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

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I love to embroider flowers.............but the bud of a plant

is just as beautiful............I think.............don't you?

While looking through some flower books, this Amaryllis bud caught my eye............

It's one thing to get the design drawn.............

but..........it's another to get it to look like the illustration.............

so, here is my version.
I am thinking about creating another small crazy quilt and I am thinking about using these pieces that I embroider in it. Just a thought.
How about you?
Do you thinks buds on flowers and trees are just as beautiful?
I would love to hear! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

She is 24 years old now..................

Where does time fly away to??..........can anyone tell me?
Hannah age 2
When she was a little over 4 years old, we took her and her two brothers on a trip to San Antonio's Sea World. We had two days of fun in the water and shows. It was there that she decided that she was going to grow up to be a whale trainer and to work for Sea World. Throughout the summer, I nervously watched her go under water in our swimming pool, to see how long she could stay under and then come up and be able to talk long sentences. Something that one of the Sea World trainers told her that she would have to learn to do.  Throughout her childhood, any thing that replicated the "under sea life" from bed linens to toys, would be given to her.

Which prompted me to start cross stitching this under the sea design for her..................
20 years ago...........
You can see, that somewhere along the way, other things occupied my hands and needle.

As for her, she grew up to be a beautiful young woman. Sea World plans got placed aside and she is now serving her country in the Navy.
She is stationed in Hawaii, where on her free days, she surfs, and goes on dives to visit this under sea place that she has always loved. She has spoken of seeing the dolphins, being bumped into by a large sea turtle, and of how really beautiful and colorful this world is underneath the sea.
After talking with her about her adventures the other day, I once again, pulled this unfinished cross stitch piece out. I have decided that I want to get it completed and framed to give to her by Christmas.
How about you?
Have you started some kind of project..............
and has it sat waiting for 20 years or more?
Do you hope to get it completed one day?
I would love to hear!

Friday, May 10, 2013

I have always used various cloth or linen napkins over the years

during my family's meal times. Some napkins are the usual store bought, some are hand made and hand embroidered by myself, and on special occasions, some are vintage hand embroidered linens.
But there are times when some meals are eaten by hand, such as hamburgers or fried chicken. And sometimes the food can be "messy" such as grilled or barbecued meats. Light weight cloth napkins just do not do well for these occasions and I don't want family or friends to worry about ruining the napkins. So woven cotton hand towels are perfect to make napkins out of. I found this wonderful set of towels at a local farm and feed store.

I cut the towels into "napkin size" and just for fun, I decided to stitch quotes or phrases on to the corners, such as Bless this food, Enjoy!  and Come and get it. I finished the edges in a hand embroidered blanket stitch.  I love the "country" look to these as well.
How about you?
Do you use cloth or paper napkins?
I would love to hear!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Once again, I am caught in between stitches.................

I have a project in progress..............but progress take awhile when it comes to hand embroidery.
Which makes me appreciate vintage linens, elaborately embroidered with so much intricate design and stitching.

I came upon a wonderful collections of linens in an antique shop the other day...........yet the prices on the linens were not rated as antiques..........they were priced just right for me to take home.
As I was looking through the pile, I became  engaged in conversation with a woman, who, although recognized and stated that vintage linens are becoming harder to find, did not see much value in them. She was more than glad for me to clear them from her shelves.

I only know just a bit of information on these wonderful linens. With more research, it is astounding at the rich history these linens hold. Some linens are from France, some from Italy, and most of my collection is from Madeira, an island off of the coast of Africa, a region of Portugal.
The designs are from the inspiration of Madeira designers, past and present,
Needlecraft was a skill passed from generation to generation on Madeira.

Elizabeth Phelps, the daughter of a wealthy wine shipper, was the driving force behind Madeira embroidery's transformation from a hobby to an industry. In the late 19th century, with concerns over vine diseases affecting the wine production and workers' wages, she turned a local pastime of embroidery into a source of income for the island. By introducing the handmade embroidery from Madeira to Britain, she started demand for the embroidery.

In the following years, the demand for Madeira embroidery rose and the local embroiderers of were busy creating hand-embroidered products for the market. Local businessmen began traveling abroad, selling Madeira embroidery. The hand embroidery was thriving and demand rose in countries including Germany, the United States and Syria.
The 20th century brought challenges for the Madeira embroidery trade with World Wars and a declining economy. The market was taken over by Syrian and Lebanese interests, which mass produced embroidery of lesser quality for American sales  When demand for quality Madeira embroidery began to appear again during the post-war period, new companies in Madeira opened, determined to return to hand-crafted Madeira embroidery. These companies include Patricio & Gouveia, Imperial de Bordados, and J.A. Teixeira.
There is so much more to learn about these wonderful textiles with a little time and research.
The reason I collect them, boils down to one simple thing.
I love them!
 To know that someone stitched for hours to produce something so beautiful with their hands, makes them a treasure to me.
How about you?
What do you love to collect?
Is it a rare thing..............do you find it hard to part with it?..............
no matter how many you have?
I would love to hear!