Very gloomy again today...and cold. It hasn't rained yet though for some reason...give it time and I daresay it will before dark...or during the night.
I was idly looking for a certain pattern on the internet when I came across a sewing machine which is connected to ones computer...you choose an embroidery design from the net...and a couple of clicks later it appears on your sewing machine. A couple more clicks and the machine sews the pattern on your chosen fabric while you sit back and file your nails or have a cup of tea...
Personally I think that frankly scary...and can't quite see the point, unless you happen to be in a tearing rush to get something finished.
Mum went to what was called a Dame school...it was run by three elderly sisters in their own home and they had twelve pupils. They taught proper handwriting and punctuation and how to starch a collar...how to crochet using fine cotton and embroidery. Mum had a set of beautiful linen pillowcases she'd made when she was at school...embroidered with tiny flowers around the edges and edged with narrow crochet lace...she'd made them when she was ten and they were lovely. But after she died, someone got to them before I did...
She'd have been totally astounded to think a machine could do all that and I rather think she'd have probably disapproved...after all, making neat and careful stitches by hand is an art worth the knowing.
My Mother, on the other hand, was taught by Nuns...and they kept firmly to the basics of hemming and mending and sewing on buttons. No frivolous embroidery with colourful threads for them.
My Grandpa used to sew...he completed several needlepoint pictures and he used to knit as well...gorgeous baby shawls in one ply wool in incredibly complicated patterns... I could still chatter away to him while he was knitting because he only looked at the pattern occasionally. He'd been a Tailor in his working life so maybe it came easily to him. He once gave me an embroidered picture of a field of Scarlet Poppies which he'd completed over the course of a winter...that was one of the many items Mother threw out though.
There is something intensely satisfying about making something by hand...whether it's a well-risen Victoria sponge cake or a small cross-stitch birthday card...and of course modern aids like electric mixers and sewing machines make it easier and sometimes faster...but isn't the whole point about sitting down on a winters afternoon with some fabric and threads to embroider a pillowcase by hand, the relaxation and the quiet rhythm of needle and thread weaving a pretty design.
The whole point is lost I think, if all you now have to do is be skilful with downloading your pattern straight to your sewing machine and more or less leaving it to get on with it.