Friday, December 18, 2009

How time slows when we cannot sew...

The days pass much slower when one has an enforced temporary retirement from stitching.
I'm back to wearing a thumb/wrist brace to help my hand heal from the tendonitis, which also means minimising the time I spend typing on my laptop. So, Blossom's quilt top still waits to be basted and quilted, and I'm not very chatty with emails or my blog.

However, Blossom is a darling and is quite happy to wait until after Christmas for the quilt, and having all this *free* time has allowed me the luxury of reading a book,

...catching up on some favourite non-crafting magazines,

...and browsing at *that* shop once again!
Today I bought myself a Christmas present, this beautiful jewellery box!
I've never had an actual jewellery box so I think at age 50 I'm deserving of one at last.

As soon as we had it home Blossom and I gathered all our gold and gems and gave them a soak in jewellery cleaner until they sparkled, then I carefully laid mine inside my new shabby chic chest.
(Blossom's already has a jewellery chest, left to her by her Italian great-grandmother, and it is worth more to her than any gem that lay inside)

While we were out we discovered the local op-shops were having a sale.
One had 'fill a bag' for $3, and other 'fill a bag' for $5! Well, naturally we went bagging for some bargains!
She got a huge pile of the sweetest summer dresses, skirts and blouses, whilst I looked for treasures of the decorating kind.
This beautiful, hand stitched tablecloth was hidden under a pile of old sheets...'s laying across my queen size bed so you can see how large it is, and how much work has gone into it.
Alas, it has these stains in patches across the centre.

Do you know how I could remove the stains?
I would dearly love to lay this delight of workmanship across my dining table at Christmas.
The downside of living on school grounds is that when the office is closed over Christmas/New Year all the mail stops for us. Due to the legalities of the mail bag belonging to the school itself, we are unable to access any mail until January 4th when the school office re-opens.
We're all a bit sad about that as there will be some Christmas gifts not arriving, as well as many other bits and pieces we were expecting. The very last piece of mail for over two weeks was delivered this morning, these two lovely French General label and sticker sets...

...and they are so beautiful! Each pack has 200 vintage-inspired embellishments which I intend to use when I re-organise all our storage containers after Christmas. Blossom has also asked for some to label next year's school books, and I'm sure there will be many other uses we'll find before we run out of them.
I found them HERE at Book Depository, and I've ordered the Cath Kidston ones for my sewing room as well, but I'll have to wait till January to play with those.

As you can see I am finding things to occupy my time whilst my sewing hand rests.
Tomorrow I'll finally write up that 6-week rotating menu plan I've been meaning to do for months...hmmm...maybe this enforced sabbatical from my craft will see lots of plans finally fulfilled. ;-)

If you could not sew for a while what plans do you think you'd finally accomplish?



By Hoki Quilts said...

Hi Jenny, I don't know about time slowing, it looks like you have been very busy and all of your treasures are fab. Re the stains, try a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda mixed to a wet paste. slap it on the stain and place it in the sun until dry. You may need this treatment a few times but it does work - or 'Nappisan' and lemon juice done the same way.
It's worth a shot, I know the sun isn't the best for such a treasure but it's only for a short time.
keep well and good luck

mbroider said...

I really hope you get the stains out, it is a great treasure.

As for what would i do if i cannot stitch, omg (praying that does not happen very often), I read books, and do some cleaning. Prolly i would indulge myself by preparing for my next project with floss, fabric, and chart copies

Abby and Stephanie said...

Beautiful jewelry box and tablecloth. I've had a Japanese Jewelry box with dancing ballerina since I was very very young. It was a gift from my dad. Still have it. If I couldn't sew I think I'd be organizing my recipes and addresses and reading lots of books I've neglected.

Karen said...

My friend has a product that she believes in completely. I haven't had the need to use it for any linens as yet, but it is called Retro Clean and is safe for vintage linens. I hope this helps.

I feel for you not being able to receive mail until January. It is always fun to get something unexpected in the mail.

I have enjoyed viewing your blog and all of the ideas that you have shared as well as your free BOM from this past year. I have gone looking for a fabric that called to be used for the BOM, but one hasn't jumped out at me at the moment. But I have it as a future project when I find the fabric that is calling my name. (I'm sure you know what I mean.)

Thanks again for your uplifting, wonderful blog.

Colleen said...

Jenny, hope you get back to your sewing soon. The tablecloth is a real treasure. Try some hydrogen peroxide on the stains if nothing else works.

KaHolly said...

Wow, Jenny, your question gave me great pause. The thought of not being able to stitch/sew makes me cringe. What WOULD I do? Shrivel up in a corner somewhere? Just kidding. Read, I suppose. Good luck with the stains. I have a similar problem with an antique quilt top and appreciate all the suggestions. Feel better soon! -karen

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and hope that I can offer some help in return for all the enjoyment you've give me. I don't know if this product is available in Australia, but I've had great success with OxyClean to get stains out of antique linens. That is a beautiful cloth and deserves your attention.

Dolores said...

LOL, I would catch up on reading magazines, books, get the "deep cleaning" done in the kitchen and clean out the basement.

Cattinka said...

Hi Jenny,
if I couldn´t sew I would probably read the books of Marie Bostwick, she writes stories about quilters.
Too bad you are not getting any mail until Jan 4th....
Do you know what stained that tablecloth? It looks like coffee, that shouldn´t be too hard to remove, but I don´t know what you use in Australia for that.

Sarah - Kala said...

I would go mad if I had to wait that long for the post to deliver!! I hope the wait isn't too awful for you! Could you email me your address (I wanted to send a Christmas card and a goody your way . . . Sarahs.Journey(at)yahoo(dot)com . . . and now I have a bit of time to send it since you can't get it until January anyway.

Hugs and Advent blessings,

Chookyblue...... said...

Oh Jenny with your mail does this mean we will not think about your SSCS parcel til after the 4th????
Me and your SSCS are waiting to hear of the arrival...........could you please reply......
enjoy your reading time........

paulette said...

Poor Jenny!
I hope your wrist gets better fast and you are back to your stitching!! I love your new jewelry box....lovely!! And your tablecloth -what a find...If you lived in Canada I would suggest that you soak it in OxyClean and hand wash.(this stuff gets out anything and doesn't harm the fabric~ I could write a commercial for this product!). You must have something similar where you live....
Hope your Christmas preparations are going well...take care!

Dorothy said...

Hi Jenny,
Sorry to read you're being forced to take a sabbatical from your beautiful stitching, but it's better to rest than risk having to have surgery!
The tablecloth you found is beautiful, I hope you will be able to get the stains out. Hope you have a wonderful, relaxing Christmas.

Kim said...

Jenny, I do hope you feel better. I do know your frustration. I have neck issues and no more crocheting for me. I compromised and stitch very slowly just little bits at a time. You can try one of the oxy cleaners for the stains. I know my cousin sells amway and they say they have something that will take the stains out.

Carrie P. said...

Get better.
Jan. 4 is a long time to wait for your mail but it will be exciting when you finally get it all.
if I couldn't stitch I would probably read some more and maybe do some deep cleaning.

FlourishingPalms said...

Jenny, here's a recipe that Mark Lipinski offers for removing stains from a quilt. It should work on your lovely tablecloth.

Age Spots on Quilts: To brighten colors and remove age spots and yellow discoloration from quilts, combine 1 gallon of water and 1 quart of buttermilk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Soak the quilt in this liquid and hand-wash with a mild soap for a reconditioned bright quilt. The natural ingredients are safe with no danger of damaging the quilt.

Unknown said...

Jenny, a friend of mine used the following on some hand embroidered squares her grandma had made, got it out and the quilt she made from was beautiful. BarbM

I used "Engleside's All American Quilt Wash" and that did it.

Unknown said...

here I am back again, I found this and thought to pass it on to you to try. BarbM

A mixture of Biz liquid laundry detergent and OxyClean. Put some Biz on the stain, then put on a small amount of OxyClean, sorta scrunch together put in a plastic bucket add cold water and let soak overnight, it shouldn't hurt the embroidery.

Deb said...

Whew, thank goodness my mail got there in time - LOL.
Jenny, you slowing down I think is an impossible task but I think its great that your being enforced to read and take time to smell the roses. As far as Blossom's quilt, of course she doesn't mind it being finished after Christmas, she is such a honey.
Wow, what a fabulous lot of goodies you have managed to find lately. The cloth is stunning, as far as the stains, I'm with Miche'le and suggest the Napisan Oxy.
I know that I would be feeling a bit like you though if I couldn't stitch, I know how hard it was when I was flat on my back to stitch but I made sure I carried on hands above my head, silly really.I did the same after my shoulder op, searched for a way to stitch. Actually I am worse than you, at least you are being sensible.
big hugs Deb

Fee said...

THE best stain remover I've found is from the Miracle Wash lady:-

I don't know what she puts in that stain remover but it gets EVERYTHING out, and you only use a small amount of paste on the stains so it goes a long way.

I hope you can get the stains out. It certainly is a very beautiful cloth.

Fee x

SewLindaAnn said...

On a positive note, think of all the fun you'll have opening lots of mail and packages in January! The tablecloth is fabulous. When I buy vintage, used or handmade stuff with stains I don't worry about it too much. I think they (even small holes) add character to the piece and I enjoy it just as much. I like knowing it was perhaps used by someone enjoying a cup of tea with a friend or something. Sometimes I might layer a smaller piece on top if I'm in the mood. I just got a few books from the library to read over the holidays. Stephenie Meyer's (Twilight) "The Host" and a couple of others. Enjoy the chance to relax, you'll be busy soon enough!!

Sandy said...

As far as the stains on that beautiful tablecloth goes, I have used a soak of Biz. I don't know if you can get it in Australia or not. Martha Pullen is a collector of vintage clothing and she soaks everything like that in Biz with no disasters happening. Smaller items in a bucket and larger in tub, washing machine, etc. She has let them soak for several days if the stain is bad.
(Martha has her own company and I have attended her schools of art fashion)
Good luck with whatever you decide.

Unknown said...

Jenny - I know that this will shock you and some other people, but when I find a vintage piece of embridered linen and it is stained, I BLEACH it. And, I mean a whole cup of bleach in a washer load of water. I have never had the embroidery floss change color. I know it is scary, but maybe if you have something small that you don't particularly care about, you could try it out. I have been known to bleach it several times to get those yellow stains out. Thought I would pass this along. Dianna

Sew Useful Designs said...

Hello darling-heart!

The tablecloth you bargained is an absolute beauty - I'm sorry not to have a solution for the stain removal... but see you have a few suggestions - please let us know what works! :-)

I think your organisation system is going to be the prettiest in all of Australia - you've gotta love the book despository! LOL...

I hope your hand heals soon sweetheart, I think if I had a break from sewing and a bit of free time I would follow your lead in reading some books - I love reading but only ever do it when I'm trying to get to sleep!

Lots of love beautiful Jen xxxxxxx
Vikki xoxo