11 March 2008

Linen and Lace


Linen n Lace 11Mar08 01, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
I cannot get enough of browsing through blogs and seeing the amazing and beautiful things that people are making all over the world! It inspires me and I have done so many new things because of it. My latest project is a crazy quilt square. Which led me to my box of old linen and lace in search of things to embellish it with. There I came across these two pieces, two of my treasures that I've had for years. Both have a history that goes way back. One I know, the other, is imagined.

The bottom piece is a section of linen that was given to me by Miss Jessie, a dear elderly friend and amazing woman ~ I'll have to share more about her someday. In the early 1970's she gave me this piece of linen that her mother had grown the flax for, prepared and spun it into linen and then wove herself. It was used as mattress ticking and stuffed with straw. The note Miss Jessie wrote said it was spun and woven in the 1860's! Imagine it being nearly 150 years old! I love that it is darned and that the selvages are uneven. It is still soft and strong. To keep it that way, I wash it regularly (linen loves to be washed!) and refold it differently several times a year.
Lace hankie 01
The hankie is also old, though I don't know just how old. I suspect it dates to the Victorian era. The lace is hand made with the tiniest of stitches. The fine lawn in the center has shattered, much like silk, though I think the fabric is more likely very fine linen or cotton.
Lace hankie 02
In this close view of the lace, you can see the teeniest eyelets. They are only the size of little bitsy seed beads, yet contain so many perfect stitches! It makes me think of the last sentence in Beatrix Potter's "The Tailor of Gloucestor". "The stitches of those buttonholes were so small -- so small--they looked as if they had been made by little mice!"
Cream Crazy Quilt
The crazy quilt square project was inspired by Baumcat 's blog. She creates lovely small collaged and crazy quilt pieces. Seeing her work led me to my stash of fabric scraps to see what I could come up with. I started with a lovely Robin printed on cotton. Then I added various cotton, silk and velvet fabrics to get the foundation block.
Tatting Crochet
Next I searched through my box of lace bits to find pieces to embellish it further. I have so many lovely things, it makes it difficult to choose! My lace stash includes a box of tatted and crocheted samples that my Aunt made. I never knew what to do with them, but think I've finally found the perfect thing for these precious bits!
Cluny Broidery Anglaise
I also found some lovely bits of lace trim taken from old tattered petticoats and nightgowns. What fun to finally be using some of these things I've been saving for years!

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