a pretty kitchen curtain
I know I shall be making home – with glee and pleasure – for the rest of my life. Every time I pass an unusual gate, pore over the photos in a thoughtfully edited magazine, notice the way a group of colours dance together, realise how the light illuminates a particular corner of my home, or find a quaint piece of furniture on the footpath, I am inspired to move things round, pick up thread and scissors, and gather fabric.
For me, this is how our homes are built. Piece by piece, with what captures the imagination at that moment. Sometimes I try to plan what projects I will tackle – and sometimes I wish I could stick to a more precise schedule – but such lists usually fall by the wayside, as I am swept up in the moment of what I’ve noticed today.
Last week … this little pile of hand-embroidered, hand-crocheted doilies caught my eye. They were stuffed into a bookshelf at a local op shop – STAPLED together. Home they came. Mum could see an eclectically decorated skirt. I thought straight away of my work-in-constant-progress home and knew I wanted to look at these doilies every day. Admire the tiny neat and skilful stitches and persistence of an embroiderer who made eight matching doilies.
They needed to become a curtain. (“Ah!” said my family, “Another Lily curtain!”) A kitchen curtain!
I made up the background of my curtain first – a piece of diaphanous bone coloured cotton that has an ever so slight print of neat metallic circles on it. With a top and bottom border of wine red stripes. Then I tackled the doilies – roughly tracing the back of each one onto vlisefix – I wanted them to sit completely flush against the background fabric and vlisefix is just the way to achieve this.
There was much back and forth until they were in a pattern that felt right … as soon as I laid them on the background fabric, these linen doilies with their red and blackwork became gorgeous handpainted plates from an old Eastern European farmhouse taken carefully down from a kitchen dresser.
Then, artfully ignoring both last night’s and this morning’s washing up, I carefully sewed as close to edge of each doily as I could, making sure they would never move.
I even hung the new curtain without doing said dishes – having to take special care not to drag the richly striped border across sticky crumbs and soaking pans – ahh the efforts I’ll go to when a project simply must be finished before anything else can happen :-) Do you get like that? ’Course you do!
As soon as I hung this curtain, oh my heart sang! It’s just lovely for our kitchen – the red matches our red kettle and mixing bowls and clock and baking dishes and kitchenaid. We quite like red ;-) The white is just the right weight to close out the night but, when pushed back, let in the sun (not that there was any today). And that image of plates – it was meant to be. There was ample time to tweak and fluff and admire before frantically chucking everything into the sink and racing around the kitchen to restore some order …
… before Julian arrived home. Not that he’d ever notice or mind if chores weren’t done but it’s part of making home isn’t it. A nourishing daily practice – a way of expressing my love for my family and the little world we have created together – that I will never tire of.