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

Thursday, December 21, 2006

More on Mermaids and my linen collection.

Barb from Woof Nanny left a comment on one of my earlier posts here and I am starting a new post to reply, as it will be a bit too long-winded to leave as a comment. Here is Barb's comment: Adorable. Were mermaids a pattern at one point (Vogart or something)? I would make this. I'll actually be attempting embroidery again soon--a swap item. I just ordered the pattern. Have you considered buying and selling linen for a living? You seem to love it so. Or document items in a book or a museum?
Well, I really have no idea if there were any transfers around for Mermaids. I don't recall seeing anyone in the packets that I have, but I don't have anywhere near the amount of transfers that are available in the USA. That is why I grabbed this towel when I saw it on eBay - so unusual as well as just plain cute!
No, I have not considered buying and selling linen for a living - I collect it purely because I never tire of looking at it and handling it. As a stitcher myself, I have a deep appreciation of the work that has gone into all my cloths. I have sold a few of my bits on eBay and elsewhere, when I've culled my collection and decided that I don't want some of them any more.
As for documenting my collection; a few years ago, I spent over a hundred dollars on an American computer program called "Collectify" which is apparently widely used by museums and serious collectors to catalogue collections. It is a fantastic program, but because of the time it would take to put my linen on it, I've never got around to doing anything about it! I've thought about doing it by hand too, but again, it would be such a big undertaking that I'd have to spend the rest of my life doing it. I'd much rather just enjoy looking at my stuff, and showing it to other people!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Additions and deductions to sidebar favourites.

Now and again I make some changes to my list of favourite blogs - mostly because it gets far too long, and like all of you, I just don't get time to go through the whole lot. Anyone who notices their blog has disappeared from the list - please don't think I don't love you any more! You are now on my IE Favorites list instead. I just like to put some New Faces on here sometimes. One such new face is Lillian from South Korea. Her blog Hand Embroidery Group shows the work done by the members of her Yahoo Group of the same name. It is all gorgeous, (like every other needlecraft blog I look at!), but while you are there, notice the background 'wallpaper' - Crinoline Ladies! How cute is that!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Embroiderer's Guild Xmas Mail Art exchange.

Danielle from A Peacock's Feather made a mail art envelope for me some time ago, and I have been showing it to all and sundry ever since. I took it into the Guild a few months ago, and the ladies who saw it thought it was fabulous. They decided on the spot that the Guild should organise a mail art exchange, and they got 12 participants very quickly (including me of course). Below is a picture of the envelope I made (with the address blanked out for obvious reasons), and below that is a different kind of mail art, that I received from J. my swap partner. She stitched this and put it in an ordinary envelope to send it, so I guess it isn't true mail art, but I love it just the same!
I was talking to W. today, who organised this first exchange and she was saying that there would have been many more participants, but the country members didn't find out about it until after the closing date. So we may organise another one around the middle of the year, when people don't have the Xmas rush to contend with, and they will be given more time to think about what they want to make. In the meantime, I suggested that all our mail art creations be put on display at the Guild early next year so members can see what we did.

My Mail Art envelope

This is the first mail art envelope I have made, and I am quite pleased with it. The recipient was absolutely delighted with it! Simple design, but a lot of work involved, lining the outer envelope, etc. Still, I know how to do it now, so hopefully the next one won't take as long!

Mail Art

J. made this for me for our Embroiderer's Guild Xmas Mail Art swap.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


After the initial novelty wore off, I hardly ever look at the stats. to see who is reading my blogs and where they are from. But with the silly season in full swing, and people being busy with other things, naturally blogging would have a low priority listing for most people at the moment. I've noticed I'm not getting as many comments as I used to, and put this down to more reasons than Xmas. Firstly, I haven't had as many pictures in here as I did earlier, so of course there is nothing to comment on! Secondly, I don't spend as much time visiting other blogs as I used to, although I keep tabs on everyone in my sidebar at least once a week.
So I decided to check out my stats, and after my first shock of discovering I'd hit the 53,000+ mark (I was going to have a blog party when I hit 50,000!!), I went into the Stats Counter site to see who was visiting me. In the past week, I had 30 visitors from the U.S.A., 29 from Oz, 13 from Turkey, 7 from Honduras and Czech Republic, 5 from India, 2 from the U.K. and Canada, and 1 each from Germany and New Zealand. Well! How nice to know there are so many of you still dropping in, and assuming you have your own blogs, I would be delighted if you would leave even a brief comment to say hi, so I could click on your link and visit you in return.
I think we have an option to open our blogs up for anyone to comment on, regardless of whether they have their own blog or not...I thought about doing this, as I have had emails from people who don't have blogs, but wanted to contact me about mine. There must be a lot of people who read blogs and would like to comment. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Smaller Crinoline lady on tablecloth

Large crinoline lady on cloth

Possibly my last tablecloth from eBay...

I HAVE to stop buying linen on eBay - I can't afford it now, and my linen room is full to overflowing. But if this is my last crinoline lady, it is also the best in my collection to date. I doubt if it has ever been out of the linen cupboard since it was stitched (in England I assume, since it came from there). It is on pristine white linen, with a large crinoline lady in each corner, each one in different colours. Between them, is a smaller lady. The stitching is simply perfect - a number of different stitches were used to maximum effect. If you would like to see the other corners in the different colours, leave a comment here and I will scan them shortly.

Right hand side.

Left hand side.

IT'S FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 11.50 pm on Tuesday 12th December, I put the last stitch on the Christmas cross stitch commission project. Unfortunately the whole thing doesn't fit on my scanner, so I have done one scan lengthways, with one end cut off, and two more scans, one of each half, right and left.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hand towel with mermaids.

This is one of two hand towels I received recently from the USA. The other one is a peacock, so it is on my other blog (Patra's Embroidered Peacocks), along with two other embroidered peacocks that have arrived recently.

Guild project as at 30th November.

The word 'greetings' has to be finished off, then I'm back on all those green trees! Hopefully I'll be able to do them faster than I did the left hand side, as I didn't have the tapestry frame then, and I was finding it very awkward to handle while stitching.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Well, I've done it. I thought I'd better - otherwise I may have lost everything! And it was quite painless, really. What am I talking about? The change to Blogger beta, of course! I dislike change in my life ("if it ain't broke, don't fix it") but Blogger was sounding pretty threatening on the Dashboard: "you MUST change before 2007 otherwise there will be dire consequences" (or words to that effect). I was going to change only one of my blogs over, but it was all or nothing, so I went along for the ride and here we are. Can't see any difference at this stage; hope it doesn't have an adverse effect on any of you who read my wafflings!

Friday, November 17, 2006

This is where I am at with my primary UFO (I say primary, because I have so many of them, but this is probably the one I want to get finished first, mostly to get hubby off my back!)
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I'm pretty pleased with my progress on this picture. I'm about half way now, so if I keep going at this pace, I should have it finished by early December, which is when the client wanted it. Crossed fingers!
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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Some more teacosies for my collection.

Here are five more teacosies that arrived this week via eBay. I have also put a new picture on Patra's Peacocks, for those of you who are keen on peacocks. Diana from The Lone Beader left a comment regarding the pattern mistake on my Christmas cross stitch project. She suggests that I leave it as it is because trees are all different in reality! Sorry, Diana - I've already fixed it! For anyone who has not seen Diana's blog on her beading, I strongly recommend that you have a look. She creates absolute masterpieces using beads to make up pictures.

Very old whitework teacosy, difficult to scan, but I did it using grayscale, and it's the best I can do.
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Gorgeous old art deco style. I have a couple of doilies that match this - just love finding matches for my linens at a later stage!
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...and the other side.
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The yellow tinge on this is not on the material; it is due to the scanning process. The other side of this cosy has the same design stitched on it.
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I think this one might be very old, even 1930's, going by the style of the design, and ruffle around the edge.
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Teacosy from the U.K.
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Sandie at A Beautiful Place has initiated a UFO challenge for 2007, and asked the participants to put a picture of their Challenge item on their blog. Here is mine as it was about 10 years ago. I have since done quite a bit more, but am still dragging my feet!
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Monday, November 06, 2006

My eagle-eyed husband has picked up an error on this - and it ain't my mistake! In the top left corner, the tree to the right of the deer doesn't look right. The stitches on the left hand side are not symmetrical like the other trees. I have stitched it exactly as the pattern shows, but having just looked at the model photo on the chart, that has been done correctly. WAAH - do I correct it or leave it? Just a matter of adding another stitch or two...I hope.
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Update on my Christmas commission cross stitch.

I am humming along nicely with this project - stitched three hours nonstop today and covered quite a bit. I intend doing another scan to put on here, but it is such a pain to unscrew the frame from the stand, then put it back together again. That brings me to a bargain purchase I made last week at the Guild's 'Paddy's Market". The Guild hold this once a year; it is a kind of trash and treasure day for the members to sell their UFOs and other unwanted stash items to each other (and anyone else who comes on the day). I'd taken a heap of SINS and UFOs to sell, and was doing well - sold nearly $100 worth all up!
I popped into the room where the Guild had their own stuff for sale - this is stuff that outsiders have donated to the Guild, but is not suitable for the Guild Collection. Selling it off to members helps raise funds for the Guild; in fact I have willed my linen collection to the Guild for that purpose. There was a box of tapestry frames and stands, all in bits, and ladies were fossicking around trying to get enough pieces to make up one stand and/or frame, whatever they were after. By the time I got to it, most of the good stuff had gone, and all that was left was a stand with an enormous quilting hoop on it. I decided that Ken would be able to do any modifications needed, and snapped it up for $5. When I got it home, we found it didn't need any modifications at all - except for some extra holes to be drilled in my tapestry frame. I gave the quilting hoop to a friend who does quilting, and she was delighted to have it, even without the stand. As for me, I am also delighted! Those stands cost around $60 (including the tapestry frame I think), and I have been after one for years, but reluctant to spend the money. Wow, does it make life easier when stitching!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This is the chart I am working on for the Guild commission. I was asked by another blogger to provide progress photos, so the first one is below.
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On my sixth day of stitching, this is where I'm up to after about 6 hours. Gosh I envy you girls who have time to sit and stitch all day. But then again, I don't think my eyes (or my hands!) would survive a nonstop 6 hour marathon!
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This is my first attempt at Mail Art. It still has some back stitching to be done, and of course the name and address stitched on. Hard to tell on this picture, but for the snow, I used one strand of white DMC and one strand of silvery metallic thread. It really sparkles!
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This is the unfinished centrepiece of a duchess set that I found in the op shop where Lee-Ann works.
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These are the doilies that match the unworked centrepiece.
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Friday, October 20, 2006

My first commissioned cross stitch!!

I am so excited! (And a teeny bit nervous). The Embroiderer's Guild take on commissions from people asking if any of the members would do some kind of stitching for outsiders. We have all kinds of requests - the Ceremonial Group of ladies work on the garments worn by priests at one of our cathedrals (possibly more than one, I'm not sure). People ring up saying they have inherited a half-finished patchwork quilt - could somebody finish it off? And then there is the mending - very old (and sometimes not-so-old!) embroidered/crocheted/knitted/tatted items are brought in that have been damaged in some way, and the owners don't know how to repair it.
The other kind of work is when somebody wants an item stitched as a gift. Last month, W. (one of my volunteer colleagues) asked if I would be interested in doing some cross stitch commission work. I said yes cautiously, not wanting to commit myself to a Teresa Wentzler epic which would send me to the grave much earlier than planned! But no, this was a Prairie Schooler Xmas design. A man wants to give it to his wife for Christmas, and it has to be done by early December so he has time to get it framed. W. dropped it off to me today, and I am quite confident about finishing it in time. It is on 14ct Aida and only uses 7 colours of DMC. Everything was provided, so I raced down to the photoshop tonight and got a photocopy of the pattern twice the size of the original, so I can mark it off as I work, without spoiling the original chart. I have stitched a grid on the Aida and put it on the frame, needles all threaded with the colours, and the chart is marked into a grid as well. So I'm rarin' to go!!
Only one thing remains - how much should I charge, and how does one charge for stitching? W. said the ladies in the Guild set their own prices with whatever they do; there is no set charge from the Guild itself. She suggested that I keep a record of how many hours I work on it, and how many stitches I work in an hour. I already know my average is about 130 stitches an hour. Let's assume this chart has 8,000 stitches - that would take me about 60 hours. Would $10 an hour be too much? $600 sounds an awful lot of money for something like that!! Even $5 an hour - $300 - sounds a lot, but W. said people must be prepared to pay for our time the same as paying for any other work, and she said she had told the guy it would run into several hundred dollars. Comments please!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sharing my passion for linen.

Lee-Ann left a very warm and friendly comment a few days ago, relating to her visit to my home to see my linen collection. Thank you dear Friend, for those compliments about me - you know the feeling is mutual! I want to explain something here to those who read my blogs. I have made many new and close friends via the Internet in the last five years, and now and again I refer to those people and the things we do together from time to time. Lee-Ann and her hubby Rob have become great friends with Ken and I, and we have enjoyed each other's company enormously recently. But as I said to Lee-Ann, in deference to our husbands, I am not going to write a detailed account of every time we meet, as Ken and Rob are not 'into' blogging, and could be uncomfortable with our personal lives splashed all over the Net!
Having said that, I will go on to say that we have just spent a great two days in the country with Lee-Ann and Rob, and at their request, I presented a talk about my linen to a group of ladies up there. They were mostly middle-aged or older, and were delighted to have a look at the pieces I took along to show and tell, particularly the aprons. Ken had never seen me do my talk before, but he was a captive audience this time! Even he enjoyed it, probably because a lot of it relates to his Mum, as she has given me so much of her own work. I like to talk about that, as each piece has a special story or anecdote which makes it all the more interesting to my audience.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Front of Tea cosy from England.
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Replies to your comments.

I never fail to get a buzz out of reading all the comments left on my blogs, but I regret that I am remiss in acknowledging them sometimes. I try to visit all the bloggers who visit me, but if I haven't done so, please don't think I am just ignoring you - not so! I guess most of you know how it is. Blogging is such great fun, but sooooooooooooo time-consuming! And my blog isn't half as busy as some of those who read mine - I don't know how they have the time! Anyway, thanks to all of you who have left comments lately. Normah has been admiring my linens, particularly two crinoline ladies stitched in purple. She asked if I am a 'purple person'...which made me chuckle, thinking of the Purple People Eater song from the 50's! Yes, I do love all shades of purple, violet, mauve, etc., although I can't wear them successfully - just doesn't suit my skin tone, unfortunately. Catherine has also been enjoying looking at my collection, and mentioned that she has inherited linen from her Mother. She has promised to put some on her blog; I'll keep nagging you to do just that, Cathy! I absolutely love seeing things that people have inherited - so much of mine will never be identified, coming from auctions and op-shops...:-( Maggie is one of my most regular visitors - going by her comments on nearly all my pictures! I am so happy to know that she and others share my love of hand embroidered linen. For so many years I have been alone in my passion for it, but now I am surrounded by soul mates!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

On one of my other blogs (Patra's Other Place) I wrote about the latest additions to my swap(playing) cards collection. I have posted the pics of the following six cards because of their stitching theme, in line with what Patra's Place is all about.
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Another pair of swapcards that appealed to me because of the sewing theme! Aren't they nice and bright?
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This is one of a pair of swapcards depicting Crazy Quilt stitching. I'd never seen this on playing cards before, and had to have them for my collection!
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Friday, October 06, 2006

The second CQ swap card.
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This is one end of an unfinished table runner from England. It is on the drab brown linen that was commonly used during wartimes when quality linen was scarce or unavailable. The crinoline lady here is almost finished - just a few flowers and clouds to be done, but the other end of the runner hasn't been started at all.
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Unworked teacosy, on the same brown material as the runner above.
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Friday, September 29, 2006

One corner of a tablecloth. Semco put these out around the 1950's I think. The coloured bands on the border are woven into the cloth, and the design stamped on it is stitched in colours to match the border. I have about 6 similar cloths in my collection, and I am really keen on them; they represent such a country kitchen feel to me.
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This is one corner of the most recent card table cloth I have acquired. Most of my card table cloths are dull fabrics, because when in use, on a table where people are constantly moving cards around and their hands are on the cloth, it would be pretty silly to have a white or pale coloured material on the table! This cloth has the same design in each corner except for where the spade symbol is here; the other corners feature a heart, diamond and clubs.
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This doiley is one of a pair, that I have had for a few years. They have been on the mantelpiece, under some ornaments, and I decided they had accumulated enough dust by now, and took them off for a wash. Before I put them away, I thought it was worthwhile to put one on here, as they are very pretty and beautifully stitched.
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This cute little item is a 'handkerchief sachet' - used to keep handkies in so they didn't get mixed up with knickers in your undies drawer! I have a few of these; this one via eBay.
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Something different...this crocheted doiley is one of many family items given to me when Dad re-married. I have no idea who made it, but I know it was used around our home when I was a child, and I put it under a vase or ornament in my own home now.
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Now that it has arrived safely, I can post this picture of my latest XS finish - part of my Chocolate Swap package to Jenny in Kansas.
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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Kitten Days Of The Week transfers.
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I was showing my friend Helen all these transfers and one of the first packet to appear was this one with baby elephants. "Ooooh, I love elephants" she cooed. "Can I borrow these ones?" But as she saw each packets, she became more confused as to which one she liked best. Hey Pam, we know how that feels - LOL!
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Cute vegetable designs.
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Days of the Week teatowel transfers.
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There is a pair of these - presumably for a pair of pillowcases.
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Vintage transfers!

I got a beaut parcel in the mail today from the USA - heaps of vintage transfers - CRIKEY! (good on ya, Steve). Above are pictures of some of the packets. Others are in plain envelopes from companies such as Laura Wheeler, including an entire sheet of peacock designs - WOW! I also have some new table linen which has been washed but not ironed, so I'll get on to that in the next day or so.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Peacocks have gone home.

The four embroidered peacocks that were on this blog have now been transferred to the correct blog - Patra's Embroidered Peacocks (link on sidebar for any new readers here). I have also transferred the comments that MaggieAnn left under each post, so they are not lost forever! I have some new peacocks today that still have to be scanned, but I will put them straight on to the right blog, so if you want to see them, that's where they will be.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Darn it!!!!!!!!

See what happens when I get all excited? No, I don't wet myself...I put all my new linens here instead of posting the peacocks to the Peacock blog. Oh well, not to worry - just means you won't have to jump from one blog to the other to have a look. I'll transfer them across some time in the future.
I was thinking about opening another blog one day - dedicated to my crinoline ladies linen. Doing that would reduce the size of this blog for new bloggers who want to see what I've posted in the past, as well as having all the crinoline lady designs in one spot for anybody who wanted to download copies for themselves.
I also thought about having a blog just for my aprons, but until I start using my digital camera, there's no point in doing that, as most of my aprons are too big to fit under the scanner, so I wouldn't be able to put photos of them online anyway.

Cushion cover on a rather drab fabric which I have attempted to lighten by fiddling with the scanner. There is another small floral design on the right hand side of the material, which the lady appears to be looking at.
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One corner of a tablecloth, which has the lady in the opposite corner, a floral design in the other two corners, and a floral ring in the centre.
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An abundance of peacocks and crinoline ladies!

YEE HAAA! Funny how there's nothing in the mail for a week or so, then all of a sudden it's all there - peacocks from America and crinoline ladies from England! This is just a quick posting to let my fellow stitching fans know that I'll be busy scanning later on, and hopefully will finally have some nice eye candy on here within 24 hours!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Current state of affairs - zilch!

It's a week since I posted anything to this blog, but on the linen and stitching side, there is nothing to write about. I do have some nice additions to my collection, but they are too big to put on the scanner, so you won't see them until I am able to use my digital camera. I have done a few rows of stitching on my Indian Chief cross stitch picture, but not worth recording here. The good news is that I have finished stitching the peacock on a vintage duchess set I have been working on for some time. Now all I need to do is the flowers and other background items, and the set can be washed and ironed, and placed on my dressing table!
For those of you who are looking for eye candy, I have some goodies on the way from the USA and England, so don't give up on me yet!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Crinoline Lady duchess set centrepiece, received from the U.K. last week. Incidentally, I have just added some more peacock embroidered items to my Peacocks Blog.
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..and the matching doilies.
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Friday, August 25, 2006

This is part of an apron I received today from Belgium. The eBay seller has a heap of vintage samplers and fascinating stitched items on her blog, but I am not going to be tempted! Well, not much anyway. She says this little half apron was a school project. It is beautifully stitched; makes me wonder why the person who did it would want to part with it..
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Monday, August 21, 2006

Remember the linen I cleaned for a friend while I was on holiday? Well, these are some pictures taken on the day I brought it back home, and Ken thought I had bought it all at an auction!
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M's linen in the back of my car.
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I think this was probably a traycloth or centrepiece. Very unusual design, with the orange flowers stitched in button hole stitch, then neatly trimmed. I've seen some examples of this kind of work that have been very untidily cut, which has put me off buying them, but this is nice.
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