A Book of Memories

I have finally started a textile book of my mums work. My mum was a prolific craftsperson – you think I do a lot, she made lots of things and was happy to try almost any craft, pottery, embroidery, spinning, bobbinlace…you name it, she tried it!

Last year we had to make the hard decision to find a care home for her and put her house on the market. When we were emptying her house there were lots of items she had made, some finished, others half made, some in good condition, others well used and worn.

I decided to keep hold of everything until I could have a good sort through and decide what to do with everything. Knowing how much work goes into a craft item I couldn’t bear to send them to a charity shop or even worse, throw them away. To give you an idea of numbers, she must have had over 100 paintings, all professionally framed, boxes of sketches, lots of quilts and enough knitting wool to open a shop!!

I have decided to make a textile book with various pieces in, I’ve been mulling it over for the past few months and I’ve finally started.

The first page I made is from an unfinished cross-stitch. It’s a quote from William Shakespeare, I’m pretty sure the top foliage should be a lot fuller, there were also two words unfinished, I found some similar thread and embroidered those in.

Textile book

I decided to frame it with two co-ordinating cotton fabrics. I added some lace and some trim too. When I attach it to the backing I’ll probably stitch a running stitch along the other two edges. There was a large blank area at the bottom, I think it was meant to have the reference to the quote there, it needed something so I added five buttons, though one of them looks like it needs a bit more stitching!

This one measures about 12.5″ by 16″. I’m thinking of using one of the well worn quilts as backing to the pages, so there will either be a quilted page or I can stitch things to it, it’s still a bit of work-it-out-as-I-go-along sort of project. I think I’ll see how many pages I end up with before I commit to quilted ones as it may end up too thick.

The second page is an iris cross-stitch, I think this one is almost finished. I used quilting cotton again, but I added a broad lace trim down one side. My mum used to make a lot of bobbin lace, so although this one is bought, it will fit in with the theme. The bottom right corner was plain, I decided to add a pocket (of bee fabric as she used to keep bees) the idea being that I can slot in sketches or small paintings of flowers in the pocket.

Textile book

Hopefully now I’ve started the other pages will gradually get easier to do, I’ve lots of ideas and thought, just got to see if they will work.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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38 Responses to A Book of Memories

  1. nanacathy2 says:

    This is just beautiful. Your Mum would really approve, and it is going to make a wonderul book of memories. I love how you have frames the pieces. Now I know where your talent comes from, what a super Mum.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. endrickwater says:

    Here is a true labour of love. This book will have good memories for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a precious project.
    How will you join the pages together? I ask because I have ambitions to make textile books for my grandchildren.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. claire93 says:

    that’s a lovely idea and will really showcase all your Mum’s needlecraft work well ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  5. suemreed says:

    It is a lovely idea and one I did a few years ago fir a friend of mine. I am currently making one for myself with all the bits of embroidery that have no purpose except I liked it and wanted to stitch it!. It will be treasure when completed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gail says:

    What a beautiful way to preserve your mom’s works in progress. It is easy to see where your crafting gene came from.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your Mother was quite the artist. I can see that you got the gene too. This is such a sentimental piece. I will be so inspired by this. I can’t wait to see what all you put together. I am sure your Mom with be thrilled with what you do to honor her work.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laura says:

    This is such a super special project, Margaret! It will be a precious treasure when finished!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marsha Layman says:

    Oh, what a precious tribute to your mum! I, too, cannot bear to discard any of the pieces (mainly crocheted) I’ve received from my mother, but as you know, we cannot keep everything! This is the answer to my dilemma, perhaps. Do keep us posted as your journey progresses.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sharon says:

    What a lovely idea! I am excited to see the other pages. This will be a wonderful heirloom for your family

    Liked by 1 person

  11. tialys says:

    A beautiful idea – I can only hope that somebody will feel the same way about some of the work I’m going to leave behind although I’m nowhere near as prolific as your Mum (or you) so it shouldn’t be so difficult. It will be a lovely tribute and heirloom piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. mandycurrie says:

    Hello Margaret, what a lovely idea and a great tribute. I’ve collected work from several sources and this idea fits the bill as to how to treat it. You are always an inspiration, thank you. Kind regards Mandy xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Prue Batten says:

    What a beautiful idea. I think my mum and yours might have got on very well. Perhaps it was their generation although you are the lie to that. But Mum (and no doubt your mum) always had to be busy – stitching in the evenings watching TV, gardening, cooking, painting, preserving. Some afternoons in her 80’s, she would sit with a favourite book. Every hour of every day was worthy and filled and I like to think that the genes have been passed on. They definitely have with you, Margaret. I can’t wait to see the progress of this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      She was always doing something, she would get totally into a craft, be it spinning or lace making or quilting, get all the gear, join the local guild – or start one, buy the books, make lots and then after 4 or 5 years she’d move onto another craft!


  14. katechiconi says:

    I think you have the right idea there; something that’s been turned into a book or album is far less likely to be tossed away, and it brings together some lovely pieces. Would you consider backing each piece with a piece of paper that explains what the process is and when it was made? An album like this is the sort of treasure that may be found in an antique shop in the far future, and it would be interesting for the finder to know what it was all about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      That’s a good idea, I’m thinking of embroidering the names of various crafts that she did and adding them to pages, but I might include a pretty note book in a pocket at the back with more information in. I’ll give it some thought thanks

      Liked by 1 person

  15. That is certainly a challenge… to clean the home of a creative person.
    Such a loving tribute for you to finish some of her pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Deb A says:

    What a wonderful idea to create a book of memories. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sarah says:

    This is such a wonderful idea! And it will become a real family heirloom.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Karrin Hurd says:

    What a great idea, your stitching is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. kathyreeves says:

    Margaret, this is going to be such an amazing project for you, and tribute to your mom. I love that you are doing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ooh Margaret, how blessed you were and are to have had a Mother who loved crafts! Susie Homemaker did not live in my house, but I am making hay in retirement! This will be such a beautiful project for you to work on and keep, then pass it on to your children! Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Jane M says:

    This is such a great idea. Your Mum is a very talented lady and so are you

    Liked by 1 person

  22. daneesey says:

    What a beautiful, lovely idea! Her stitching is exquisite. What a treasure this will be!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. This is so beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Pingback: Textile Memories | thecraftycreek

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