Tag Archives: vintage linen

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 … in Rome!

I went to Rome a couple of weekends ago, to celebrate a friend’s 40th …. the best part of four days of rambling the streets, stopping for coffee and long, long evening meals. It seems an age ago already … but I’m sure in part that’s due to the evil bug I picked up on the airplane that’s had me flat out on my back for the last week. Sigh. Such is the price of pleasure, I suppose.

Whilst we did tour the Vatican, and see most of the sights (lest you think me uncultured!), one of my highlights was a trip out to Borghetto Flaminio … a fleamarket on Piazza della Marina, just up from the Piazza del Popolo, on the Sunday.

You know how I like a fleamarket?

The sun was shining, it was busy, but not too noisy and overwhelming, and the treasure-to-tat ratio was pretty high. A lot of vintage and second-hand clothes, and a lot of other little delights ….

I was tempted by this Pucci plate … but it was expensive, and I didn’t want to be risking it in my baggage on the way home …. nor risk having to pay excess baggage!!

I think this is the *most* awesome telephone I have ever seen …. I still want it. But there was still that annoying baggage allowance thing.

Stunning orange oriental vanity set ….





A lot of beautiful inlaid boxes … I do love little boxes …. and knick-knacks and gewgaws. Somehow I think my minimalist intentions are doomed to fail from the very start – once a magpie, always a magpie?








Now, I love Indonesian shadow puppets as much as the next girl, but I wasn’t expecting to see any in a Roman fleamarket!

But I was … hoping …. for linen – and I found it. When it comes to old linen and lace, I have no self-control at all. None whatsoever. I know it’s a failing, and probably the sign of some kind of fatal character flaw, but there you have it.

That little dress was so beautiful …. and as for the crochet lace bedspread … big enough to smother a double bed? It took *every* *ounce* of willpower I had to haggle on that one, but I knocked the extremely very nice lady down from EUR85 to EUR45 and I’m calling *that* a BARGAIN.





The other thing I have a weakness for (OK, *one* of the other things I have a weakness for) is silk scarves. So imagine my delight when a good old rummage through a pile of the beauties yielded me this 4ft square of Valentino adorableness?

win, win and win again.

And the last great love of my life … big, impractical rings, the sort that make housework impossible ….. I’ll take two, thank you! The black one in the middle was a gift from my daughter, and two on the outside …. vintage fleamarket treasures from Rome.

Ahhhhh … I can still taste the espresso.