How to make something stunning with very little skill.
Well, you need to be able to manipulate a needle, but it doesn’t get much harder than that.
How did my latest hobby begin? Well, it started with a visit to an ethnic crafts shop in Norfolk, England. I saw the most beautiful wall hanging, made up of a patchwork of stunningly embroidered pieces from antique saris.
“I could do that,” I thought. However, it soon turned out I didn’t have the patience for embroidery and I couldn’t understand the instructions for embellishing with beads.
All the same, I did feel capable of cutting up different pieces of cloth and then joining them back together in a haphazard but interesting fashion.
Did you know you can buy used saris from India for less than the price of fish and chips? I know! Amazing, right?
So I went a bit mad—because the fabrics were so beautiful— and bought…well, a fewused saris. And washed them and perfumed them with patchouli oil. Next I ironed them. Then I cut them up (I sometimes felt a little guilty doing this, as the cloths were so lovely).
The really fun part was organizing the pieces by color and tone, and then looking for contrasting and complementary colors and patterns as I planned my project.
You don’t have to cut perfect shapes. I watched a YouTubevideo of these Indian patchworks being made, and the two men working on this stage of production just did it all by eye, and their patches fit perfectly. Mine, of course, did not, and I’m still learning the technique.
The hardest part was finding the multi-ply soft cotton cord used to cover over the cut edges of the patches. I had no idea what to call it, and did a lot of Googling before I tracked down “twisted cotton rope twine”, available from China. I don’t know if it’s the right stuff, but once I’ve separated the three groups of strands, it does the job it’s required to do.
I am now totally hooked on this hobby. Perhaps it’s my age and the appearance of grey hair, but I am really attracted to bright colors and cheerful patterns these days. And I love the freedom of being able to design one’s own projects. Thus far I’ve made one cushion cover and am close to completing another. I hope one day to have enough pieces to make an entire bedspread or throw.
Wish me luck!
I think my love of fabrics is evident in several of my Regency romances. In “A Perilous Passion”, my heroine wants a piece of lace she finds floating in the sea so she can trim a gown with it. She doesn’t expect to have to fight over it with a mysterious man she encounters on the beach.
Miss Charlotte Allston’s curious nature has always led her to trouble. This time, she’s tangled in a web of traitors and spies and quite literally swept off her feet by a handsome stranger. But all is not what it seems with the Earl of Beckport.
The earl is living incognito, hunting a band of smugglers at the center of a plot for the French to invade England. The enigmatic Miss Allston becomes a person of interest…and not just in the smuggling case. Passion flares swift and hot between the two. But when her attempts to help with his secret mission only endanger it, he must question where her loyalty truly lies.
When Charlotte is captured by the very traitor he’s after, the earl must decide between redemption…and love.
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About Elizabeth Keysian
I adore history and archaeology, and write romances that give the reader an experience of travelling back in time.
I feel very British-despite my Viking ancestry-and love creating rich backdrops for my stories based on real places and actual experiences. Confession time- I used to be a re-enactor, so I’ve sampled the living conditions, clothing, and smells of the past!
My characters battle their problems with both tears and laughter, but I always guarantee them a Happily Ever After, no matter what I’ve put them through.