Saturday, July 15, 2006

Oh what joy!



I received my books from Amazon the other day. These three had all been on my wish list for a while, and when I realized they were all available on special offer, the finger on the mouse button only had to make a few rapid up and down motions and the trio was on it's way to my home...

They arrived a couple of days ago and I haven't really had time to study them at length yet, but with this lovely weather and my balcony garden being at the peak of its beauty right now, I'll be enjoying some precious leisure time there poring over these gems this weekend. The one I have been spent most time with so far is Kristin Nicholas' "Colorful Stitchery" - such an inspiration! I have done some embroidery over the years. Although my main focus - before I discovered quilting - was on cross-stitch, I have tried crewel work and after a embroidery class last winter I think I've finally got the hang of stem stitch and feather stitch as well. This book really inspires me to try it on some useful items for the home.

My mother and my grandmother both did various needle crafts, but the person who really inspired me to create was in fact my great grandmother, who died long before I was born. The country cottage where she lived all her married life is full of items she created. Beatifully crocheted curtains, appliqued wallhangings, embroidered tablecloths and chair covers - you name it, she did it all. Sadly my aunt and uncle who inherited the place have no appreciation of "old stuff", so it's not all on display anymore, but at least I have been allowed to "rescue" a lot of her things for safe keeping. Hm, that's subject of a whole blog post of it's own, I think. I really should photograph and catalogue all those tablecloths...

Back to the book. Although it is a fresh take on an old craft, it also reminds me of some of the work of the Bloomsbury set. I remember visiting an exhibition about Dora Carrington's work in the Barbican years back (probably around the release of the film about her life in 1995) and there were whole rooms designed to look like her home, where everything was painted and created especially for the places they were placed. Although the designs in this book are nothing like those, I get the same feeling of objects lovingly created to be displayed in rooms that are creatively put together. Such an inspiration!

The two quilt books, Denyse Scmidt Quilts and the Ringle/Kerr Modern Workshop one are also well known in Blogland, I think, and I will not be the first to draw inspiration from these. Once I have finished my self-appointed task of making quilts for all nieces and nephews I intend to spend more time creating just for the sake of creating and I believe these books will be among the ones that will help me further along this path. I can't wait to begin! But first I have some kite blocks to finish...

4 comments :

Kristin said...

Hi Mathea:

Thanks so much for writing about my book Colorful Stitchery on your blog and for adding such a nice comment to my blog!!! It's nice to see some chatter about it on the internet.

I loved the film Carrington and even bought it to inspire me visually when things get dour. I too love all the work of the Bloomsbury set - they lived such a creative life and have inspired so many of us almost 100 years later!

Thanks again - your blog is lovely and I'll come back and read it!
Kristin Nicholas

Cherry Menlove said...

Hi Mathea
Thank you for your comments on my blog, they wer lovely to wake up to. i too adore the film carrington. The house with all the windows running along the top of it is my favourite house from a movie. Can you tell me if you work in this country (England) and if your work is purely a hobby?
have a great day wherever you are.

caroline said...

ooh - great books I have been wanting to get a copy of Modern Quilt Workshop and Colorful Stitchery for a while and I can certainly recommend the Denyse Schmidt book.

Also I would like to offer a very belated thank you for your lovely comments on my blog.

Diane E. said...

I think quilting's taking over my knit blog. Love your choice of colors! I happened to be scanning quilt books at Amazon and have a list similar to books you've just ordered. The lace shawl is from "A Gathering of Lace". Don't think I'll be starting it anytime soon in this heat. Thanks for commenting at my site!