The good news is that the Frister and Rossmann (and my 1960s Singer) have been mended, serviced and should be ready to pick up (and pay for…) soon.
This means that I can get on with the next project to finish – something for myself. We have holidayed in Cornwall for the last five years and three years ago I decided I wanted to record the holiday somehow. On holidays when I was a child, my mother insisted we collected every bit of ephemera and sat down every night to write down in tedious detail the day’s happenings for our scrapbooks. It became a real chore and I hated it. I wanted something that still jogged memories but was linked to my love of embroidery.
I was, and still am, interested in crazy patchwork, in the idea of fragments and precious scraps of fabric made into a new whole. And as I mostly sew when I’m out and about, I like to have something small enough to fit in my bag and to work easily in the hand without a hoop.
So I pieced nine blocks in blues and golds, gathered a selection of toning threads and beads and off they went with us to North Cornwall in 2008… And again in 2009…Not last year because I was getting a bit fed up with them and I had had a new and more exciting idea… But I actually finished the final block a couple of weeks ago.
I use raw edged scraps of fabric, always cover the joins with feather stitch and decorate each block individually. It may not be ‘right’ but it works for me. The words trigger memories (merrow is another name for a mermaid) and looking at the blocks in many cases I can remember where I was and what we were doing when I was sewing a particular section.
Mostly silk threads on (from the left) silk dupion, yellow Japanese silk crepe, polyester crepe and commercially embroidered silk (at the top)
I really like using this fat softly twisted silk thread.
More silk dupion, silk crepe (the gold) and some dressmaking offcuts.
I love the negative spaces left between the seeding which is worked in one of my favourite hand-dyed silk threads.
Laced herringbone in chenille thread.
Kantha stitching is one of my favourites. I love how it alters the feel of the cloth and pulls it into gentle broken waves.
French knots clustered around a vintage applique.
Now I need my machine to put together a backing onto which the finished blocks will be feather stitched.