Kitsch Craft

I’ve been enjoying old craft books recently. I picked up a couple in charity shops even thought they are mostly 70s and 80s which are hardly my favourite style decades! I’ve been more open-minded about craft stuff since I started reading so many blogs, so I gave these books a chance and they have been great. Mind you, the stuff I like is the traditional stuff – patchwork and embroidery etc. Not wild on some of the patterns and designs, but technique-wise, they are perfect. The first is Creative Needlecraft, published in 1979 by St Michael (of M&S for British readers!) written by Lynette de Denne. It’s got some real gems in it like needlelace which I am fascinated by – how often do you see that come up? Never? And it has the usual suspects of smocking and quilting but also cutwork and drawn-thread work. Lovely simple diagrams and really useful if you ignore the designs!

The second is Julia Foster’s Patchwork, which is just hilarious. From the back page I read that she was an actress in the 60s and 70s so this is a celebrity craft book of the mid 1980s. Oh it’s funny. It’s written in a weirdly chatty way, just sort of rambles about things, funny anecdotes etc. The quilt patterns are all just “well I made it like this and it didn’t really work, so you could try this” with some rather general info about fabrics. It is very bizarre, but inspirational in a few places. One of my favourite bits is this puffy quilt, which she calls baby’s puffs. I like the idea, and will certainly try it some time, but not in beige! and probably not as a quilt, though it is actually quite nice.
I’ve put some pics up on Flickr. Anyone else got any old craft gems hiding on the bookshelves?

I was really pleased to find someone else into smocking, and not a lot further on than me. I found Moonstitches blog via Whipup where she won a prize for her lovely bag. Great new blog, really enjoying it!

Wish I had been more on the ball with WhipLash and the July bag-theme, seeing as I make them all the time, and indeed teach bag-making. I am teaching at the V&A bright and early tomorrow, so best get some sleep first.

4 thoughts on “Kitsch Craft

  1. These puffs are already back here in Japan, last year I saw them in a magazine, transformed into a cushion to sit on… I don’t know… a bit too comforting in my eyes. But they can look very nice on bags, especially if they are smaller and well stuffed, just like berries.Thanks for mentioning my blog. Unfortunately there was no progress regarding the smocking since my first trial. But I haven’t forgotten about it 🙂

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