Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Very old UFO

Before I got married 48 years ago my mother and I were embroidering a tablecloth together.
I can still remember us sitting at the kitchen table stitching away on opposite corners of the cloth.
I have carted this unfinished treasure to seven different houses in 3 different states of Australia.
Many times I have thought that I would cut it up and make something out of it :- O
Something always stopped me -maybe guilt- maybe fear-maybe my mother was watching me from above-who knows.
Anyway my daughter Susan asked me at the weekend if we could finish it-so I pulled it out of its bag and we inspected it to see what we could do.
I don't have the original threads anymore so matching them could be a problem.
Two of the corners are completely finished and the third one only has white Flannel flowers left to do so that won't be a problem and the fourth one only has a few bits done on it and these can be removed if necessary.
Here is one finished corner--the desighn is Australian Wildflowers.
I can't believe at twenty one I was doing such even stitching.

This is the unfinished corner--------

And in the centre there three different designs and they are all finished.



The cloth has not discoloured it was always this dark cream colour but it has a few aged marks on it.
I have a friend who is an antique needledword dealer and she is going to have a look at it for me to see if they can be removed without damaging it.
Now to make it a fourth generation stitching project Ebony wants to stitch on it as well.
A definite family Heirloom---all we have to do is like the Nike ad says-just do it.


Christine said...

Definitely a family heirloon Doreen. You might be able to get some good results with "grassing" your cloth, just wetting the stained area a little and laying it on the green grass for a while. The sun will do its natural bleaching job. You could cover up any coloured stitched parts to avoid them fading then. I've had some great success on old cotton and linen underwear with this technique.
Christine in sunny Sydney

Janet said...

How incredible if you and your daughter and your granddaughter can finish this project!! Your stitching is so beautiful and so neat and perfect! I hope you finish this so it can pass along through your family along with the story of how it was made.

Kris Henderson said...

It is gorgeous and has a lovely family story attached to it. Thanks for sharing this.

Monica said...

Doreen, what a wonderful story this cloth has.

Caroline said...

Beautiful! I think it would make a wonderful tribute! A great story, I can't wait to see it finished!

maggi said...

I love the fact that this is a project that spans the generations.

Heather said...

How lovely that your daughter and Ebony want to finish this cloth with you. I bet you're glad you kept it and hadn't cut it up. There will be so many happy memories bound up in it - it'll be a treasured family heirloom.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

How nice to have a four-generation piece like this! It will certainly be a treasured heirloom. Be sure to keep the story of how it was made with it so the true history is preserved too.

Maureen said...

Beautiful stitching Doreen, it will be lovely when it's finished.

Dotti said...

Amazing. So much satin stitching and beautifully done! In spite of the age spots, this will beome a treasure if all of you continue on the path you and your mum started.

Joei Rhode Island said...

What a wonderful story Doreen. Such a prize....finish it with stories of your own with Ebony.

Angelcat said...

What a wonderful story. It will be fabulous of the new generations of your family finish this, what a special heirloom it will be.

Robin Mac said...

What a beautiful cloth Doreen. I have one my mother did not finish, dting back to the early 1930s the original threads are still there with it, but I am not good enough with a needle and thread any more to complete it. I have sometimes thught of offering it to someone else, but I can't quite bring myself to do that yet - so it sits in the storage box! Cheers, Robin

Purple Missus said...

Thank goodness you decided against cutting it up.
And for Ebony to work on it too will be wonderful - certainly something for her to treasure and share with future generations.

Lorraine @ creativedaily said...

What a treasure Doreen!

Dot said...

What a beautiful family heirloom Doreen! Thanks so much for sharing that with us.
Dot xx
P.S. Love the photo's of Ebony in the post below. Sounds like your daughter likes to keep her older treasures too!

Gina E. said...

Is that syncronicity or not?? You didn't need my UFO lesson to spur you on - you have a daughter! My mother-in-law was so pleased when I finished three of the tablecloths that she started 70 years ago. I haven't got any kids to pass them on to, but I'll give them to my SIL's daughter, as she knows they were started by her grandma, and she will treasure them.

Deborah said...

Lovely stitching and a really special piece.

MargaretR said...

I have just such a tablecloth Doreen with just one corner and part of a border to finish it. Shall we both try and finish them before the year is out? I will blog it in the next few days.