It doesn’t seem five minutes ago that I was making lists of things I wanted to make this year for craft fairs and thinking I had plenty of time to make everything and then some..I’ve barely turned round and now find myself in the middle of a pile of sewing and am sorting out what to finish and what will have to be put to one side…I’m bewildered as to where the year has gone….my work table goes from absolute chaos with everything piled up around me, to what counts as order when a deadline is looming…..having an empty tin to hand helps, big things get put away but all the small pieces that I’m going to use again in five minutes can be swept up and for a minute or two it seems tidy (ish)…..loooking at my work table makes me laugh, even though I have umpteen needlecases I always revert back to using tatty old scraps of blanket fabric when I’m embroidering.
At the moment I’m working on some little woolly botanicals, embroidering on pieces of vintage linen to make into glasses cases and brooches. This Summer our garden was full of cat’s eye speedwell and it’s now creeping into some of my work…tiny blue petals with a fleck of white in the centre….
I’m not truly sure where this fabric is from, possibly it’s from my friend Sylvia, the orange is such a soft colour and it’s lovely to embroider on….the tweed is pure wool and is one of my favourite fabrics. Ideally there’d have been enough to make a nice nineteen thirties style waistcoat or a nice A-line skirt…perfect with a knitted tank top.
As well as using thumbnails and sketches I’ve made when I’m out walking, I also like referring to old wildflower books, their illustrations are often so clear and simple, they’re always a good source of inspiration.
Along with the woolly botanicals I’ve also been embroidering on some soft linen, most of what I’m embroidering has been inspired by walks over the marshes and meadows that are behind where I live. In the Summer the pastures were so full of flowers, in June one pasture was a mass of yellow and mustard, as all the golden blossomed flowers seemed to appear at once.
One of the most abundant growing plants has been goldenrod, there’s always lots of it about but this year was amazing…especially as so much of it was growing alongside the red sorrel, so it was all mustard and rust together….
The embroideries on linen are going to be project bags, something you can pop your knitting or crochet into to keep it safe from kitties and such like.
Along with the botanical embroidering I’ve been finishing off some more of the little stockings and putting them into my Folksy shop….these are probably my favourite item to make, I love seeing peoples faces at fairs when they see these…they really do light up and I’ve seen even the most sour-pussed old grouch beam when they see them, picking them up and often I get told how they either had one very similar when they were small, or had to have one of their dad’s old socks….eyes begin to twinkle and often I have to blow my nose after they leave…. (I’m just a daft old silly)….
As I’ve said before, we just have Bernard (I shouldn’t say “just” as he’s my treasure and I love him with all my heart) and don’t have little ones but when I make these I do get a bit broody…it’s hard not to as these are so cute and I imagine them getting filled with all sorts of tiny treats….but also they are so difficult for me to turn right side out, I’ve got very long fingers and there are times I wish Saski and Hania (the sister’s of Ivo who I made the quilt for) lived nearby so they could help me with the fiddly bits.
I like the wee green one on the left, I’ve left off the pom pom trimming as I wanted to make something really simple, but thought leaving the original blanket stitched edge makes for a nice little detail.
This little fellow hasn’t made an appearance lately, a tiny one eared treasure from Oxfam a few years ago….I love his little face and the fact he only has one ear means he once meant the world to somebody and now means it to me…..he often finds his way downstairs around now as I think he looks so Christmassy…perhaps he needs a new bow tie this year though as on closer inspection the one he’s wearing is terribly sun faded.
If you like the stockings and are local I’ll be at The Green Party Christmas Fair this Saturday (5th December ) and I’ll be popping one in to their Christmas raffle.
The fair is on between 11 and 3 and is at Chantry Hall in Norwich (if you’re not sure where that is, go up to Chapelfield Mall, and you’ll see Wangamama’s Restaurant is on your right, walk round the back of there and Chantry Hall is front of you …..the regular walk way in from Theatre Street is having work done to it at the moment apparently)
My friend Ian will also be there and he sells produce on behalf of Zaytoun…their olive oil is really good and they also make a za’atar herb mix which is brilliant for winter casseroles or adding into dumplings.