Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Giveaway, free pattern and week 11 of Gentle Domesticity...

This week we're finishing the chapter on Textures and I'm a bit chuffed that Jane's chatting about embroidery.


"The close nature of embroidery and the demands it makes on your concentration force you to consider its texture. Decorative stitches are a manipulation of a surface that is changing under your hands as you add more stitches, more expression, more detail." (page 82)

Though not one to regularly embroider as she is far more interested in knitting, quilting and baking, Jane Brocket does enjoy a little light hand embroidery in the summer when the heat restricts her other hobbies, but regardless of the weather she delights in collecting vintage embroidered pieces and examining the original artist's use of texture through a variety of stitches.

"It's instructive to consider that embroidery can even be explored and enjoyed with the eyes closed, so intricate and dense are its textures." (page 82)

I'm in total agreement with her belief that there is beauty in both the sight and touch of different textures in an embroidered piece and over the past few years my own designs have increasingly featured a variety of textural stitches to achieve that same wonderfully tactile result. 

Running my fingers over a piece linen with a surface embellished by mounds of knobbly colonial knots, smooth and silky satin stitch hearts or rows of interlocking chain stitch genuinely brings me joy!

I also like to collect vintage pieces of embroidered linen but the ones which give my heart a jolt are those which include delicately raised applique.

This little cottage was stitched by Jane in celebration of their move back to England and the purchase of their own home. Excited about finally planting a garden in their yard and no longer being restricted to pots, she spent many summer evenings creating cabbages, cauliflowers, radishes and the like with needle and thread...

"This little embroidery potager still acts as a reminder of the texture of that first summer back in England and the happy consciousness of domestic order being restored after years of moving house." (page 82) 


"Indeed there are whole books devoted to stitched surfaces and clever baking combinations - but I don't read them. And I think that's because so many of them don't know when to stop...layer upon layer, detail upon detail, ingredient upon ingredient, until the reader/maker is overwhelmed and confused. Simplicity is one of my guiding precepts...which brings me to Lemon Meringue Pie."
(page 84)

Jane shares the simplest recipe for this yummy dessert, one which I have shared myself over here if you'd like to make one.

A Special Relationship

"...one of the great benefits of practising the gentle arts is the opportunity to allow the mind to wander while the hands are occupied with chopping, mixing, knitting, quilting and stitching. Do you think the heroines of Jane Austen's novels were simply counting stitches...no, they took these chances to plot love affairs, consider suitors and plan their next moves." (page 86)

In this section of the chapter we are encouraged to compare the relationship between the colours found in nature and those materials we use in our crafts. For example, Jane writes -

" Red grapefruits with their lightly pitted, warm pink, coral and gold skins are the organic version of the Koigu yarn (pictured below), which even has the same little dark flecks. They look equally delicious and delectable in a fruit bowl." (page 86)

"If we can see them, these connections and layers of texture, surface interest and colour enrich our visual and tactile lives with simple touches of beauty." (page 86)

And that's the end of our chapter on Textures! I personally enjoyed reading Jane's thoughts on how texture can appear all through daily life in the domestic realm, in art and also through the workings of our chosen crafts.

Next week we shall begin the chapter on 'Patterns' and read from pages 89-95.

* Do the colours found in nature inspire you when choosing fabrics, thread or yarn for different projects? Can you share an example?

* Jane uses a very basic lemon meringue pie recipe to highlight the longing she believes many of us have for simpler things, less complicated instructions and easy on the mind reading. What simpler things do you long for in this busy 21st century life?

* Share an example of textures in craft that you love. Could it be the twisted cable on a hand knitted cardigan, the mounds of white knotted stitches which meld together as a cauliflower on an old tea towel or the puffed rise of needle-turn applique on a beautiful quilt?

Now that April has arrived there's a sense 2019 is well and truly here and the last year has finally been left behind.
Every year without fail during January and February my pen still writes the previous year as though automatically programmed and it's not until mid to late March that I finally overcome that habit and naturally write the current year. Do you do that too?

With this acknowledgement that 2019 has well and truly made it's mark already I chose your free pattern for April with the idea that it's probably a good idea to begin using up our fabric stashes and start sewing gifts for Christmas...after all, who likes facing the gift rush come November or December? Slow and steady is the way to go.

I first  designed and made the Buttons & Bows bag in 2010 using red and cream French General fabrics, then a few years ago I remade the bag in pretty Flower Sugar prints for my friend Rosie.

When I made the decision to share this pattern with you as the April freebie I thought it might also be fun to raid my own stash and create another version with some simple changes.

So on the weekend this is what occupied my hours in the sewing room....

This time I went for a soft pink and cream shabby chic effect and chose to use my long treasured Cabbages & Roses fabric with a contrast pink stripe.

You'll notice there are no buttons and only one bow on my pretty new bag, and this was to show how simple it is to make changes to this pattern and also to share a couple of ideas that I think work beautifully.

Like using just a single bow secured by a gorgeous vintage brooch (a gift from my friend Fee)...

...and the addition of pretty cotton lace sewn along the handles.

A peek inside the bag and you can see I've used a similar pink and cream in the fabric lining but also a tiny pop of tealy-green. I wasn't sure about this at first but after laying a few pink and a few cream prints beside the outer bag my eyes kept returning to it so I just went with the flow. And I'm glad I did...

So no matter what fabrics or notions you have in your sewing room I encourage you to make one or two of these bags and be creative with what you have on hand.

I'm so happy with this new shabby chic style bag that I've already cut into the rest of that beautiful Cabbages & Roses fabric to make another for a dear friend's almost-here birthday because this is very definitely her style as well.

DOWNLOAD the free Buttons & Bows Bag pattern here 

Now it's on to the giveaway for this month!

A common request I receive from readers and customers is "Do you sell the linen fabric used in most of your designs?"
The answer is that I used to, but not at the moment. Once I come up for air over the next month there will be some 'starter kits' in my shop for those who'd like to try it but that's many weeks away.

So I thought perhaps a nice big piece of my favourite stitchery fabric would be the perfect giveaway for April and I've also included three vintage cream buttons and a porcelain dove button, two metres of vintage cream cotton lace and a beautiful pair of vintage style embroidery scissors.


To enter this giveaway you need to leave a comment on today's blog post answering at least one of this week's book study questions.

You also need to leave a way for me to contact you should your name be drawn as the winner. If I cannot contact you I will choose another winner.

This giveaway is open worldwide and will close on Monday 8th April.

Winner will be announced in next Tuesday's book study post.

Every week in the Tuesday book study post I'm encouraging readers and lovers of the gentle domestic life who have a current blog and have blogged about Living the Gentle Domestic Life this year to link their relevant weekly book study post for others to come by, visit their blogs and be inspired. 

 Please do not link to the same post on your blog each week.  Your posts should be new and relevant to the current week's study.

NOTE: If your link is advertising or not a true reflection of the heart for living a gentle domestic life it will be deleted. 

Thank you for all your kind thoughts and prayers over this past week of rest.
Migraine's are still an issue due to the weather but I have slowed my life considerably and am enjoying each moment with renewed refreshment.

Later this week I have much to share but for now I pray your day is painted with Grace by the Master's hand and every moment shows His touch of love, just for you.



  1. I have never thus far used the colors of nature to guide me in choosing fabrics and the like for a project, but I think I would like to! It just feels peaceful to even think about it! Thank you for all you do—the blog posts, giveaways, book club readings. I have been very blessed to read your blog since I found it awhile back!

    Susan M.

  2. What a lovely giveaway! My favorite things!! I think I almost always use natures colors when I choose my fabrics. I simply love soft florals which are in most of the quilts I make. There is nothing closer to nature than flowers and they come in every color of the rainbow. Thank you for the many patterns and designs you bless us with. I truly enjoy them! sewgood414athotmaildotcom

  3. Colours in nature are my go to ones that I chose all the time. Greens, reds, pinks and blues are those I return to time and time again. They always go together. I am longing in a way to get rid of the tv in my house or if that is not possible as I am not the only one I would love to have it behind doors so it is not so intrusive. I much prefer to sit and read or do hand work of an evening then watch mindless tv although we do edit what we watch. Love the giveaway and all your patterns, thanks so much for the free ones. magda.kvn@gmail.com

  4. One of the simple things I enjoy is baking bread. Kneading the dough and watching it rise is quite satisfactory. And the smell that permeates the house! pyleverhoeven at gmail dot com

  5. Thanks so much Jenny for the chance to enter this very generous giveaway & also for the gorgeous free pattern. I just adore that wee bag, in both colour ways. I love the textures of wool & wool felt & the slight bumpiness that they create ..... although I love my vintage pastels I would love to have an entire room decorated in very primitive wool felts & muddy colours. Love all these textures. Xxx

  6. Those bags are lovely Jenny, thanks for sharing your great ideas.

  7. gorgeous bag, love the pink roses!
    great post
    thanx for sharing

  8. What a lovely post and blog! That bag is just lovely. I like the texture of fabrics as I sew quilts, and also combining various textures in the garden. Fluffy peonies with tall, spikey gladiolus, ruffled roses against babies breath, even salad leaves next to pea vines make me happy! I'm at mkrasawski at yahoo.

  9. Thankyou for sharing the pretty bag design. Sorry I haven't keot up with the book study but I shall try to catch up when I return home. Angel hugs.

  10. I do long for simpler times. My husband and I went away for a couple of days last week as it was our wedding anniversary and we spent both days visiting National Trust properties, it was lovely to visit old houses and beautiful gardens, a ruined abbey. We just walked around admiring everything with no technology or shops within sight, my husband always particularly enjoys the gardens and lots of the old houses have kitchen gardens with a wonderful variety of fruit and vegetables growing. It is inspiring and peaceful to be there rather than have a busy break in a city.
    My favourite hobbies include reading, baking, and cross stitch. Reading to escape the world (in a real book , not on a kindle), baking to have lovely home cooked foods in which I know exactly what the ingredients are, and cross stitch to simply enjoy a past time that makes me happy and gives me something lovely at the end. None of these activities include any technology or noise, sometimes we need to step away from the noise of the world and simply be. Thank you for a lovely giveaway. x

  11. Lovely post Jenny, and what a wonderful giveaway. I have just spent a week in Rarotonga and didn't buy any internet so it was bliss and very much a simpler time of no instant social media, news, or contact. I really enjoyed it. I came home thinking of how to stream line my computer use. Already unsubscribing from some things and will do more. The holiday was good for my soul.

  12. Hi Jenny,
    Week 11 book club already!1/4 of 2019 has flown by! Yes, it takes a while to get used to the new year numbers. Remember when it went from 1999 to 2000?
    Texture....dusted this morning...breaking a plate and Delfts Blue small cup in the process....lot's of texture there! :) These came from the second hand store. I enjoyed them and now there is room for something new/different! maybe something floral?
    Embroidery....I'm enjoying using old "vintage" table clothes given to me. adds a touch of colour, memories and joy in house!
    Colours of fabrics and threads...lots of green, blue and yellow! using more florals and shades of pinks and greens lately.
    Really enjoying the Rewind Stitchery Club !
    Texture in craft....with the weather warming up it's time to get busy in the garden! there's blossom "snow" right now! New signs of growth in the pots with hostas :) Tulips!
    Thanks for sharing the Buttons and Bows bag pattern!

  13. I love running my hands over old textiles. It makes me feel connected to the creator, our earthly one & our sovereign God.
    This is a wonderful give away. Hope to win one of these eventually.

  14. I love doing embroidery: Redwork, crazy quilting.
    I collect old Redwork patterns. What a wonderful giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win!

  15. I often choose my colors based on the season but not so much what I see in nature. As for simplifying—I’m trying to organize and purge my entire home—which has been a huge undertaking due to health issues that drain my energy quickly. When my home is clutter it affects my brain and makes me anxious. I want my entire home and life to be simple to care for which in turn will keep my mind and spirit calm. Adlopez77(at)gmail(dot)com

  16. I saw a program with a Kingfisher bird. I was so intrigued with his coloring. I decided to make a quilt with those colors. The colors I found did not do the bird justice. Perhaps, I'll try again to come near to the color of his plumage. rita_l_39212@yahoo.com

  17. The simpler things I long for, and am working toward have to do with homemaking. I hope to soon have the time to get back to the basics, such as baking my own bread, growing more of our vegetables and fruit and canning the abundance! I must say that I enjoyed Jane's book, but am enjoying it so much more as we go through it together - thank you, Jenny! Karin - khsds2atyahoodotcom is the best way to reach me should I be so blessed as to win!

  18. Texture to me is an amazing thing. I love to crochet. I've been fascinated by crochet hats lately. So many patterns making so many textures and all from a piece of yarn! Not to mention the various styles of yarn. Please keep in mind the Cancer patients that can certainly use the warmth and the love that goes into these works of art. khallford@gmail.com

  19. I enjoyed looking at the Stanley Spencer paintings and all the texture in the clothing. However, when looking at the Portrait of Mr and Mrs Baggett, it was the graveyard in the background that caught my eye. It brought me back to wandering in the Granary Burying Ground, an old Boston Massachusetts graveyard along the Freedom Trail. The graveyard has old stones like that in the Spencer painting. I remember wandering thru and reading the inscriptions - sad ones of those who died so young - and there were many. It was a peaceful place in the bustle of the city - a good place to remember the lives of famous patriots as well as simple folk.

  20. That's a beautiful bag Jenny and I love the addition of the bow. I have often used photographs from the garden when choosing colours for projects especially some of my crazy patchwork blocks which depicted the four seasons. Hope the weather changes for you soon Jenny to stop your migraines. xx

  21. I have used pictures from nature to be my color inspiration for quilting. I attended a lecture on Japanese Gardens and was struck by a picture of fallen golden gingko leaves interspersed with burgundy japanese maple leaves. I created my own version using actual leaves as my pattern and love the texture of raw edge appliqued leaves and the color combination.

  22. I was away from home when you began the book study, but when I got home I borrowed Jane's book from the library and am making my way through it steadily. I am enjoying it very much and love her quirky humor. I am a quilter mostly, but have done other needlework in the past. Regarding texture, I find I much prefer hand stitched applique to the current rage of fusible applique which I find too flat looking. And I think we all are in search of ways to simplify, downsize and disengage from social media and the endless negative news. Thanks for the free tote pattern. I need to make a new one and have plenty of cheerful floral from which to choose.

  23. The colours in nature always inspire me. I am working on an art quilt kind of embroidery project which is based on the texture I see on a tree outside. I am using hand stitch to show much of the texture from the tree (french knots etc) Or I will see a fabulous sunrise and just "have to" create something with that colour palette. Thanks for the interesting article.

  24. Regarding texture, I find I love the combination of needle turn appliqué and embroidery. I have an on again, off again project/quilt that is heavily appliquéd and embellished with embroidery stitches. No pattern, I’m just following where it leads me. Im also not in a hurry to finish it, we’ve become old friends.

  25. Lovely post Jenny, and what a neat giveaway! Jane's Book is so very interesting to me! I do mostly Baby Charity Quilts and have always looked to the flowers in nature to inspire my quilting! I'm attracted to woodland creatures,ferns+flora about us here in the Rocky Mts. *"The grass withereth and the flower fadeth, but my Word will endure forever" Isa. 40:8

  26. Thanks for a great giveaway. My fave is soft pretty colors similar to the Buttons and Bows bag. I am working on a quilt for my daughter in law and each square has embroidery. Taking me forever to get finished but it will be so worth it when it's done.

  27. Thank you Jenny for this nice giveaway!! I do get inspired by nature when I choose fabric colours and prints. I love roses and leaves, and the most of my fabric stash are roses, flowers and blooms prints in pink, green, red or violet. My favourite colour combo is pink and green!!

  28. I liked the old buttons and bows, but I like the new one, too. It's the difference between bright summer "I'm here!" colors and soft spring "Let's share a cozy park bench." colors. I do sometimes let the colors of nature sway me. I know I'm affected by the weather when choosing colors, but also when I need a sky, I always look for the blue of an Arizona sky. If I have to have pink, I want the softest cherry pink or dogwood. There's a tree across the street right now that I'd love to catch in fabric color - it isn't quite lime, nor quite chartreuse - it's just spring green! As for textures, I love the yarns spun by beginners. They are knobby and lumpy and strung out in different places. I love it! And that's the lemon pie my mother made, too. It's always my favorite. No gelatin pies for me! Thanks for the pattern. I saw the beautiful needlebook you made for Allie - that means so much to her. You did just right. =) God bless you every day.

  29. What a fun post and giveaway! Thank you so much Jenny for this nice giveaway!! I do get inspired by nature when I choose fabric colours and prints. I love roses, peonies, hydrangeas and leaves. I seem to gravitate to the h
    fabrics that are floral especially with roses, flowers and blooms prints in pinks, greens, red or purple. My favourite colour combo too Quilt and sew with is in the pink and green colorways.

  30. I do long for simple days like those of my childhood... shelling peas on the back porch, sitting under the trees on a hot day, picking flowers and plums... Ice cream was a special treat because it was always homemade; mostly vanilla, but sometimes peach or strawberry. I can almost smell my Mom's pound cake. We would have the first slice while it was still warm. My mother taught me and my sisters to sew. We spent many hours making doll clothes and decorating their "homes". Tonight, I think supper will be something simple and delicious: purple-hulled peas, cornbread, and boiled potatoes, in honor of sweet memories.

  31. Debby in Kansas, USAApril 3, 2019 at 7:13 AM

    Those bags are beautiful! I love how the same pattern makes bags for two totally different personalities! And the giveaway is drool worthy! I wish there was a way for me to get my email to you without publicly posting it because I'm pretty sure those scissors were made with me in mind!!

    I definitely think of nature when I'm choosing cooler colors like greens & blues. We just repainted/decorated our master bedroom in a light green (think Depression glass) & teal. I can't help but think of sea glass and waterscapes when I'm in there. However, when I'm doing warm colors like reds, oranges, yellows, & pinks I never think of nature. Yet, I was completely in love with the picture of the yarn & grapefruit!

    As for simpler things, I could live without all the cell phones. I keep a very basic phone for emergencies, but only 2 people have the number. It rings about twice a year and I always have to remember how to use it. I can think of no other object that has singularly changed life in such a cold manner. People are always requesting my cell number and I decline. They can't seem to understand that I CAN wait until I get home to hear their message. I don't want to be called at the market, when I'm driving, or anywhere! I like to be alone in my thoughts when I'm shopping and driving. I'd rather take the time to talk to them when i'm at home and I can listen.

    My aunt crocheted me a sofa afghan many years ago. There's a stitch on it that I think is called a Popcorn Stitch. It's a little poofy and I'm forever playing with it when it's on my lap. That's the first one I thought of as a fun texture. I also love the feel of the satin stitch in embroidery.

    I'm really enjoying this study, Jenny!

  32. Interesting how Jane is involved in many kinds of creativity, not just one! My main creative outlet currently is quilting, but in the past I have done stitchery, embroidery, oil painting, tole painting and working with wood. I still like doing all those things, but just not as much as quilting. When a person needs a creative outlet, I think we will find something that fits with our lives at the time. I hope your weather will settle soon so your migraines will settle down and give you relief. The tempo of our lives certainly changes and I'm glad you are able to slow the tempo of your life to better suit your health.

  33. Hello Jenny, thank you so much for the bag pattern , I love it in both colourways through I think your new make is my favourite one. I do get inspired by nature both for my clothes and my fabric choices, I love flowers and my wardrobe looks like a flower garden as does my fabric stash, I love Liberty prints with their gorgeous flowers.For simple things I wish people would see the value in reading books, I teach at University and very few of my students ever read for pleasure and I think it is such a pity, books are a delight and a central part of life's riches.For textures I love the feel of vintage embroidery but also have been knitting again recently and love the look and feel of a simple knitted piece in smooth yarn. I would love to win your giveaway, that is a beautiful selection of gifts especially the scissors, thank you so much for your generosity. My e-mail address is alisonmryan@yahoo.co.uk Love Alison xx

  34. I love using the colors of the landscape to design Fair Isle knitting patterns. My favorite needlecraft textures are cables on sweaters, bullion (grub) stitch roses in embroidery, and the look and feel of embroidery floss with wool felt. The cables especially remind me of the sweaters I knit for my five children when they were babies. They were the reason I learned to knit! I like simple cables best, but also simple cables mirror-imaged to form an X and O pattern - hugs and kisses. Thank you for your lovely blog!

  35. A simple thing I long for in these days is not so much related to the advanced technology of our times, just the advancing calendar: I miss the days when I could walk down the block and visit with my aunt, who lived down the block. I used to be able to ride my bike down there and see what my cousin was up to, or stop by there on my way home from school. I'm feeling very nostalgic about those days because that favorite aunt was moved into a nursing home last year--the right time for that move, but a big change--and now her home is for sale. The end of an era, the last link to my childhood home, gone.

  36. You got me thinking about simpler things. I live on the main street to an elementary school. When my kids went there, we walked to the school together, and they made up adventures as we went along--going beneath some palm tree fronds was going through a jungle, hopping over rocks on the sidewalk was climbing up a mountain, quietly going by the noisy neighborhood dog was sneaking past dinosaurs, etc. We all had fun and most times looked forward to our walk. Now the street is super busy with cars going to and from the school, parents driving their kids instead of walking--going past fast and not having fun in the journey. That's what I miss. I've followed your blog for years and have enjoyed your devotionals, your stitcheries, your thoughts, thank you for bringing so much pleasure to so many and in such a gentle, loving way.

  37. We live on a lakeside, and the color palate of the lake inspired all of my living room decorating. The sofa salesman looked at me as if I were crazy when I remarked "Oh, that color will go well with the lake". When something from nature is that much of a presence in your life it can't help but become a color focus.

  38. thank you so much for all you do! Your blog posts are a delight, and you are so generous with your patterns and giveaways. Wow that selection of buttons is awesome. Love that bird one especially! When my first grandchild was due I found a little booklet on candlewick, which is essentially a design worked in french knots with a rather thick cotton thread. I made a quilt with the outline of a teddy bear, and then I couldn't stop and made another with a bunch of lambs. I love the knobbly texture, and remember candlewick bedspreads were a thing when I was a child. I think lemon meringue pies are quite a lot of work - first the pastry, then the filling, then the meringue! I am having a crafternoon with the ladies this weekend and will make a lemon slice - just like lemon meringue pie but super easy :0 I hope your migraines go away.

    1. Oh! the colour of the quilt was white on white... I like white for babies.

  39. I do get inspiration from the colors in nature. When I am stuck deciding if some colors will go together, just going out to a nice park, garden or body of water and looking around at the natural colors in creation helps me a lot. It also helps relieve tension and worry.

    I long for the days before all the social media, when one had to call someone or visit them to have a conversation. When people communicated better face to face. When people who went out to eat actually had conversations rather than everyone always looking at their phone.

    I like texture in embroidery, quilting, and cooking/baking and in music and art. Without the texture everything looks the same--flat. As a musician if I play without emotion or contrasts in loudness or softness, in the stress on certain beats, it would be boring, everything would sound the same and it you just wouldn't enjoy listening to it.

  40. I've always been drawn to the deep, warm colours of fall - including the usual golds, reds & browns of turning leaves but also sprinkle in some teal & purple. And the texture of a vintage chenille bedspread or bathrobe is the best! Thanks for all you do!
    basaran.family (at) rogers (dot) com

  41. I'll answer the second question from this week's study. "Jane uses a very basic lemon meringue pie recipe to highlight the longing she believes many of us have for simpler things, less complicated instructions and easy on the mind reading. What simpler things do you long for in this busy 21st century life?"

    In the last year or so I have drastically simplified my life & one happy result is that I get to spend so much more time in my kitchen. I've never enjoyed my kitchen so much as I am now. I think in part because I have time to putter making lots of fresh food recipes or grain free breads to enjoy.

    I am super excited about the giveaway!

  42. In this busy 21st Century, I wish that life could slow down a little - everything from the traffic to the rush of people in the shopping centres whilst doing the weekly grocery shop. I would like time to actually work on some lovely appliques that I have going on without the pressure of life. I love the pretty pinks of your new shopping tote and look forward to making it soon. Thank you for all of your beautiful patterns that you give to us and I am looking forward to your seeing your new kits.

  43. I wait for children to get off a school bus. The parking lot is full of some really good driving and some REALLY bad driving. I miss the days when we were not always in such a hurry and the family ate at the dinner table--not just at holidays. I have to also say I love the colors in nature and I am planning my summer garden right now. It has rained for a month here--very unusual in California, but I have faith it will be time to plant. Can't wait to see those greens, reds and yellows of the vegetables I plant--squashes, peppers, tomatoes.... Thank you for the pattern. I am thinking of making bags for three girls I see at my job (middle school here). I just love them...and their parents!

  44. Hi Jenny, I am enjoying our study of this book, I have had a copy for many years. I often pick colour combinations that are inspired by the seasons for my crochet blankets. One of my favourite is the autumn colours blanket where I used the colours of the autumn leaves - brown, rust, orsnge, gold and red. Thank you for the bag pattern and fingers crossed for your lovely giveaway x

  45. I used to buy fabric/ yarn by colour but now it has to be by texture and colour. If I do not love the 'feel' then I have to find another! And this is for what I make, to ensure that not only is our home is more cosy and comfortable but also that the items I gift are too. liz(underscore)stewart4(at)aol.com

  46. I follow your Instagram posts and really love your work - and the way you let your faith shine through.
    I liked the portrait of Mr and Mrs Baggett - it brings to mind the more genteel days, and also reminds me of Mum who often had needles and wool in hand.

  47. I too love to run my fingers over embroidery, Jenny-girl - for instance my new needle-book - *G* Lovely, lovely bag, I think the bow is a perfect touch with that vintage brooch! The inside fabric is perfect for the soft outside colors and the lace is a wonderful addition. I'm glad you're getting more rest, hon....love you!

  48. Jenny, I love everything that makes life simpler. I especially love simpler cooking and eating. My husband and I will often have a salad with a piece of baked chicken or a steak he has grilled. Where I live in the south (US) we tend to make huge meals with a main dish, 2 to 3 vegetables, some type of bread and a dessert. We are working our way towards a simpler life.
    Texture-I absolutely love vintage embroidery. I collect embroidery pieces when I go antique browsing which is my favorite pastime outside my sewing room. I also love stump work. All the stitches in stumpwork creates different levels of texture. I haven't learned to do stumpwork yet but maybe one day.
    Kaye Walker

  49. Good morning, Jenny, dear,
    I do hope your day today is a most lovely one!

    I quite like that sweet rose fabric bag you just made...and there’s nothing shabby about it - it’s quite chic! Then again, I have quite a lovely, thoughtfully curated collection of sweet rose fabrics, myself, that I’m itching to make a lovely queen-size quilt to sleep under. ;-)

    To answer the first question from the book study, I remember looking for color inspiration and found it in a Google image search for, of all things Nudibranchs — with the unlovely common name sea slugs. They are the most gorgeous little sea creatures I’ve ever seen! Frequently about the size of a thumb, or smaller, they pack in such tremendous colors in those tiny little bodies, and the color combinations will take your breath away! If you’re ever concerned because you like two apparently unlikely colors, or more, together, and wonder if, like me, “Would Mother Nature put those two colors together?” go to the Nudibranchs for color combination inspiration. You’ll never again say, “Why, those two colors CAN’T work together well!” =^________^=

    What a lovely little gift collection you’ve gathered together! I’d love to see a sample in person of your favorite fabric to stitch on, the buttons are adorable, and that’s the sweetest, intricate pair of scissors I’ve ever seen. =^_^=

    I can be reached at ingredients.woman@aol.com at any time.

  50. I feel excited about the giveaway. I hope you can send the award to Mexico. 😋 I love your designs

  51. Like Melissa M. , Nudibranchs are natures beauty. As a high school biology teacher, I loved seeing the students awed by them. Also love all your work, it is truly a gift from God. marlanedows@gmail.com

  52. Oh gosh, I am a lover of so many gentle arts...beautiful and inspiring color combos, old lace, textures that might not normally be enjoyed together, baking, stitching, sewing, children, babies, dollmaking...all things domestic! I am retired now and find myself delighted to wake up each day and savor any time that is not already committed to some kind of business. Have found I LOVE to capture these special moments via pictures...kind of like freezing a moment in time to allow myself to enjoy it over and over again later at my leisure. I have ALWAYS loved embroidery, as it allows me to transfer, or even draw, lovely images onto fabric...began learning how to do it as a little girl...and still enjoy it today, at 68. I have loved reading your blogposts Jenny...adore your discerning eye and lovely patterns! Hugs to you Dear Lady, Robbie robin@inkertoysrus.com

  53. I definitely long for simpler times and simple things. I long for days that do not include so many errands to run. For us to be satisfied with less cooking at meal times, just basic simple foods like salads and breads and cheeses and sandwiches verses having to cook large meals. I long for days on end with having no errands to run. Not having to dress up for doctors appointments. To have time to pick up the phone and chat with friends are family. To have time to garden and not have so many buys appointments. Longing for time to stitch and sit in my chair and not have to watch the clock racing to get so much done in so little time. Thank you for the pattern for the beautiful buttons & bows bag. It is beautiful. Loving the fabrics you used for both versions of it. I have always loved textures. I love to run my finger tips over everything I see especially fabrics and threads and ribbons. I have been doing it since I was a child...Its the first thing I do when I see fabric is stick those fingers out and rub it back and fourth between my fingers...

  54. I have been a fan of your lovely stitcheries for a long time. Thank you for the opportunity to win your giveaway.

  55. I love the textures of fabric. The silky, shiny feel of satin, soft cotton and velvet, and the incredible feel of fleece and minky fabric. I also love the feel of faux fur in both short and long hair versions. When I go into a fabric store, I can't resist petting the fabric. Thank you for the bag pattern and all you do for us.

  56. I enjoy and take comfort in the textures in my mother's exquisite embroidery on tablecloths and duchess sets. They are very tactile...... the beautifully fine lines of stem stitch, the perfectly solid satin stitched petals which are all padded out or under stitched with largish stitches going the opposite direction to the outer satin stitch, the twists of grub roses and the staccato of colonial knots. I wish I had half the precision that she and many from that generation had. I look forward to teaching my granddaughter lots of different sewing experiences in years to come. kerrymackie51@gmail.com

  57. I love the colors of the sea, and generally use them in my quilts. Most of the walls in my house are blue. Thank you for all you do, and for all your lovely patterns!

  58. Thank you once more for a lovely post Jenny. I appreciate you taking the time to share with us even though you must be feeling less than well sometimes. My great love of texture is found in soft velvet ribbon, cool new bolts of smooth cotton fabric, (why else do we reach out to caress them ). For that matter, my fingers itch to touch brushed cotton, felted wool and fleece so soft. I cant wait to use them to 'make' something. My favourite aunt spent a few days with me this week, and brought a lovely pack of 5" squares which I have enjoyed admiring and deciding what I could make with them. While here she sampled some scrummy slice, and, she loved it. Suffice to say she is off back to Scotland with the recipe. Thankyou for making an auntie happy. Praying your migraines will ease off soon.

  59. I very much love the various textures of embroidery stitches and love when I find vintage embroidered items in thrift (op) shops. I have found some really nice pieces!

    Thanks for all your posts, Jenny! I love your blog-it seems so peaceful to read your posts!
    This is a lovely give-a-way! Thanks for the chance to win it.
    ~Sue M.

  60. What a lovely Giveaway. Thankyou for all your lovely work and patterns. I love vintage and you do it well.

  61. I don'T understand all you say but I think I get the general idea. I like to look around me and see all the colours in nature. I don't look at them thinking in a Project but I think that the colours I've seen stay in my mind and I remember them when choosing fabrics and threads for a Project. I hope you'll undestand what I try to say. Congratulations

  62. comment number 62 it's mine. My email address samba2505@live.com

  63. I love collecting old vintage linens too, Jenny. I especially love the embroidered ones. I often wonder who made them and wonder about their life in the "olden days"!

  64. I love using things like Colonial Knots, French Knots, or just a little raised padded stitch to an embroidery item to make it 'touchable'. I love to collect items that leave me wanting to touch them. The colors of nature leave me refreshed and calm and give me the relaxation I crave. Any part of the senses are vitally important to me and I crave them all. A study in all domestic is wonderful and relaxing. We just have to force ourselves to enjoy our lives and not crave so much we cannot accomplish what we want. The gentle side of life is wonderful!!

  65. I love that we call them vintage linens, but for me they are a big, integral part of my heritage. They are the memories if home and family,of things taught and learned and handed down. All the things we live, treasure and cherish. When i find them in thrift stores they make me sad that they are just things to be disposed of and not cared for and cherished.

  66. * Do the colours found in nature inspire you when choosing fabrics, thread or yarn for different projects?
    Absolutely! I am a gardener in addition to weaving, spinning, dyeing, and knitting and love color. I think the ultimate color palettes are those created by God and displayed in nature. The pinks and purples and faint hints of orange of a sunrise and in the evening those colors repeated in deeper, bolder intensity. Right now I'm enjoying the white dogwood flowers and pops of spring yellow green against the bluest sky. I even enjoy the stark black silhouette of leafless trees against the spectrum of greys found in a winter sky.

    As to a specific project, our Guild has chosen as a color challenge to use birds as our inspiration piece. In January we each randomly drew a photo of a bird and then have to use the colors of that bird in a project which we will share in July. I was thrilled to draw a bird with rich jewel tone colors of teal, emerald, and magenta. I'm planning to weave a scarf. I have already acquired the yarns, in Tencel, to not only match the colors, but the shine of the bird's feathers. My weaving draft has a pattern that resembles feathers.

    I am really enjoying this book study! Thank you for sharing Jenny, you are most gracious!

  67. Do the colours found in nature inspire you when choosing fabrics, thread or yarn for different projects? Can you share an example? Over the years more and more color has been influenced by nature, recently I embroidered a Green Woman piece and am currently working on a Green man to represent Spring I chose my embroidery floss colors that had names of herbs, vegetables other plant life, my blog post here shows the piece https://deborahsbitsandpieces.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-ort-report-for-julys-new-moon.html I have a growing collection of vintage embroidered linens that I just love seeing and touching. My use of color from nature carries to my crochet work and recently I made a small throw using yarn with very beachy colors, using the shell stitch I found the texture I was hoping for. Thank you for the free pattern for the bag and the chance to enter your give away.

  68. Sunrise and sunset colors are inspiring to me. Being able to find fabric that reflects those colors is much harder. I may have to take up fabric dyeing.

  69. Jenny, I look forward each week to reading your blog with your many beautiful thoughts, patterns, and much more! Everything is surely inspiring. Thank you for your giveaways too. I would really love to try my hand at sewing the bag - I haven't had much experience with patchwork but this would be a good project to get me going I think. So thank you so much! God Bless, Lynn

  70. So very blessed by the beauty and simplicity that you bring into my life. Thank you. Peggy Willson brucepegwillson@gmail.com

  71. Every family has to make choices, and some of the choices our family has made helps us lead a simpler life. We've made choices to protect our kids as they were growing up and to protect ourselves and some choices have been for financial reasons. An example is that we don't have smart phones and our young kids didn't have cell phones. That doesn't mean we'll never buy a smart phone, but it means that our life is simpler for now. We also don't embrace all the current styles in fashion and because of how we live our life, we don't feel the pressure to keep up. Some choices we've made require more work, homemade meals and tending a large garden, but we also are more healthy and aren't running all the time. We also eat almost all our meals together, breakfast, dinner and supper. Now, if we could find more ways to get rid of some unnecessary stress, it would be great. So, I'll have to keep evaluating our life. Thanks for your thoughts, Jenny.

  72. Love this great bag! Will make for my dear sister's birthday and a matching one for myself. Thanks so much for all your lovely inspirations!

  73. I love the feel of a hand quilted quilt. I love running my hand over the quilting, it satisfies something in my soul! Thank you for your dedication to what's most important in our busy world - giving God first place and following His leading.

  74. Recently I’ve been purging things from my cupboards that I don’t need or use trying to simplify my life. Just getting rid of things I don’t need or uses anymore (out of date spices and food items, old shoes and clothes I haven’t worn in years, sheets and linens that don’t fit the beds I have now, tapes, records (yes, I still have some of both) and CDs I don’t listen to, etc) gives me a sense of peace and calmness. I also love reading your posts. They remind me to slow down and appreciate the beautiful things in my life like my family and friends!!!

  75. You deserve to take some time off to rest, especially since all you have been through. I love to pick colors of nature. Especially flowers and I love to see pictures of your flowers. I'm wintering in Arizona right now and the cactus are blooming. So beautiful. What a wonderful giveaway. I use to suffer from migraines too so I sympathize with you. Also love hearing about your grand children and seeing their pictures. I will be a great grandma in June, first one and I am so excited. Thanks Jennie

  76. A simple thing for me is cooking and baking European food. I started at the age of 3 when my Grandfather made me a stool to reach to the counter and sink. Now, being 64 I can make a bunch of recipes from memory. My husband loves the food. I love your blog, your patterns and you! Keep up the awesome work. And.....maybe you will have a grandson one day eh?! Gloria

  77. Texture is something so many of us take for granted. Texture, isn't just in the touch but in the look as well. Weather it's in food, fabric, earthly matter (such as sand, mud, blossoms, stems, trunks of trees...) Even people have unique texture! ♥ Jenny, I Love your work and the inspiration that it provides to me and many others. Thank you for all you do and share! Life is good!
    Suzy Marshall
    js.marshall@earthlink.net ☺

  78. It is always a great reminder to use nature for color and texture. Your blog is truly a gift, a confirmation that being in the moment is difficult but truly God's gift to us. Thank you for the adorable bag pattern and your bunting is too cute. Have a blessed week.

  79. I'm drawn to rich jewel tones rather than the more muted tones of nature. Gemstones are part of nature as well but they aren't alive and they don't change with the seasons.

  80. I love nature's colorway. Every spring my street bursts forth in cherry blossoms. It is so beautiful. That is my very favorite colour palette!
    Thank you for all your inspiration!

  81. Hi Jenny, yes the colours in nature do inspire my embroidery and sometimes fabric choice. An example if this is one day, on a nice not to sunny day, my sister - a horticulturist, and I took my floss box into my garden to match up threads to flowers in my garden, so that I could stitch the same flowers in the exact colours. Regards, Marian

  82. Hello Jenny, Natures colors are the true colors that can influence my fabrics choices for projects. I tend to favor soft pastel colors. I enjoy your blog posts and your embroidery patterns very much. Elizabeth elish47@aol.com

  83. I have been stitching away all winter long. I have been creating project bags for peope. I have added so many of your designs. I am having a great time with color. I typically do things in deep saturated tones. But I have created the bags for particular friends. So your designs have been lovely in so many different color values. I have played with saturated tones and pastels. Love the designs!

  84. When I am tired or stressed, I long to sit and pet my dog. So simple and peaceful and really works its charm on me. Many evenings after work when I am getting into my car to head home I say, "here I come, Phoebe." It's more for me than for her, of course. :-)

  85. Your posts always leave me with a sense of peace and purpose. I've been saving vintage linens for over 10 yrs. As we travel about, I find antique/thrift/vintage stores and am usually pleased to find vintage pieces laying under items completely ignored. I feel like a treasure hunter when I find some little piece of forgotten embroidery or cross stitch. The holes and tatters just make them more lovable to me. I have some very lovely pieces sitting in decorative boxes...what a shame to have these lovely items tucked away. You remind me to get them out of those boxes and do something creatively with them!I think I will do that this very week!
    You are filled with such grace and gentleness Jenny! Thank you for adding a little Loveliness to this harsh world!
    Jane Ellen
    Gmama Jane

  86. As cores encontradas na natureza me inspiram para bordar, principalmente as flores com os tons de verde das folhas.

  87. Such a beautiful project Jenny and how gorgeous is that fabric!!
    Thank you for sharing your buttons and bow pattern at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring it at tonight's party and pinning too.

  88. Love the pretty tote bags please let me know how to subscribe to your blog.
    Happy spring, Kippi #kippiathome


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