Tag Archives: antique lace

Keepsake Quilt … ’til death us do part, block 3

I have been working quietly on my Sunday project for a while now, and my memory cloth is starting to take shape. This weekend I finished the hand-embroidery embellishment on the third block of this highly personal keepsake quilt …

memory cloth ... white hand embroidered quilt block

This is the first of the children’s blocks …. and has pockets at the bottom for these little darlings ….

white knitted baby boots

My grandmother knitted them for my daughter … and – especially now that she’s no longer with us – I dissolve into a sentimental puddle every time I see them.

hand embroidered embellished white quilt block

I’ve kept to a relatively simple palette of stitches here … french knots, buttonhole, cross stitch, back stitch and lazy daisy for the most part, but I’ve thrown in a little satin stitch and some webs as well … keeping the colours neutral, too – white, the palest of baby pinks, and a soft stone colour … most of these are vintage perle threads I’ve acquired from here and there.

hand embroidered embellished white quilt block

I’ve included lines from the W H Davies poem ‘Leisure’ onto the block …. I’m not going to use the whole poem, just lift little sections of it out into the different blocks as I go along (and don’t quibble over misquotes …. I reserve the right to change things up to suit myself). I’ve got her name and date of birth on the block, too …. all the important dates will be in the finished piece.

hand embroidered embellished white quilt block

I love the layers of old linen and lace …. I’ve tried not to interfere with them too much, just to use the stitching to echo, emphasize and enhance the underlying patterns and textures ….

hand embroidered embellished white quilt block

I think this is my favourite block so far …. and I love the way the three blocks hang together …. I’m planning on using rouleaux loops and chinese knots to hold them all together, maybe some mother-of-pearl buttons, if I can source them – when I get to that point.

hand embroidered embellished white quilt blocks

It may be some time before all nine blocks are done, but the process itself is such a joy, that I’m in no rush to finish it.

Fleamarket Finds

I’m lucky that I have a BIG monthly fleamarket/collectors fair locally … it’s just as much fun as car boots and charity shops, and the treasure-to-junk ratio is slightly higher …. though sometimes the amount of little china shepherdess figurines is a teeny bit depressing. (Not that there’s anything wrong with them, per se, but they’re really not my thing)

I always go along with a ‘wish list’ of things I’m particularly looking for … it helps me keep my magpie instincts under control.

This time I was looking for a clock for my workroom … I saw an art-deco clock which I ummed over for a while, and then wandered off to have a think about …. and of course, once I’d decided I did want it and went back, it’d gone. And in a failing to learn to strike while the iron is hot, I did exactly the same thing with another clock, not ten minutes later! I’m consoling myself with the notion that they weren’t the RIGHT clock for me.

No such hesitation when I spotted these bad boys …. a pair of rusted old wine crates, covered in dust and spiderweb, but EXACTLY what I needed to replace the nasty old pine wine rack we’ve had since forever.

And the same with these vintage picture frames …. I have a project in mind for these, involving the wartime postcards in an old phot0-album of my grandfathers that I ‘inherited’.

A fair amount of cleaning is going to be needed first, though.

Taking the time to go slow paid off, when I had a good old rummage through the ‘everthing in this box 20p each’ on one stall … I turned up some old linen napkins in varying stages of battered, a couple of embroidery hoops and double-pointed knitting needles …. WIN!

But the star of the show – for me – was a stall absolutely DRIPPING with old linen, lace, ribbon … gloves, hats, oh, heaven! I could have just put the whole lot in my bag and brought it home, but managed to control myself (and I didn’t think the husband would be terribly impressed if I spent the summer holiday fund on old fabric!!)

My stash of linen and lace has grown just that little bit bigger … and do you see that little bonnet at the front there?

It is simply one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen … so fragile, but in such great condition. I can see it playing a big part in a memory cloth, very, very, soon … I have a scrap of a smocked baby dress that it will work with perfectly.

Happy sighs …. and as if old things attract, my lovely mother-in-law gave me a tiny travel secretaire that had been in the family forever, but she didn’t want anymore, when I saw her this week. AND THEN, as if my cup wasn’t already in a runneth-over state, my mum had cleared out some of her old linen and asked me if I wanted it. Umm, bears, woods?

This is one happy magpie!