Embroidered botanicals inspired by Summer…..

detail of knitting bag

I’ve just updated my Folksy shop with some of my botanical embroideries…..these have all been inspired by my walks over the marshes and meadows that are just a 5 minute walk away from where I live……in the Summer the pastures are such a wealth of colour, full of wild flowers, dragonflies and the sound of bird song……bright yellows and pinks, patches of blue and sprinklings of  white stitch-wort which sparkle in the grass like tiny stars.

Embroidering these even on the most murky and dreary weathered day I’m reminded of morning walks in warm sunshine alongside the river…there are a few benches where you can sit under the dappled shade given by alder trees and in the past I’ve taken books there to read or have taken small pieces of patchwork to sit and sew…..since I’ve started knitting though I’ve been thinking of going there this year with needles and yarn….it’s beautiful and quiet there, from time to time there’s distant rumble of trains  but for the most part it’s a precious haven…..

knittng bag detail

These project  bags are made from soft European linen and are hand embroidered using vintage embroidery silks and threads…..they’re all fully lined using a selection of vintage fabrics.   I’ve sprinkled some Norfolk lavender between the linen fabric and lining, this should help keep moths at bay (and your knitting smelling nice)…..they’re perfect for keeping your special knitting or crochet wips safe and sound as well as looking pretty….but you could also use them to tuck things into if you’re off on holiday jaunts.

hand embroidered blue flowers on vintage tweed

I’ve also listing some glasses cases, the two pictured above are made from a beautiful soft vintage wool tweed in a lovely warm apricot.  The fabric was some my friend Sylvia gave me and I’d hoped there might be enough for a dashing 1930’s cut waistcoat but sadly not…..  These are lined with a vintage brushed cotton with a floral print.  The embroidery is all by hand and is sewn using vintage tapestry and crewel wool.

This beautiful woollen cloth made me think so much of those no-nonsense tweed skirts worn by Miss Marple (especially The Margaret Rutherford version) and I wanted to incorporate a little bit of the English countryside (the embroidered flowers) with the practical-ness of keeping ones glasses safe…I always like making things can be used and appreciated rather than being put on a shelf and just looked at…there is something about touch and being handled, being used that gives hand made such a charm and uniqueness.

These are designed to fit a medium size pair of glasses, sadly they won’t really be big enough if you have what I think of as “Deirdre Barlow” style glasses…..

As well as sewing some using vintage tweed, I’ve also made some using authentic Harris tweed and some in a lovely modern green wool which is full of tiny flecks of sage, grass,mustard and gold.

lavender peg pag

I’ve also lowered the price of my embroidered peg bags, I’ve got two left and once those have gone that will be it as far as they are concerned……they’re both fully lined with vintage fabrics and are made from beautifully soft Witney wool blankets, then hand embroidered with a pattern of sprigs of lavender using vintage crewel and tapestry wool…it’s up to you if you use them as a laundry/peg bag (I won’t come round and tell you off if you chose to use them for something else).

 

 

 

a little stocking round up…..

hand embroidered Christmas stockings

I’m still busy putting finishing touches to pieces I’m making for tomorrow’s Green Party Christmas fair at Chantry Hall…..this is a last little round up of the Christmas stockings I’ve been embroidering over the past couple of weeks…..as I said yesterday these are probably my favourite thing to make.

I’ve tried to keep the embroidery and over all look of the stockings pretty simple as I wanted them to have that nice vintagey, nostalgia feel about them…..

pink Christmas stockings with original blanket stitch feature

Where some of my other stockings have a pom pom trim sewn around the top, I thought these really worked best left as they were, and apart from the velvet loop at the side, all the materials used to make them are either vintage or re-cycled/re-purposed…the main body of the socking is made from vintage blankets which has been embroidered with vintage tapestry and crewel wool, and inside I use brightly coloured fabrics which started life as bed linen or skirts and shirts to line the stockings.

pure wool fabric Christmas stockings

It’s surprising  what can be fitted in to the stockings, traditional gifts are always a good idea so chocolate coins and pepermint sticks, a couple of little oranges…small toys or puzzle books…..penny whistles and kazoos perhaps not the best option if you are going to be hearing them toot toot toot around the house in the early hours…..(when I take the photos I stuff the stockings with socks or balls of wool and I’m always amazed at how many I need to shove in to make them nice and plump looking.)

Christmas Dec 2nd 019

I’m a big believer in stockings for all, and certainly not just for children….I don’t think it matters how old you are, the antipation of a stocking all lumpy and bumpy is quite exciting and I love seeing the ones we fill for my boyfriends’ family all propped up waiting for them to take them home….(and in case Sharonn is wondering…Bernard is very good, he rarely knocks them over to inspect the contents….)

I like theming stockings for older friends and family, filling them with bits and pieces contected with someone’s hobby, a mix of little treats they might not ordinarily buy alongside cheaper pieces they’ll use all the time…..

This is one of the stockings I made the other year with a selection of haberdashery items….everything fitted in the stocking apart from the book with room to squeeze in some edible gifts too….we often have a tin or two of brightly wrapped chocolates on hand to use to fill out stockings or the advent calender if it’s been a two window day in the office.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I’ll be at The Green Party Christmas fair tomorrow (5th December) which is at Chantry Hall (just behind Wagamama’s Restautant) and the fair is on from 11 to 3 in the afternoon…. and if you can’t make that one I’ll be down at Norwich Art’s Centre the following week at The Clutter City Christmas Fair.