On Gentle Stitching

Confession. I have borrowed the term “gentle” from Christine Kelly who has a blog called Gentlework and who makes hand stitched items from vintage fabrics and found objects. It is a good word to describe the comforting feeling of stitching with soft, pretty fabrics. Here is a photograph of a small piece of simple squares, that I enjoyed arranging and stitching. It is made from that charm pack I bought in England.


The squares measure one inch each. I have put it on the table where I sit and stitch of an evening and am enjoying looking at it, even though there is still some quilting to be done around the one edge.

It seems as if these gentle fabrics are finding me. A kind friend has passed on a packet of Liberty fabric “scraps”. Some of the pieces are quite large and they are all lovely. They arrived this week and are now calling to be cut into small squares and pieced into another gentle cloth of many prints. When we were in England I went to the Liberty of London Department Store. It was quite an experience for this small town sojourner. I came away with a set of fat quarters in a distinctive cerise-pink Liberty packet. (Even though the packet is plastic I confess that I did not refuse it.) Now that my collection of Liberty prints has grown, I have another project to add to my list.

The distinctive Liberty of London packaging and designs. (photograph from the Liberty website.)

I try to follow the rule of not starting another project until one has been finished. This week I completed the stitching of a pair of entwined trees. It was quite a challenge to twist two fabric trees together. The piece was made after I learnt about the Baucis and Philemon story.


Entwined Tree

Baucis and her husband Philemon were an old couple that lived in the region of Tyana. The Greek gods Zeus and Hermes, disguised as peasants, arrived there and asked for a place to spend the night, but all the inhabitants of Tyana rejected them. They finally reached the poor cottage of the old couple, who unlike their rich neighbours accepted them graciously and offered them the best hospitality they could with their simple means.

While they were eating, Baucis realised that the two guests were gods. She mentioned it to her husband and the two of them started apologising for not having anything better to serve them. They then decided to kill their pet goose, but when Philemon tried to catch it, the goose ran to Zeus’ lap. The god said that there was no need to slay the goose; instead they should pack up their few belongings and leave their cottage, because they would destroy the whole town for the lack of hospitality of its residents. The couple followed the gods to the nearby mountain, from where they saw that the town had been destroyed by a flood — where their cottage once stood, now lay a glorious temple. The couple asked that they serve as guardians of the temple and Zeus accepted. They also asked that when it was time for one of them to die, that the other would die as well. So, when their time was due, Zeus gave them their wish and transformed them into an intertwining pair of trees, an oak and a linden. (retrieved from https://www.greekmythology.com)

The fabric tree is made from gold lamè and the reverse side of sequined evening dress fabric – both difficult and garish fabrics to stitch. That may explain my current penchant for soft and gentle fabrics.

11 thoughts on “On Gentle Stitching

  1. I am trying not to be too envious of the box of Liberty fabric scraps (stop thinking about it, stop thinking about it – ha!) I love the concept and term of “Gentle Stitching” – it makes me feel relaxed and warm just hearing that term. Your tree twist piece is lovely!


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