Friday, 1 July 2011

WIP and Vintage Linen

This is my work in progress, a first attempt at machine applique with absolutely no idea what I am doing.  Not as easy as I expected.  I backed silk scraps from painting practice and cut out to applique onto this vintage pillowcase I found in a charity shop for 50p.  It is really good heavy cotton.So no big outlay involved apart from the applique foot.

I wanted the stitching to be neat and it isn't, should it be?  the tension is too loose on this bit, I will be unpicking and starting again, practice makes perfect.  It's lovely just handling the materials and playing around with it. 

Also I think it needs a focal point so will  fill the empty bits with another colour and maybe some ribbon,  unpick and try satin stitch on some areas - feel free to comment and advise - it is really appreciated.

Yesterday I found treasure.  This lovely vintage tablecloth was £4.50 - this is the finest cotton lawn, almost transparent and has been hand embroidered.  There was an elderly lady in the shop at the time who told me she embroiders and thinks this piece is one of the best examples of hand sewing she has seen. 

Also I found a guide book of moths and butterflies in the charity shop, can't tell you how pleased I am as have been searching for something like this for ages - we get a lot of moths coming in every night from the woods and are always letting them out - so now I can identify them before they leave. 


  1. G'day. Your pillowcase looks lovely. No, it doesn't have to be perfect. It looks as though you have appliqued it on in what I know as "raw edge applique" and that is just great. It is a style that I have been using on many pieces for some time and still cannot get it to look "perfect", but as you say it takes pratice. Have you tried a blanket stitch, either by machine or hand? Satin stitch would also be good. But there is nothing wrong with it as it is. The vintage tablecloth was a really good bargain, it's lovely. Thank you also for your comment on my blog.Take care. Liz...

  2. thanks quilterliz I don't know what I'm doing, so I'm glad you do!

  3. Hi Betty - I love the way you're combining an established talent with a new craft. I look forward to seeing how you're developing the appliqué! And how lovely that your tablecloth had the complimens of a embroiderer - the link to the craftswomen of the past is one of the things I love most about collecting their work. That really is a lovely tablecloth.

  4. The vintage embroidery is fantastic, what a find.
    I like your applique, it is something I know nothing about so can't say any more than I like it.

  5. Pretty! I love the images here. I'm astounded by this hand work, too. I wish the original stitchers could hear us exclaim over their gorgeous pieces, don't you? I can just picture you examining the moths, Betty!

  6. Your applique is beautiful and the embroidered piece is sooo lovely. I'm a big lover of vintage embroidered linens, I love to sit and wonder about the person who has lovingly put every stitch in place. Nowadays I stitch for pleasure but in those days it was a necessity most of the time.

    Peg x


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