Early in my quiltmaking journey, and when I was still exclusively handpiecing, I became an ardent fan of Jinny Beyer and her book, Quiltmaking by Hand. Eventually, I became totally charmed by her account of using a chatelaine, as well as the history of chatelaines themselves. Jinny also endorses the silvercraft of TJ Lane, and it was with this recommendation that I purchased a gorgeous, well-fitted and tested (on the spot by the vendor), and very comfortable silver thimble at the Rosemont Quilt Festival in 2007. Picture of My Thimble I adore this thimble; it’s on my short list of things to rescue should the house catch fire.
This really fired my desire to have a chatelaine of my own, modeled large on this ensemble:
However, at nearly $1000, purchasing this as presented was out of the question, nor did I necessarily want the same attachments. So bit by bit over the past two years, I acquired the pieces I really wanted. Last weekend, I finally assembled my own version, and used that night while handstitching the binding on hubby’s quilt. It is so pretty and functional and jingly that it has reignited my own affection for handwork. I predict a long, useful, happy relationship together.
The chain is 3mm figaro; the heart frame is TJ Lane; the inner heart is a charm from Brighton Collectibles purchased by hubby for me on our anniversary last month. From left to right, a silver thimble charm, a pansy-adorned needlethreader and needlecase (holding three #10 betweens), my ornamentally-caged thimble, a threadcutter (blade in between the silver four-leaf clover - insert thread into various notches to cut), and a miscellaneous silver key charm from my favorite Michigan beadstore, acknowledging the primary application of chatelaines across centuries. All except the chain, heart and key charms, are from T J Lane.