Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mary Thomas and Shadow Work

Yesterday Florestia on   Feeling Stitchy  wrote about an old book called Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches by Mary Thomas which had caught her fancy.  Oh memories, memories, as Mary Thomas also wrote another book, Mary Thomas's Embroidery Book which is how I made my first attempts at embroidery.   I gave this information to Florestia and she has included my e-mail in her blog. 
Now I have to admit that I am positively ancient (but you can keep that information to yourself ) as I bought my copy of Mary Thomas in 1953 and started to teach myself embroidery  This shadow work throwover is the  second thing which I made.  My first effort was a pair of place mats but they have long since disappeared.

A throwover was used after setting up a tea or supper table, or the salads for lunch - something flimsy was thrown over the food to protect it.  This one was done on a square yard of some form of organza with the blue motif in each corner, traced directly from the book.
It's really a simple yet very effective form of embroidery.

I didn't do much embroidery over the years until much later when I found myself with an empty pair of hands .  Then cross sitch re-introduced me to the pleasure of hand-work.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fifties Dress No 8 at long last

Fifites Dress No 8 of the Dress Me Up from Bobby Socks Quilts is finished at last, in its fashion  Four more to go.  I've heard marathon runners talking about hitting a wall and that's how I'm beginning to feel about these embroideries.  Each one seems to be taking me longer to complete !

Here in the southern hemishpere it's summer time and holiday time.   Most groups take this month off from their regular meetings, and with all the holiday activities as well it's easy for handwork to take a back seat for a while.

But I also finished quilting and binding the floral quilt with cross stitch panels and I am so pleased with it.  The colours  are among my favourites.  Taking a photograph of it lying flat doesn't really do it justice as it drapes beautifully. I used the bamboo batting which is so flexible.