Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a new year. This will bring a brand new project for 2017 that is a really exciting challenge for me.
For a long time I have had a box in my sewing cupboard, full of old linen tablecloths, embroidered pillowcases, crocheted dollies and all kinds of vintage bits and bobs that have come down through the years via great aunts and pieces that have been given to me on our travels because of my love of needlework. Being a total fabric junkie, there was absolutely no chance of me throwing these away, even though some of them are stained, patched and torn. They have a sort of sentimental value that you can't get from new fabrics - memories of my grandmother's house and high tea after a seaside ramble; a piece of handmade crochet from a dear friend in Russia and a flea market find from our days in France. Even though I don't always know who made them, somebody spent alot of time creating pretty things for their home and handwork like this should be treasured. The trouble is that in a modern home, they often don't find their place and even though I always thought that I would do something with them, what on earth was it?! They look so old fashioned and yet, white, it seems to me is the most popular colour for decorating at the moment and with all the trends for Scandinavian and edgy modern style, I feel that there should be place for these within our 21st century homes. I love embroidery and when I was working towards my City & Guilds certificate, I explored many forms of very traditional handwork. I know how long something like the piece in the photo below must have taken to complete. It is hours of precise and intricately stitched work. It simply cannot be replicated by machine and should be appreciated for the artistry that it displays.
SOOOooooo with the new year almost upon us, I decided that it might be fun to do a month on month project to make a 'revival quilt' out of all these wonderful textiles. It will be a total adventure in needlework and I am already imagining that I will have to find innovative ways to rescue some of these textiles and enhance others. I have a feeling that I when I actually start to look really closely at this handiwork, I will be absolutely in awe of the needlewomen who made these things. They are from a lost time really and I don't want them to be lost anymore. To make it a bit quirky and perhaps even more interesting, I have picked a few modern fabrics by Alison Glass to add in and perhaps frame some of the more delicate items and this will be a challenge - to blend the old and the new to create a harmonious quilt.
I expect there will be hand sewing, embroidery, darning (yikes) and some serious creative imagination needed - but I have absolutely no idea where it will lead, if it will work and if at the end of the year I will find myself with an amazing vintage linen revival quilt or not - but for sure....I like to use and enjoy my fabrics and it is time to let these pieces leap out of the box and burst into a new life.
I'd love it if you would join me... postings will be around the first of the month. If you fancy to have a go, why not dig out all those vintage linens that you too are hoarding and let's see if we can create something new and exciting. Please share any pictures on social media or email me at Rubyseppings@gmail.com. All ideas and suggestions, extremely welcome.
Meanwhile, I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year from my sewing room in Yorkshire.
Love Ruby x