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

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The winter days have been sunny

 and I have been spending much of my time out on the porch...........one of my favorite stitching places..........weather permitting. I get lost in my thoughts, my plans, and the peacefulness of it all, that the hours and the stitches fly by.
I decided to do this vintage basket is colors of lavenders and purples. It gives the design and hand work a vintage charm.

I stitched it onto a towel................but not sure whether or not I will sew a decorative strip at the bottom, or just leave it plain and simple. It looks fresh and striking on it's own.

As you can see................I have been stitching way too long.
I promised Sophie a long walk...........hours ago.
She had been content to sleep at my feet during my work..........but the day is calling out to her.
Look at that face.............how can I refuse?

Friday, January 21, 2011

The local stores have their rose bushes out for display..............

and I found myself wanting to buy one of every color! I am slowly, ............and I do mean slowly,.................creating a flower garden that I am hoping will stand the test of time. Roses are one of the kinds of flowering plants that I am incorporating into the garden's design.
Where would we be without the beauty of roses? 
They wave to us in the warm spring air,  

they are our most welcomed guest at our dinner table. Who can resist china adorned with roses?? I know I can't!

And for me..................how can I not stitch them................constantly! Embroidering roses is a way for me to .............garden inside!
 I want to share this pattern with you today. Just click onto the photo to get it to enlarge to copy. 
  Pale pink and salmon roses always tug at my heart....................I think I will chose the colors that are in the china in the previous photo to embroider this design..................
How about you? What is your favorite color in roses?
Deep dark red?............Vibrant yellow and orange? Maybe the elegant white?
I would love to hear!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The dry prairie, filled with it's colors

of brown, yellow, and gold, rustles in the wind as I walk out among the tall grasses and brush.  

 It still holds such beauty to me. I love these muted and faded colors.

I found the perfect vintage design to incorporate them into!

The olive and softer greens remind me of a restaurant that I once dined in. It was made out of an old house, filled with hard wood decor and a wonderful heavy staircase with a square opening at the top. The walls were covered in antique photos and the lighting was faded much as the yellows in this design. The window frames were painted in a muted olive green, giving the whole place a homey feeling. And of course, the food was just delicious!

I have learned to appreciate all of the gifts and colors that each season has brought to the grounds. Each walk is filled with something new to see and to inspire me to stitch. How about you? What inspires you the most? I would love to hear!
Just a note about the Marghab linens I posted about in my last post. Some of you asked as to how to know if you have Marghab linens. This can be tricky if you do not have the label that used to come with them. Madeira linens are also close in the linen collection. Also, for collectors, these  linens can be faked if you do not know the patterns well. Before you purchase a "prized linen" research as much as you can about the authenticity. There are many sites that can help you with this, and there is a book about the Marghab linens, titled Perfection, Never the Less, which is full of helpful information. I hope this helps answer your questions.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A walk through stitching history, visiting, Vera Way Marghab

Emile and Vera Way Marghab founded Marghab Linens, Ltd., on the Portuguese Island of Madeira in 1933. Together, Emile a native of Cyprus (then a British Colony), and Vera Way, a native of Watertown, South Dakota, established one of the finest embroidery houses in Madeira. Because of the couple's planning, dedication and desire for the "continual pursuit of perfection", Marghab Linens flourished for forty-seven years (1933-1980).

The Marghab Collection at the South Dakota Art Museum was started in 1970 with the donation of nearly 800 pieces, since 1970 additional gifts were made by Mrs. Marghab and the trustees for her estate. Today the collection consists of over 300 patterns and nearly 2800 linens and is the most complete and extensive collection of Marghab Linens in the world.

Madeira and hand embroidery have been synonymous since the embroidery industry was brought to this small island in 1850. Although the Industrias de Bordados was well established by the time Emile and Vera Way Marghab began their business, it was the Marghab's that raised quality standards to an unprecedented level. The exacting standards of Marghab Linens ensured them of being favorites among royalty, diplomats and admirers of fine things.

Marghab Linens Ltd. rapidly became internationally recognized for the quality and exacting detail of its beautiful linens. Designs were hand embroidered by the most skilled embroiderers. The embroideries were done on fabrics of the finest linen from Ireland, and on Margandie®, a crisp yet transparent fabric imported form Switzerland. The floss that would embellish the fabric with design was specially dyed in England and France.

Since the closure of Marghab Linens Ltd. in 1980, hand embroidered linens continue to be made on the Island of Madeira by other firms. However, the level of perfection attained by Marghab Linens has not been matched. Marghab Linens are appreciated for their beauty, quality in design, materials, craftsmanship and their – Magnificence.

Are any of you fortunate enough to have any of Marghab linens in your collection? How did you get them and what are the designs? I would love to hear!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Some might think,

 that since I have quit my job, that my mornings are spent snoozing in bed....................and honestly..............I tried that....................., but somehow, my internal clock is set at 5:00 AM and I find it hard to go back to sleep. Have you found yourself feeling the same way?   So I eventually get up and have the outside animals released from their shelter, everyone fed and watered, and then, my morning rituals out of the way...........and I am usually stitching by 6:00 AM...................

I really think it is the fact that I wake up and realize that the flowers I have drawn onto linens the night before are waiting for me to bring them to life with my needle and thread. I'm serious....................I can't wait to go through  the pile of floss in their many colors and to pick out the right ones for the day's work,  and to run my fingers over the textured embroidered stitches..............there is just nothing like this excitement I feel................do you feel that way about what you are creating? I hope so!  I have finished a set of pillowcases in the above photo,  they need to be pressed, and then

 all that is needed, is a pretty crocheted edge on the bottom of each one.This vintage design is so sweet that I am finding it hard to let this set go.  
I have also been stitching this vintage design...................

onto something that I am not ready to show to you yet,

but I just love the way it has turned out...........don't you? I stitched eyelets in the ribbon...............so pretty!
My stash of unstitched linens is slowly turning into my stash of stitched linens. I am hoping by the end of this month, I will have a good amount to put into my Etsy shop. The days are getting warmer and the tug of spring planting is pulling at me. I have worked some days out in the green house and have left my stitching for the early morning and late evening hours. 
How about you? Are you finding yourself more time to create in the day time or at night? I would love to hear!