"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A fun time was had by all....

Linda from Chloe's Place and Sharon from A Blank Page joined me today for a multipurpose get-to-gether. Firstly I took them to Savers, one of the biggest charity shops around. We were looking for aprons and anything that might catch the eye. I was astonished and embarrassed to find only four or five aprons on the rack! I had told Linda that Savers always have dozens of them, but I think somebody has been reading our blogs, because today of all days - zilch! I found a little treasure for myself - a Crinoline Lady cup and plate set for $7. The cup had a hairline crack in it, but as I am not a serious collector of china, and it will only be used for display anyway, not for hot cups of tea! I wasn't concerned about it. After a quick lunch we went on to Vinnies OpShop and this time my friends were in luck. Go and check Chloe's Place to see what Linda found (she chortled with delight all the way home!). Sharon found two beautiful little items, but she might like to describe them herself on her blog, so I won't give anything away here. We came back to my house, where I showed Linda my complete collection of aprons -finished, unfinished, never started, and my day to day non-embroidered ones. She took some photos, so 'watch this space' (as well as Chloe's Place) for some new apron photos!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Last picture for tonight! I have just finished this little sampler for my niece's wedding next Saturday. Just have to find a frame now. This was stitched on 18ct Aida which has silver lurex thread running through it.
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See previous book's description - more ways to use old linens.
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I find some great books on Amazon.com - this and the next one are examples. They have some great ideas for using old doilies and cloths to make other items. Great if you are happy about cutting up vintage embroidery, which I am NOT! But there are times when such linen is so badly stained or damaged that it is not worth saving in its present state, so using it up like these books suggest is quite acceptable to me!
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This beautiful book is apparently quite rare and expensive if you can find it! I saw it on Biblioz a couple of time for nearly $100, but eventually got it on eBay for about $60. Not without a fight though - I was bidding against someone who wanted it as badly as I did!
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This is a stunning and very expensive book which I found on eBay at a bargain price! Mostly about lace with lots of useful information and pictures, but some interesting info. about embroidery as well.
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Another book on collecting textiles, perhaps not as well known as Millers, but nonetheless an enormous amount of information and pictures.
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A fairly well known book on textiles, very comprehensive.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Aprons and other vintage pieces.

I have just had my daily visit to Chloe's Place and all the associated links thereon, and discovered that Aprons are the flavour of the month. As Linda says, I have a rather large collection of aprons (about 60), all hand embroidered. I also have half a dozen 'every day' printed fabric aprons that I wear when I am cooking or washing dishes, but I don't actively collect those, as I have never felt they are anything out of the ordinary. But having read these blogs from around the world, by ladies who collect ALL kinds of aprons, I regret to say that I have recently chucked a dozen or so of them in a box for the Op Shop!! Well, I am SORRY! but they are still not my 'thing', but perhaps from now on I will hang on to those still in my linen cupboard and maybe some day, one of you Apron Fanciers will inherit them! Savers Charity Shop in Greensborough always has a rack full of aprons in there; usually 20 or 30 at a guess, but unless they are embroidered (very rare to find them now) I don't take a second look. I find nearly all my embroidered aprons on eBay. Today I spent a few hours at an aged care hostel where I am a volunteer. They had an afternoon tea for the Cancer Fund Raising Day (The Longest Morning/Afternoon Tea), and since they have been doing this, I have taken a dozen of my best tablecloths to put on the dining tables so the ladies can have their afternoon tea in style. Today, I also took some of my aprons for the volunteers to wear while serving the residents their tea and scones, and both the volunteers and residents just loved them! I really must get my digital camera working...there is so much to put on this blog!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

This is one of my UFOs...well to be more specific, one of my MIL's UFOs! It is a cushion cover, again too large to scan the whole thing, but this will give you an idea of the pattern, and my MIL's exquisite stitching. I thought they were pansies at first glance, but MIL said "No! They are wallflowers". And the transfer on the edge proves her correct. I had never heard of wallflowers (apart from lonely ladies at the edge of a dance floor!!)
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This darling item is a telephone book cover - probably from about the 1930/40s? I just love these Flapper ladies! I found this one on eBay and just had to have it. I have two other telephone book covers, and will scan them too, if anybody reading my Blog expresses interest in seeing them.
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Here is the instruction sheet for the Melbourne '56 Olympics traycloth. The actual cloth is too big to scan, so this will have to do.
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Sunday, May 15, 2005

This is one of a series...I had to do this one, it is just what our black cat Topsy does under the rug in our lounge!
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Friday, May 13, 2005

Looking back on a good week.

It really was a lovely week to begin with...until my husband shared his germs with me, and now on Friday, I am sniffing and sneezing. Just as well it wasn't earlier in the week. On Tuesday morning, I took about 20 of my cloths and a few other items over to Willowbrae Aged Care Hostel. Around 10 a.m. I placed my cloths on the dining room tables, in readiness for the residents' morning tea at 10.30 a.m, and for the next half hour, I gave a talk to the residents about my collection - the sort of items I collect and why I do it. I could tell by their expressions they all enjoyed it, and afterwards, the activities staff members told me it had been a long time since they have seen some of their residents so animated. My talk and the cloths and doilies I had brought in, brought back long forgotten memories of their own "fancy work", and there was lots of fond reminiscing going on for a good hour or so afterwards.
On Wednesday, Linda from "Chloe's Place" was my guest for the day, and we had a wonderful time getting to know each other...Show and Tell at school was never so exciting! Linda brought her peacock quilt to show me, and I was awestruck, it is absolutely sensational - you really can't get the same impression by looking at photos on a computer screen. Then she brought out her box of things she will be cutting up and I was dismayed to find two exquisitely stitched little supper cloths among them! I offered to buy them, but Linda said we could probably work out a trade rather than have money change hands, and I was quite amenable to this. I took her to the two rooms in our house that my hubby never visits - my den, with all the books, craft stash, sewing machine, desk, filing cabinet etc., and the other room which is supposed to be a spare room for anybody who stays overnight (fortunately we don't have too many that do). This room houses my linen collection. The cloths and aprons are hanging in the wardrobe, and the smaller items are in the drawers of the dressing table. The double bed is covered by items of linen which needs to be sorted and 'filed' in the right place, as well as that which I have left out to show people. I managed to show Linda a dozen or so cloths out of the 150 or so.
Next time, she wants to see more of my SINS and UFOs, which means another full day at my household, as there are probably over a hundred of these too...I have my next five reincarnations all planned - I will be searching for all the UFOs from my previous existences and continue to work on them until the next life. Dream on...

Sunday, May 08, 2005

My current works in progress.

At last I feel as if I am achieving something. I have drawn up a list of projects that must be completed in a defined time frame, so instead of picking something up at random and doing a bit here and a bit there, I have been focussing on what needs to be done sooner than anything else. I have finished two cards and a fridge magnet for MSN group exchanges, and I have nearly finished another fridge magnet/note holder which is to be a thank you gift for friends we are staying with in Tasmania next month. My niece is getting married in June as well, so I am working on a wedding sampler for her. I only started it last night, and am pleased to see how fast it is taking shape. It is not one of those large complex projects; I knew I would never finish something like that in time, so I chose a simple one, and to dress it up, I am using 14ct Aida with silver lurex running through it. A friend turned 60 in March, and I completely missed her birthday - it wasn't even in my birthday book - blush... So I am doing a little sampler for her to make up for my tardiness. It is a bunch of grapes with the words "Age doesn't matter unless you're a Cabernet". Very appropriate for her age group, and she does appreciate a good wine! There is no hurry for that one, as it is to be a surprise, but I still want to give it to her well before Christmas, so it is fairly high on my list of priorities.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Back on track..

I have a feeling that I have misled the good people who read my Blog. The heading says I will be writing about my linen collection, my SINS and my UFOs. Unfortunately I have got carried away by the whole Blogging Scene, and have been waffling on about everything else BUT the above! To those who are disappointed and/or bored, I do apologise. I have two options - to amend the top bit on my blog to say that I will be writing whatever comes into my head about whatever I am thinking or doing at the time, or to simply stop waffling, and to just write about my stitching and my collection. Or perhaps I will go half way between these and continue to waffle occasionally, but focus more on the original! Having said all that....(How do I get paragraphs here - it doesn't seem to happen), I will go on to write a bit about my stitching. My dear friend Sharlee over at A Blank Page has promised to show me how to make my Blog a bit (a lot!) more interesting and visually appealing than it is now, and when that happens, I have decided to divide my blog into different segments somehow. I want to keep the Collection blogs separate from the SINS and UFOs. A brief explanation here is probably timely.. I collect old hand embroidered linen, which includes cotton and calico items as well. I find my treasures in op-shops and garage sales, but mostly on eBay. The collection includes but is not restricted to: tablecloths of all sizes, doilies, tray cloths, aprons and tea cosies. I present talks to community groups and aged care facilities, where I take a few dozen of the more interesting items to show and tell. One day I would like to house my collection in a permanent display somewhere - either a textile museum of some kind, or a private home. My linen doesn't have a defined monetary value like stamps or coins, but it is of historical value - part of our country's past history, as this kind of craft is a dying art.