Thursday 14 July 2016

cornflowers, daisies, fountains and bees .... talking vintage tray cloths

Fields of cornflowers,
purposeless and adrift,
all the more beautiful
in their becoming,
their grace lost
when they ripen
to a purpose.

Well as you know I am always on the look out for vintage embroidered cloths, especially tray cloths.  There is so much that you can do with them and I have just taken delivery of some beauties and thought you might like a little peek.

I had one which was a Christmas theme and it has robins stitched on it with holly leaves, I have kept that one for my personal use as its originally intended and kept it as a tray cloth ... yes for Christmas time as it is so unusual and I thought it would be a great addition to our traditional start to our Christmas morning with warm drinks on a tray in front of the open fire whilst opening stockings ... Sorry to talk the C word but there it is, I have bought it so it has to be mentioned but the others however are just general ones.

There is some gorgeous stitching on them and I love hunting them down and truffling around vintage fairs, little vintage shops or indeed charity shops sometimes have them as well.

Sometimes I keep them whole for something like journal covering and other times the scissors are taken to them to cut them out to use in the middle of a log cabin square or stitched onto something else.

I have a little collection now and these are my latest additions to their pride of place in a basket.  I would like to use some of these to cover some more journals as I have nearly sold out of the ones that I made .. being only one left at the moment.

Making some for myself as well ( three actually) and I love using them as well.  It somehow feels so very special to me to be writing in them.  One of them I have used for our house move (if we ever find somewhere to live ... we got pipped to the post on one ) so it has been a hard week.

On the moving front we are struggling to find somewhere to live, the EU vote has not helped according to the estate agents as people are worried and staying put ... I just want to move and it is getting so difficult right now.  We are off house hunting again this weekend, having been at a wedding last weekend so we couldn't I am eager to get out there again and see what we can see...

The picture above ( although a little blurred .. sorry) is of one tray cloth and it has this embroidery in the bottom right had corner and the rest is just the white linen that it stitched on.  It is a personal favourite of mine and will go onto a journal soon I think.  The fountain surrounded by flowers just speaks to me and I think it will be better to keep it as a whole to be seen and loved in all its glory .....

The cornflower pictured at the top of this page is the same, being that it is in the corner on its own

and no more flowers or stitchery and it really will look best on a journal.. It is a small tray cloth so it will have to go onto a small journal I think....

Ebay is another good source of finding these tray cloths although you have to put postage onto them mostly .. some are posted for free.   If they are really unusual then I will buy if it is pretty but not stunning then I try not to as when they become too expensive they are no good for the journal coverings .. it makes them far to expensive.

Well that is it for today and I must away to my stitchery and get some urgent things finished today .. Then I may well have a little sort through some of my fabrics to get another work basket ready to start at some point in a week or so ...

Have a fabulous day and as always Happy Stitching! XX


  1. I love vintage embroidery especially tray cloths, to have on a tray having high tea.
    Julie xxxxx

  2. Julie
    There is something quiet special about it, I think so I totally agree with you. That and beautiful vintage china not pot mugs .... and tiny little sandwiches

    I love hunting for them and am always on the look out.

    Sarah xxx

  3. Good morning Sarah,
    I also love these embroidered cloths.I have a beautiful tablecloth filled with crinoline ladies and flowers that was given to my mum and dad on their wedding day.
    House hunting is an anxious business even when you have found the right place but I'm sure it's out there waiting for you. Do you have a buyer waiting for yours? I hated showing people around our house especially when it was rejected by anyone.
    Have a good day. Love Dawn x

    1. Hi Dawn

      I think the little tray cloths are my favourite things at the moment and they are so useful in stitching.

      Ah house hunting! I am really very stressed but hey its how it goes. We had a buyer yes but whether or not they will stick around I am not sure ... we will see.
      In a great catchment area for a school so there are no shortage of families wanting to live here plus the beach is so near as well..

      If someone has a farmhouse out there please put it on the market !!! LOL

      Sarah xxx

  4. Tray cloths a particular favourite 💕and I love you journals they are sew well done. Oh blow!
    house hunting!

    1. Hi Sally

      Yes you guessed it someone else jumped in on the house we found ... So sad.

      So it is more looking and searching ....

      Sarah xxx

  5. Hi Sarah, the tea cloths remind me so much of my mum. When she died my Dad gave me a bag with a couple of embroidered cloths that my mum did when they first got married, and one that she had half completed. I wish my embroidery skills were such that I could finish it for her but knitting is my skill.
    Good luck on the move. After 4 months we've had only one viewing on our property despite every estate agent we meet saying it will sell quickly, but we haven't found anywhere as nice, and have now decided to stay put for the time being and decorate the lounge! Ever thought of coming over to the Island, it's not that far from you! xx

  6. Hi Sandy

    How lovely to have something that your mum worked on though, treasure that can not have a price tag ...

    I am afraid the Island does not have the fast trains to London for my husband so it really is not an option. We are looking for an old farmhouse with a little bit of land and it seems there is nothing in the areas we need to live in at the moment ... but we are on the hunt again tomorrow.

    Hope you are all well on the Isle and give my very best to all.

    Sarah xxx