Friday, December 14, 2012

Vegetable placemats

Occasionally I still come across old things, handmade by me, but still not shown yet on this blog (blush)
I found this set of eight linen placemats tucked into the back of my linen cupboard.  These were entirely hand constructed and embroidered by me...  I hadn't forgotten them precisely, but they were one of those things that I kept thinking; I must dig those out and take photographs of those things one of these days...  which has now finally been done!
I made these yonks ago; not even sure exactly when now.  But it was when we had all three kids, and they were very little.  I was heavily into cross-stitch for a coupla years.  Note: was.  It's a good thing I have these, yes? even just to show that I once did have the patience, if nothing else  ;)
I bought natural linen, and measured off the placemats and finished the pulled thread-work and hand-hemming on all eight mats before I allowed myself to do any of the fun stuff; the actual embroidery.  
For the pulled thread-work: I pulled two threads from along just inside each edge, which were then each woven invisibly into the border.  I then hand-stitched along each edge, pulling the loose threads into pairs to form a long skinny "ladder" inside each border.  I'm calling it pulled thread-work, but I'm not absolutely certain that this proper name for this kind of embroidery?
The hems were then folded under twice and hand-stitched, and each of the four corners on each placemat is mitred at the back.
Then I did the cross-stitch embroidery.  The designs are from a Prairie Schooler pamphlet that I bought from Aherns.
I've always been taught that the back of the embroidery MUST always look at least as neat as the front...

They all got used, but there were favourites; so there was often swapping and switching before the dinner came out so that a particular veggie was set in front of the appropriate person!  

20 comments:

  1. these are just cute - what a treasure.

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  2. They are absolutely delightful. Lovely.

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  3. Wow! What amazing skills! They look lovely and sound like they were enjoyed!

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  4. They're so gorgeous. Sigh. Oh my, your talent amazes me.

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  5. Those are so cute! I admire the fact that the pictures are even shaded.

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  6. Carolyn, these are a gorgeous embroidery work! It is a kind of treasure, that reminds you the patience you have. Cute, they are so cute.

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  7. Beautiful handwork! I also used to love cross-stitch. I suspect I would still enjoy doing it, but I don't find that one can make a lot of practical items with it. Your place mats are an obvious exception, but we tend to use boards here in Britain. When I put out linen napkins (or do you say serviettes?) at parties, I notice no one wants to use them. I've not got rid of my cross-stitch supplies. The frames are useful for other projects (like the Christmas wreath I made and hope to post about soon) and the odd bit of embroidery floss is always handy. The blunt end needles don't take up much space... Anyhow, I'm intrigued by the border you put on your place mats. It's very elegant.

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  8. Super cute! My backs never look as good as my fronts. :)

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  9. Very pretty! I think they count as heirloom - I hope you will be using them often from now on. They deserve it!

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  10. These are so sweet! They must have taken a long time embroider!

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  11. Oh, so fun! I can imagine the same sort of switching happening at our house ....

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  13. I´ll have the carrots, please! Actually they all are fantastic. Reminder of the patience you "had"? well, one just have to have a look at the finishes in all your garments :)

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  14. I have bestowed the Very Inspiring Blog Award to you http://psewing.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/blogger-award.html - I love your blog.

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  15. These are great! So cute and so much detail!

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  16. I really like these, I sorta want to make a set myself. I went through a cross stitch phase too, I still like a bit of cross stitch because I always felt like it "grew" really quick, well, in my opinion anyway :) I just need to find some more "grown-up" type patterns that are my taste.

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  17. I have embroidered napkins and table runners done probably about 100 yrs ago by my great-grandmother. It is absolutely fascinating to look at the detail and attention in the work. As a fellow embroiderer, I am quite impressed with the neatness of your reverse sides. Well done, and very inspiring!

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