Dairy House was only closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, so I've already been 'back at work' for 2 days! I've rearranged a few things in my area of DH, and have draped this gorgeous patchwork over a hatstand. I can't imagine how long this would have taken to do as it is all handstitched and each square measures only three-quarters of an inch. Some of the original backing papers and tacking stitches are still in place. I have no idea when it was constructed, but the fabrics used date from mid-Victorian to Edwardian (and possibly a little later). The earliest are in the centre and the latest are around the edge, so perhaps it was a continuous task handed down from generation to generation. We shall never know.
I've started to tidy up the fabrics in readiness for a fresh, clean start to 2009. This pile is made up of predominantly red fabrics. They'll be switched around again yet, but for the time being they look slightly coordinated!
There are several metres of pink ticking in this pile. There are 3 different patterns here - one with poppies and 2 with roses. The glazed cotton at the bottom of the pile is unused and consists of 4 x 10ft lengths, perfect for curtains.
And finally, 2 small piles of black/pink/cream French toile and cretonne. This is just the start of the sorting and folding, and these piles are the tip of the iceberg!! There are still all the piles I didn't photograph, the bags of fabrics in my shed/studio, and more in the armoire in the spare bedroom.
Then there are the bundles of small colour-coordinated pieces tucked in the recently-acquired drawers, together with a bagful of pieces waiting to be grouped together to be added to those in the drawers.
Once the fabrics are organised I'll move on to the buttons and vintage sewing notions. At the moment they're piled into the drawers in no particular order, but at least they are now available for sale at DH rather than tucked away in boxes in my studio, not seeing the light of day from one Fair to the next. Once they're sorted I'll start on the vintage hankies, ribbons, cottons, threads, braid, traycloths, afternoon tea cloths, crochet-edged linen cloths, large damask cloths, linen/damask/huckaback towels, napkins, pyjama cases, pillowcases, bolster cases and sheets, before moving on to the eiderdowns, quilts and blankets.
In a spare moment I'll work on my New Year's Resolutions and possibly write some Christmas cards as I regret to say they just didn't get done when they should have been.
Update: Instead of writing cards I began to clear my desk last night! Eeeek! There are papers at the bottom of the pile dated August. Woops! But I also found these.
Now, how bizarre is this? Serendipity at work again. The crochet alphabet book surfaced just hours before we received a card from my old boss in Northampton. I left his employment in 1982 when I became a college lecturer. Every year, bar last year, I have sent him a Christmas card and this is the first one I've ever received!!!! Their second child was born when I was working for him, and I crocheted a shawl for the baby. Once she had arrived I incorporated her name (Victoria - no mean feat) and date of birth into the border (although I had to work out how to do it as I didn't have a book or charts then). Those were the days - a part-time 9.30-3.30 5-day week working. In those days I had time for friends and family, crocheting, knitting, sewing and endless other pastimes! I really must organise my time better in 2009. I feel I need to make contact with my old boss, so that will spur me on to write to all the other people in my address book who would normally hear from us at Christmas.