Saturday, December 13, 2014

One person's junk…….

….…is another person's treasure.

I grew up with parents who collected things and recycled everything they could. Knitted items were either passed on to friends or undone and re-knitted or crocheted into granny blankets. Fabric bits were saved and turned into patchwork. My clothes were all home-made either from my sisters hand-me-downs or from jumble-sale finds and bits of fabric/buttons/lace etc were saved 'just in case' of need in a craft project so it's hardly surprising that I'm a self-confessed hoarder of anything that might be useful in the future!

Charity shops (aka Thrift stores across the pond) and garage sales or auctions are like a magnet to me and it was on one of these forays that I came across this lovely piece of petit point. It was in a pile of about 7 different pieces, some made for chair seats and some framed to hang on a wall, most of which were not to my taste but this one caught my eye.

It looked as if a keen needlewoman/man might have passed away and their possessions passed to the shop. So sad. The work is very neat and detailed but unfortunately it is badly out of shape as whoever made it didn't use a frame. You can see how the design is leaning to the left. Undeterred, I could see it would make a very pretty cushion cover and so it came home with me.

I steamed it gently on top of a towel and stretched it as much as I could and this is what it looked like afterwards. Much better, although there are a couple of ridges where the wool had been threaded under the stitches. No matter, it's still beautiful and well worth the £4 price tag with funds going to a local Hospice.

Steaming it couldn't make much difference to how dreadfully out of shape it was though. I've put this file at a right angle to the edge of the table to show just how much the whole material, not just the embroidered section, leans to the left. This is either because a frame wasn't used or that the fabric wasn't mounted correctly onto the frame (you need to lace up the sides to keep the edges straight)

I'm undecided whether to make it into a square or round cushion. I do know that I'll be edging it in a blue and brown braid (I love making braid) or perhaps a two/three-colour i-cord. The back will be either dark blue or mushroom fabric.

Here's a close-up so you can see the detail in the shading.

Which leads me onto my second find, this rather unpromising bundle of haberdashery, "yours for £5 Madam":

It might look like a load of old tat but there's treasure in there!

Just look what I found inside (with apologies for the strange silver lines in some of the photos - they're our venetian blinds reflected in the granite worktop):

Lots of lace and edgings with a bodice bib and collar

I love rummaging through bundles like this as you never know what's hidden inside. I've only thrown a few pieces away which were too discoloured or raggedy to be useful.

Although rather tattered this crocheted piece is rather interesting in its construction so is worth keeping for reference. I particularly like the central square motif but find the over-use of picots a bit OTT (I thought they were tatted at first but they are in fact crochet).

These 2 pieces will be soaked and washed to see if the linen is worth salvaging.

Same with this doily. Some of the crochet rounds are damaged but the linen seems OK. It could possibly be enlivened with some bright embroidery as it would fit rather nicely on our little table in the gazebo - hmm, that's got me thinking now!

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