Saturday, September 27, 2008

UFOs, WISPs and WIPs - a treasure!


Earlier this month Sharon Boggon had a post on her blog about finishing projects. This led me to think about my UFOs, WISPs and WIPs. I have some UFOs that have been part of my baggage, literally and metaphorically, for up to 50 years. Yes, one would think that it would be easy to dispose of something that has sat around for that length of time. Not so, I find that when I think it might be time to get rid of something in this category, guilt overwhelms me and it doesn't happen - maybe the day I will really finish it is tomorrow.


When I took up embroidery just over twelve months ago (well I should probably say resurrected my interest in it after a long hiatus - like nearly 50 years) I made the resolution to stick to small items and not to indulge myself by beginning too many projects. So far I have kept to this and while I have a couple of very slow projects there is nothing one should classify as a UFO.

Well the point of this post is to document a long term UFO that transformed into a WISP early last year. My grandmother took up embroidery late in her life, at almost eighty. I find it difficult to believe that she would not have stitched in her youth but it was only in the later years that I remember her doing so. Despite her failing eyesight she did manage to stitch quite a number of centres and tray covers. They were all traced needlework on Irish linen that was freely available in the 1950s. At some stage, probably in the mid-fifties, she gave me this piece - one of my favourite patterns - the Blue Willow pattern - when the embroidery was complete. It needed a crochet edge. I felt I wasn't sure I could do justice to something she had embroidered so this unfinished piece came with us from one side of Australia to the other and back again . In March last year I finished the edge on a linen handkerchief and then looked for something else to do. The season had arrived and the centre has two of its three rows of edging complete. I do work on it spasmodically but hope to finish it within the next 6 months. It is something I will treasure as it is the only piece of her needlework I inherited.


Unfortunately while in storage a number of stains have developed - hopefully they will come out when I wash it - I was loath to do so before I completed the edge. I hope Grandma would be happy with what I have done - she was a very cheerful soul and an indomitable character - a very special person.



8 comments:

Sarah E. said...

How very lovely, and what fabulous workmanship! I, too, love Blue Willow and also collect the antique china. It was so wonderful to see this piece; thank you for sharing it!

Elmsley Rose said...

It's beautiful!
And I'm sure your Gran would be rapt that you are finishing it.

Paddy's Daughter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paddy's Daughter said...

What a lovely piece of blue and white embroidery - Your Gran would be delighted you treasure it and will complete her work. Glad you are enjoying my daffodils, there are still some different ones about to flower, so will post more photos soon. I have been reading your older posts, and see you were very absorbed by Sharon's journal course - I'm doing the next one in October and am really looking forward to it. Sue McB

Thelma said...

Its beautiful,,what a lovely piece to cherish from your grandma.

PAULE said...

Hi Marg

Thanks for all your nice comments on my blog. What a great piece of embroidery ! I have a similar (and smaller) one from my mother. There's still some embroidery to do and I'm a bit scared to finish it...

neki desu said...

lovely story and lovely heirloom.
think of your gdaughters and what a piece of work you'll pass on to them1

neki desu

HockeyKitten said...

I love the Blue Willow pattern too. What a great treasure. I hope you finish it for her.