Thursday, 31 July 2014


To Aina:  your query re different techniques for customizing curtains has me a little puzzled as I am not sure if you mean actual decorations or different ways of draping the curtains.   Anyway for the basic techniques, I can heartily recommend The Soft Furnishing Book by Dorothy Gates, pub. Forbes Publications ;  but for more advanced designs there are large numbers of manuals and reference books in most large libraries and of course, there are always courses going on in local colleges where you can learn and make - which is where I first did some work and advanced from there, as I re-made many of my second-hand buys from France.     Dorothy Gates taught one of my daughters quite a lot of soft furnishing and she said she was the best needlework tutor she had ever had.   There are a number of coffee table glossy books available in good bookshops which can give you ideas for different ways of treating windows and they should inspire you.  Amazon will have copies of most.
Lisa vanden Berghe  I have found the source of the picture of a garland of silk worked flowers (on paper)
which I showed on a Blog recently, The Ladies are Amused  It was in a little book called 'Regency and Victorian Crafts' by Jane Toller. Ward Lock Ltd.  It says in the text that paper was quite popular for craftwork and that during the 18thC.superfine needles were made and also very fine embroidery silks as fine as human hair - the example shown appears to have been worked on ordinary writing paper.     I knew Jane Toller briefly when she was very old.  She and her husband kept a little shop in Eton High Street and sold very early oak furniture.  She was quite an authority of 'Ladies Amusements' and also wrote ' Papier-mache in Great Britain and America ' pub. G.Bell & Co., both of which I have found very useful while making small collections.   I have a number of things which are mentioned in both books and if ever you would care to look at them you might like to visit me - contact email

I will make further BLOGS on other Ladies Amusements - pin-prick work, hair embroideries and momentos,  tinsel pictures, theorem velvet pictures, scissor- or cut-work, felt-work fruits and animal portraits, feather pictures, dried flowers and ferns, sea-weed and shell pictures, of which I have a few examples in my 'pictures without paint' collection, now adorning the walls of my work-room and inspiring me to keep sewing and making!
   These scans  might interest some readers who have their own examples - some are very finely worked and others very much folk art and quite crude, but all now quite rare to find and so,  full of interest to those who admire them.

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