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.
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.
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.