Sunday 12 May 2013

Quilting, sketchbooks and found treasures

I don't think I showed you the latest little treasure I found in the flea market recently. I paid the princely sum of £3 for this lovely red needlecase. 

The paintwork is a bit sorry for itself but the contents are intact and show no sign of rust. I don't mind the signs of age and use - in fact I rather like to see it's had a useful life.

The needlecase was made in Redditch, needle capitol of the world last century. The top turns so that an arrow lines up with the size of needle required and it's then dispensed through that little hole you can see. Having exhibited a number of times at the Needle Museum in Redditch I feel a special affinity with  this particular treasure!

I may be testing some of those needles soon as the machine quilting on the second mad heron is finished now and I'm adding hand stitch around all the circles. This work is destined for Llanidloes in the summer along with quilts from all the members of Six and Friends. I see Hilary posted on the site today - if you take a look you'll see she's really on a roll!

We spent the whole of last week's gloriously sunny long weekend purging the garden of weeds. I could barely move after all the exertion but this afternoon was dismal and wet - a perfect excuse to hide away in my studio. I'm still working on garden inspired pages for our latest DMTV sketchbook videos and had fun collaging the scraps from recent monoprinted rejects. I plan to draw into this page to give the leaves a stem and maybe a bit more detail once the glue has chance to dry!

I recycled an old gouache and Indian ink iris too. It was lying around looking lonely and sorry for itself and will be much happier glued in a sketchbook with other flowers and foliage. I never throw anything away!

I also attached a photo in readiness for the pencil drawing which will sit opposite on a golden ground. There's quite a lot of gold throughout the book as I'm trying out a variety of metallic paints and inks for another rather precious book I want to alter.

I'm not the only one busy in my sketchbook. Janet is working through our Creative Sketchbook course and was kind enough to let me show you a couple of her pages. I know people enjoy seeing our students' work so many thanks Janet!

Hope you're having a pleasant weekend and that you're finding time to be creative too. Thanks for visiting - Linda


  1. Your photo of the 'Cross Fox' needle case made me go searching in a box of old sewing materials I inherited from my mother in law - a great stitcher and maker of her own clothes before and after the Second World War. There it was - the Cross Fox in amongst all sorts of other little notions - books of needles, old cotton reels and press studs. I never considered they might have some value as bygones.

  2. The needlecases don't have a great monetary value although I did find a number of them listed for sale online. I collect objects connected with sewing. I especially like thimbles and I love to imagine who they belonged to and what kind of work the owners made. I hope you make good use of your mother in law's box of bits and bobs! My mother in law never stitched a thing in her life - she's 85 now and recently gave me her button box. She raised 5 children and obviously saved every button from all of the cast off clothes. Very laudable I'm sure but she never actually re used any of them!

  3. Ooh...I do know the sore body feeling after a day in the garden...but isn't it wonderful to see all the results of the hard yakker? I just love your sketchbooks...very inspirational. I don't have the drawing ability...but one of our 14 year old grandsons has and is willing to help his granny. He drew a whimsical picture of my donkeys for me...we discussed changes...a few days later he began the alterations and I was astonished that he didn't need the original. He said it was in his head...oh to have the ability....

  4. I love the needle case, Linda! The tailor's supplies store (very 19th century) where I buy a lot of my needles, pins, interfacings etc. has an Abel Morrell wooden display chest, which I must admit I do covet.

  5. As always, an inspiring post. The needlecase is a treasure and so appropriate for your collection box. I love the monoprints and sketchbook pages. I can't express how much I love the Lana threads I bought from you. They are like stitching with butter. :)

  6. Hi Jen - I bet I'd want that cabinet too if I saw it. It's dangerous enough collecting masses of tiny sewing tools without having to find space for furniture!

    Hi Jeannie - Glad you like the Lana threads. I'm adding hand quilting to one of my new quilts for the SiX and Friends summer exhibition in Llanidloes with them right now. Lovely aren't they!