the war effort for raising money with baking and sewing.

I do not know if any of you watched the first series of Homes Fires, set in war time and centred around a village community and the WI but I was transfixed and can not wait for the second series to start next year..... ( too long to wait after only 6 episodes I think personally)

Anyway I hope you have enjoyed our small trip this week through memory lane and it would not be complete with out a little bit of the music of the time so why not make a drink and enjoy some swing!

Have a great day and I am off to my stitching ...... Happy Stitching!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Dig For Victory ...... 1940's week!

In Britain, "digging for victory" used much land such as waste ground, railway edges, ornamental gardens and lawns, sports fields and golf courses was requisitioned for farming or vegetable growing. Sometimes a sports field was left as it was but used for sheep-grazing instead of being mown:
Victory gardens were planted in backyards and on apartment-building rooftops, with the occasional vacant lot "commandeered for the war effort!" and put to use as a cornfield or a squash patch. During World War II, sections of lawn were publicly ploughed for plots in  Hyde Park in London to promote the movement.

People were asked to grow there own fruit and vegetables in there gardens
instead of flowers and to keep there own chickens too for eggs as well.  There were campaigns for you to keep peelings for veg to give to farmers to feed their pigs and for you to make great filling soups with potatos as well.

Hedgerow picking for berries for jams and pies in the countryside were encouraged and was great fun as well for the whole family.

Potato Soup

  • 1½ lb potatoes.
  • 1 stick celery, a few spring onions, or a little leek.
  • 2 tablespoonfuls chopped parsley.
  • 1¾ pints of vegetable water or water.
  • 1 teacup of milk or household milk.
  • Seasoning.
Method-Scrub and slice the potatoes and celery. Place in boiling salted water. Cook with the lid on until quite soft. Rub through a sieve or mash well with a wooden spoon. Add milk and re-heat, but do not re-boil. Sprinkle in coarsely chopped parsley just before serving

The above is a wartime recipe for potato soup that I found and thought you might like.  I am enjoying this trip down the 1940's lane and hope that you are too.....  So I am off to my stitching room now to continue on.  I hope you enjoy the little original film ( I did)

Have a great day and Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Mrs Sew & Sew (1944) .......

During the WW2 there were lots of campaigns to help people support the war effort and of course to become resourceful with the items that they already had or were in the attic.

One such campaign was Mrs sew and sew ... This was a cartoon lady and she was also in publications for you to learn how to darn, knit, make new from old and so much more.
 I have dug up some of these for you to see and at the end here there is a short original filmed campaign that was probably shown at the cinemas to encourage resourcefulness in the home.

Women in particular were asked to look at thing differently and where they saw Grandad's old wool suite, they could cut it up and make a new jacket and skirt in the design of the day.

To be careful with woollies and make sure and check for moths and how to darn them and keep them fresh.  If the had a really old wool jumper to unpick it and knit socks or scarves for the Winter months or to send out to troops who badly needed these things.

Darning properly and how to make slippers.  Patchwork made a come back and all handy crafts in general.  Patching up things and how to invisibly mend.

There became a comradely in villages and towns and people pulled together and helped one another. Stitching, knitting and crochet were in every home.  In addition to that you could save coupons on clothing and this helped enormously.

Do not get me wrong it must have been terrible to live through this period with not knowing if loved ones would come home and the bombs dropping and homes gone in a split second but they way that people
lived by not throwing away things that could be useful and making things for presents and helping one another, this was a friendlier time and less waste.  Children learnt the old skills of stitching as well as the three R's and although I do not want to idealise war in anyway, this time was a less disposable society and people did not waste anything at all, if it could be helped.

I think that Mrs sew and sew is delightful, I really do and I loved watching the short advertising film and hope that you will as well.  I have decided to go to a little local crochet cafe near my home to learn ...... Yes people I can not crochet and this cafe has drop in courses for absolute beginers to the extremely talented and gifted.  It is held on a Thursday and there are several times.  You pay when you turn up, which is great and get a coffee too.  I can knit ( to a point) but I would like to try and make grannie squares and do my own throw, so wish me luck.  It is an hour or so out of my week and will not only be very enjoyable but I will be learning a new skill as well...

Have a great day and as always Happy Stitching!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Make Do And Mend ....This is 1940's Week!

We live in a throwaway society. When our clothes get threadbare, stained or the seams of our trousers show wear, most of us simply dispose of them by throwing them in the bin or donating them to charity before going on the next shopping trip down the high-street.

Clothing has become cheaper and cheaper over the last decade as high street retailers have pushed margins and suppliers so hard that we now see T-shirts that cost less than a loaf of bread.
This reduction in price has led to a devaluation of how we see and feel about our clothes. We don´t see the value in repairing a T-shirt when we can get a brand new one for £3 when we next go down to the local supermarket to do our weekly food shopping. This throwaway society seems a far cry from how people saw and related to their clothes in Britain during the second world war (1939-1945).

However having said that the movement is coming back.  There are lots of us vintage lovers out there who would like to buy vintage clothes and things for our homes.  We are learning all the old crafts again and buying second china is very popular as well, even though this makes the prices shoot up a bit.  That said I would still like to buy a piece of china for using at home, like a beautiful teacup and saucer and pay £4/5 for it than buy a mass produced one that mostly is not even British.  I have patriotic feelings for my country and I see no shame it.  America is very patriotic and I think that is wonderful that they are positively encouraged to be so!

The make do and mend movement played an important part in the daily life during world war two.  The war caused a shortage of supplies which was down to the sinking of ships trying to bring supplies across the channel to England. Another reason for a shortage of clothes was that „clothing manufacturers were commissioned to manufacture uniforms as a priority instead of civilian fashion... and the introduction of clothes rationing in 1941. Everybody was given ration books which had coupons inside them which had to be used in order to buy clothes or food. 

Everybody had the same number of tokens so people could not buy more than their fair share.... Everyone was given 66 coupons a year – which was later reduced due to intensified shortages. A women’s blouse was 12 coupons for example and head wear such as hats were coupon free.
Because of this shortage of clothes and through publications/campaigns like Make Do and Mend by the Ministry of Information in 1943, which intended to help women to get the last possible ounce of wear out of all their and their families clothes

People started making new clothes from old ones and from all other household linen. „During the world wars women became masterminds of make do and mend, so resourceful they fashioned up sexy knickers out of parachutes".

I found this great original trailer from the wartime and it is encouraging women to Make do and mend!.....   Have a little look and enjoy!  I am away to my stitching now so have a great day and as always Happy Stitching!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Turkey Work Hand Embroidery Stitch

Good Morning All

This weeks stitch of the week brought to us by the lovely Mary Corbet is Turkey work.  This is such a wonderful stitch and I can not help thinking grass when I see this tutorial.  You could use this stitch in between a embroidered tree or flowers.

Or how about a bee? This is not my stitching but I found this picture with turkey work and do not know who to accredit to but isn't it fabulous?

Hope you enjoy watching this and have a fabulous weekend all....

Happy Stitching!

Friday, 17 July 2015

Update on Homespuns Banner project .....

As you know I had a slight difficulty with this project this week as the fabric that I started it on was not big enough it turned out.

I had found three bits of vintage linen with white work on it and there was an oval in the middle in which to embellish .... this turned out to not be the best choice for what I had in mind and indeed sketched in my project book.

I had to change tack and did not know quiet what to do so had a ponder over last weekend when I should have been stitching!

It so happened that the answer came to me on Sunday when my husband and I stumbled upon a vintage market in Christchurch, Dorset.  This market was not well advertised at all which I hope we can put right but however we saw it going on and parked and walked around.  Who should I find with a gazebo on not such a wonderful weather day but the lovely Jenny from Tilly D!!  There she was with lots of beautiful and stunning vintage fabrics and laces and goodies of all descriptions and I saw it .... The most beautiful piece of of vintage quilt with squiggle work on it.  I thought this is it, this can be the canvas of my banner and I can cut a piece of vintage linen out which will sit in the middle of it with my designed stitched and appliqued on - its an option at least.  There is another piece of vintage linen that is in the running so we shall see, the one thing I know for sure is the design so it is decision time today... Oh and there were some beautiful vintage laces of over three meters each wrapped around some bobbins and they came home with me too! It was the right size for my design and a beautiful backdrop to boot!

So I have been gathering and making bits for it.  There will be a little bit of English paper piecing and some applique, embroidery, buttons and yo yo's ....
The H and the S of Homespun Stitchworks will be appliqued and the rest of the letters will be
embroidered.  There will be some stitching sayings I think as well.

I have started on the paper piecing and am happy with that take a look.  I put a picture of two normal pins and one applique pin together so that you can see what I mean about the size of them and why they are a must in your work box. ( see yesterdays blog on applique)

I have found a piece of beautiful French linen on which to applique and stitch and I have cut that to size if it is needed.  The first thing after cutting out the patchwork flower is to cut the applique letters I need so I have been searching for the right fabric to blend with this array of faded and stunning fabrics.

That will be the first thing that will be stitched on to the linen with the embroidery as well, this will
give me an idea of space and layout from there on in.  I want to add some antique yo yo's with beautiful carved vintage mother of pearl buttons.

I have had a wonderful time gathering all the beautiful things to make it with and now is the time to get to work ( well I have been so now I can get stitching and show you the banner soon)

I am loving doing the English paper piecing and think I will have to do more of this work as I have really enjoyed doing the one flower shape from tiny hexagons.  Have a closer look at the fabric I chose for it.  Isn't is stunning! one of the pieces looks like angel wings!

I have chosen the thread for the Homespun Stitchworks letters that I need to embroider and then I will go about applying everything I would like on there for information and beauty...

So anyway I am off to fetch the banner and hope to break the back of this now after the aborted first attempt.  Do not forget that it is stitch of the week day tomorrow and this is a great effect stitch and not to be missed.

Have a wonderful day and a wonderful weekend .... Happy Stitching!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Applique ....

In its broadest sense, an appliqué is a smaller ornament or device applied to another surface. The technique is very common in some kinds of textiles, but may be applied to many materials. In the context of ceramics, for example, an appliqué is a separate piece of clay added to the primary work, generally for the purpose of decoration.
The term is borrowed from French and, in this context, means "applied" or "thing that has been applied." Appliqué is a surface pattern that is used to decorate an aspect of a garment or product.

I simply love doing applique both the more original needle turn way and the way that I sometimes do it if stitching something like a roof on a cottage or around an animal. ( I will explain as we go on)

Firstly applique cutting out.  Now I draw my designs onto paper and then I photo copy the drawing, this is so that I keep the original and then I can cut out the components on the photocopy and do not loose the design.  If you want to you can use a design and trace it or indeed draw your own.

You then, with paper scissors, NOT your needle work scissors, need to cut it out carefully.  When you have decided on the fabrics, pin your patterns onto the fabric and cut around it leaving a small hem around as when you turn some fabric under you will loose the size of the object.

When you have cut out I always finger press the hem so that when you pin your piece to applique you have already turned the fabric and this makes it a lot easier, then put your work in an embroidery hoop to hold your fabric tightly.  Then you thread the needle and with tiny stitches in invisible hem stitch you stitch around the object you have cut out.

Sometime I embroider the piece in place with split stitch or stem stitch to give it some character.  Around an animal it almost then looks like fur or on a roof top to look like a thatch on a cottage.

Always use good quality thread and if using the invisible needle turn method then find matching colour threads which helps with the concealment as well.

You can combine applique with embroidery and this makes for a beautiful blend I always think.  I always buy applique needles and applique pins to help with my work.  You can see from the picture that the pins are tiny, which helps with little bits of fabric and also to be neat and accurate in your pinning.

If there is one thing that I can not stress enough is the embroidery hoop.  This keeps your fabric taught and really helps keep your stitches tiny and neat and this is something that you really should have in your tool box.  I have several sizes and  they are invaluable to me.  I always take my hoop off at the end of the day so that the mark from the hoop gets time to relax away.

I hope that you have enjoyed this small look into applique and that it has helped some of you that have enquired.  I thought is a good idea to do a small blog on the subject to help you all.

I am doing some applique today on my banner and hope to bring you some going along pictures this week if possible.  I have taken pictures along the way.{ there was a blip which stopped play}

Have a great day and Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Today we talk needles for embroidery and more!

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

Needles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and when buying needles it can be very confusing and daunting.

The three main types of needles used for embroidery and the eye in these are longer than household needles.  This makes life a lot easier when threading embroidery silks, especially if you are using more that one strand for thicker work.  Needles have number grades from fine (high numbers) to thick (low numbers) and is really depends on the embroidery you are doing.

Crewel Needles are mostly for embroidery stitches because they have a large eye  and a sharp point which makes them easy to work with.  A small needle will help you keep your work fine.

Chenille Needles are similar to crewel ones but they are longer and thicker with larger eyes for heavier thread or ribbon embroidery.

Milliners Needles apart from the obvious are great to use if you are doing the bullion knot stitch and these needles are long and fine with a smaller eye.

There are of course Tapestry Needles and these have blunt points and can be used on even weave fabric  and are very much like needles for cross stitch (which packets of these are sold under the heading cross stitch ... various sizes for the Aida size you are using)

Quilting needles you can find in packs as well and these are sharp and longer so that they can go through two layers of fabric plus wadding.  Depending on what wadding you are using is to what size needle you may require plus a very good thimble ( believe me).

Then of course there are applique needles which are very fine for obvious reasons and are for only one thread.  There a packs of them for you to buy in good haberdashery shops or on line ( along with these I do suggest you invest in applique pins too which are tiny and sheer and these are a must in my book.

I hope this has helped those of you that have messaged me about needles and what to use and when.  I am not an expert on this but this is what I have learnt over the last few years and am happy to share with you all to help in your own projects and designs.  The right tools to help enormously.

Well I am now off to get on with my Homespun Banner ... there was a change of plan at the eleventh hour over what fabric I would use for it and so I was slightly put behind.  It is worth it though as I want it to be right and also I want to do a pinny as well ( another story for another day)

Have a wonderful day and lets hope Summer returns soon ... I am missing the lovely weather and stitching in the garden!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, 13 July 2015

English Paper piecing ....

Needlework is an outlet for creative instinct ...

In patchwork, foundation piecing was originally a method used to stabilize pieces of fabric that were stitched together. It first became popular in the 18th and 19th centuries in England, although a 15th-century Italian piece, the Impruneta  cushion owned by Antonio degli Agli , may have used foundation piecing. It is sometimes referred to as English paper piecing because of its popularity in Britain.
Originally pieces of scrap fabric or muslin were used as the foundation. Recently, the use of paper, whether tracing paper, freezer paper or some other heavyweight paper, has become very popular for use as a pattern, in creating quilt blocks that are all the same size, each with precise, sharp points and perfectly matched intersections. In addition, information such as colour and fabric choices can be written on the paper foundation in order to facilitate the construction of the piece and reducing room for error while sewing.

The picture on the right is a beautiful example of paper piecing and this quilt is at  Arlington Court.... just look what can be achieved.

This is a great way to patchwork and can look so beautiful.  You can now buy pieces of already cut papers in hexagonal shapes as well as squares and other shapes.  You can re-use the papers a few times as well and I feel this is the best use of time and economical way of doing it.  They are accurate as well and saves drawing and cutting them out or printing pages of them and cutting them out, this is all done for you in packs and they come in packs of 100 or more.

All you need to do is put pin a shape of paper to some fabric and cut around it, leaving a 1/4 inch seam.  Then you fold your seam around the paper by finger pressing and you secure it using a hand tacking stitch.  Once you have a few of these done you join them by sewing them right sides together using a small whipped stitch.  Eventually the tacking stitch is pulled out and you remove the papers. You then just treat it like any other quilt and put wadding in the middle with backing and binding.

You can just make coasters or even just sew little flower like patches to put on  a cushion cover or on a skirt if you like...

I am, as you see doing a little flower shape to put onto my Homespun banner as I thought it would look lovely.  I want the banner to have a slight sampler effect in a way with the company name of course so it has been a challenge and fun designing this project.

I however did not get much done over the weekend at all as on Friday evening we had friends for dinner and another set of friends for lunch on Saturday and it has been the cooking and cleaning up of that as much as spending time with my husband who works such long hours in the week that weekends count for us.  If he wants to get on with some DIY or car cleaning then that is my chance to pick up a needle ....other than that we do things together.

So today is going to be about breaking the back of this project and then getting on with some work for publication....

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

Friday, 10 July 2015

Heavy Chain Stitch .... By Mary Corbet

Good Morning All

Well it is that time of the week again, at least for a few more weeks that is as we are quiet running out of stitches.  They will all be on this blog over the last two years.  If at all you would like any repeated please let me know.

Today the lovely Mary Corbet takes us through our paces on the Heavy Chain Stitch, This is a thicker stitch but brings great dimension to stitching and used with other stitches even the normal chain stitch is very decorative indeed.

So settle down with a drink and have a lovely few minutes watching this tutorial.  Have a wonderful week end all and Happy Stitching!

Designing Homespuns banner ......

My job ranges from designing the overall theme, collating the
textiles, buttons and threads and then putting it
all together and making it pleasing to the eye!

Sarah Hawkings ...

Over the next few days I am taking time out of a very busy schedule to design and make a small banner for Homespun Stitchworks, something I can take with me along the way.  As I am having a stall at The Vintage Bazaar in October I think it would be lovely to have it hung up so people know it is me ....

I have been sketching for hours literally over the last few evenings and thinking about what I would like and now it is time to get down to the collating of all the fabrics, buttons, threads and ribbons that will go into to this banner to make it eye catching and noticeable.

I have found a beautiful piece of linen in my storage boxes and have washed and pressed it ready for me to draw on the words.....  So I have been sorting through my cave of stock ( stitching room that sometimes feels like Mary Poppin's Bag)  and seeing what I have that would look good.  I found a
long length of lace ribbon that looks like paisley in its design and you can cut it into squares so some of that will have to feature ... don't you think?

It is so pretty and so me.  Paisley is really my favourite fabric and can be very ornate with roses as well.  I love tiny prints for my work for several reasons but the main one has to be that when you cut out small bits for applique work you can still see the pattern of the fabric and not just a blur of colour..... although I would like people to see the shape and design of what I have cut out and stitched on, I personally think it is important to see the detail too.

I have been sorting through fabrics as well and have come up with a small bundle of candidates that may feature .... This has been a great, huge job.  When sorting through I put into a pile maybes and guess what, well it will not surprise you all, but there were a pile of 48 of them... so it is whittle it down time as I do not need that many!

I made myself laugh over this.... But honestly ladies and gents how do you choose from such beautiful vintage fabrics as to which ones will feature, it is going to be impossible!

Then it was the jar of vintage ribbons on reels and pegs and this was not such a hard job because I knew what colours I had visualised but still they all had to be looked at.  Yesterday evening was well spent really, as my poor husband was trying to get home from London with the tube strikes and a fun

run going on, which held up the roads, and ended walking miles.  He said to me, when he walked in at 10pm that he had blisters on blisters!!  But I had been knee deep in beautiful fabrics and vintage goodies and was totally happy in my endeavours!

I haven't even been to the button drawers yet! oops so anyway that is my day sorted on the stitching front and possibly I will have to finish it next week as today I have an appointment this afternoon as well so it will not be finished.

Do not forget it is stitch of the week tomorrow brought to you by the lovely Mary Corbet so please return to take a look at this one.  I think in the next few weeks this series will be over :(

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the sun shine that is forecast and as always Happy Stitching!  I will show you the progress next week of the banner and hope that I get some time over the weekend to do some sneaky stitching.....

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Needle, threads, linens, buttons and gorgeous vintage fabrics!

Talent and individual expression are not qualities that just others
possess. You have it too and all of you have a capacity for creativity in your 
stitching .. let yours happen and realise there are no boundaries
to your unique expression...


Working away on all my designs that I am doing for publication at the moment has been made even better with this wonderful weather we have been experiencing.  It means that I can stitch in the garden at the table underneath a huge umbrella with a drink and listening to the birds...

The garden is in full bloom right now and the air is filled with wonderful scents from the lavenders and sweet peas and roses that are in bloom.  The hanging baskets are all full and the honey bees are busy collecting pollen around me, it makes me smile as I stitch.
I have bought some beautiful fabrics lately and will be using some in my new designs.  Sitting stitching on some beautiful French linen is such a pleasure.  I love it as a canvass and embroidery looks so great with the beauty of this fabric as a back drop.

Birds, butterfly's, bees and flowers have been a huge influence for me this year along with the seashore as well.  I have enjoyed days out sketching with my pencils and also wandering along country lanes to take photos of wild flowers in the hedgerows.

I have bought some wonderful duck egg vintage cotton which is machine cotton, except you can use it in delicate hand stitching and it really is beautiful and I am going to use some in a flower border I think, as the colour is so stunning....

I also bought some more of the thread spools as you know, at Petworth so I am doing some designing for those this week at some point.

The Summer is happily going along and I am happy in my work.  I am also going to be very busy making inspiration packs this week for the Vintage Bazaar in October.... I have to get on with them as I am going to America in October again and when I get back ( and with jet lag, which I do suffer from on the return journey) I want to be very organised because I will only have a few days before the show at that point.  I will tell you more about all that later on but for now you all take care and I am off to settle to my delicious stitching and designing in the garden .....

Happy Stitching!

Monday, 6 July 2015

My vintage treasures .... bought at The Country Brocante, Petworth.

A home should be the treasure chest of living and
 filled with our memories and treasures!

Sarah Hawkings.....

The above is certainly true of our home, it is filled with happy memories of family and friends good times and sad times and is filled with little vintage treasures that we  have collected over the years. Things that I have made from vintage fabrics, quilts and buttons and with cosy antique quilts, blankets,throws and eiderdowns.  China treasures on my dresser and a stitching room that is ... er ... lets say well stocked! and not forgetting my cushion habit as well ...

And dear readers I am always adding a little of everything to it all, especially my stitching room.  Petworth was really a beautiful event and I did buy a few bits and bobs so as promised this is my show and tell....

As you know I bought a beautiful doll, her name is Willow and she was hand made and designed by the very talented Simone of Ayres and Grace.  She will be placed in pride of place in my stitching room along side the doll I bought from Alison of Betty and Violet and my lovely spool flower that was made by Claire of Daisy Darling...... Others work that is beautiful and an inspiration to me.  Isn't Willow beautiful with her vintage linen book of flowers, laid down with her feet up in the air behind her...... I am thrilled to have a piece of Simone's work and she is just beautiful.  After I had purchased her and later caught up with Simone again, she said people had asked where  Willow was and were told she had been sold ... so you see as I always say if you see something you love do not wait as it may not be there later in the day!

The next items in my show and tell are the treasures I purchased from Liz of  The Washerwoman fame and ooh!  I bought this beautiful tiny little red and white sampler and it really is very old and beautiful, I will have it framed and it will take pride of place with my others.  In addition to that I  bought a huge piece of paisley that started life as a bed cover of some sorts.  To say I was thrilled is a slight understatement.  When I have used what I need and also kept some for my personal use I will put some pieces in Inspiration packs for this October at The Vintage Bazaar in Frome that I have a stall at and then others can have a chance to purchase some of this exquisite vintage fabric.  My last purchase from Liz is a piece of Victorian quilt with Queen Victoria panels on it with a date from 1857.... This is a very rare and beautiful piece and NOT for me.  I have a very great friend who is indeed mad about Queen Victoria and this piece of quilt will be framed and given to her for her Birthday in December ...... it is beautiful isn't it?

From the very talented Suzanne of Hearts 'n Kisses fame I bought a vintage mill spool that she had
made into a flower and this will go with my other pieces made by others.  If you have never come across this lady you must look her up on her facebook page.  She makes some really beautiful pieces. It was lovely to see her as well ..... I do have a tea cosy on my dresser she made and a crochet bag as well ...... all bought at other times and places.

As I mentioned to you yesterday I bought three pieces of early 19th Century log cabin panels from Susie Petrall and I am going to take them to my very clever framer and have them all together in a
picture. I am not adding anything to them but leaving them as is but may mount them first on a piece of very old French linen and just embroider something like 19th Century log cabin panels .... we will see about that when I get round to it, which will probably be in a week or so.

The Old Habersdashery always has tempting things on offer and I did not get any more of the linen
threads but instead picked up three packs of vintage buttons one is mother of pearl, one glass and the other some pretty vintage pink and lemon buttons along with three antique French postcards that I have something in mind for..... watch this space!!

From Emma of Little Wren Vintage that always has tempting things to buy I bought a Birthday card (for the friend  I bought the quilt for) and a little vintage bottle full of mother of pearl buttons .... oh should I use them or just keep for display purposes, you see I just could not resist them at all...  Emma is making me some cushions as well ( well a girl just can not get enough of them to change colours around in the rooms!)

I also bought some little antique tins from a beautiful stall .... I could not get in close enough with people to take photos ( which is such a shame) but the stall holders are there to sell so I never
disturb them when they are that busy and to top it all there is no card in my bag from that stall and they normally always do that SO I can not name them for you!! how annoying and I am so sorry....

And last but in no way least I bought some beautiful fabric bundles, two vintage hand painted bowls for my poor heaving dresser and a bundle of mill spools that I am fond of for things I make ( Suzanne of hearts'n kisses made the flower from one as above)  You can make so much with them and I love
them....  These were all from Lisa Giles Antiques ( this lady was at Sarah Moore's pop up summer event as well) so it was lovely to see her again and catch up .....

So that is it Ladies and Gents the above are  my new vintage treasures and again I had such a wonderful time at this Vintage fair.....

I got up extra early today so that I could have a full day in the garden stitching .... and it is raining!!! sulk! still it will do the gardens some good and not so much watering for me later I guess.

Have a wonderful day and as always Happy Stitching!

List of exhibitors at The Country Brocante, Petworth Park ( as listed in the guide)

The French Loft, Country Homes & Interiors, Garden House Antiques, Caroline Zoob, Chloe Antiques, Belle Epoque, The Old Haberdashery, Ryland Peters and Small, Goose Vintage Home, Silken Tent, Jackson and Sack, The Vintage Blanket Company, Will and Bea, Maison 1880, Rosbud and Violet, Tallulah Fox, Beyond France, Antiquated, Emily Loves Vintage, Hesta Nesta, Little Wren Vintage, Hellish Designs.

Its A One Off, La Camionnette Bleue ( also known as the washerwoman) Dorothy Stiven, Betty and Violet, All Things Vintage and Beautiful, pagoda Antiques, Lois pinnock, Belle and Bow, Linda Cropper, Gabrielle Izen Designs, The Bottom Stable, Dotty Blue Dresses, Love Produce Candles, Home to Roost, Angel Workshop, Parna, Weathered and Worn, Sugar and Spice, Winchester Soap Co, Cherub Antiques, Ayres & Grace, Hearts 'n Kisses, Dotty Designs, Suitably Vintage, Snow Jewels, Gil Fox Hats, Abby Cook Illustration, Homespun Home, Ethical Life Store.

Caroline Bloomfield Antiques, Tatty and Torn, Dales Country Interiors Tinworth, My Vintage Garden, Dryfill Farm Collectables, Gazehound Vintage, Rustic Garden Things, Lisa Giles Antiques, Posh Jumble, Here Now Then Preserved Antiques and The Country Cafe......

TA DAH!........

The Country Brocante .. Petworth Park

I had such a wonderful weekend, the weather was amazing ( the thunder storms on Friday night here were spectacular to watch, but I am aware some poor people did get hurt)  But for all the weekend we had hot summer sun and it was beautiful.

On Saturday we went to Petworth Park to the The Country Brocante where talent from all over the country it seemed had a stand with either beautiful vintage and antique to buy (including stunning fabrics) or there were people selling what they had made from vintage treasures.  The drive into Petworth was worth going for as it is set in a beautiful grounds and within in these nestled beautifully was Petworth House.  The Country Brocante had marques set up and as you went in there was The Garden Gallery with beautiful stands filled with French finds, textiles, antique painted furniture, plants and flowers and so much more as you wandered through it led to The Capability Brown Tent where you a tent filled with decorative antiques, furniture and The Old haberdashery were in residence along with Caroline Zoob, Hesta Nesta, Little Wren Vintage, Beyond France, Will & Bea, The vintage blanket Co, Belle Epoque, Emily loves vintage and lots more.......

The marques flowed from inside to out with parts open so that a little welcome breeze blew through.  The Sussex tent was on the left and again this was filled with vintage treasures to the rafters.  In residence was some amazing talent  including The lovely Simone of Ayres & Grace.  Oh my Simone makes the most stunning pieces including animals and dolls and also embroiders beautifully and
makes stunning cushions and tiny lavender filled cushions as well.  There was a horse on wheels ( like a pull along toy) and I honestly thought it was a prop BUT no Simone had made it!  rabbits, dogs the animal kingdom was there and they had all been made by this incredibly talented lady, who I have to say stands in the shadows and I really hope and believe we should see more of her work which is outstanding.  I bought one of her little dolls she makes who is laying down reading a flower book ( which is made from antique fabrics by the way) ... later in the week I will be doing a show and tell of what I purchased and you will see a photo of this beautiful piece.  Having only met this lovely lady at Sarah Moore's last weekend in person ( which is crazy as we have been friends on facebook for some time now!!) it was so lovely to see her again and actually see her work in the flesh and be able to look at the detail that goes into it.

The Sussex tent had some wonderful stalls inside and although I could not take photos of everything all stalls that were in attendance according to the Country Brocante  show guide will be listed at the end.  I found the lovely Liz of The Washerwoman fame and I bought some stunning pieces from her. The tent had started to fill up by now and everybody there was becoming extremely busy.

I also caught up with the very talented Suzanne from Hearts 'n Kisses, Suzanne had travelled a long way to attend this fair and her stall was full of amazing and tempting things that she makes.  I bought a piece from her and again that will be in the show and tell.  We had a little catch up and then I met for the first time a lovely lady named Chris who takes workshops and has a little shop called The Cozy Club .... It was a pleasure to meet her and to be able to connect via social media to keep in touch.

I met  Susie Petrall and her stall was full of beautiful and tempting bits including some early 19C log cabin pieces of which I bought three ( going to frame them as a picture for my personal collection).

It was time to take a little break as we had been up early to get there when it opened as we had to leave by 1.30 to get home as we were hosting a Birthday Party for a friend that night ( yes I know its madness but we ladies are organised aren't we ... by the way the party was amazing and so much fun... it went on until 3am and I have not laughed so much in ages!)  sorry I digress so we found The Country Cafe and had a cup of coffee and my husband sampled a couple of their cakes, which he told me were outstanding! ( I can not eat sweet things in the hot sun so was holding out for the lunch we had a little later ... quiche and salad, which was really good along with a lovely cold drink with ice!) The cafe was in its own tent with seating inside and out and the ladies in there were flat out!

The Garden Bazaar which was outside and between the cafe and the Sussex tent had some wonderful stalls including Caroline Bloomfield Antiques, Tatty and Torn, Dales Country Interiors, My vintage Garden, Posh Jumble, My Vintage Garden,.. and more.

I had to go and visit The Old Haberdashery because earlier I had spied some beautiful buttons and want to have a root through those.  I bought some really beautiful ones as well.

Right next door was Will and Bea and we caught up a little.  There were so many goodies to tempt you with and her displays were, as always, so eye catching.  There were bunches of beautiful smelling lavender which filled the air and lovely bits of china and kitchenalia as well.  There was a table all set out with some beautiful glass goods and bundles of vintage fabrics in baskets....

I went along and caught up with the lovely Jo from Hesta Nesta.  Jo always has such a stunning display of house and garden goodies along side so exquistite pieces which include shoes and of course bodice and basques ... Jo is a collector herself of these and my guess is that is why she has such an eye for details and beauty, and right next door to her was Little Wren Vintage and the lovely Emma who owns that.... Emma had some great buttons too which had to come home with me and she
makes stunning cards so I bought one for a friends Birthday later in the year..... Emma had made some beautiful cushions and bags from vintage fabrics and also some beautiful flower brooches as well made from bits of vintage quilts and fabrics.  There was some beautiful china on display along with a display of vintage toys as well.  Hanging hearts filled with beautiful smelling lavender and roses were displayed and as always Emma's display was pure eye candy.

Beyond France was just opposite and Maud had some gorgeous
linens on display including a chair that had be re upholstered in a beautiful antique blue linen.  There were some beautiful flowers that hand on a wall made of antique linens and a linen dress as well.

We were able to have a chat for a while and a catch up, as always laughing at antics along the way.  Maud had stayed at a Bed and Breakfast the night before and lets just say it was not the best experience of her life......  She is such a wonderful lady and made me laugh.  Still there she was with such a beautiful display of antique linens and goodies with a smile on her face!

Caroline Zoob was there with some beautiful antique pieces ( boo hoo she had not brought any of her embroidered pieces to purchase that day) but never the less this lady has an eye for all things stunning and her stand looked amazing..... As you may recall earlier this year I went to a vintage fair that
Caroline helped organise and she is doing another one in London later this year so watch out on here for all the details.....

Wandering around in a vintage heaven trance like state I found Alison of Betty & Violet and as always her stall was stunning.  We
only had a chance to say hello as Alison was extremely busy.  There were beautiful little lavender filled cushions with vintage mother of pearl buckles and ribbons, dolls and some inspiration packs with lace and fabrics......  You may remember I did an interview with Alison last month ( so if you have not read it have a read about what Alison does and what made her start her business)

By this time the show was in full swing and the tents had really started to fill up.... it was time for us to leave and was 1.45pm so I said my goodbyes and we got to the car with my arm full of vintage treasures to drive home.

This was a beautiful Brocante and I would like to thank Love Lane Vintage for organising such a lovely event in one of the most stunning settings that I have seen.  The work that goes into something like this is enormous but I am sure everyone that attended would say it was well worth it as it was so well thought out and full of wonderful and talented people all in one place......

Well as you can see I am late today so I must get on with my stitching... Have a wonderful day and of course as always Happy Stitching!

P.s When I do my show and tell I will type a list of all the people who had stand there ( according to The Country Brocante brochure) ...... Petworth Park Saturday 4th July 2015.