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July 07, 2011


First, I love the quilt. What a great and creative use of these things. My granmother and great grandmother embroidered like mad and there is so much of their work lying about unused. Much of it is somewhat worn and tattered - what a wonderful way to actually use and appreciate their work!

The embroidery you show in this post is really remarkable. Not being able to do much more than a straight stitch, I really admire the density and vibrancy of it.

Good on you for making something new and usable out of something old and forgotten.


Lovely to look at, even though not to touch or sew! (I'm beginning to feel brave to look into my linens and - maybe - turn them into something more fun than napkins and tablecloths).

But oh, I wish you would digress and say something about "vodka, snow and communism"!

That's so strange, my Dad used to work for Courtaulds, at the Greenfield site until it closed in 1985.

The quilt seems a wonderful way to help these old tablecloths see new life.

Totally agree about viscose.I don't really like to even touch it.I look forward to seeing your next project.I am obsessively crocheting squares from your latest book.I am loving the way they are all so different.(have a look on my blog to see my progress so far).

Oh Jane, I am rather thrilled to have inspired you in any small way as you have been such a darned big inspiration to me these last 5 years or so.

By the way, I know you aren't buying any fabric, but do you know that Liberty now sell ready cut and folded bias? It all comes on rather lovely wooden spools and isn't such very bad value. Just sayin'....

Jane! Look at Melissa's blog at : www.tinyhappy.typepad.com
Serendipity that she is also cutting up embroidered cloths on the other side of the world. Two imaginative and creative ladies I really much admire!
I actually quite like the drapey feel of viscose when it's been washed hundreds of times!
A trip to Moscow once a month during the Cold War! Must have felt like being in a bond movie. I'd have loved it, being a tiny bit obsessed with eastern europe...

oh i cant wait to see this !!!!

I can't think of a better use for what must have been quite a pile of linens, otherwise languishing in a chest of drawers! The quilt top is simply fabulous Jane.

Good luck with the viscose - amazing embroidery, but I'm intrigued as to why it would have been chosen over cotton or linen for the original projects.

Happy stitching! Definitely knitting and crocheting weather here.

Looks fun & uses something that woud otherwise moulder away in a cupboard.
I dont think art should be cut up & reused, but we are talking about getting rid of a few metres of man made (mostly) fabric with nothing on in, right? To compare with Manet is insulting - surely it is the equivalent of male-crafts like wood carving or watching football, and noone ever seems to want to keep them. If Jane starts chopping up a Manet, then she'll have real problems...

I have found that when I sew with synthetic materials the right machine needle makes all the difference in the world in achieving good results. This article in Threads explains the science very well. Here is a link to it:


i love them which are made by hands and i remind me of my mum ,who is good at handiwork .so familiar feeling .and i like it very much .thank you.

I think what you are doing is fabulous and clever. Rebecca's comment yesterday stayed with me, too. After my mother passed away, my sister and I came across all these lovely gift items,large and small, tucked away and saved -- for what? For when? It saddens me still. Yes, use, create, and enjoy!

Love it all - and dont mind viscose too much - although I have 1) never tried to sell it to Russians, 2) never tried to sew it into a quilt top. As always, can't wait to see the results and the fab photos. Perhaps when I'm a grown up I'll be able to 1) make lovely quilts and 2) take fab photos... here's hoping.

I recognise the top vase of flowers! My mum stitched that. It was a kit from a women's magazine. She was a very keen needlewoman & started teaching me to embroider when I was 5.

My dad worked on the factory floor at Courtaulds in Coventry & we were all fascinated (this was the 1950s) by the new man-made fibres. We all thought they were amazing although admittedly we didn't embroider on them. They were of their time I think and provided a lot of employment for men returning from the 2nd WW. I think it's amazing the way you're taking vintage and making it new, am sure those ladies (& perhaps gents) who embroidered these colourful and joyous items would appreciate you breathing new life into them.

I've had some success working with lame (the shiny stuff, don't know how to get an accented e)... I "basted" the pieces together lightly with a school glue stick (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glue_stick, do they call them something else in England?). It washed right out and kept the pieces from sliding all over. Of course the right needle and thread are critical too.

Good luck!

What cheerful flowers! I'm all for using them again and giving them a second life.

Just a thought - have you thought about applique? Maybe if you cut out the pieces and stitched them to a backing they wouldn't be so slippery? It should strengthen the holey viscose too, especially if it was bonded to the backing with something like Bondaweb.

I can totally relate to the bar work. But it is so much fun! And as always, I am in awe of your delicate needle work.

lovely embroidery

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