Tag Archives: vintage linen

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!

Keepsake Quilt: White work … til death us do part

It’s nice to get a little bit of breathing space to work on one of my personal keepsake quilt projects, even if it is little one hour snatches here and there …

I’ve gone back to the white work blocks I started during the ‘Embroider, Embellish, Create’ course I took with  Karen Ruane . Though I’d got all my blocks prepared, I only got 2 blocks (more or less) finished,  and then Christmas took over and January went past in a whirlwind … and now it’s time to pick it up again.

So I’m working on the first of the blocks for my children … this for my oldest daughter …


I’ve cut away some of the linen base, and buttonholed around the edge of it … and the buttonhole will continue along the edge of that strip of broderie anglaise, anchoring it into the base cloth. A pale pink ribbon to echo the colour of the thread got threaded through the trim fragment, and it’s all held down with french knots.

My grandmother – who I still miss, even after 7 years – knitted those little booties for her. They’ll be going into a special little pocket at the bottom of the block.

The whole piece … starting to come together, but still a long way to go yet …

I’m still waiting rather nervously for the gods of textile to smite me down for chopping up an antque doily … maybe if they like what I do, they’ll spare me?