June 30, 2012

The Tablecloth Project

We spent last weekend in the Michigan countryside at wonderful Ronora Lodge in Watervliet.  It's not a bad drive from Chicago, once you leave Chicago.  :-) 


Well, I wanted to bring some handwork.  Of course.  But I didn't have any projects in a handwork-ready state.  

Solution:  Start something new!  You know, because I have such a scarcity of projects and an abundance of time.  Ha.  Ha.  

Hence, "The Tablecloth Project".  This is a cut-work embroidery tablecloth that was started by my mother-in-law quite a few years ago.  My husband says they had at least three, and she also made them as gifts.  He estimates she made about a dozen, all in all!

The nice thing about this one is that it's in a color combination that I really like.  The odd thing is that these are colors that she didn't generally use, in her own home decorating or clothing choices.  I like to think that it was meant to be mine all along.....

She seems to have enjoyed skipping around, so nowhere is totally completed. This is a real help to me, because I know what colors are supposed to go where, I have samples of all the stitches I need to learn, and her dangling thread ends made it easy to see that she was sewing with two strands of floss.  Most of the work she had done was in the corners.  

She also had worked 2 of the scalloped edges, as you can see in the photo of the whole tablecloth, but not all of the flowers along them.

The center medallion is virtually untouched.

The big problem for me is that she didn't keep the floss with the tablecloth.  And we didn't find the threads anywhere when we cleared out the apartment.  So I headed to the store before we left for Michigan, hoping to find somewhat matching threads.  There was a perfect purple and two potential greens.  Everyone at the store, including me, decided that the darker green was better.  But when I got up to Michigan and started sewing, it looked way too dark (on the right).  So I finished up all the purple berries I could find.

When we got home, I went back to the store and picked up a skein of the lighter green (on the left).  Much better!  It's still a bit greyer, duller, than the original.  But the green threads that have the brightness are also way too yellow.  So this will be the green.

I've also ordered the variegated threads - golden, green, and lavender.

I figure I'll finish this up in 20 years or so.  I can't imagine making 12 of these!  Kudos to and fond memories of my MIL, Jeanie!  She also liked to knit, crochet, and do many others kinds of embroidery.  I'm enjoying working on this while remembering having her as my second mom.


  1. its lovely! kudos to you and i hope you finish it before that!

    1. LOL! I hope so, too. It's getting very close, so there is hope.