I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A vintage cross stitch design

I remember the first time I found these little napkins. Only three in the set, tucked away inside of an antique dresser drawer at one of my favorite "antique hangouts". Small in size and the material yellowed with age, I still had to have them..................for the vintage design, still fresh and colorful as if it were stitched only yesterday. I placed these away and have had them for awhile...........
but have decided to make my own set of napkins with this design. So with pencil and paper in hand, I carefully marked each stitch.........

Even the hems are hand sewn. Someone, whoever she was, stitched away her spare time on these. Did she use them instantly at her table? I always wonder. From looking at the napkin, I think these might have been a stamped cross stitch set. Each one is perfectly stitched.
I now have a pattern for this vintage design.......a little piece of history preserved....for someone........someday.........

I have a set of vintage linen napkins that have never been used just waiting for a design like this to grace their surface.................I can't wait to begin stitching! Probably one day, mine also will be sitting in an antique shop waiting for someone to discover them.
Now, how about you? Do you have some charming little napkins from some other place and time? I would love to hear.

***Please note: I have often been asked if I sell the designs once I preserve them........
no.........I preserve them for my own reference in making new linens with a vintage charm for myself and for customers. The only thing I charge for is the embroidery work I do for a customer.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Embroidery Design To Share

I am in the middle of embroidery orders to finish and don't have much to post on this blog this week. However, I wanted this blog to be a spot to share the passion and love for hand embroidery, by also sharing website information on stitching and patterns. While going through my vintage stash of transfers, this lovely cottage design caught my eye and I decided to share it with those of you who like to embroider. I am not sure where this design originated from and I hope that no one minds I am sharing it with you. If you would like to copy this, just click onto the design and it should come up with a larger size to print for embroidery. Lazy Daisy stitch, outline stitch and french knots are the most common stitches used for this design. But let your creative side go wild and use the stitches you want.For those who aren't quite sure about how to stitch, the Internet is the most wonderful place for instruction, or the library offers wonderful how to books. I would love to see the colors you chose and the finished design if you decide to embroider this! Let me know! My best wishes for your best stitches!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Basket Of Memories

In my "creative space" there is a vintage wire basket that was retrieved from a weathered falling down farm house, long forgotten and left by the ones who used to live there. It is filled with strips and scraps of the fabric that has passed through my life. Every time, I glance in it's direction, I am not only inspired to create something from it's contents, but I am reminded of the people I love and have known over the years. Some still with me...others who have gone on. There are pieces from a dear uncle's shirt, who celebrated our holidays with us. He had just celebrated my youngest child's 4th birthday, and we were planning on enjoying his visit again for Thanksgiving, just a few days away.......he unexpectedly passed away......
Then there is a pink gingham dress, that my sweet aunt loved to wear..... I remember her well, dressed in it while sitting out on the front porch quilting her blocks.....and I still cannot bring myself to cut it up for quilt scraps......
there are pieces of fabric with dinosaurs, cowboys and Indians, from making my kindergarten son shirts for school......which he cut with his scissors up and down the front, so he would not have to wear them again, because the kids at school laughed at him......a lesson for me to learn.
All of the pretty floral print fabric pieces are also there......from the dress I made for my daughter.....with matching bows.........one dress had 22 buttons down the front. Some of these pieces have already been cut and marked, waiting to be stitched into a double wedding ring quilt that I have always wanted to make. So I love this old basket sitting in my space. It gives me inspiration, and a sense of "home" and "family" .
Now......do you have scraps of material saved from the past? Grandmas favorite dress? Baby's first Easter dress perhaps? I would love to hear!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Embroidered Things I Love

I have always been drawn to vintage embroidered cocktail coasters. Maybe because of their small size and different designs. While looking through a stash of tossed away embroidery transfers from an estate sell that a dear friend had sent my way, I found a cute design perfect for such a coaster.

Of course, I always pull out my pink and burgundy floss first,which reminds me of rose buds and tea parties, I stitched this one........

then I turned to the sunny and cheery colors , which always remind me of daffodils in April, this one turned out nice....I think.

I think these kinds of things dress up a table and make everything so pretty! I am in the process of making several sets of these.......perhaps in sets of 6? In different sets of colors....however, they would also be pretty in mix match colors as well.

I love the way they can dress up a plain plate. Blue and white is always a wonderful way to decorate.

I am already thinking about what to give for Christmas....a set of these with a teacup and some tea in a small basket would be wonderful.....don't you think?
How about you? Do you like little pieces of embroidery...crochet....or even painted things? Do you use coasters and do you decorate your table with linens? I would love to hear.