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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

books old and new

A book by Effie Mitrofanis about Casalguidi embroidery. I had been wanting this book for a long time, but I could not quite justify buying it. When I  finished my Casalguidi sample, I felt that I have earned it and managed to track it down. It is second hand, with some sign of age, but in a very good condition otherwise.

Another new arrival is this book, by Mary Jenkins and Clare Claridge, "Making Welsh  Quilts". It has been a little bit of a quest in tracking down this book. I ordered it from Amazon (or rather one of their merchants) over a month ago, and although they confirmed that the book has been sent out, it has never arrived. There has been some exchange of emails, as you can imagine, and in the end I received a gift certificate from the merchant, which more then covered the cost of the book and the postage from other supplier. The problem was that everywhere else it seems to be out of stock.  Eventually I found it at Rainbow Crafts and the book arrived yesterday. Just having a quick look last night, I can say that it has been well worth my effort! Lovely photographs, very good projects with very clear instructions. As the subtitle suggests, the book is making a possible connection between Welsh and Amish quilts.

The two books below have been on my bookshelf for some years now, both about Amish quilts, both very interesting. My favourite of the two is the one on the left, which is more substantial, with lots of good photographs.

 The question is: do I have enough space on my bookshelves? Don't worry, I have recently bought a new bookshelf unit! As we all know, there is always another book we just simply "must " have and a little more information we need!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

saturday workshop

A list of requirements and a title "Stitch a Gem", that was all I knew before I set out on a lovely spring morning for our Embroiderer's Guild workshop yesterday. It turned out to be embroidered pendants.

So, a few pieces of felt, sheers, pelmet Vilene, bondaweb, embroidery and beads later, this is my two sided pendant.

Isn't it lovely to see the signs of spring?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

inspirations magazine

The latest copy of the Inspiration magazine has landed at last! There is always what seems an endless delay between when our Australian friends get it and when it arrives here.There is a little bonus for me in this issue. My email from last July has been published in "Your Letters"! I sent it to Country Bumpkin when I finished my "Infinity" cushion, from a design in issue 60 of the magazine. Not really a surprise, as Katherine already told me, when she got her magazine.
Am I walking around with a "big head" today? Absolutely!

Just having a quick look through the rest of the magazine earlier today, I could see that there is a project for a tablecloth in Schwalm embroidery by Luzine Happel of Germany. So beautiful!
By coincidence, I took out this week my Schwalm sampler, which I started last year and finished the first section. I made a little bit of a "pig's ear" of the middle bit, but not too bad otherwise. Lots more to do!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

aurifil threads

                                          Welcome to my new "sweet shop"!

                                                          Aurifil threads

I  discovered this beautiful Italian thread when I was doing stitcheries for the Scandinavian Hearts tablecloth and my baking cloth.
I also used it for quilting my Tail Feathers quilt. I like their colour shades and the way the threads handle.
Aurifil 100% Egyptian cotton threads come in 4 thicknesses, Mako 12, 28, 40, and 50, the lowest number being the thickest. It also seems to wash well, and depending on the Mako you use, suitable for any job.
I have at last found a very helpful UK website, stocking Mako 28, 40 and 50. If they haven't got the shade you want, they will order it for you.
Meg at New Threads Quilt Shop has been very kind and ordered me a couple of shades in Mako12, which I want to use for Easter tablecloth and to do some embroidery on my "Spring" quilt and Mako 40 for quilting it.

My "Spring" quilt is ready and waiting for the lovely threads to arrive.

Monday, 14 February 2011

casalguidi embroidery

Another project, discarded last year, finished at last. My Casalguidi sample. I actually enjoyed stitching it very much, once I have found the time for it, so I hope to do more of this type of embroidery sometime in the future.

This project came from this lovely book by Via Laurie.
It is full of samples in various embroidery techniques.

DMC Cotton Perle No12, shade 822
Chameleon Perle No8, shades 31, 33, 97

Saturday, 12 February 2011

threads of feeling

                                   I came across this book on Sue's blog.

When John Styles was researching his book about everyday fashion in the 18th century, The Dress of the People, he found that very little of the clothing of the poor people has survived. He was told about the Foundling Museum in London. It is the Museum of the Foundling Hospital, found in 1739, London's first home for abandoned children. The Foundling Hospital no longer exists, but its work is being carried on by the children's charity Coram, making it the oldest children's charity in Britain.

Thousands of babies were abandoned and left at the Foundling Hospital. The exhibition Threads of Feeling concentrates on the period 1740 - 1770. Although many of the babies were just left, with no care for their welfare, some of the mothers (most of them could not read and write) left with their children various little tokens of love, many of them small scraps of fabrics or ribbons, as in a hope that this would identify the child sometime in the future, should they be able to claim the child back, which rarely happened. The staff at the hospital kept these tokens, or a piece of child's clothing, attaching them to the child's registration form and these were kept as part of the hospital's ledgers.
With some 5,000 pieces, the ledgers have become the largest archives of 18th century textiles in this country, as many of the pieces came from the mother's dress or an adult clothing.

I lived in and around London for 25 years, but this is the first time I have learned about the Foundling Museum. Isn't this typical? Well, I have booked my coach ticket and I hope to see the exhibition before it's end on 6th March.

Thank you, Sue, for bringing it to our attention!

P.S. Anyone interested in buying the book and can't get it from Amazon (they are out of stock right now), I got mine from V&A Museum's shop on line.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

yellow hardanger

I started this yellow hardanger tablecloth last summer and since then it was very close to becoming another UFO, so I am very pleased with myself for finishing it at last.

                                                    Fabric: Minster Linen - 28ct
                                     Threads: DMC Cotton Perle 5 & 8, shade 676

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

change of address

No, I am not moving!
When I was clearing my inbox today I came across an email I received a few weeks ago (no, I am not very good at computer maintenance!)

Hi Radka,
We posted an article that we thought you and your readers might be interested in having a look at, “40 Idea Blogs for Kids Crafts" ( ). I am happy to let you know that your site has been included in this list.
Thanks for your time!
Sheryl Owen

The site is called "Change of Address", not somewhere I would expect my blog to be listed, LOL!
But you never know! Browsing down the list of blogs included, I found some interesting fellow bloggers, you can have a look here.
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