Monday, April 21, 2008

April TIF (rather long)

My TIF challenge this month will contain as many stitches and styles as I can fit into the piece, as a reminder of all the changes I enjoyed so much during my life of stitching.

I have been giving a lot of thought to my Take it further challenge for April « In a Minute Ago. Like all the challenges Sharon has set us it makes us think. My thoughts on this one haven't been too deep. I am still thinking 'textiles', which have become so important to me along the way. Immediately I read the challenge, my thoughts went back to childhood and how very much textiles have been part of my life, but also how much fashion in textiles, like everything else has changed. In my opinion schools don't give enough attention to textiles these days. When I first started teaching, children in the junior school could spend a couple of hours each week learning to knit and stitch. The curriculum does not leave enough time for this any more.
Going back to my own childhood, when I went to a very small village school. I clearly remember the disappointment I felt that the 'big' girls, 5 in all were allowed to make a nightdress case, whilst I, the youngest couldn't as there was not enough fabric left over. I remember the print clearly, it was a paisley cotton with oranges and greens on a white background. I do remember making a handkerchief with a basket of flowers embroidered in one corner which we also had to hem.

So down memory lane to look at some of the work which I still have, some in a very sorry state, needing a wash and a bit of startch perhaps? I did not want to iron them to photograph as I was afraid the stains would then be very difficult to get out.


This is the earliest piece of work I have, an appliqued traycloth, made in 1947, my first year in the grammar school. This one won a prize in the Urdd National Eisteddfod of Wales and I still have that certificate. This was not done in a needlework class, but during dinner times, I expect they would call it a dinner time club these days. The French teacher taught us and we had to make the design from scratch, which I think changed me for ever as I have always hated stitching a design made by someone else.


This one is also from the same period and designed with the French teacher during dinner time. I enjoyed making this one.


This one would have been stitched around 1950, again for an eisteddfod. It was a nightdress case.


Another nightdress case from around the same time and I used this one for years to protect whatever embroidery I had going at the time. It was made using a white flour sack. This was just after the war and fabrics were scarce and I suppose expensive.


I have a cross stich tablecloth which I made when I was 15, again using white a flour bag. which was still in use until recently, but I can't find it tonight. So there's a gap here and this one in another of my designs, this time for college finals. Art was my main subject, but we were allowed to design anything we chose for one section of the work. Looking back, I think this one was quite modern at the time.

I was just having a little break from doing my Fibre & Stitch - An Online Mixed Media Zine article!

19 comments:

Rosi said...

Really precious pieces! I especially like the tiny flowers.

Sue B said...

What a great trip down memory lane!

Genie said...

What lovely memories, Love the fish.

Sandy said...

I too started handwork early. What fun to see your pieces.

Susan D said...

I particularly like the fish. They all look so bright as if they'd been made yesterday and not xx number of years ago.

Carol said...

Yes Mags i would agree not half enough time in the curriculum.Speaking as one who feels her job is very important but is constantly treated by collegues, kids and parents alike as the thicky who sews, I woud love to see more.

Gina said...

What lovely pieces of embroidery and what special memories Mags.

Susan said...

What beautiful pieces and how nice that you still have them. It was good to see your comment this morning on my blog. I have had no time for blogging lately - for reading - hardly any time for posting! I had to come see what you've been up to lately, though. =)

Deb H said...

How nice that you've kept all of these! You stitches were lovely even back then!

Tanguera said...

Wonderful trip down memory lane. I love the fish!

Pat said...

My first thought on seeing the fish was "Gosh that must have been very avant garde for the time". What lovely pieces and even lovlier that you have kept them and their memories.

Annette J said...

I have found this months challenge more than usually challenging. Mainly due to the fact that I've had quite a few changes in my life. And therefore I've decided 'Life is Change'

Love your treasured pieces pity my family bits life that seemed to have been thrown out or given away.

NuvoFelt said...

What a delightful collection, Mags. I look forward to your finished piece.

Helen Suzanne said...

I really like your embroidery pieces Mags. What a treasury to have so many. I wonder if we'll ever return to stitching in schools.

mrsatroxi said...

So pretty and dainty!

Laura said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Having moved often in my life, a lot of stuff has been thrown away which makes it extra nice to see that other people have been able to keep precious things. Good on you!

Julie said...

What a lovely stroll through changing styles of needlework. I love the fish too :) I didn't do much needlework so I don't think I or my mum have anything from my youth. I have got a lovely cross stitch sampler my stepdaughter did when she was about 6. (28 this year!)

Judy Scott said...

These are such a wonderful collection of your needlework and so beautifully done, I want to try and find mine now although I think my school work was mostly cross stitch; an apron, a basket cover and a head band all for domestic science!

margaret said...

Fascinating to see this history in stitch!