A visit to Pemberly


On our holiday to York we also took a trip to the countryside. We took some of the bendy roads through the Peak district where the Tour de France was this week, to idyllic Bakewell. Naturally we tried bakewell pudding and tarts, but we really were there for a visit to Pemberly, or Chatsworth as this beloved Jane Austen estate is called.


Bakewell pudding from the bakewell pudding shop.

Seeing the grand estate appearing in the countryside made me feel like Elizabeth Bennet taking a look at Mr Darcy’s home with her aunt and uncle. Although apart from his bust there was no sight of Mr Darcy (yes the bust from the film is still on display).

And having recently enjoyed BBCs ‘Death Comes to Pemberly’, who doesn’t recognise this view from the very last scene of the series?

Death Comes to Pemberly

Scene from ‘Death comes to Pemberly’.

Chatsworth pond

My own view of Pemberly, or Chatsworth.

Apart from Jane Austen’s world coming to life, Chatsworth really is a most impressive country estate. We spend about 6 hours in the house and gardens and I wouldn’t mind going again as I’m certain I’ll discover new bits.

Chatsworth wallpaper

The wallpaper from the guest bedroom.

The visit also creatively inspired me for a new cushion cover. The guest bedrooms had beautiful wallpaper of a banana tree and tropical birds inspired from the estates greenhouse, in a second hand shop near York I found a piece of upholstery fabric that looked very much alike for only £2! The shopping bag from the Chatsworth giftshop had an illustration of the house on it, which I transferred  and machine embroidered onto a piece of creme fabric.

Chatsworth embroidered

Detail of Chatsworth embroidered on the cushion.

I took out a corner of the floral fabric to put the embroidered house in, added mint green piping around the border and a piece of lace that I once got at a vintage market. Et voila a cushion to remind me of our trip through the countryside and dream of living in a grand estate like Chatsworth or Pemberly.


xx Ilse


Floral scraps quilt

From this blog you have probably gathered I love a good floral fabric, whilst fabric shopping I have to be careful not to buy yet another flower print to make sure my wardrobe doesn’t end up looking like a wild flower garden. From all these fabrics I naturally have ended up with a stash of floral scraps. Last year I started using these scraps for a couple of machine embroidery projects. I now got 4 of them and decided to stitch them together in a quilt. Quilting wise I’m not really one to follow a set pattern or anything, rather look what shape scraps I’ve got lying about and what looks nice. So I ended up with this square.

Floral scrap quilt

Have only made the front so far, need to buy some quilt batting and a nice (possibly more plain) fabric for the back.

And you might have noticed a familiar fabric, the scraps from my meringue skirt were just enough for the borders.

Tote’s amaze

I love using cotton tote bags, as book bag for uni to sports bag, and though you can find them with any print, I like to make my own.

This week I’ve been playing with transfer paper and scans from old magazines. I love vintage magazine covers and advertisements, they’re like paintings.

On the front the cover of a 1930s French ladies magazine.

Tote orange front zoom

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The last couple of days I’ve been busy behind my sewing machine making curtains. I don’t mind doing it, but all those straight lines do get boring. For variation others might get up and do something else, I only swap the sewing foot and dive in my scrap box for some fun freehand embroidery. Today only I’ve made this telephone and typewriter.


Not entirely sure yet what to do with them, you can have only so many cushion covers. Might make some more similar images and put them together in a quilt. Should make a nice display of vintage items I like.

Machine Embroidery workshop

A little while ago I did a course in machine embroidery at ‘Sew Over It‘ in London. I’d already been there before to just use the sewing machines (see week 4). For my birthday I got given a machine embroidery course as I love the look and idea of it, but was a bit scared about using a sewing machine for loose curves instead of straight lines.

On a rainy evening 8 likeminded women gathered in the cosy shop to learn the tricks with a cup of tea. As I suppose tea is a big part of sewing most of us choose the teacup pattern to practise on. With little gems from the overflowing scrap basket we stuck our teacups on a plain piece of calico with bondaweb. Then the fun began of machine embroidering or free flow sewing. Initially it felt a bit scary and unnatural to move your work around and going sideways, but it is so much fun. Together we laughed about each others mistakes and ideas.


Now we knew how to do it it was time to actually make something. We could choose from a lampshade, tea cosy or cushion. Thinking easy and practical I went for the cushion and staying in the tea theme I went for a teapot with two cups. Choosing the right fabric seemed to be almost the most difficult part of the night, with so much to choose from. I settled on a pink with white polkadot as background and blue paisley print for the items.

It seemed we had a little too much fun playing around, because most of us didn’t finish at the end of the night, but I decided to meet up another time with a couple to finish our projects.


I now only need to buy the right foot for my sewing machine and I can continue what I’ve learned.