Saturday, 11 February 2012

Saturday Stitching Memories

When I was a young girl, my grandmother taught me how to sew, and so began a lifelong love affair with fabric and thread. I first embroidered napkins, then tray-cloths, before moving onto larger items such as tablecloths. I made lots of tray-cloths, armchair covers, and handkerchieves as gifts for relatives and friends. 

A tray cloth embroidered when I was 8 years old

My mother was a fantastic knitter, but couldn't sew on a button to save her life (her words). She was so happy when I began to stitch. In those days, every week she had a magazine called Woman's Weekly. I remember it had a very distinctive blue and pink cover and is probably my first memory of a woman's magazine. Mum collected the magazines for their knitting patterns and every so often, there would be an insertion of an iron-on embroidery pattern. These came on a sort of tissue paper onto which a pattern had been drawn in blue ink. If you used them carefully, you could get quite a few prints.

 You can still see the blue ink peeping through!

One of my favourite patterns was of bluebells and I made a tablecloth for an Aunt, placing the bluebells in each corner and linking them with leaves around the four sides. I was about 9 years old at the time and it was a labour of love that took me almost a year to embroider. But I can remember now the satisfaction I felt when it was completed; it feels like yesterday. I wish I had a photograph, but back then I didn't own a camera.

I do, however, still have one tablecloth in my possession. I think it was embroidered when I was older, around 14 or 15. The colours of the Anchor threads are just as vibrant today as they were in the late fifties. 

 This is the pattern on the four corners

 This is the pattern that joins the four corners together

It is interesting looking at these embroideries now. Would I still use those colours and placement today? Probably not! And yet, they still look fresh. The tablecloth has been used many times, the tray cloth never but they mean so much to me for my hands and heart have the memory of every stitch.

Join me again next Saturday as I will be sharing more Saturday Stitching Memories. I have Sian over on From High in the Sky to thank for suggesting that this theme may be of interest to you, dear reader. Later on in the series, I will show photographs of embroideries I have collected from around the world. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend.


Sian said...

Beautiful! My first memory of a woman's magazine is of "Woman's Weekly" too - it's a nice thought that the same patterns might have been seen in two different houses by two different Mums! I still have the scrapbook of patterns my Mum put together of her favourites and we still turn to WW today for toy patterns especially

alexa said...

I remember Women's Weekly too! Ahhh ... Your embroideries are lovely. My mother is the expert (I've never learnt but wish now I had) ...