Monday, 5 November 2012

Had I The Heavens’ Embroidered Cloths…

…Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

This cloth was in a box in the loft, and I cannot remember where it came from – I know I have had it since I was a student. I think I got it for 50p from a charity jumble sale [I used to help my landlady, who was forever involved in organising such events]


All that stitching is hand sewn! I find that utterly amazing – it must have taken hours. The details and colours are fabulous [and it is not random dyed thread- you can clearly see on the back where the new colours have been joined in]

embroidered vintage

The lace edging and centre panel is hand-made too. How old do you think it is? I have decided to put it over the plain green cloth on the dining table. I will be removing it at meal times though – I cannot bear the thought of ineradicable ketchup stains!

**[W B Yeats 1899]


  1. It is beautiful, and the workmanship in items like this never ceases to amaze me, and I think of women poring over work like this by the light of oil lamps or candles in years gone by and wonder how on earth they ever managed it! My mother and grandmother used to do embroidered chair backs and I think that there are still some of their work at my uncle's house.

  2. Morning Angela! Yes, it is a very beautiful piece of handiwork. I am overawed by the ability and patience of these ladies from previous generations who so painstakingly sat and applied themselves to such delicate work. I do not possess any such skills or abilities. I remember studying W. B. Yeats at school. This particular poem is one of my favourites...sooo romantic, I think!

  3. Lovely cloth Angela. I have a table cloth that is beautifully hand sew and embroidered. I also have another one somewhere that needs some repair first.
    x x x

  4. It's absolutely stunning! I'd like to think it was a wedding present..perhaps embroidered by the bride..or the Mum or Mum in Law.
    Jane x

    1. Maybe that is why it shows so little sign of use? But how old is it?

  5. So beautiful! Isn't that a million times nicer than something modern and mass produced. I'm glad you are using it, it's far too nice to keep hidden away.

  6. How lovely. Such patience. It is, as you say, probably from a different time.

  7. What about the style of the pattern? Perhaps a local guild could help with dating. So beautiful.
    Kiwi Fi


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