Thursday, 22 June 2017
Thread work and discovering a treasure!
The wonders of what can be
achieved with a needle
and thread. Slow
stitching through the ages
by children especially.
Years ago in a tiny little shack of an antique shop in Brockenhurst in the New Forest, which unfortunately is no longer there I found this little treasure. In a basket that said everything 50p I went rummaging and came up with two beauties. Firstly there was the little needle case that was stitched by a wounded soldier from the first world war, I have shown it to you before on here under the heading Soldiers Embroidery Industry ..... It is a piece of history and a work of art and I could not believe it was classed as a bin end!
The second thing was this embroidery by a child who was practising and there are two sides to it which I keep turning over so both can be seen. It is about 6 inches by 6 inches and is the most delightful and naive piece I have ever seen and it was 50 pence too!
It lives in my sewing room as a sort of a mat on my little drawers and I look at it every day. There is something so utterly pretty about this little piece and I treasure it, keeping it away from the sun as well. What it was for, if anything, originally is a mystery to me. The two sides are stitched together but it opens at the top. There are little holes at the top that once may have had a ribbon threaded through, but I have studied it and can see no date it appears to be random letters and numbers with little daisies throughout one side .. Well I paid my £1 for both of my treasures and have given them a home with me.
I have done lots of research on The Soldiers Embroidery Industry and have written to Windsor Castle where they keep all the history of each sovereign, you may ask why but Queen Mary (our Queens Grandmother) was patron to this cause and they wrote back to me, a letter cherished also.
If I can I like to find out the history of these things, I am fascinated by history and often wonder what the people would think about us all treasuring things they made a 100 years ago or more, would they shake their head in disbelief or would they be pleased that something they toiled on is still kept safe
I have bought some variegated threads to stitch some fabric to old paper and linens on my machine just to keep the tiny bits in place. Then I will go over it all with slow hand stitching and make it pretty.
Sometimes I wonder in a 100 years will someone find a piece of my work in a charity shop and treasure it too. I always put some information on the back of each piece I frame in a little handmade envelope with my signature and the date so that if indeed it is found they can have some information to read about and know a little about the piece that I have stitched.
Life today is just such a fast pace, we all need to be somewhere. The roads are busy and everyone seems caught up in the rush of the day so I count myself lucky to do what I do and be able to work at a slow pace and watch the world go by staring at or in our garden. I love the fact that I am keeping some old ways alive and hand sewing. It has become popular again and that thrills me no end, long may it continue to be popular. Younger generations are loving it too and that is so wonderful to see.
At the moment I am setting up my next project and will be drawing bits on to the vintage Frenchlinen, this will then be put in an embroidery hoop. I believe in them and like it when I am stitching words because it is neat and for me it is easier too and with my new found needle holders as well I am very organised to go back and forth from sewing room to garden to stitch.
The next one I feel like stitching is the Autumn one with those tiny leaves, I do not know why but there it is ... Maybe it is because it is my favourite season I do not know.
In addition I have found in my fabric stash a great inspiration pack I bought from Helen of Rosie's Armoire and it is perfect for my Halloween sampler with Russell the crow, there is some gorgeous black and white fabric, ticking and quilt pieces just perfect so that has gone into the project basket - what do you think?
Well I will leave you with that thought and get on with my day. I hope you all have a great day and for me its some serious stitching today both inside and out. I fancy lunch in the garden today with my sketch book.
Happy Stitching! XX