Exciting parcels

That feeling of expectation when you know there is something nice on its way to you and then one day the postman hands you the day’s post and among it is a parcel which is obviously That Parcel and you are about to unwrap it – don’t you just love it? I’ve had several such parcels recently, and as they were all stitch-related I thought you might like to see them.

Remember the Filoselle silks I inherited from my mother-in-law? Three shades of rose, a golden yellow and a lot of green. Well, some time ago I was contacted by Sara, who had acquired a selection of Filoselle silks herself and, doing some research, came across my 2015 post in which Pearsall’s unfortunately discontinued silks are mentioned. After a few emails back and forth we agreed a swap, and a little later the pastel beauties on the right arrived. As I said to Sara, because they are discontinued I won’t be able to use them in any designs that will be published, and so I have no idea yet what I’ll do with them, but they are lovely colours to have.

Vintage Filoselle silks (and a darning egg) Swapped Filoselle silks

Around about the same time I spotted a day class at Hampton Court Palace in my RSN e-newsletter: a stumpwork bumblebee. Yes, I know, stumpwork isn’t really my thing; but since the two butterflies I did (one a Sarah Homfray kit, the other off my own bat for a friend) I’ve rather taken a liking to stumpwork insects. And I happen to have a friend who is a beekeeper. Perfect. Well, almost perfect, as beekeepers don’t actually keep bumblebees, but close enough.

Stumpwork butterfly from a Sarah Homfray kit Stumpwork butterfly made for a friend

Unfortunately the class was on a day that I couldn’t do; and even if the date had been convenient, travelling to Hampton Court Palace for the day is quite an undertaking, as well as adding to the strain on the budget. I reluctantly decided it was not to be. But when I mentioned this on the RSN Certificate & Diploma Facebook group, someone who had taken the class in the past suggested I contact the tutor, Rachel Doyle, to see if she had any surplus kits which she might be willing to sell separately. I did, and she had, and here it is!

Rachel Doyle's Bumble Bee kit Rachel Doyle's Bumble Bee kit

And my final treat (final for the moment anyway) – a new slate frame bag. I had one made for my original, humongous slate frame but then I was allowed to use a 12″ frame instead and the bag was ridiculously oversized for that (as you can tell from the picture below it was on the large side even for the original frame). Fortunately it has now found a new home with my middle sister-in-law who uses it to transport her paintings, but it did mean I was left without a bag. Well, not literally, I have plenty of cotton and canvas bags of various sizes, some of them embellished with embroidery, but nothing padded and none that accomodated the frame comfortably. Enter Liz at LoobysBayBags.

The original quilted bag for my large slate frame

Liz was brilliant. The bags she usually makes were not quite the right size for my slate frame (which in spite of being called a 12″ frame is actually a little over 17″ square) so she agreed to make a bespoke one. She found all sorts of fabrics for me to have a look at and hunted out a new fabric for the lining which would go with the patterned ones I picked; she was great at going by what I wanted, not what she thought I should have (she was a little worried that I picked very light colours for what she called “a working bag”). When I explained what it would be used for she reinforced the handles and padded the bottom. And it came out just perfect – it looks beautiful (those ducks are adorable), it’s comfortable to carry, and it is a comfortably snug fit for the frame. As you can tell from the last picture, I’m really pleased with it!

The new slate frame bag A snug fit Modelling the bag

2 comments on “Exciting parcels

  1. Hi,
    I am really pleased that you have managed to get some more Filoselle silks. I am not sure if you have used any to stitch with yet, but just a little word of warning – they may snap quite easily. I acquired some Filoselle silks some time ago and used them to stitch a small design. Some of the colours snapped quite frequently, whilst other were ok. Threads do deteriorate over time. However, I did persevere and finish the design but I am not sure I would use them again. They do look lovely though, and I am very happy to have them, even if they are just for display!

  2. Thanks Sue – yes, they are not indestructable, as we can see from very old silk embroideries (although I always think it’s amazing they’ve survived at all). So far the only Filoselle I’ve stitched with are ones I bought new about 10 years ago, and they were lovely to work with. Good to know that I’ll have to be a bit careful with the ones I inherited and the ones I got from Sara!

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