I promised you a lovely book to coo over and The Hand-Stitched Home by Caroline Zoob ticks all the boxes.
I’ve had very little time to exercise my sewing muscles lately and had rather forgotten how much I enjoy it so leafing through Caroline Arber’s beautiful photographs discovering the projects within was a real pleasure.
Do you hand sew? Is it something you love or do out of necessity? Sometimes it’s so easy just to get the sewing machine out and wizz around a few seams, or as I did over half term to piece together a spectacular tear on some nearly new tracksuit bottoms which had come off worse in a tree climbing related incident!
I had a very mixed introduction to the craft of stitching. Being left handed my school experience was almost entirely negative. Whole lessons miserably stitching a ‘blind’ hem with a length of thread grubby and grey from countless pulling out. And, being made to wear a thimble on my right hand because that was where they were worn! (I was nearly an adult before I found out what they were actually for!) However, during the school holidays I stayed with my left-handed grandmother, Bam-mum (who never used a thimble) and she introduced me to a love of stitching which has never gone away despite school’s best efforts.
Caroline Zoob’s book is all for pleasure, little hand-stitched treasures giving a new lease of life to vintage fabrics which then become part of the fabric of the home. From tiny projects such as this Heart Key Fob…
..to larger pieces such as cushions, curtains and table runners there are plenty of ideas which you can use to inspire you to use and recycle pretty fabrics, trimmings, buttons and precious scraps of fabric.
Be aware that the instructions for some of the more complicated pieces do presume a fairly sound knowledge of basic sewing skills. However, this is book about hand stitching and embroidery and there is a lot of help and inspiration for even a novice at decorative stitching. And of course the joy of a book like this is that it is positive encouragement to go off and brush up on or learn new skills!
And what was my inspiration? Well, it was daisies. I’m planning to feature daisies in the next blog post for reasons which will be explained, but this was the image in the book which inspired me…
It’s so pretty and simple. I had a frame which I bought months ago in a closing down sale, and a remnant of linen so I spent a happy evening with my box of embroidery threads and this was the result…
So, I’m sure you would love to get your hands on a copy of this book. And you can because the lovely people at the Aurum Publishing Group have a copy to send to one lucky person. It could be you! I’d love to hear your sewing story, what got you stitching? Was it love at first stitch, or a gradual blossoming? Simply share your story in the comments, and next weekend you could be the winner!
This week I’m linking up again with Handmade Monday over on Handmade Harbour so follow the links there to discover lots more creative people and ideas.
I’m off to the studio now to get ready for the last day of Open Studios. If you are in the area we’d love to see you, but if not I’ll be back here soon…x