Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Oh Jemima, what a lot of feathers!

Now, this is a tale of caution from one who now knows a thing or two!

It all began quite nicely, one rainy day about last Saturday, when we stumbled out the door, squelching through the puddles, to arrive bright & early for the St Matthew's autumn fair... 9.00am sharp.
A brisk little bee line & I arrived at the linen department, my bleary eyes peeled for anything old & interesting of the textile kind. Immediately I was drawn to the sweetest rosebud strewn feather eiderdown, right within my reach (don't you hate it when someone gets there just before you & then suddenly you no longer have a choice!)
$5 sounded just fine to me!
 After heaving the said eiderdown & a pair of barkcloth curtains
 into a voluminous Farmers' bag, the little elderly Parishioner serving me really needed a cup of tea & a lie down, but instead, kindly kept guard over my bag behind the stall while I had a look around the other offerings. Without such gracious assistance, one is quite likely to wallop small children on the head with large bag in tow & for some reason they don't seem to like that very much.
We always go well equipped with various bags & lots of change & as usual found some interesting bits & pieces like crabapple & chile jelly, feijoas preserved with lemon, spiced apple butter, some pretty gardening gloves, a dear old childrens' book & a wee brush for the larder.
 Once home, coffee brewing, I got my prize eiderdown out of the bag to better assess it's condition. Mmm a bit musty..oh dear very heavy dark stains. Straight into the nappy soak it went. Sometime later, alas the stains & odd wiffy smell remained. Quite recently, I had read of a veteran textile lover carefully unpicking many vintage eiderdowns & happily retrieving the precious chintz to use for special projects. Right I thought, I can do this & heaved the bedcover on to my protesting washing line. About half dry might be about the time.."does it have a lining asked sensible Rob?"
Better have a look I thought...
 um NO! It does not, I quickly realized, as the first clump of damp duck feathers fell lifelessly to the paving below. Jemima! We've been foxed! Oh dear what to do! Do I sew it back up, leave it to dry & pass it on (to the next unsuspecting victim) or do I keep going? Well Nikki did it, I thought, surely I can manage. Two buckets full of feathers later I was deeply regretting such a decision & came up with another plan. "Turns" should do it.
"Ro-ob would you by any chance fancy swapping jobs?"
Look, it's just leaves for feathers..
He hopped from one leg
 to the other & then he said NO..mean!
Images of Jemima in my head
A little hum seemed appropriate, to take my mind off matters.
"The more it snows tiddily pom, the more it goes tiddily pom , the more it goes tiddily pom, on snowing"
oh yuck, now they're tickling my nose! It must have been the foxgloves/rosebuds that did it,

made it all seem so much more appealing in the story...what rot! Where's a collie when you need him?
CHARLIE! (borrowed cat) phew, here he comes

I am never eating chicken again!
And I am most certainly going to be "nowhere to be seen" on Wednesday morning when the bin man comes..no, don't tell me now that they could have gone in the compost.
It really is such sweet fabric..
reminds me of one of my favourite Sanderson prints
Anyone have any clever strategies to remove the remaining clingons on the underside?
Later in the week, I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I saw this basket in Connections, so like Betty's find over at Mrs Yappy Dog.
 My hard won rosebud fabric might be quite sweet to line the basket with, but I worry that we may find feathers in our sandwiches for some time to come.
I loved this idea over at Beehive Cottage so simple & so nostalgic somehow. Maybe it was the lick..you know the one..there's something on your face, out comes the hanky, lick & wipe it off. There, that's better isn't it! Lovely touch for Mothers Day..a little bunting of pretty hankies.
SO... do not under any fanciful, bright vintagey inspired, imagination think, that it is (or ever will be) a good idea to repurpose a feather eiderdown by disengaging the fabric from the eider!!! It is not.

Come on Jemima.
 Hope your week is light & free & fun.


  1. Catherine, I love this post. It had me chuckling and delighting in the incorporation of Jemima. I would have been attacted to that pretty fabric too. I'm sure you will have great pleasure in reusing/recycling fabric that is so pretty.
    Happy sewing,
    Anne xx

  2. You could try one of those sticky roller clothes lint removers, or just wrap your hands in sticky tape?

    I bought 2 of those once, not even a bargain, and even after washing and airing outside for ages they made me sneeze so much that I had to give them away.

    Pomona x

  3. After reading your post and Pomona's comment I am so glad now that I opted for Humpty instead of the Eiderdown!

  4. Jemima is rather a feather brain, but ever so delightful! What a lovely time you've had, you and Jemima.
    Luv Jacqui

  5. What a fun post! I love your story, tiddily pom.

  6. A laugh out loud post Catherine - hope the feathers moved on. I love the fabric. I haven't blogged for ages -maybe tomorrow, only if the garden doesn't call.

  7. an entertaining read! and I'm soooo gonna make the pink doily bunting in the photo x

  8. what a post, you poor soul. i'm sure, somewhere along my memory i've found myself before such trouble before. funnily enough, i've all forgotten 'bout it now...
    better next time, hey?

  9. gorgeous post, funny...

  10. lovely - and I feel your pain - wet feathers? Yucko! Still, the fabric is rather gorgeous and I am sure the memory will fade ...

  11. The adventure itself was worth the $5. I am sure I will find myself singing Tiddly Pom as I go about my day.
    Best of luck removing the last of the feather bits.
    I think we have all jumped at a "bargain" now and again wishing to grab it before someone else does and not desiring to waste time when there were other treasures to be discovered.

  12. I love the Eidy fabric, it's gorgeous, very brave of you, what will you make? A lovely post....poor Jemimma!

  13. Catherine your writings are devine. Read with much laughter and awe and anticipation as to what would happen now with the eider :)....love love love it. Very talented you are

  14. Hi Catherine, Bobbi-Lea gave me the link to your blog, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading a few of your posts. I shall be a frequent visitor I am sure. I have never blogged, but my appetite has now been whetted.
    I love your creativity, and look forward to seeing much more of it.
    God bless.

  15. Hello Catherine, I'm so glad you found my blog. Thank you for your lovely comment and I'm also very glad to have found yours. I'm so pleased not to be alone with feathery disasters! Best wishes, Jane x


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