A Motley Assortment

A bit of a catchall blog today.

The above floral patches were found at my local thrift emporium (the only place I shop these days). They only cost fifty cents for the lot, which kinda broke my heart since they are made by hand. I am quite interested in this style of applique - I have several vintage tea towels and hankies done with the same technique. Yet I haven't ever come across instructions or patterns for this kind of work. Can anyone out there enlighten me?

A bit of progress on the embroidery. I embroider the words out of order so that any inconsistencies in my technique will not be so apparent (I hope). It probably isn't a random choice that the first words I was drawn to are "hand" and "threads".

In addition to my previous posting about my working method, I should mention that for the last ten years or so I have consistently thought of what I do as samplers. Starting with the traditional embroidered "exemplars" of stitching skills, and also playing with more modern ideas of sampling music, sound, and digital images, I work with fragments of text, image and idea to create a new object that hopefully is more than the sum of its parts.

And in answer to Jean-Pierre's question, I am always trolling for interesting bits of text or quotations. Usually I randomly come across one or two lines that really stick in my mind, then I consciously seek out more on the same topic. In this particular series, I first came across the line "The most practical way to deal with infinity is to break it into finite and usable pieces." in a book on middle eastern rug weaving. Then I started looking for more pithy comments about infinity, which led me to ideas of fate and destiny. The fourth one in this series will be "The last proceeding of reason is to recognize that there is an infinity of things beyond it." (Pascal).

And on the lighter side, here are some socks. From this pattern. Quite fun to knit. But for anyone considering making their own pair, I have to issue a consumer alert about KnitPicks Gloss. It is very soft and pills TERRIBLY. I made a whole sweater out of it and it was starting to pill even before it got off the needles. What a waste of time. I suspect socks made from it wouldn't last more than a wash or two. I used KnitPicks Essential instead, and those are Shaun's hairy legs not mine!


  1. Cool socks. I like the flowers you found at the thrift shop. I have a couple of tablecloths which came from my Granny with these kinds of flowers on. I'll dig them out after the weekend (got an exhibitiion to go ot with our Japanese embroidery), and see if I can get some idea of how they were worked.

  2. Anonymous5:15 AM

    Thanks for answering my question about where you get these great textile quotes. I wonder what Japan has to offer. I'll take a look.

    COOL SOCKS! Definitely the unsung hero of the wardrobe world.

  3. I've had a look at Grannies tablecloth. Can't really tell how the flowers were attached. I think they must just have been attached by hand.
    Looking forward to seeing how you use them.


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