I have created this blog to share my interest in all forms of stitching, quilting, sewing, knitting, medieval re-enactment and costume making – particularly my love of historical embroidery. I also love travelling,especially when it also involves any of my other interests.
I have had a very busy and very enjoyable weekend – I have been teaching, gardening, socialising and doing what I could to help with our Embroiderer’s Guild exhibition.
I went on Friday after work to help set up (and deliver the muffins!) and took all the pics below then. Went back on Sat to collect everything. they had a very successful day with lots of visitors and everyone was very impressed by the standard of the work. You can see why.
As it is 30 years since the group was founded we created a special exhibit made up of 8 inch squares in all the colours of the rainbow. The brief was to stitch your square with any sort of technique in mainly that colour and the finished effect was excellent. This collection has now gone to be exhibited at our local museum.
Below are two of my favourites squares – both from the violet section.
As you can see we have some amazing talent in our group!
Dashed back from that to go and see Isabelle my next door neighbours’ granddaughter who was having her first birthday party. Here she is looking a bit sleepy after opening all her pressies with her Auntie Naomi.
Ellie has had great first week at Uni – lots of going out making friends and has had a couple of lectures including one with skeletons!
I spent part of today doing my homework for Creative Textiles class tomorrow – I am working on a piece inspired by pics I took of some of the clematis growing in my garden this summer. We are doing transfer printing tomorrow so will post some pics of what we do later.
Yesterday I went to my first Knit and Natter session at the new wool and bead shop that has opened down the road. Have wanted to go to one of these for years having read Crazy Aunt Pearl’s tales about Stitch and Bitch which is the US version.
Had a very lovely time – there were about 12 people there which I was not expecting – the wool shop is also a tea shop which is very nice so had two cups of latte while I made a start on a simple Noro yarn scarf.
I am planning on making most of my Xmas presents plus the usual ornaments as cards so have a very busy 3 months ahead!
It is our Embroiderer’s Guild exhibition this Sat so I am hot footing it from work tomorrow afternoon to take all my goodies to display. They are having a cake sale as well so we have all been asked to contribute for that and in the absence of my lovely baking daughter Ellie have had to make my own muffins!
They did not turn out too badly though only the back four and middle two on the left have got the classic cracked muffin top. The rest have all gone a bit sideways for some reason! Never mind I am sure they will taste nice.
Am going up to the exhibition on Sat after work so will take some pics then and hopefully post them on Sun.
Ellie is having a great time at Uni – she has settled in very well to her hall and has made lots of new friends. This week has been Freshers’ Week so mainly induction and partying – all the serious stuff starts next week!
We have just come back from dropping Ellie off at Uni – it was a lovely sunny weekend – very warm which Ellie was very pleased about as she was hoping that moving down South would mean less Yorkshire rain!
She has settled in very well – we moved her into her hall on the Sat so here are some pics of her new digs.
We took her to Sainsburys so she could do her first shop on her own as she is now fully self catering in her little kitchen below.
She is having a great time – has made lots of friends already and has been out the last two nights at the Students’ Union. She has hall accommodation on campus which is only 140 paces from the union building so she has not far to come home after a night out! (she told me off for counting how far it was!)
We spent Sat afternoon shopping in Worcester which is a very pretty city – it has a lovely cathedral right by the river. Sat night we went for a very nice meal with my sister Jacky and her kids Sam and Sarah. Ellie is looking forward to being able to spend more time with her cousins, as are me and Jake when we go and visit.
I am sure Ellie is going to have a wonderful time – I clearly remember leaving home and moving to college 27 years ago and I loved every minute of it so I am sure she will have an excellent time. We will miss her of course but I so pleased that she has got where she wanted to be. She really deserves it after all her hard work over the last two years and has not let anything deter her from her goals.
I have had an exciting new start as well as I have begun a Creative Textiles class through my local Adult Education Service. The first meeting was today and I had an excellent time in the company of a group of women who like me wish to improve their creative and technical skills and a lovely tutor called Brownwyn.
Today we did some transfer printing – I have actually bought some transfer paper but was not certain what to do with it. Bronwyn had printed some fish pictures which we colored in with pens then ironed on to fabric , sewed onto to a felt backing then stuffed. I now need to quilt and add beads to my little fish but I am very pleased with him so far.
In the coming weeks we are going to do transfer inks, batik, machine embroidery and quilting. I have homework for next week’s class which I am planning to do on Sunday looking at some inspiration for my printing.
I am also planning to join a Knit and Natter group that meets locally which one of the other women at the group goes to so will have lots of lovely textile related fun going on each week!
After a very long (nearly 9 hour) train journey yesterday due to engineering works we arrived back last night from Caldicot Castle from our last re-enactment event which was one of the hottest weekends we have had all summer.
Caldicot is a beautiful location as these pics show. It is set in a country park so we have lovely surroundings to camp in as well as the historical bits.
There was a living history display inside the castle which was where the tournament took place on Saturday.
The tournament is a ‘full contact’ one which means the guys hit each other very hard – usually with very big swords as you can see from this pic of Carl and Keith in their bout.
There were 10 people who entered from different groups all pictured below. The tournament was eventually won – (after many gruelling and very hot rounds!) by Carl from Companions of the Crow.
My friend Eric was doing the announcing for the event so I took the opportunity to get a couple of pics of the lovely embroidered heraldry on his coat (apologies for him having his eyes closed in this pic – it was a very sunny day and we all got a bit burnt).
I bought a new chaperon for Ellie that she had been admiring from Jackie’s stall (Cloaked and Daggered) – here she is looking very pretty in it – it is a slightly different style from the others we have in that it buttons up the front rather than slipping over the head.
It has been a very busy season – especially as we have done it all on public transport which has taken extra time and meant that we have stayed over at some events till the Mon so it is easier to travel back. I am very proud of the kids for doing all this – hopefully by next season we may have a car but we have proved that we can do it all without one if needed.
Am looking forward to things being a bit quieter now but work wise we have just started a new term so I have a new group of trainees who I met today.
Also Ellie is off to University on Fri so will post pics of my little girl in her new home when we get back from dropping her off next weekend. I am sure she will have a great time – her first field trip is to an Iron Age roundhouse in Oct and she is really looking forward to that.
Wonderful daughter Ellie’s birthday pressie to me this year was a trip out of my choice. I chose to go to York to visit the Minster and we were also hoping to go to the Quilt Museum as well but sadly it was closed so I will have to go back another time to do that.
We had a fab day out – it was great weather and we had a really nice train ride and lovely lunch in a little old pub and a good wander round the lovely shops in York after we went to the Minster – they have a Cath Kidston shop which was full of such cute things!
The Minster was amazing as I had expected with the usual abundance of embroidery! This piece was one of the first we saw – one of the finest and most detailed pieces I have ever seen.
There was no info with it but it depicts the Minster on the bottom right and two figures one of whom is being given a key detailed below.
The piece was an amazing mix of appliqued brocade for the gowns the figures are wearing, silk shading and goldwork.
At the back of one of the chapels was this more modern piece composed of a series of goldwork crowns – I couldn’t get any nearer to take close ups but it is really stunning.
The Minster Broderer’s Guild had done a series of panels based on animals found in the church – this is a detail of one of the many Lamb of God pictures to be found there.
The pic below shows some 13th century chests used for storing priests’ copes – note how they are shaped like the robes so they could be stored with the minimum of folds.
We also spotted this fab fruit basket in one of the gift shops near the Minster which we loved!
Thank you Ellie for such a fab pressie! I had a wonderful day and I am very lucky to have such lovely kids who give me such thoughtful pressies all the time.
We are away this weekend in South Wales for the last show of the season at Caldicot Castle – please keep your fingers crossed for good weather for us last year this event got cancelled at the very last minute due to the site being flooded which was not good news for anyone!
Term starts on Monday with a new group of students to welcome to the wonderful world of teaching and then Ellie is off to University next Friday!
She has had all her joining info re the course and the modules she will be doing and yesterday got details of all of the entertainment planned for the first week of term so is busy working out her new social calendar. We will be going down with her on Friday so I will post next week when I can as it is likely to be a very busy one!
Two posts in a day – must be a record! Just a quick one to say that I have also updated the Medieval Lady’s Costume page with more pics and more info – thanks to my daughter who took lots of pics of me recently on a rare outing as a lady!
I have today uploaded two pages that I have been working on for a while detailing men and women’s peasant costume. They have pics of what we wear with links to suppliers, some patterns and further pictures and info about garments. Hopefully people new to re-enactment will find them useful and the rest of you will enjoy the pics!
Yesterday I got an e-mail giving me details of my latest exchange which is going to be a Fall / Autumn exchange and I have been paired with Wendy Jo from the USA. I have had a look at her blog and she is a very busy lady in the exchange world!
I have added her blog and some of my other new favourite reads to my blog roll on the left so do go and visit all these talented people! I do love blogland it makes me so happy! Am sad that the season is nearly over but like my Autumn nights sitting stitching with my candles lit and have lots of nice treats planned for the off season.
Have an idea of what I would like to make for Wendy after seeing all the beautiful things she has made for other people so am going to get started on that piece tonight.
It is not very good weather again today so am happy to be inside and looking forward to some lovely stitching later and more episodes from my new boxed set of Little House on the Prairie! I loved that series and the books when I was younger so have treated myself to Season 1 (a whole 19 hours!) and think the other ones will be going on my Christmas list. Of course there is lots of embroidery, dressmaking and quilting spotting going on while watching this and I was glad to see that I am not the only one who does that while watching TV – check out the 30th Aug 09 post from Kelly at Materialistic.
We are having an exhibition at our Embroiderer’s Guild on the 26th September to celebrate the branch’s 30th anniversary and we have all been asked to submit recent stitching for that. Unfortunately I give all my stitching away as gifts but Stefon has lent me the biscornu and bag I made for him and Bev has lent me her complete set of needlework tools so I shall have something to show!
Here are the tools made as presents over the last 3 Christmases – her motif is oak leaves so I have photographed them in an appropriately Autumnal setting in the pot pourri bowl that sits in my dining room!
If you are in the West Yorks area then and want to visit the exhibition leave a comment with your e-mail address and I can give you details of it.
I have just finished the piece that I have been working on for our Embroiderers’ Guild exhibition at the end of Sept. It is the 30th anniversary of the group so we have created a special piece based on the colours of the rainbow – altogether there will be about 30 pieces of embroidery all 8 inch by 8 inch square which showcase different techniques and which are in different colours.
We were given free choice as to techniques and style so I have chosen to do something based on crewel work with a contemporary twist. My chosen colour was indigo and I used as my pattern a freebie motif from Pintangle which is based on a Paisley motif.
Unlike my normal work which tends to be very structured I wanted to be more relaxed and expressive with this piece so I just gathered together some appropriate coloured threads and beads and went with the flow – with the design emerging rather than being planned. I have deliberately not used traditional crewel work threads going instead for some nice shiny sparkly stash with the addition of some hand dyed silk.
It was also my chance to practise my chain stitch and I am very proud of how it turned out – there are some less than perfect bits but overall not bad! I love the way the beads look as well – they really sparkle.
I have really enjoyed the ‘not knowing where I was going aspects of this piece and want to develop more of this style of work. As a treat to myself I have signed up for a textile crafts evening class which starts in a couple of weeks (as a precursor to doing my City and Guilds certificate in embroidery next year) at a local adult education centre with a promise to move away from doing all counted and structured work to a pattern and more of my own designs.
We had a lovely couple of days in Notts – as well as going for the chinese to celebrate Ellen’s A level success we went to the Galleries of Justice which is the old court and prison in Notts town centre which has been very well interpreted to show what the prisons were like in the 18th and 19th century with a tour involving costumed interpreters playing the prison staff roles and some very good displays. The kids really enjoyed it – very creepy in parts as it should be but very good.
I am often sad when I come across embroidery that has no details of the maker but there was a piece in one of the exhibitions that was very sad because there were details.
There was an exhibition at the end of the tour of things that had been made by prisoners – either for sale or in their free time and there was the most amazing piece that had been embroidered onto an existing pice of lace edged linen. It is amazing as it was embroidered using the prisoner’s own hair as she did not have access to thread and since needles were limited had probably been stitched with a needle made from a mutton bone. This piece was made in 1880 by an inmate called Annie Parker.
The level of work is amazing – the stitches are so tiny and possibly most of this was done in poor light. A testament to this woman’s determination.
We have just done our last show for English Heritage at Bolsover Castle – a lovely weekend with a slightly wet end to both days! However we had a great campfire on Sat which helped us dry out the kit! And I bought a bottle of ginger wine from the castle shop which very much helped warm the cockles! Thank you very much to the 3000 people that came to see us – your support was much appreciated.
Think that summer might be over – has done nothing but rain torrentially for the last two days and today have had to put the heating on as it is so cold! We still have one more show in South Wales the weekend after next so am hoping for good weather for that!