Sunday, 15 January 2012

Friends and allied matters.


Friends are wonderful, aren't they? I don't know what I would do without their company. This morning I went to have coffee with one friend, J. She has a really lovely dog called Topsy, who has had such a troubled life and is now at last settling into a kind and loving home. Topsy doesn't accept me as a friend yet, but we are getting there. Anyway, we had a nice long chat before I came home to a warming casserole I had left in the oven.

After lunch and a quick baking of a batch of mince pies, another two friends came round for the afternoon and we had another long chat about all kinds of things. I can't think of a better way to spend a winter's afternoon.

I had really gone to town on an afternoon tea, using a table cloth I bought in Long Melford village when on holiday in the summer. The photograph above shows a little bit of the work that has gone into it. I find it so sad when cloths like this are abandoned to sale rooms. I found this pretty linen and crochet cloth - with crochet panels and a lot of drawn thread work - hanging on a rail in an antique shop. It was £40. Many years ago somebody lovingly crocheted this cloth = there does not appear to be a mistake in the work - and I wonder how a family could bear to part with it. I have a cloth which my uncle embroidered for my first wedding over fifty years ago. I hope that when I die my son, or even my grandchildren, will want to keep it as a fine example of his handwork. That such a cloth should end up in an antique shop seemed very sad to me - so I bought it. Did I need a new tablecloth - no, of course I didn't. But it now has a good home and I appreciate the workmanship that went into it.

So there you have it. A kind loving home for a maltreated dog; a kind, appreciative new home for a beautifully made tablecloth -

Now the sun sets on another frosty evening - a slight mist rises off the frozen ground. The curtains are all drawn, the stove is made up and glowing, Tess and the farmer have had their evening walk with Tip the sheep dog. Time to sign off until tomorrow. Night-night.

15 comments:

Pondside said...

Oh, if all Sundays could be like the one you've described.
I'm also drawn to old needlework and have a number of dinner and luncheon cloths that were stitched by unknown hands, as well as a collection from my Danish late mother-in-law. They are a pleasure to use - they make a sandwich and pot of tea special.

Elizabeth said...

All's well with the world!

We do so love happy endings.
Your tablecloth is wonderful
Oddly, I learned to do drawn thread work several centuries ago. Tray cloths anyone?

I love having teas. Such a civilized way to entertain without the expense of booze.

angryparsnip said...

What a lovely post today.
I wonder if people are to "busy" today with phones and computers to sit and enjoy the joy of an afternoon tea, with friends, where you might use such a wonderful tablecloth.

Where does Tip sleep ? In the barn with the cows ?

cheers, parsnip

Heather said...

Such a lovely post Pat. Your rescued tablecloth is beautiful and how nice that it is with someone who can appreciate the work that went into making it. I have bought textiles from charity shops on more than one occasion, where they are sold for a pittance - I can't bear the thought of them being recycled if no-one buys them.
I read an article in a newspaper recently about an abandonned dog who was given only 48hours to live by a vet, but literally cuddled back to health by a woman who took in rescued dogs.

Bovey Belle said...

I have a soft spot for anything embroidered too - tablecloths, runners, pictures. So many hours' sewing goes into making them and I agree, it is such a shame when they go out to auction as part of a house clearance . . . (Even worse when family photos and albums turn up at auction).

Love your beautiful lace and drawn thread cloth.

H said...

I spent my Sunday afternoon taking photographs and videos of my eldest son as he succeeded in a climbing problem which he has been trying for weeks and then worked and worked at another one. It gradually became too dark to film. An owl started hooting on the nearby fell and sheep were bleating in the field near the beck. It was a tad chilly, but lovely!

rkbsnana said...

Always such pleasant posts. Your uncle embroidered the cloth? How extra special.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks - glad you all feel the same about these old needlework cloths.

Parsnip asks where Tip sleeps - yes he sleeps in the barn and always has done. He does not care to come into the house although I would have him in willingly - he is an outside dog, like all farm dogs.

MorningAJ said...

It's a lovely cloth - but not everyone would have the room to store it.

After my mum died we had to clear out the house and it was full of my dad's paintings.

There simply wasn't room in my small house to display them all, so I had to make a choice and keep just a few of my favourites. It was heartbreaking, but I just don't have the space.

Golden West said...

Beautiful old cloths can find so many new uses - valances, curtains, even just draped on the back of a chair. I have a beautiful piece of lace slung over the top of my bedroom door - a shame to keep such incredible hand made lovelies away in a drawer or chest! Your cloth is a beauty, Weaver!

Dartford Warbler said...

I love old tablecloths too. I have some from both sides of our family. My husband`s mother was a brilliant needlewoman and it is good to have and use some of her lovely work.

Gerry Snape said...

I still have mum's and aunt Helen's linen and lace cloths..I think some were my grandmother's..I thought it when young and I still think it now that such a cloth makes even a cup of tea extra special. lovely post.

Mary said...

That is a beauty and I too feel sad when I see the huge mass of handiwork dumped in the vintage shops. I used to 'rescue' a lot of it but then ran out of storage space and had to start reselling when I had my booth!

I look at the little tray cloths I embroidered as a young girl and wonder if my kids will toss them out! I have several of my mother's tablecloths with exquisite cutwork - I would hate to think of them at a thrift shop some day. Most young people today have no clue because they've never been taught how to do handwork. Sadly, those days have gone I fear.

Mary X

Share my Garden said...

You have bought a beautiful cloth, Weaver, and it is enough that you can appreciate it if the original owners cannot. I have a number of similar family items but not in such good condition, they are a little marked and holed after years of use! They are, however, greatly treasured, as they were created by my grandmother and great aunts.

BilboWaggins said...

Very happy endings for Topsey and that lovely cloth. Perhaps the person who owned it/made it had no family?

I sometimes wonder what will happen to all my quilts, I have no-one to leave them to. With any luck I will have worn them out completely by then and it won't matter!