Thursday, 10 November 2016

They simply stitched...




Good morning lovelies!

A cold start to this November morning greets me...
So, slippers are keeping me warm, cuppa in hand and I have five mins
of saying hello before my busy day ahead.

My week has been a very mixed bag of moments...

English Paper Piecing.

Family History.

Hospital.

Travelling through The Fens.

Slow Stitching.

Reasearch.

Of course, if I was to sum up all of my varied days it would look like a jumbled patchwork throw...unfinished at that.
I guess the same as anyone else!



In our modern times life just seems to travel so flippin fast don't you think?
I wonder if our ancestors thought the same or even had time to think of such thoughts?

Slow stitching helps to ground me when I am needing some downtime.
When it is time to step off that hamster wheel of normality.
Isn't it strange how the thrill of a simple piece of metal and a snippet of thread can bring such joy....

I decided in the summer that my project over winter was to finally get around to
cutting out and then stitching my hexies back together again to produce
a snuggly lapquilt.
I have so many FQ's that are too small to add to a project but too big to waste.


English Paper Piecing has always been welcome in my heart since learning how to make a cushion whilst at Junior School.
I diligently stitched with eagerness each and every little small piece of cloth waiting for my jigsaw to appear.
of course in practise it was a really good way of introducing children to stitching and even wiser a good way to get them to practise their stitching without it becoming a chore.
i owe a huge thank to Mrs Walters for that...

Of course real English Paper Piecing (EPP) has a history something very different to what we perceive today...
It evolved from sheer necessity, like many sewing crafts.



Every tiny scrap of cloth able to be saved was added to the bag of scraps
and housewives would sit and stitch whilst hubbies were toiling the land 
during the summer months to produce a 'new' bed blanket quilt to keep their families warm
in the grueling hostile winter months.

I'm sure they didn't see it as therapeutic as we do today.

they simply stitched....

Not sure what they would've thought of our designs and styles today.



They used any scrap of paper they could get their hands on as templates to 
use to cut out their hexie shapes...
letters from family, telegrams, birthday cards, shopping lists, brown paper from the bacon or cheese they collected daily on their shopping trips to the grocers.

None of our pre-cut shapes back then.

No die cut shapes or machines to help quicken the process.

No fresh sparkling new fabric....

No...

As they stitched by gas light or low evening light, because that was often the only time
they were able to sit and stitch...
they would simply stitch, slow and steady but methodically to get the job done.

Would their mind wander as does mine?


I really would love to sit and chat with the women in my family who are no longer here that 
sat quietly and did the very same...



What do you sit and think about whilst stitching?

All our vintage whispers of thread will become hierlooms of the future.
Do you add special memories to your projects or are you happy to simply stitch also?

Do tell..
I love to hear your tales...