Friday, 27 May 2016

Old embroidery, sampler update and flowers

Some time ago I mentioned a detergent test I made, and now you can see what the result was. I had this embroidered cushion cover from the beginning of last century, loved and used to shreds really, and still kept safe. I photocopied the embroidery to keep the lovely pattern safe. As you can see on the right side of this picture, the fabric was stained and yellow. I thought it can't get worse if I give it a try with some Vanish Oxy. Two hours soaking, a careful wash by hand, a thorough rinse and a flat dry, and you can see the difference.

Here it is after a light ironing. I can't imagine a better future to any of my handicrafts. Instead of being folded away from light and sight, they would be used, worn and washed. This cushion cover has been used for a long time after the first holes appeared, until it practically fell apart and could not cover a cushion any longer. I can imagine some female ancestor insisting on keeping it, maybe her own work or a gift from someone special. Maybe her husband used the cushion when taking a nap, the linen feels so cool and lovely. This piece is definitely beyond repair and must have been kept for sentimental reasons.

The colours have faded over the years

but on the reverse you can see how lovely it must have been when it was new.

I'm trying to find a spot with the fabric intact, large enough to use in the Splendid Sampler quilt instead of the embroidery suggested. I'm honoring the original creator by doing so, and I hope to copy the pattern some day for a new cushion cover.

Here are the new blocks I have finished since my last update. Mr Bunny, almost like Peter Rabbit. Not trimmed to size yet, I notice.

This one was fun and easier than it looks.


and paper piecing, with the tiniest pieces I have ever tried.

Dresden plate with wonky appliqued parts.

Paper-pieced heart

And yesterday's block, fast and easy piecing for a change.

A group photo of all my blocks, missing block 20 but including two bonus blocks. 69 more blocks to sew!

We have finally had some warm days again and the flowers in the garden are doing well.

The apple trees were in bloom a week or two earlier than usual, but luckily the weather remained warm and the bees were busy. The tree in the back was already full of blossoms when the on in the front was just beginning. This is my apple sauce tree, the bigger one is just for eating apples.


  1. The embroidery piece is a real treasure and the Oxy did an amazing job. I use a similar product as well. I think it's a special tribute to include a piece of it in your quilt. Your quilt blocks look so nice together. That'll be a super fun quilt when it's all finished. That's a lot of blocks!!! I love the idea of an applesauce tree. I do hope to have an apple tree, one day.

  2. I'm glad that you got the embroidery clean. The stitches are a true work of art.
    Nice going on the sampler blocks. I still think that they are too small for me.

    1. Too small for you? After your stamp blocks from several years ago (o:

  3. Ihania blokkeja, tulee hieno peitto! Ihanasti kukkii omenapuu.

  4. You are doing a lot of different techniques. Love your blocks... especially the dress. I've seen someone else doing that pattern. Who offers it. It'd be just right for a little girls fabric book by Grandma.

  5. Oh wow, thank you for sharing the beautiful old embroidery with us. Can hardly believe that is the reverse side, where you can see the colors. So carefully stitched!
    And for your Splendid blocks: beautiful. The blocks together will soon make a beautiful quilt. Love how you added the light solids for the background of some block. And I admire you for your paper pieced dress AND needle!
    Still have lots of catching up to do ...
    Have a lovely Sunday and a beautiful week!


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