Saturday, November 17, 2007
A glitch in my stitch
I love vintage needlework and stiching. The patterns and quality of expression are difficult to find today. Though many of the old patterns have been brought back in reproductions ready to stitch to pillows, fabric to be framed, pillowcases, linens, bags, you name it. Today, there are some crafters such as Jenny Hart at Sublime Stitching, and Subversive Cross Stitch that have won my heart, with their own delightful, charming and hip patterns. If you are not a stitcher, or are a "Sunday Stitcher" such as myself, the patterns available today may just convert you into giving stitchery a try.
About a year ago last summer, while visiting my parents, my mom felt well enough to do some antiquing with me, something we used to do together when I was a teenager. We popped into a store in Shasta City and I came across a pair of vintage pillow cases edged in lace at the opening, and embroidered with a happy and slightly kitschy nature scene of bluebirds, deer and flora. They were in pretty good condition, and the fabric was buttery soft, which told me they had been washed a lot. I wish I knew who stitched them and when. Was it a new bride? Someone who stitched to while away the hours? They took very good care of them, despite the fact they had been gently used over the years.
I've put these to good use, and it seems that soft fabric, has finally given a bit, wear has turned to small and larger tears in the cotton fabric of the pillowcase. One pilowcase is beyond repair as the fabric has long tears and has grown too soft and thin. What to do? I've been careful about washings, but maybe I shouldn't have used these for my everyday pillowcases. It's just that I believe things should be somewhat functional as well as beautiful. I have too many pretty little things that go unused, that I've made a resolution to either use it, sell it or give it away. So, these pillowcases are well-loved and well-used.
The stitching is holding up admirably. I figured the stitching would be the first thing to show wear. So, I'm trying to figure out how to salvage the stitching on the pillowcases. I may have to ask Dee for some advice and remedy for this one. Maybe make it into a bag? Another pillowcase? I just don't know. I know there are people who can do wonders with restoration of stitched pieces that are no longer supported by their fabric foundation.
Any stitching wizards out there have any suggestions? I'd hate to toss these lovely cases.
I guess I loved these too much!
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