Monday 27 March 2023

One tiny stitch at a time and momigami.


See a pin and pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck.  See a pin and let it lie, bad luck you'll have the day.


It has been a hectic week here at Thimble.  Trying to get some form of order and projects finished.  Lots of photography has been done as well.

Eventually when I got to sit and hand sew it was bliss.  I have been designing little projects which I love to do and now a bit of a pile of stitching lays before me.

The rhythmic process of one stitch after another is a real therapy.  It does not feel like work at all to me, I just try not to think about anything but what I am sewing.  lists are my friend as once I have written down things they are off of my mind which means I can forget that for a while and then just cross things off one thing at a time which enables me to loose my self in the sewing moment.  It stops me panicking and my heart rate slows which is not only calming but fills my soul with happiness.

Procrastination is the thief of time !

When my needles are threaded and my work table has everything set out before me it is such a lovely feeling.  I am able to look at everything and with my sketch that I have scribbled down its a new stitching journey and it fills me with joy.

Collecting all the fabrics or quilt pieces, threads, buttons together along with words, quotes or sayings. I keep a journal on quotes etc or just words in general to use and this journal is always with me on the my work table for reference.

Sometimes I have the radio on in the background or sometimes nothing at all .  If it is
raining ( which has done a lot of this week in Dorset) I love to listen to it tapping on the windows, or if we have a little sun and the birds are busy in the garden then I like to listen to the blackbirds singing or my crows calling.  

As I sit writing this the rain is softly falling and the tip tap on the windows is almost hypnotic , I love the sound however I would love a couple of days, at least, of sunny weather and dry to tackle my over grown garden beds.  The grass needs its first cut of the year but is longer and of course wet .... Things are popping their heads out of the earth and are competing with weeds right now.

I do not have a big garden and it will take me maybe 3 hours to do and when done will make me feel so much better to look out on a tidy little garden but the weather is not playing ball. 

Also this week I have been collecting bits of antique paper and book plates to have a go at 'momigami' which is a japanese art of hand kneading paper.  When you have gone through the process the paper becomes fabric like and is easier to stitch onto. 

It is possible then to add pieces to your stitched art work and it makes for a wonderful mixed media piece, yet looks more like old fabric.  With gorgeous antique papers it

will look really beautiful I think after reading up on it a bit and looking at some photos on the internet.  It has a slightly crumpled look to it but becomes really quite strong.

You keep folding it in and kneading and then smooth it out and repeating in different directions.   Have any of you ever tried it?  If so please comment on here and let me know what you think or how yours has turned out.  I would love to hear about it and have a little chat with you on the subject.

Momigami is pronounced mo-me-go me and dates back to the 10th Century.  It can bring such texture to hand stitched pieces and also be used to cover journal as well. I am very excited to give it a go.  The process takes a while but it also is mind relaxing they say so watch this space.  I will probably have a go at the weekend.

The photo above is some fabrics I have sourced and I love the way they go together, playing around with bits for projects can actually keep me busy for hours, truly.  I am getting together bits with texture and old labels on and thought this might be just the things to go with some kneaded papers.  Making it a slow stitching piece that is just beautiful to me really.  Then I can hand stitch and embroider on it and either make a little wall hanging or indeed frame it.  What do you think.   I am very excited to see how this develops over the weeks to come as this is a piece purely for me!

My darling Mum is more stable this week which means I am able to do more here at
Thimble and then go in a sit with here for a few hours.  I do take in little bits of hand sewing or a design journal and doodle when she is comfortable and sleeping.  I know the difference when she appears to be sleeping but does not want to open her eyes, to sound asleep.  If she is sleep listening as I fondly call it.  Then I talk or read to her other than that I sit there and sketch or stitch.   I like to be there by lunchtime so I can try and coax a little food into her and fluids.

I am looking forward to some dry and warmer days and I can open her patio doors in her room to look out on the garden of her care home.  I get my love of nature from her and then I can talk to her about the flowers and birds.  The home had chickens at one point and a cockerel and I can tell you she was not really keen.  They were very noisy and they re homed them.  Peace restored to the gardens with blackbirds, robins and butterflies after that.

Anyway I must away for now.  I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings today and that you cosied up with a warm drink for your read.

Please remember if you know of or have done some momigami then I would really like to know.

For now take care of you and Happy Stitching!

Sarah XX

Tuesday 21 March 2023

Life and my needle and thread.


Let all your words be seasoned with Grace. And remember a kind word is never wasted.

It has been a few weeks since I posted so sorry but well life sometimes gets in the way. Mum has not been well, very up and down and suddenly two weeks have passed by. I have sat with her and chatted but have been reading Little Women to her, she seems to enjoy hearing my voice and is very calm and dozes in and out of sleep.

The last time I rambled away on here I was off to the Re-Claimed Fair in Chipping Norton and I am thrilled to say I did make it to that.  I had the most wonderful day and very care free.

I arrived before the doors opened and looked at the little queue forming.  There was chatter and laughter with anticipation as to what may lay inside.  Let the truffling begin.  Everyone seems to look for different things and it was so wonderful wandering around.  Meeting up with friends old and new it was perfect.

Lots of people travel a fair way to get to this smaller vintage fair,  In fact Mo was there ( you may be reading this!) and she comes from Scotland.  It was so lovely to see you and then keep seeing you with arms full of goodies.

Wondering around and taking it all in, stopping to hug friends, which after covid is never taken forgranted anymore.  I stopped and had a coffee and a piece of chocolate cake and was able to catch up with a dear friend who was helping out with cakes and

coffee.  Chocolate cake for breakfast was a real treat I can tell you!

All of the stalls looked very beautiful and inviting and there was lots of gorgeous fabrics to rummage through, which you all know is my joy.  Emma of Little Wren Vintage was there too and it was really good to see her as well.

In between all of this Winter returned to Dorset, we had some snow and it was bitterly cold as well.  I was making sure I had something going on in the slow cooker for my supper and that the fire was ready to light when I got in.   I kept telling myself that ..

' No Winter lasts forever, No Spring skips its turn!'

The weather has got a little warmer now and I do feel that Spring is in the air.  The birds seem busy with twigs in their mouth so nests are being built.  And joy of joys I have my birdbath back together.   Let me explain, when I got the keys to Thimble

Cottage and my movers brought my things only half of my large stone birdbath came in.  This was 3 years ago now.  The pillar part stood their in a corner of the garden.  I had asked them to look several times but to no avail.  I kept looking at it and thinking I must go and tip that.  However in the last two weeks the company got hold of me and told me the top part had been found!!!  I could not believe it to be honest, three years and I was going to the tip at the weekend.....   It has been put in place and filled with water.  Nothing was going in it until today when I watched with delight a blackbird having a fabulous time bathing in it ...  Little things that make us smile!
I have been planning my quilt project along with some other bits.  I can now get back to some stitching, sewing gives me a peaceful heart and I really do need to knuckle down for a few days.

Mothers Day was lovely, my daughter and I went to see my Mum and then we went back to her house and lunch was being made for us.  My son in laws Mum was there too and there were 10 of us.  It was a happy day spent in each others company for


Yesterday I was a little drained and so really did not do much at all but today, refreshed and with mum stable again I have a few days ahead of me where I can work happily.

I am looking forward to more vintage fairs coming up over the next few weeks and of course there is Easter too so really must put my head down and sort out my projects to get started.  I had three on the go that were not finished and I have finished two of them.  I will take the third with me to my Mums later in the week but for now I am plotting and planning and yes catching up with you all on here.   

I hope you like the few photos I managed to take of the Re Claimed fair,  There were some beautiful antique bits for sure.  They can not, however, capture the wonderful atmosphere and laughter but believe me it was there by the bucket full.  The happiness of friends getting together with like minded people and of course Cake!!

So the rest of this week it is head down ... fingers crossed and I am able to continue with the plans I have been making for so long now.  The weather is improving and today the sun is out which makes everything seem better.

I have some serious work to be getting on with and I will then be able to chat to you all about that.

I hope you all have a great week and I will be back here within the week hopefully with lots of things to tell you.

Happy Stitching!

Sarah XX

Friday 3 March 2023

The quest for THE QUILT is over!

Quilts are scrapbooks of our hearts.

Simplicity can be so beautiful, naivety of a piece of slow stitching on a old panel of quilt is something to behold.  For me simple things bring me so much joy.  Taking a sandwich by the river watching otters playing or a Kingfisher diving for fish, sometimes nearly as big as they are.  A coffee with a friend and of course some hand sewing on the go.

I was talking to you all in my last blog post about finding a quilt that was worn and a little tattered, with all its life contained in the patches of fabrics pieced together.  Often the fabrics are on their second life because they are cut from old clothes or cloth worn out and good bits salvaged for making quilts and patching of other clothes that will still do if patched .... Make do and mend.

Anyway I decided to tackle a big project and for this I needed a beautiful old quilt that was in need of some TLC.  I put my feelers out to a few vintage dealer friends and most said they didn't right now.  They are getting more and more rare.  Private collectors are just that, we collect and of course we keep.

However I got hold of lovely Emma from Little Wren Vintage and joy of joys she had

just what I was looking for so we met up and I am pleased to say said quilt came home with me all freshly washed carefully .. I do confess to other things as well came home with me including another quilt (grin) The quilt hasn’t been photographed yet so no picture yet!

So now for the planning of my project and I will be filming too for prosperity and for viewing for those who would like to watch and to take part in some way.  You will see what I am talking about when I have filmed the first part.

I am excited and a little scared but very much looking forward to this project and hope you are too. Please let me know on here if you would like to be part of this - It does not involve you doing any stitching because it can not be posted around so where ever you are in the world  it will not matter.

New friendships will be made and lots of chatter with like minded people - If you love antique/vintage fabrics, quilts, slow stitching and threads I think you will enjoy this.  My sketchbook is out to pop ideas down and my camera is at the ready.  

Now one thing I purchased from Emma is a dear tiny bowl.  It has Mrs Tiggy - winkle on it.  Beatrix Potter and there is a little rhyme on there too.

Mrs Tiggy - Winkle's nose went sniffle, sniffle sniffle

 and her eyes went twinkle, twinkle twinkle.

Please let me explain : My sister and I have always called our Mum Mrs Tiggy! before 

she got Alzheimer's she would love to iron.  She thought is was relaxing and the best part of housework.  I can hear some of you shout REALLY! and others of you will be in total agreement with her.  Put on the radio and iron my darling Mum loved it.  I know that some of my best friends love ironing, but we are still friends!  I love ironing if it is vintage fabrics especially paisley .. you can keep your bedding and shirts thank you very much ..

So anyway I had to buy it, to me it is a constant reminder of better times when I would sit chatting to her whilst she ironed and us both having a coffee in her kitchen, laughing and chatting.  I would ask her about family history and all sorts of things and I am so very pleased I did.  Our Mum is still with us bless her, fading but not gone but no longer can talk and we miss that so much.

I thought pin cushion?  I will make a pin cushion with that and have found a very old piece of quilt that will work beautifully.  It did not take me long to select it but it took longer because I can not help myself in going through all my quilt pieces and thinking about where I purchased them and who from.  It really is a joy of mine that I afford myself whenever I can.  It never gets boring to me - a guilty pleasure that I love to do.

Also in my buying time with Emma I bought some exquisite pieces of a very old quilt that had seen better days that she had cut up. The quilt was not patchwork but hand stitched panels red on white.  All the thread has gone  but left little flecks that you can see the original patterns.  Adding to these squares will be such fun and pleasurable.  I

may go around the outline with a  single thread in red to keep the originality of the design, then add  little bits of embroidery.  It will be a little mending and a little add to their history and keeping its original design can only be good in my opinion.

i am going to be very busy for months with what I have in my project book and the finishing of my website to go live. Its been a marathon getting the builders to understand what I do and how I would like it to look.

Hoping you have enjoyed my vintage ramble today and also hoping to hear from you on here, I would appreciate your thoughts all in one place.

As always take great care and Happy Stitching!

Sarah XX

P.S .... Some great vintage fairs coming up that I have to squeeze in as well, I can not miss them.  First one is The Re- Claimed fair in Chipping Norton on Saturday 4th March it starts I believe at 10am.  Who knows I might well see some of you there!