Monday, 29 February 2016

Sorry for the absence!

Good morning All

Well best laid plans and all that.  The weekend that we were suppose to go to London, we did not.  On the Saturday 13th of February I woke up with an extremely bad chest infection.  It was not there before and just arrived in the night.  This past six months has been a bad one for my health with coughs, flu, colds and chest issues!

I have had two weeks mostly in bed but not been outside the door, finally went out yesterday and found the world to be freezing and also I got very tired very quickly.

After the first week I sat by the fire hand stitching in between coughing and have done an awful lot believe it or not.  As I had work baskets all ready to stitch that is what has kept me sane.  From the coughing my body aches from head to toe and my rib cage is very tender.  Luckily my infection has gone and now I am left with a bit of a cough and tired.

Still I am getting there and that is the whole point, so I am starting off this week slowly and showing you what stitching I have been up too and I am looking forward to actually getting to a vintage fair on Saturday ( The Vintage Bazaar in Devizes) this coming weekend.

We are going to re - book London and I will then go to the Covent Garden vintage market and report on it for you all.....

I have been well taken care of very well indeed and my husband has been cooking .. trying to tempt me to eat.

This week I am trying to get back to some normality.  I can not wait to show you some of my stitching with some funny stories along the way.

From tomorrow the blog will be back up and running.  Thank you to so many of you that have mailed me to ask if all  is ok .....So lovely of you all to make sure I am ok.

Take care all and Happy Stitching!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

...... Happy Valentines ......


A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.
- Ingrid Bergman

Je suis desja d’amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée…

I am already sick of love
My very gentle Valentine…

The above was the very first known valentine poem ever written.  It was from 
Charles Duke of Orleans to his wife in 1415.

I am not quiet sure if it is romantic or not !!

Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. 

William Shakespeare 

Now this guy knew how to make you swoon!

I am looking forward to a few days with my husband and dinner out tonight and tomorrow too.  What ever you are up to have a wonderful Sunday and as always .... Happy Stitching.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

The Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Palace...

Good Morning all

Well today I am off to the vintage fair at Pamphill in Wimborne in Dorset.  I am very excited and feel the need to mooch around vintage treasures and catch up with some great people.

Last year I missed so many and this year I vow to go to as many as I possibly can.  This one today kicks off the season for me....

I wanted to share with you a short film of the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Palace.  You get to see some students work and a tiny glimpse of their extensive library too along with the beautiful Palace ....

This is a lovely short film so please enjoy.  I personally have sent off for a prospectus to look at and do one of their two day courses this year.  You are never to old to learn plus I know I can learn lots from these masters of my great passion .. Embroidery.

Have a great day.  Do not forget I will blog about the fair today and I will be going to London to the vintage market at Covent Garden so some great blogs for next week so do not forget to come back for a great read....

Have a great day and of course Happy Stitching!
Enjoy x

Friday, 12 February 2016

Vintage ribbon and wool thread jars .......

** The best preparation for tomorrow  **
**  is doing your best today!  **

Well this morning started early as I wanted to sort through my vintage ribbon and wool thread jars.  I needed to pack some bits to stitch and one of the things that I need to do for a project is embroider some vintage ribbons with some flowers, so I thought that would be an easy pack as it is very light for travelling.

The thing is I can not seem to just get some ribbon ... Oh no lovely reader,  I then start to think where did I buy this? and when?  and then I start to remember the day and where I was and getting all sentimental about certain threads etc.   From this year though I am keeping a proper journal on it.  When I buy from fairs, what I picked up etc so that I have a proper Idea.  I have always kept a little note book on how much things cost so that I am able to cost my creations properly but I really need more detail so as my first vintage fair of the year is tomorrow that when it will start....

For now though I had to sort some ribbons out and some thread and needles put in my trusty needle case for transporting safely.  I found some beauties I can
tell you .....

I found the lemon colour I was looking for and also had a good old look at some I bought from Donna Flower at the fair in Wimborne at Deans Court last year ....  These on the right are the blue ones that are particularly beautiful I think.  

I like glass jars for cotton reels, threads, wool threads, needles and ribbons ... this makes them visible and easy to get at.

Anyway I sorted some ribbons and threads out for one thing to take along with some embroidery on linen.  I am going to finish any initial machine stitching so that it is just ready to put into a hoop.  I have lots of different size embroidery hoops and I put them all together in size and tie with a ribbon then hang them up.  They are hung on the back of the door.  I know where they are and it keeps them very neat and tidy and then they can not bend out of shape at all.

I have some vintage threads ready and these, although not embroidery silks, are cotton, I sometimes use cottons  to embroider fine detail so I had to sort some of those out this morning too.

I want to finish work early today to do a bit of a tidy up in my sewing room as it somehow has got a bit out of hand and does actually need a hoover and dust so I want to spend a good hour and half to make sure it is all tidy and ship shape for my return from London and I can hit the ground running as my husband likes to say ....

So I must away to my work room and get on with my stitchery and also go through my list for tomorrow ( on the top being vintage French ticking for the star project) and as I am tidying up I can check stock against any projects and commissions ....

Have a wonderful day and a great weekend.  Do not forget there is a blog tomorrow and its a good one about The Royal School of Needlework with a little video...  Plus I will be blogging from London and on Monday there will be all the photos from the Pamphill vintage fair .... I am taking my laptop so that I can keep you up to date with my finds in
London as well.

As always Happy Stitching!  ******

The above photo is not mine and I do not know who
to accredit it to but I wanted to show you those beautiful
vintage pin cushions and embroidery .... Oh sigh! 

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Imagination and stitchery go hand in hand ..... there are no rules just freedom to create.


                                          *                                *                                       *

WISH   *   HOPE   *   DREAM

There are no rules in stitchery just the freedom to design and create.  I love the freehand in stitchery we have adopted today with a kind of distressed and vintage feel, in addition to the wonderful aged fabrics and linens that we can pick up at vintage fairs, vintage shops and on line our imagination and dreams can create such beautiful bespoke items.

 Stitches are more freehand and less formal and I simply love this style.  It is not for everyone I know and also when quilting it is advised to be disciplined in the art of precise but for stitchery and vintage it has a creative freedom with an almost primitive feel that I personally and simply adore....

I enjoyed my design day yesterday and was able to do a few designs in the rough idea stage. I have been playing with some star designs and beautiful French ticking.  There is a green, beige and red ticking and I am now just looking for a blue and indigo as well, luckily I am going to a vintage fair on Saturday so I may be lucky enough OR there is London next week ....

So that is one of my designs that I have been doing a mock up of to see if I like it.  I do love vintage French ticking and in the pieces I have already you can see tiny holes that shows that ones they were on mattresses and have been unpicked to use as fabric.  They have been carefully washed and pressed and now, hopefully, they will be made into bespoke design and breathe a new lease of life ...

This is one of those precise designs so that each point of the five point star actually meets fairly correctly and sits properly ... Also tiny ones to appliqué as a whole and embroider on to other designs as well... less complicated that what I am trying out here, I can tell you.

Well we will see when I have all the ticking colours I need and then when they are cut out and sewn we will see if my idea actually work...

I love barn stars and picked up an antique Amish star, you have seen it in some of my photos and it takes pride of place.

The thing is to always try and to see if it works, fabrics can always be used on other things so it is never a waste and that is what creating is all about, I think.

Well I must away to my day as I have an awful lot to be doing and I am still getting things to take with me to London next week so that I have some stitchery with me.  I have to get them to the stage of hand embroidery  and be able to pack them in my case.

I am looking forward to getting more ticking and next week I can have a go at seeing what this might look like ....  Have a great day and as always Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Vintage wool threads and Regency era ... designing day tomorrow.

Where ever the distance
Where ever I roam
With my needle and thread
I will always make it my home.

As you all know I am off to London early next week for a few days and of course I want to take some stitching with me for when I am in our hotel room.  When I have done my looking around and research day I will come back to our room and have a warm bath and then sit and stitch whilst waiting for my husband to finish work and for us to go out to dinner.

That in mind I would like to pack fairly lightly so would like to get some stitching ready to take.  Already designed, cut out and threads etc chosen for me to just hand stitch happily.

So tomorrow I am going to have a glorious design day and I have been inspired ( still in my head stage ) to do some work with some beautiful old wool thread I bought on Ebay.

I bought four muted colours that are a sort of beige, duck egg, baby blue and a pale pale lemon colour, pictured above. They are really stunning.  In addition the other week from the same person I bought four more of these in much brighter colours ( left ) and between them I have an idea for them that has been rolling around my head for some time but really took on a whole new life after my visit to the Victoria and Albert museum on my last visit to London.  As I wandered round that beautiful and tranquil place I came across these great exhibits and that was it for me, my little grey cells started to work over time.  Now I have it in my head, tomorrow is D Day ( design day - grin ) and I will hopefully get it all ready to stitch so that I can take that to London with me and a couple of miniatures to finish off.

Then it can just be packed in a small bag with a good pair of sharp embroidery scissors, hoop and my
thimble and threads .....

This week is busy and exciting because of course I have the vintage fair in Wimborne on Sat 13th and then off to London and the Covent Garden vintage market plus some research and history trail ... more about all of that later on ( another story for another day)

So that all in mind I have to get down to my hand embroidery today and tomorrow my designing and getting it ready plus some cutting out of some of those beautiful vintage patchwork pieces I showed you.... these have got to go on the back burner until I return from London but I can at least get them ready to go ...

Have a really lovely day whatever you are up to and of course as always Happy Stitching!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Monday, Monday!! .... with lots of hand stitchery to do.

Spread love wherever you go and let
no one ever come to you without 
leaving happier.

Well this week has started and I have a busy week ahead which continues on into the earlier part of the following one as well.

On Saturday 13th Feb it is the vintage fair at Pamphill in Wimborne, Dorset and I am very much looking forward to that plus I am in London early part of the following week.  I will be going to some of the vintage markets in London and will of course blog about it when I get back and collate it all for you so that you can  see all my  photos and blog about the vintage fair. ( that will be written in London on my laptop for you all on Monday morning) 

I will then make my way to Covent Garden to their vintage market with over 100 stalls .. it says so in my little book that is pictured on the left.  I can not wait to see what is there.  I have a little list and just hope that I might find some of the treasures at this particular vintage event.

Today however I am going to be finishing some of my miniatures and also starting to pack for London for three days...

Tomorrow I would like to start on some of those patchwork pieces I showed you last week and I will be able to show you some progress before the weekend I hope.  I am going to take some hand stitching with me to London because I will spend some time in the hotel and I love to stitch and look out of the window at our beautiful capital...  Our room has the view of the walkie talkie building as well and at night it is quiet a sight to see all lit up..

I am being treated to a lovely meal at the Shard by my husband one evening and I am very much looking forward to it.

I must tell you a funny thing.  I have a commission for a wedding sampler ( plenty of time because it is not needed until the first week of August)  I was sketching my design and the couple would like a little saying stitched on there.   When I think of a saying or come across a poem from Shelley or read something that I can use part of,  I write it in a journal.

I was looking through my journal and came across this one I had written down ( do not know where I got it from but is was some years ago).

Under this window in stormy weather
I marry this man and woman together
Let none but Him who rules the thunder
put this man and woman under!

I am not, of course, going to use this particular rhyme but I must have laughed at it a long time ago
and jotted it down!!

This is what  I love about journal keeping.  You can write down all sorts of things that other wise may be forgotten and then one day flicking through its pages something like that pops up and makes you smile all over again....

Well I am away to my busy day.  I have a list to work from so that I have some order in my life today.  Have a great day and whatever you are doing today be happy.

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Martha Edlins Casket in the V & A

Good morning and Happy Weekend!

I think you should all see this amazing piece of embroidery and artwork.  It was stitched by Martha Edlin when she was only 11 years old.

Martha was born in 1660 and stitched this beautiful and stunning casket in 1671.  There is a video on
the Victoria and Albert museum web page .. just go to the home page and in the search put Martha Edlin Casket.  It has no sound to the short video but oh boy you will not be disappointed.  It put me to shame!  

I can not put a link on or I would but I am unable to or even down load the video to this blog for you but here is some information on the casket and a photo to wet your appetite.


Caskets like this were used by girls from well-off families in the 17th century for storing small personal possessions. The caskets were fitted inside with a variety of compartments, suitable for keeping jewellery, cosmetics, writing equipment and letters, needlework tools, tiny toys or keepsakes. They often had mirrors set into their lids, for dressing, and sometimes had secret drawers, in which to keep particularly precious possessions. The cost of the materials and the involvement of a cabinet-maker in making up such a box means that it could only be made within a household which could afford such outlay.
Martha Edlin (1660-1725) worked a series of embroideries during her childhood, including this jewellery case, which were cherished by her descendants and passed down through the female line in her family for over 300 years. We know little about her life, except that she married a man called Richard Richmond and appears to have been a prosperous widow living in Pinner in Greater London at the time she drew up her will, with daughters and grandchildren.   

In the video the casket opens up and you can see inside and its contents .... this is a fabulous short film so enjoy with a warm drink and wonder how long it took!!

I hope you do go and find the video it is really worth it and it is breath taking.

Have a great weekend and see you back here on Monday ..... Happy Stitching!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Wonderful scraps of vintage patchwork .....

A bed without a quilt is
like a sky without the stars......

.....  And a sewing room without a box of stunning vintage patchwork pieces does not bare thinking about my bloging friends!!

As I am working in miniature at this present time I have been sorting through all my boxes, baskets
and drawers for bits and bobs of tiny pieces of fabrics, quilts, lace, ribbon and more and I came across my huge box of antique patchwork pieces.  I had to sort through and cuddle and touch.  There were some tiny bits of gorgeous quilts and some of them are Victorian.....

I am lucky enough to have bought some beauties over the last few years.  There are paisley's and squiggle quilts bits and all manners of colours, hues and beauty.  Just look at the three in this
photo  (above) ..... Be still my beating heart!

I spent far to much time this morning sorting through but they are so beautiful I thought I would take some photo's for you to look at some of what I have in my 'vintage patchwork stash'!

The photo above is of a piece of squiggle quilt, named as you can see from the squiggle quilting... it looks random but believe me it is not and must take forever to do... I know a few quilters out there
one being a very talented lady called Nicki ...... you know who you are!  some of these pieces you and I could dribble over for ages ... grin!

The picture on the right is a little pile of blue quilt pieces and having sorted through and re acquainted myself with all these beauties, I have decided to do something with some of them next
week so watch this space...

I was up at silly o'clock today and it was still dark so these beautiful colours and fabrics cheered me up no end.

These are some of my antique hexagon quilt pieces yet to be stitched together, If you remember I bought them like this at the Sarah Moore pop up last year.  I am going to stitch some together and keep them the card way up with the fabric around the edge as you see in the photo.  The writing is stunning and very old so I think it would be a shame to hide it.  Then I am going to stitch some of them in the larger 7 hexagon shape (that you see in the photo on the left) to some vintage French linen and take them to my framer to live happily on my wall ... A thing of beauty I think.  And I am going to stitch another one of them to sell ... so if you have some interest in that, then watch this space again or message me.  I can give you a small idea of cost.

The picture on the right here is a small part of a large piece of quilting that I bought and could be a small throw.  It is a quilt topper at the moment and needs backing with something stunning and edged.  Some of the bits of fabric in this are Victorian as well and I feel it would be criminal to cut it up.  It is not huge but deserves to stay as a whole.  There are later bit of fabric in there ending around the late 1930's/early 1940's so it is a rare piece of patchwork indeed and the pieces of fabric span over several decades.  If they could speak what stories they could tell....

This is a few of my red colour ways (picture on the left) and I absolutely love them.  All one day will be made into something stunning and be re purposed from a piece of salvaged antique quilt that lives in a box right now,  to a display piece around our home or someone else who may buy one of my creations.  The photo on the right here is of a whole panel and it is so lovely just as it is I am going to have that framed too next week when I visit my framer....  This will stay with me and will take pride of place somewhere in our home.  I love the delicate colours, although I am not a particular 'pink' person this piece of antique quilting and patchwork is so beautiful in my opinion that I can not think of parting with it... It's delicate colours and pattern will look lovely, in my opinion, framed as is and hung for all to see on display in our home.

These beautiful pieces are in my lemon section, although you can not see it fully they all have very pale lemon fabrics in them.  Two of which are paisley's .. my favourite fabric as you know.

Some day in some way they will be used.  I have some scraps of all the quilt pieces I have shown you except for the whole topper that I will back and border and make into a throw or a wall hanging for above a bed.

I have had too much fun with all this I can tell you.  I love looking through my stashes and of course I am off to my first vintage fair of the year on the 13th of February .... who knows what I will find to add to my ever expanding work room and indeed, what treasures will come home with me,  along with some gorgeous fabrics and patchwork pieces I hope.  The last photo for you on the right is some pink pieces that I have and some hearts that have been cut out of patchwork to stitch on to something yet to be decided upon.  My patchwork and quilting frenzy had to end there and I must now stop chatting to you all and get down to some stitchery, or none of these beautiful pieces of quilting will get to be made into something next week!!

Have a wonderful weekend and do not forget to come back tomorrow as you will be in for a embroidery treat ... It is stunning and very very old ...1600's old !!

Have a wonderful day and a great weekend.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Stitching tiny samplers ....... with tiny wee stitches.

In time of swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets
when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta - 
there lived a tailor of Gloucester...... no more twist!

Beatrix Potter .. The Tailor of Gloucester.

The above not only happens to be from one of my most favourite children's books and was a great favourite along with the most beautiful artwork but is how I am feeling ...  like a mouse with tiny wee stitches!

I have embarked on a set of tiny little sampler pictures and It is great fun and I am loving doing it with wee tiny stitchery and very good light when I can get it on these very dark February days we are having.
Small bit of vintage linen, beautiful hand dyed shaker thread, vintage mother of pearl buttons and small vintage notions along with tiny scraps of beautiful vintage fabrics and tiny little neat embroidery stitches ..... that is me right now.The book its self has inspired me as well and I am in heaven designing and stitching these beauties.

Some with little sayings and some without.  I am very happy stitching these which will be framed and most are secret right now but I have broken the rules and shown you part of one on the left.  It has some vintage ribbon stitched to it as well.....

Luckily I am not going to have the same problem as the tiny mice in the story  with no more twist! sorting through my stash of hand dyed threads the other day, I discovered I have er ... quiet a few!  so that will not be a problem at all.

I am loving designing them and stitching so quiet happy sat with a tiny embroidery hoop and watching from the window this dreadful weather we are still having.

I have to sort through later or maybe before I start my stitching, a large box of ribbons and vintage monograms and lace .... I want to add things here and there.

I also have some stunning small bits of these fabrics that I kept so I have a lot of choice and some great blue ticking which is extremely old along with blue, green, lemon and paisley fabrics ....

Well I must away to start my day.  Whatever you are doing have a great day and as always..

Happy Stitching

He sat in the window of a little shop
in West Gate Street, cross-legged on
a table, from morning till dark.

All day long while the light lasted he sewed
and snippeted ........

The Tailor of Gloucester...

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

February .. a time of hearts and hand stitchery.....

The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints
the buds and swells the leaves within.

William C Bryant

How true the above words are from William C Bryant, although the weather has been dreadful we have not had an awful lot of cold weather and the garden does not know if it is Winter, Spring or Summer.  I have roses budding and have been although the way through last year and Christmas. There are crocuses and snow drops along with some lavender, it is totally insane....

There is colder weather forecast for later this week but not frost so everything I guess will keep going. My roses were not bothered about the last frost and seem to be very hardy!

I am cosy and enjoying my stitching.  I am making tiny hearts for the heart jar and I am using teeny tiny little scraps of fabric to sew on to vintage linen hearts ... well it is the month of Valentine isn't it!!

I have my machine back which enables me to sew up the hearts and it is working better than ever, I am thrilled.

I want to continue with this today but look out on Thursday to see what I am up to.  I am loving the idea and will be starting it tomorrow when I am all hearted out!!

The heart in the picture above, is from the banner I made for Pretty Nostalgic magazine back in 2014! would you believe.

heart yo yo's with a vintage button stitched to the middle and stitched to a hanging vintage linen heart is a lovely way to decorate and if you fill them with lavender or rose then to hang in your wardrobe is great.  You don't need lots of fabric for small heart yo yo's either.

I am going to light the fire later and sit and embroider and stitch and finish my hearts.  There are so many things that you can do and these make beautiful small but thoughtful gifts for people .....

I have also got another job to do today and its a hard one..... I must sort through my box of hand dyed shaker threads to find just the right colour threads for my next projects , it is a dirty job but someone has to do it .... grin!

Anyway whatever you are doing today take care as I do not know about where you live at the moment but we have a very gusty wet day going on and I know if you are in Scotland you have a hoolie going on! .... that dear readers, if you are not from Scotland is a storm.  

Happy Stitching! and keep warm and safe.....

Monday, 1 February 2016

February already ... this is scary!!

February brings the rain.
Thaws the frozen lakes again!

So please tell me where January has gone?  I really feel like we just packed up from Christmas and already we are into our second month of 2016.

The weather is terrible here but I am very well aware that there are some very bad conditions in the North of our tiny island and people have been flooded out of their homes and businesses so really I have nothing to complain about.  We have a soggy garden but that is it.  On go the wellies to feed the birds and my tame squirrel.

This is the month that some great vintage fairs start and I am very much looking forward to starting the circuit again this year.  I feel I have not been to one for ages.  My cough is all but gone but has taken nearly 6 months to do so ( shhh I should not have spoken too soon, just in case it thinks that I am missing it and decides to re visit me!!)

After my visit to the V & A the other week and sitting in the fashion exhibit scribbling in my journal I am in the middle of designing a 1920/30 piece.  I have been looking closely into their fashion and magazines of the time.  I adore this era of fashion, even their PJ'S were stunning in silks with matching dressing gowns.

I would love to get hold of a stitching magazine of the time and have been trolling and truffling through the internet and Ebay.  So I am pleased that the vintage fairs are starting because you never ever know what will be on offer to purchase, it is very exciting.

So today I am going to do a little research and have a designing day I think plus I have a little pile of hand stitching ( tiny project things) that I want to get finished so that is my day planned.  How about you?

Have a great day whatever you are up to and as always Happy Stitching!