Saturday, 31 July 2010

Mónica Maria Hangs Up Her Cushion

Now here is a cushion not stitched for sitting upon! Mónica Maria López Godino from Spain has definitely put hers out of harm's way by framing it - and how wonderful it looks like this. This is another one of Steve Rousseau's inspired designs. You have made such a lovely heirloom piece Mónica and I hope you will be proudly showing it off to admirers for many, many more years to come. If you have not got your Needleprint free Ackworth cushion download just click here. What could be easier?

Friday, 30 July 2010

Visit a Lace Museum in Puy, France - Right Now!


I am very grateful to Marie-Louise Falissard for sending me details of some wonderful museums in the Lyons area of France to share with you. I hope in the coming weeks we can explore these together. I have always been fascinated by the making of lace and can sit and watch lace makers for hours. I know the visitors to our Montacute week were enthralled by the visit to Honiton museum and our guest speaker Pat Perryman who makes the lace jabots for the speakers of the House of Commons. If you click on the link here, you will be able to access a video which will take you on a virtual tour of the Centre d'Enseignement de la Dentelle au Fuseau
at the Museum of Puy-en-Velay. For those of you who do not know this region, this is a former volcanic area. All the sides of the volcanoes have been eroded over time leaving only the hard, steep basalt plugs - the astonishing landscape of fairy tale castles perched upon precipitous mountains. Thank you Marie-Louise!

Samplers at Auction

These two samplers are for auction next week. In case you are wondering how to go about bidding, you first need to register yourself with the auction house to provide proof of identity, so that they know how you are and that you are creditworthy as the auction depends very much on a high degree of trust on all sides. So if you are interested in items, make contact and find out what they need from you in the way of identification so that you can leave a bid on the books. This first sampler is for auction on 3rd August at Roseberry's in London. It is Lot number 858 with an estimate of £150-£250. Finished by Christian Shittler on May 21 1819, it is a pretty in oval format worked with an ode To my ever honoured parents. Surrounding the text are birds, trees and flowers, and all is encircled by a twining oval floral border which is set off to perfection by the verre eglomise frame. It measures 46cm x 43cm approximately.

This George III pattern darned sampler with a central floral basket is very much reminiscent of the Norwich pattern darned samplers and it may be that S.A who worked this sampler in 1812 was from the Norwich area. The piece measures 34cm x 34.5cm and is for auction also on 3 August at Reeman Dansie of Colchester. Lot number 653 it has an estimate of £100-£150.


You might also like to see:

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Stitching Retreat in Williamsburg * 1-3 October 2010


Sounds like bliss - 3 days' getaway in Williamsburg with time to catch up on projects and learn new techniques. This not-for-profit event is organized by Jeanine Koons and Merry Cox and will commence 9:00 am Friday morning 1 October. There will be lots of time to finish Holiday gifts or work on favourite projects. Your choice from menus for all your meals. Reservations have been made to go to the Whaling Company for dinner that evening. The trip to dinner is combined with a stop at the needlework shop, also the knitting and quilt shops. Lunch, and dinner will be in the hotel on Saturday. Brunch on Sunday.  The cost for 3 days' of stitching, coffee, four meals and stitching room: $70.00. Overnight accommodation at the hotel can be enjoyed for $80 per night for a single or double room. For more details just click here.

The Gathering of Embroiderers organized by Jeanine and Merry has raised over the years $26,385.00 donated to the American Cancer Society in Darlene O'Steen's name and $80,000 donated to the textile collection of Colonial Williamsburg, the DeWitt Wallace Textile Gallery, Loudoun County Museum, Wilton House Museum, the Valentine-Richmond History Center, Museum of the Confederacy, the Tennessee Sampler Survey, the Smithsonian, Mount Vernon, St. Joseph’s Academy, Winterthur, the Peabody-Essex Institute, and Plymouth Plantation. If it were not for prior commitments, I would be there with you like a shot, Jeanine and Merry - you are doing fantastic work! Everybody else, book a plane now!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Deutsches Historishes Museum On-Line Sampler Collection






The Deutsches Historishes Museum has 24 samplers for you to see on-line. Simply click on this link and then enter  stickmuster for the search in the box labelled: Objektart. Next click on button marked Suchen. To look at a larger imager click on the word mehr under the thumbnail, and to see more pages scroll down to the bootom of the page and click on the text there. See the images for more information.

You might also like to see:

Monday, 26 July 2010

Introducing Gisela



Many of the Vierlande samplers we see were worked in black. However, some are polychrome, so I don't think we need keep our appetites on strict colour-controlled diets. This is Gisela from the new Vierlande II motif album + 10 samplers download which will be released shortly. Hot off the needle, it is a day's project. It can be worked in a square format, or take off the corners and you have a circular piece which would be a lovely topper for a gift box. I chose these colours because they reminded me of those lovely embroidered loden jackets children wore in the 50s when there was a passion for all things Austrian, including zithers. And if you are a lover of monochrome, you can simply pick your own colour to work this design.

You might also like to see:

New Giveaway and Winner of the Colonial Williamsburg Coasters is..


As always I wish I had 100 of these to give away, but I hope if you keep trying you will win something nice in our giveaways. The winner of the Colonial Williamsburg coaster set is Bhooma from Indianapolis. Congratulations, Bhooma, your coasters will be in the air to you tomorrow. Commiserations everyone else, and many thanks for taking part. This week I have a spare copy of the most recent Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly - the Fall edition - can it really be we are heading for Fall already? This is a super magazine for lovers of samplers with lots of informative articles, replica charts and other goodies tucked inside. So, for Needleprint Blog customers only living outside the USA this time. To enter the give away just email me by clicking here. Good luck! The draw will take place next Monday morning and the winner will be announced that day.
If you haven't purchased anything from the blog yet, maybe you would like to try it out, we have motif libraries costing just $8 with which you can have hours and hours of designing and stitching fun. Our products are in PDF format so you can print them out immediately and - as a bonus - they also come with editable versions for users of Jane Greenoff Cross Stitch Designer for PCs or MacStitch for Mac.

You might also like to see:

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Free Download - Steve Rousseau's époustouflante cushion

Well, I was always hopeless at keeping happy secrets. If there was something nice going to happen, I always wanted people to know right away - if only that something pleasant  was going to happen. And here it is. Perhaps some of you will remember how Steve Rousseau from Montreal designed and stitched  this époustouflante cushion/pillow cover using the Needleprint downloadable libraries of European motifs and many of you were so kind in your comments that Steve has gifted the design to you, to download. Free. Right Now. Just click here and say after me, "Merci beaucoup, Steve!"


You might also like to see:

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Where did all the doilies go long time passing?


Back in the day, it would never do to have anything touching anything else without the discrete and decorative interposition of a doily. On chairs, doilies for humans were called antimacassars and arm covers. It was as well for Doily, a 17th century draper, that he had probably no inkling of how he would go down in history. He certainly would have abhored one of the houses I rented as a student which was infested with plastic doilies on every surface and which upon gaining possession of the key and locking the door behind me I rounded up and consigned to the back of the airing cupboard. As a child my life was doiley ridden, whether crocheted, knitted or steel cut from paper. I spent many happy holiday hours colouring white paper doileys begged from my mother's baking drawer, creating my own multi-coloured medallions to decorate my walls. And then, suddenly doilies seemed to vanish from our lives, and I could never quite picture drawers or attics large enough for their retirement. Where did they all go? Well, here are some of them.

These creations are by Joana Vasconcelos, the eminent Portuguese artist, for her I Will Survive exhibition. I Will Survive - taken from the tune made popular by Gloria Gaynor in 1978 - challenge traditional ideas surrounding identity. Finding her inspiration in the popular imagination and examining various themes of daily life, Vasconcelos focuses on the politics of gender, national identity and class. And her work is on display at The Haunch of Venison from 21 July until 25 September.


WHERE? In London, I once worked from offices in Pall Mall which meant when there was not a working lunch I was just 10 minutes walk away from the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Queen's Gallery, the London Library, the Royal Academy of Arts....and a place I loved greatly, the Museum of Mankind which you found by walking through the wonderful Burlington Arcade from Picadilly and turning right towards Saville Row to Burlington Gardens. Not only did I love the textiles there, but also the fact that it had the best and quietest bookshop and coffee bar. Sadly the Museum of Mankind, an outpost of the British Museum was reabsorbed by the BM and for a while there was nothing in its place until the location became the venue for a number of commercial art galleries, of which The Haunch of Venison is now one

Friday, 23 July 2010

Something époustouflant this way comes....shhhh...don't breathe a word...

This is a little sneak preview of Elisabeth the new Vierlande Goes to Ackworth sampler which will be part of the Vierlande II motif album + 10 samplers download for release shortly. Vierlande medallions are the nearest to Ackworth School medallions and I thought it would be interesting to see how an 'Ackworth' sampler composed of Vierlande motifs would appear - and this is it. It is a project you can stitch in a weekend. (Do you remember, the Rational Dame was one of the reading books at Ackworth School?) In fact there are so many lovely items which will be coming in the next few weeks we sha'n't know where to turn. I had someone email me asking if I wanted our giveaways listed on a special blog for giveaways and I decided: no, these are for our family of passionate needle-lovers and not for just anyone looking for a freebie. But, I digress. There is something really special coming this weekend, I wish I could tell you - but it is a very special surprise - you will find it quite époustouflant......but shhhh don't tell anyone, this is just for us!

You might also like to see:

What the Bristol Orphanage Sampler Sold For

Some of you emailed me to find out how much Lot 44 in the Burstow and Hewett (Battle, Sussex) Auction sold for. Although worked in blue, it looked to our eyes like a Bristol Orphanage Sampler - and in fact I have had an image of a very different polychrome sampler from Bristol Orphanage sent to me just this week, so there are other variants to the traditional red monochrome scheme we often see. And A Merrett is the name of a girl who was at the Bristol Orphanage. So how much did it sell for? Amanda at Burstow and Hewitt tells me the hammer went down at £190.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

For Lovers of Jane Austen


Can you imagine arranging around your shoulders a shawl that once might have warmed Jane Austen through chilly evenings as she penned her novels; as she listened in her head to the impassioned conversations between Lizzie Bennett and Mr Darcy? It seems a far-off world, doesn't it? And yet it is not. Please don't swoon. This cream linen embroidered shawl with floral Turkish motifs in silk and metal thread (faded and damaged) comes from the estate of Georgina Knight, the grand-daughter of Edward Knight, Jane Austen's brother and is for auction at Bonhams on 27 July (Lot 182). It measures 113 x 102cm. and has an estimate of £200-£300
Here you can see a close-up of the central panel with its carnations and periwinkles radiating from the centre in a star.
And here sprigs of embroidered flowers are arranged within the traditional buta outline which resembles a teardop and is probably better know from the motifs on Paisley shawls.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The Wonders of Aylesbury Vale Embroiderers' Guild


I had the great pleasure to be invited to talk about samplers at Saturday's meeting of the Aylesbury Vale Embroiderers' Guild. As always, though, I come home with more than I set out with. I learnt so much - and was even given a jar of wonderful homemade marmalade. One of the high points for me was seeing a wonderful selection of Ann Mary's personal collection of needlework which she shares with the guild at every meeting.

I was totally captivated by this linen needlework notebook which documents stitches very much in the manner of Louisa Pesel whose stitch diagrams you can see exhibited at the V&A in London.
Not only are there worked examples of the stitches but also handwritten annotations making this such a personal and unique artifact. What you are seeing here is in fact my New Year's Resolution writ large - I must make one too! I must not forget to say a big thank-you to Anita, another Aylesbury Vale Guild member, who provided me with the images you see here. And thanks to everyone for their insight, information and comments which made my visit so interesting.

English Puddings- A Right Old Bash

English puddings sneered a continental ex-girlfriend of an ex-boyfriend when we were introduced. Yep, she was right, English puddings constitute 90% of my hockey legs. And probably half of that is custard - not the dignified crème anglaise of the French nor the zuppa inglesa of the Italians, but the authentic, made from a  real tin of thixotropic powder, custard which unless it maintains a large metal spoon upright for five minutes and cools to a solid with an impenetrable vulcanized skin on top is unworthy of that name. Don't get me wrong, puddings are not always love at first sight for the English. Even a squad of starvelings from the hockey pitch can feel a certain sinking of spirits when presented with jam rolypolied in a grey, marbled suet paste, otherwise known as Dead Man's Leg. In fact, such is the love-hate relationship with puddings here that they evince deep-seated sadistic urges. Let me explain. The first party I remember was a birthday bash (keep reading) for our neighbour Mrs Jolly's twins. I was about 4, they were probably 5 or 6. We had a grand time - and then the puddings were brought in. Little plates bearing individual moulded blancmange and rasberry jelly. This was rare Christmas Fayre and a very special treat at any other time of year. The plates were set before each child. The parents beamed. The children looked, picked up their spoons, eyed each other and, as one, pounded each shivering sweet tower to a right old mess on their plates. To attribute this to youth and lack of schooling would be wrong. Members of prestigious public schools and universities continue so to chastise the sinful contents of their pudding bowls. Hence Eton Mess - a mess of broken meringue, strawberries and cream - which is totally delicious. However, at this time of year, I prefer mine made with chilled raspberries, and I like my guests to have that atavistic thrill of messing their own dessert.  Here is how you can quickly do it. Put fresh raspberries in a container straight into the freezer and leave until they clink when rattled. Just before you dish out your main course, place a shop bought meringue (it is too hot to have the oven on, right!) at the bottom of each dessert bowl (glass is nice), generously sprinkle over the hard raspberries and then pour some good double cream over the top - it will solidify immediately. (Aerosol creams don't work with this, I'm afraid.) The mixture will have thawed somewhat by the time you come to present it, but it will still be chilled. Give a spoon to each guest and at the appropriate signal, let the bash commence!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

An Astonishing Sarah Harris Finish by Cindy in California

For once I am really speechless. I just do not know how Cindy managed to stitch her Sarah Harris so quickly. My guess is that she had a little help from the fairies and mice during the night. But now you can see just how well Cindy has done with her choice of AVAS colours to make Sarah Harris' sampler really her own. Many congratulations. Now I wonder what Cindy will do next?

You might also like to see: