Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dorset Feather Stitchery Book

Many years ago I saw this book at the local library and I remembered thinking I wanted to try making one of the items in the book one day. I guess back then I had very little time as my kids were younger and my life revolved around feeding them and taking them to places they needed to be. Well, my kids got older and I finally had time. Except I couldn't remember the name of the book. I had thought it was called Dorset Button Book but when I entered this name in the library search, I got nothing. Well, more years went by and still I couldn't remember the book title. Then out of the blue, just a few days ago, I woke up and kept thinking of the word "stitchery". Now, stitchery isn't a word I use at all. So I entered "stitchery" in the search and indeed there is a book called Dorset Feather Stitchery by Olivia Pass.

Yesterday I got the book from the library and I am so pleased it is the book I've been searching for. I spent the whole morning reading the book and I must say I'm enjoying it so much. The author, Olivia Pass has such an amusing way of writing her thoughts that I was thinking she would make such an interesting blogger. I know I would follow her blog.

This book was first printed in 1957 even before my fourth sister, Elaine was born. See the piece of paper pasted on the first page of the book? Back in the old days, the due date of the book was chopped on it. You know what the blank paper means? No one checked out this book during that period. Despite the age of the book, it's still in good condition. Some joker did leave some marks on the pages from tracing the templates.

"Do not blame the transfer if it fails to iron off well. You may be the one at fault."

From intro...
" Perhaps it is only fair to give a warning about all this to those who may be entering for competitions. Some English judges do not approve of these things."

Above are some extracts from the book. Olivia Pass is so delightful! Is it just me? Craft books usually don't make me laugh so hard.

I had so much fun I decided I might as well sew a sampler.

I am quite easy going when it comes to transferring patterns. I use my frixion pen to draw freehand on the fabric. This heat erasable pen is a gift from the gods.

This sampler consists of chain, feather and blanket stitches. These stitches are commonly used in crazy quilting.

Chapter eleven - The Dorset Crosswheel Button is what I really wanted to try in this book. I remembered thinking years ago how hard it must be to make one. Well I got to find out for myself.

It is not that easy but it's not impossible. The only thing holding me back is the lack of rings. You need a ring to work the initial stitches.  I have made two - the first one I used a wooden ring quite similar to a curtain ring. The second one I used a split ring.  I think the best size has to be something in between the two rings I used.

So what do Dorset buttons have to do with Dorset feather stitch? Other than the name Dorset, I couldn't see any other relationship. The author did mention that people used Dorset buttons on their clothing. So that could be why the buttons tutorial is included.

Have you made Dorset buttons before? Well, I dug around the net and found a couple of tutes which might interest you guys.

How to make a dorset button

If the instructions are too mind blowing, the author of above tute wrote a version for kids:
Dorset buttony for kids


Anna said...

Olivia Pass wouldn't have dreamt back in 1957 that her book would feature in a blog in 2014! The word blog would have had her scratching her head. She would have liked your embroidery though.

Sandra :) said...

I remember those sign-out pages inside library books - my my things have changed!

I'm with you on the Frixion pens - LOVE LOVE LOVE them, and have them in multiple colours. I wish they made them in silver, so they would work on dark fabrics - or maybe they do, but I haven't found them yet, lol.

Linda said...

I ADORE old needlework books like that!! I used to have a nice collection of them. I also find it humorous how many "rules" these ladies had about what they did. I wonder if they ever just loosened up and had FUN with their work!

Chris H said...

It is always exciting finding something you have wanted to read/see for ages.
Those buttons do look very complicated, but you made them, well done!

Marianne said...

Hi, It was lovely when searching dorset embroidery in finding thru you the book I orginally used 40 years ago to teach myself this - thank you

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Marianne, I love Olivia's sense of humour! I still have the little "quilt" I made with her embroidery and it makes me smile every time I look at it.

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