Saturday, 22 March 2014

My Gentlework letter holder is finished ...

Spring has sprung & the weather has turned ... wintery. Perfect for settling down inside by the fire & doing some stitching at night.

I mentioned my recent discovery of the gentle art of Gentlework - the creative use of fabrics & stitches all done by hand to make panels, brooches & anything else that inspires you.

On my sewing day, I had hoped to make a letter holder for precious letters from my late Mom but that was a little too ambitious for a first project so I was content with a fabric panel instead. However it was still in my mind to complete the letter holder / store so that was always going to be my next project.

Rustic & White had some gorgeous Tilda fabric pieces & I bought some bright colours - mainly pinks & a pretty green - that I liked.  These were my first choice for inspiration.

This is how I started one evening - cutting out bits of fabric, pinning, moving & finding the beads, buttons & bits I wanted to embellish with ...

As you can see - it did not stay like my original plan as I changed it about. That is why I like to pin & move things about ... Are you a planner & pinner?

I had one of my grandmothers vintage lace cloths that my Mom used to use that was the perfect size so that was to be the background fabric. I backed it with soft blanket-like inter lining for curtains, machine stitched it to the cloth edges then was ready to start hand sewing.

I decided on some pretty crochet bits for the bottom & a tree shaped one that framed the image perfectly.

I would love to say I had a pattern in my head, but in all honesty, I just added bits, cut, trimmed & stitched until it took shape & balance.

A flower shape didn't quite work once it was stitched but then I decided to add bold pink buttons to it & am pleased with the texture of it.

A small round doily (one of my grandmothers) was used over a bright pink patterned fabric then beads added for some 'bling' ...

Ellie who did the Gentlework day with me, dropped off some fabric she had & I found a piece with the pretty hearts - perfect for the fold over cover piece - thanks Ellie! The main fabric was one that had been used by both my grandmother & my mother so it is a link to them.  Both of them also loved sewing & crocheting so all the elements honoured that too - a special piece.

The piece hovered between stages for a couple of days as the centre needed something but nothing seemed right till I popped into Jo at Rustic & White & found the perfect pink & green Tilda flower fabric ...

Lots of hand stitching, beading, buttons & bling & it is complete after a weeks worth of stitching work. Looking up closely, I know I still have to get my stitches more even & precise but that will come in time (or so I tell myself)

So my letter holder is finished - in cheerful colours & it will be used to store my precious letters from my Mom ...

Thank heavens for letters - emails are just not the same & can't really be stored to be reread & enjoyed.  Do you keep letters too? How do you store them?

Thanks for stopping by, always enjoy reading your comments & clicking on your links to return the visits

Dee ~♥~


  1. What a very nice work you did there. I love the colours and how lovely the little birds are sewed on individually. Letters are now so precious. It makes me sad to think that we are the beginning of the forgotten generation because so few do write letters or cards now and photos will be also not printed - there will be nothing left for the future. Love your little private desk you showed on the link. It will fit nicely there.

    1. Hiya Anke - thanks for stopping by again. I agree with you - there is a whole generation who will not really know the joy of sending & receiving letters & having that link to the past. I love my desk too - everyone needs a little private space I think. Take care & thanks for stopping by again.

  2. I love what you have done with this and the way that you have incorporated fabric from your grandmother that your mother also used. A great way to tie the generations together and to hold such precious memories.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Maggi - I am pleased to have used fabric that means something to us all & then using bright fabrics as an accent … Thanks for stopping by again x


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