Thursday, October 8, 2015

an undoing and a doing again...

so can someone please tell me where september went???

i'm not sure i've ever known a month to fly by so fast... i'm still feeling like it's late august

in some ways though i'm not so sad it's early october

having always liked fall best, i'm glad of shorter days, cooler weather, oven dinners and more time for stitching and sewing - i've even reduced my number of work days from three per week to two

i have high hopes of finally getting some long awaited projects off my work table, and perhaps a new one or two begun

what you see below falls in the first category... begun back in the early spring, perhaps even late winter, now i think about it

as is often the case with me, the story really began long before that...

two large boxes of embroidered table linens were bestowed upon me a few years ago - and soon after i spent a blissful morning sorting through them; one pile for pristine pieces, another for the too far gone to be good for anything ones, and a third for things that had salvageable parts but that had stains and/or tears

one in particular had such bright happy colours - it was a square table cloth, about 40" x 40", with an embroidered hanging basket of flowers in each corner
three corners were in good shape but the fourth had stains, as did several areas of the cloth

using my large square quilting ruler, i worked out a good block size, and cut the three out, after which i framed them with different brightly coloured thirties' print fabrics



i thought about removing the few lines of the hangers but decided that you would most likely see the holes, as well as colour transfer from the dark floss, so in the end i thought i would leave them - they're part of the provenance of the cloth and i like that


 three squares, in a row, setting triangles in white on the sides and ends, forming a rectangular runner


the white cloth came pre-embroidered with these wonderful circles which i like very much

as i was figuring out what to do for quilting, i thought i'd like to add a little embroidery of my own - 

i'm thinking of a few lazy daisy flowers scattered within, and perhaps without, the circles - i'll start with that idea and see how it goes


rummaging through my box of embroidery threads, i found matches for most of the colours - except the purples

i'm not a great fan of purple - i like looking at it and wearing it, but not working with it 
weird, huh?
i can't figure it out but there it is

anyway - in my determination to drastically reduce my supplies, and to make do with what i have rather than buying more, i hummed and hawed for a bit... a skein of floss is still less than a dollar, would only take up a little bit of room, etc. etc. etc.

thrift won the day though and i spent some time with scissors, needle and magnifying glasses and carefully unpicked enough embroidery from the fourth remaining corner to have a few small lengths of thread that i can use to add a little embroidery to the new piece


extremely fiddly, some stitches came undone easier than others, but as i went i found my mind wandering to how it might have gone the day were made... who was she, was she sitting comfortably in a chair, on a sunny porch perhaps, or did she stand by a window like i did, in order to see better? 

was it a gift for her mother's table, like mine is, or perhaps the reverse is true

  working quietly, mindful of the fragility of the thread, concentrating on the in and out...
the undoing of someone else's work is a humbling task , almost an apologetic one

and then i came upon a tiny knot

was it to anchor a beginning, or an ending, i wondered?
 

i saved it, and will use the same knot in my stitching, to bring these two pieces together at yet another level


maker, and maker

not just using, but an integration perhaps?

 where one couldn't be without the other

i do like that

15 comments:

oldgreymareprimitives said...

the patience to unpick.... I do not have ! lol

Marj Talbot said...

That is a lovely piece of work that someone before you has done. You will definitely do it justice - good on you for using thread from the fourth corner. The white cloth looks ever so much like you have done circles in French Knots. This will make a very nice runner - truly - love it so far.

gracie said...

Just wonderful

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I love how you are re-using these lovely bits of embroidery made by other nimble fingers. I look forward to seeing the finished piece. :-)

Happy Fall ~ FlowerLady

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Jillayne, a labor of love in the making and unmaking. What a beautiful piece to relove and give new life too. It will be gorgeous.
Love the little white circles done in that tiny snowflake like pattern. Beautiful!
Have a great weekend. Hugs, cm

Rachel said...

Now that's patience! I think you were right to leave the hangers in - they help to make sense of the shape of the bowl.

Dorthe said...

Dear Jillayne, a beautiful project savering the old pieces, still looking goood, and bringing them together ,again, in a new way, and together with that beautiful white fabric, already having embroideries, looking lovely .
Great to savor the purple thread too, for the coming project of quilting !!
Wonderful for you, to have, now, only 2 work days, and therefore more free time to do what you love !!
Dorthe xx

janie krig said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and process, I feel like I visited and had tea with you. Beautiful pieces and work!

Createology said...

Oh dear Lord you do have the most interesting views and projects. I am certain I never would have thought to unpick and use that lovely purple thread. I would wonder about the history of the piece and who and why and how it was created by hand...in another time and place that is slower than ours I imagine. I adore you and your creative process Dear Jillayne.

Deb said...

I just love how well the 1930's fabric suits the embroidered squares, these are bright colors and if I didn't know better I would have thought they were mine, way back in the late 60's I used either the same or very similar iron on transfer to make a small tablecloth for a friends grandmother. In fact, somewhere in my supplies I still have the old transfers.
I love that you are including the picked threads of the fourth square, and the white fabric is so sweet I can picture petit flowers inside the rings.

Laura said...

This is the most color I've seen you use in ages! I can't wait to see this as it progresses.

jenclair said...

I love the borders you have chosen to set off the pieces--and the way one person's work takes on a new setting, a new purpose.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

As always, I'm inspired. I have several large bags of things such of this and need to reduce them, so finally decided that I would make a bedspread of sorts - in the crazy quilt style - but with very little in the way of embroidery. I hope to rely on the patterns in the vintage fabrics, along with some lace pieces, to add the decorative element. We'll see when I ever get a chance to get started!!

JennyPennyPoppy said...

September flew by and October is as well. A lovely post Jillayne and so wonderfully contemplative. Thank you.

karen said...

oh Jillayne, the blocks are beautiful. I always love your images, they are appealing in so many ways . Today I am loving the white cloth with the fine strands of cloth....