A Special Gift

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My birthday was a couple of months ago but I recently received a slightly delayed gift.

Our younger daughter was working on this project when her life was thrown into disarray with the sudden death of her partner.  In between everything else that was going on she continued to steadily embroider this piece.  Apart from her desire to complete the gift for me, I am sure it was beneficial for her to have this project to work on.

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It is now hanging up in my sewing room where I can see it as I sit at the sewing machine.

I had no idea that my daughter could embroider, let alone produce a piece of work like this.  What a clever girl she is and I am a lucky mum that she chose to make this for me

The thing I like about this story is the value of skills from days gone by.  I am sure you could reproduce this using a fancy computerised embroidery machine but like so many artisan skills there are so many more benefits to this endeavour than simply the production of the finished piece of work.

What skills have you taught yourself with the assistance of Google and YouTube?

Crafting for a Reason

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When I read today’s post at Down to Earth I realised that much of it rang true for me.  None more so than this section where Rhonda writes:

“Many of the older readers here would know that I don’t consider craft to be a hobby. For me it’s part of my housework. I sew, mend and knit so we have good quality and long wearing scarves, cardigans, jumpers, hats, dishcloths, tablecloths and napkins. I see that as part of my homemaker’s work, not a hobby. Back in my great grandmothers’ day, making clothing and woollens for the family was part of almost every women’s home tasks. Somehow those tasks where either moved to become separate hobbies or were not done at all. They still hold an important place here, I still do all of them, still enjoy them, and they’re a part of my work.”

Any craft that I do is almost exclusively for practical purposes.  I remember being invited to join a patchwork group some years ago.  I probably could have been a bit more tactful but my response was along the lines of, “Why would you cut up perfectly good fabric so that you can sew it back together again?”  I also reminded my friend that I had had quite enough sewing to fill my days making clothes for all the members of my family.

I am appalled by the amount of time and money that is spent on useless and impractical craft materials such as patchwork fabric.  Patchwork evolved as a way of making use of every last bit of fabric, often being unpicked and re-made into other items.

Here are a couple of examples of making the most of scraps of material.

I made this bag last week using the facing from the hem of a dress.  You can read more about it here.  Scroll down towards the end of the post.

Here is a photo of Belle (in 1993) wearing a patchwork jacket I made using up scraps of sweatshirt fabric.  I sewed the scraps together to make a large piece of fabric and then cut the pattern pieces out as if it was a normal piece of fabric.

Do you do any practical crafts?