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

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My OWN stitching...

...by that, I mean what I've been doing, not what I've been collecting! I have two 60th birthdays coming up in April (actually three including mine, but I'm not going to stitch myself a card, LOL!). Here is the first of the two cards I'm doing for my friends, neither of whom do embroidery, but I know they'll love these cards. I'm hoping to start the second one tomorrow...I'll have to finish it by Thursday as we are leaving for a six day holiday on Friday, and by the time we get back both cards will need to be finished and in the mail.
This is stitched on white 14ct Aida which has silver lurex thread running through it. This is the best I could get with the scanner, but it doesn't show up as pretty as the actual card. I would have preferred to use another card but this silver-grey one was all I had that would accomodate the design.
By the way, for those who are interested, there are some new peacocks here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Three new doilies.

LeeAnn presented me with these three beautiful doilies on Good Friday when she and her BetterHalf visited us. I consider myself very fortunate to have friends like LeeAnn who think of me when they find vintage linens in their travels.
I just love these old English Cottage designs! And have a look at the close up pic below - the stitching is simply perfect. It must have been done with a single strand of cotton, and a very fine needle. Sweet Butterfly doiley. There must have been a fad for these back in the mid 20th century, as I've seen many along the same lines, but this one has the added extra of a hand crocheted edge. My collection of this Assisi style of stitched linens is growing rapidly! But I can't help myself adding to it, there are so many variations.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Lyrebird embroidered panel.

This stunning embroidered panel was advertised on eBay as a peacock embroidery! Well, I guess if you aren't familiar with Australian native birds, you might assume it was a peacock, I don't know....Anyway, it was well worth the $20 I paid for it. It is the size of a standard cushion cover, but I won't be making a cushion from it; it is much too beautiful to be sat on!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More eye candy...

Once I'd finished the kitten doiley that I'd been carrying around in my shoulder bag, I hunted through my collection of UFOs to find another small item to take on my travels. I pulled out half a dozen, found the floss required to work on them, and put everything in my stitching bag along with scissors and needles. They are doilies that I have bought in opshops, garage sales or on eBay, which were started by some unknown stitcher a long time ago, but never finished. This is the first one out of my bag to be completed. The branches overhanging the lady, the lady's shadow, and part of her dress had already been neatly stitched. As the material is a very fine cotton, I needed an equally fine needle to do the work, as well as using a magnifier!
This centrepiece arrived today from the same lady who sold me the centrepieces I posted below. This photo doesn't do the doiley justice; the colours are more vibrant than the pic, and the stitching is beautifully done. I can see myself lashing out on more of this eBay Seller's auctions - she obviously collected the better quality items like I do, so I can't let them go to someone who might not appreciate them like I will! (I should get a second job to subsidise this addiction...). Oh, and you will find two matching peacock doilies here.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Petit Point clock, and tatting edged doiley.

I have mentioned my MIL on here many times when she has given me some of her embroidery that she has 'discovered' in a bottom drawer. When I dropped in last Tuesday to see her, she gave me this little 'travelling clock'. It was given to her over 40 years ago, for her 25th wedding anniversary, and she thought I would like it because of the petit point tapestry cover. Isn't it just exquisite? I am so very lucky to be married to a darling man who has a darling Mother! This sandwich tray doiley is the one I mentioned in a previous post, that was included in my 'windfall' from Ken's cousin. I promised this close up pic to Gina and MaggieAnn, and anyone else who likes tatting.

Some new additions to the Collection.

The following two centrepieces are from an eBay seller, a very pleasant lady who is downsizing her collection of linen and happy to know that some of it has found a good home! I dread the day when I'll have to do the same thing...:-(

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

More about the 'windfall' pictured below.

My colleague (W.) at the Embroiderer's Guild was very helpful in identifying the various types of lace and stitching in these items. The doiley in the fourth picture down (the only pure white one, the rest being ecru), is a technique known as "broomstick crochet", which she explained briefly to me. The tablecloth with the vast expanse of lacework is crochet, not tatting. I don't know why I thought it might be tatting - it is nothing like it of course! But as W. said, it is a beautiful example of crochet. The doiley in the fifth picture down had me gobsmacked at the detail. W. said it looks to be machine-stitched, but very old.
Ken's Mum was delighted to check them all out after I'd been to the Guild yesterday, and she was especially interested in the white doiley I mention above. As soon as she saw it, she exclaimed "Oh I did one like that!" and told me how she'd seen a workmate doing a different type of crochet. MIL asked her about it, and when the other lady explained how it was done, MIL rushed out to buy the tools so she could learn how to do it too! What a coincidence for her to see this example after more than 70 years!
Getting back to the topic of tatting, one of the embroidered doilies in the top picture has a gorgeous tatted edge, so I will scan a closeup of it and post a pic here shortly, for Gina and Maggie Ann in the USA, who are both talented stitchers who can do this beautiful lace work.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Windfall from a generous cousin!

One of Ken's cousins has an unusual occupation; she works for a company who cleans up houses in readiness to be sold, after the owner has died or moved elsewhere, and the family left in charge don't have time to do it themselves. After the family takes what they want to keep themselves, the rest is consigned to a rubbish skip or sent to charity/op shops. My cousin-in-law had a box of it on its way to the opshop, but knowing my love of old linen brought it home to show me instead.
I try not to include lace, crochet, tatting, etc. in my collection, as it would be simply out of control, but I couldn't let this lot go out the door! I'm taking it to the Guild this week to get the members' opinion on whether it is worth saving, and then I'll decide who to bequeath it to - I have some friends who do collect this kind of work and might be very pleased to add it to their collections!
Here are the doilies on the floor:
And here are close ups of some of them:
This is a cutwork supper cloth:
And this exquisite supper cloth is either crochet or tatting - if you can identify it, please leave a comment to advise me! Close-up of the lacework: I have several of these doiley holders, but nothing quite like this one!

Little treasures found in an op shop.

As most of the regular readers of this blog know, my collection is mostly vintage/antique/old - or whatever else you want to call it. Most of the contemporary work I have, has been done for me as gifts from stitching friends, as well as my own completed projects. However, now and again I see something in an opshop that I just can't bear to leave there, such as these charming little cross stitched pictures. Unframed, beautifully stitched; why on earth would anyone throw these out??? And to end up in a second hand shop for 70 cents or a dollar, after all that work... whoever stitched them will probably never know that they now have a permanent home with someone who treasures them!

Kitten Doiley finished.

Finally! After a couple of years of being carried around in my bag, and being worked in waiting rooms of all kinds, this doiley is finished. The elderly lady who I look after will be inspecting it tomorrow - she insisted on making sure I'd done those French Knots!