Sunday 27 November 2011

Unfinished Business

My Mum is the champion in starting some thing - knitting, sewing etc and never finishing the item. When I had my daughter, it spurred her on to finish the half knitted cardigans etc that she has started for me - 32 years previously.

I recently asked her to find me a small old suitcase that I knew she had kept - that used to be my Grandma's - that housed some of her unfinished embroidery projects.

I am planning to finish them off for her and make one of them into a cushion cover that she can use everyday. The only problem is that she embroidered as neatly as the ladies in Jane Austen times whilst my bits are scrappy. Any way, I think she will be surprised to see it finished - I hope I get it done in time for Christmas.
This stunning piece was started whilst she was at school (and she is now 72!!). It was going to be a tea cosy, but she didn't leave enough fabric to sew it together.
The embroidery and cut work is absolutely perfect. What can I turn this into?
There were lots of craft magazines etc in the suitcase, but this took my eye.
I reckon she must have hankered after one of these modern machines.

Well who wouldn't have!
She never got one - our washing machine didn't have as many gizzmo's on it - we did have a mangle though!
And these patterns had never been used either. How awful that Bust size 34 used to be a size 16!!!!

So it looks as if my date with George is off this week. To console myself - Ive booked to see Barry Manilow in Manchester next May. Now Bazza is 68 years old now, so I hope he's taking his vitamins a pro plus daily!!


Anonymous said...

You have a veritable treasure trove there. The embroidery is very well executed and I hope you manage to finish some things for your Mum.

The washing machine didn't actually do the washing as the housewife would have to keep moving the agitator, what a cheat!

Shortbread and Ginger said...

I'm a bit like your mum - have a few unfinished projects lying around! Love the patterns.
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

Carol said...

Sorry you are missing your date with George, hope Bazza is a suitable sub, I saw him about 15 years ago, he was excellent.
I've finished off embroidery that Mum had part done, we have very similar styles so you can't really tell who did what. I have a tablecloth and napkins that need sorting but they don't have all the threads so need to get more and they aren't really my style - really vivid, black and oranges, probably why they were never finished.
I'm sure your Mum will be thrilled with her cushion cover.
Carol xx

Kathy said...

What a great idea, to finish something off and make it into a cushion.
My mum has lovely chair backs, and a dressing table set that she made when she was engaged to my dad. They're very similar to your mum's work.
We also had a very similar washing machine when I was small. I remember washing taking a whole day. My mum scrimped and saved to buy a twin tub .... it was state of the art!!!!

So sorry about George .... but I'm sure Barry will be an excellent substitute. (I prefer his songs anyway!)

Lalabibaby @ Dreaming of The Simple Life said...

Some wonderful projects to finsh there and how spooky as I've just collected a bag of Freecycled sewing patterns today with very similar childrens patterns. Have a feeling my lot will be finding bags of my UFOs in years to come too x

Virginia said...

Your mother and I could be related. I have so many unfinished projects it's pitiful! The tea cozy....maybe take that s trip and put it on a lovely hand towel?

The patterns bring back some memories. There are some funny sites and cocktail napkins using the photographs with funny sayings.

You have a treasure trove from Mums. Enjoy them.

A garden just outside Venice said...

My mum used to be like yours, ha ha!

Ellouise88 said...

I have an unfinished embroidered tablecloth from my mother as well, and also loads of my own PHD's (projects half-done). The trouble is, something more exciting/urgent/new/shiny comes along!

Mister D said...

Love that craftsmanship with the embroidery, a work of art in it's own right !

diane b said...

What a great idea for a gift for your mother. I'm sure she will be delighted. That magazine article on the washing machine is a hoot. A great find.

Elderberry-Rob said...

How interesting to find the washing machine article! My granda had a boiler and mangle and when she got her first washing machine she wouldn't use it because it didn't boil the whites so it couldn't possibly get them properly clean! The embroidery is beautiful. The tea cosy piece is a real heirloom - it would look lovely in a small frame to be admired for what it is, a perfect and beautiful piece of work. I doubt many people would do cutwork to this standard today by hand. Bettyx

Gilly said...

I loved looking at those old adverts. My Mum had one of the early electric washing machines, whirled the clothes round into a knot, but you still had to rinse them! But it did have a wringer - guess whose job it was to turn it!!

That embroidery is absolutely beautiful, especially the cut work. Not sure what you could use it for, but I am sure you will think of something!

And its a lovely idea to finish off that tablecloth as a cushion cover. If I were your Mum I would be delighted!

Rosie said...

The blue embroidery is wonderful. I remember the washing machine my mum used when I was small - it didn't have as many features as that one:)

Ray+Joan said...

I remember your mum using her washing machine in her small kitchen. haha
Add the unfinished embroidery to a garment you wear or to a one of your bags for yourself

menopausalmusing said...

What a wonderful suitcase to have had a rummage through - glorious finds. Lovely embroidery and you are right, that strip of cutwork is an absolutely beautiful piece of work. What a great surprise your mum will have at Christmas.

Lyn said...

Oh dear, poor George....But Barry as a stand in?
The embroidery is gorgeous, good luck with finishing it off.

Lisa said...

I bet your mum will be thrilled with the cushion cover, what a lovely thing to make for her. Shame about George. We went to see Sarah Millican on Sunday night. She was hilarious!
Lisa x