Thursday 12 March 2009

People always wonder how I spend my time. I think sometimes they think it is glamorous to be a publisher. Sometimes it is. Most of the time I don't sleep as deadlines make a hard pillow. But I love what I do, and the reasons why I do it are more important than loss of sleep. So I suppose I'll just go on.

I love stitching and yet never have enough time to do much. I love meeting people and talking about stitching though there never seems to be enough time to see all the wonderful samplers worked and all the fantastic designs dreamt up. I love the beautiful stitching of the past and most of all I want everyone to see what women have done - to raise women's work from archival museum tombs so we can be inspired again and again. It is a great pity that in their life-times many women may never cross paths with a single one of these extraordinary artifacts, may never have that hair-tingling feeling of discovery.

So, today, perversely, you would have found me stitching. It is a small extract from a Goodhart sampler - I call it a Paradise since this was once a word for gardens. I need to finish it soon as it is to be part of a small article I am writing about The Goodhart Samplers. My great friend Erica Uten from Belgium made the chart and all I had to do was stitch a small part of it. But it is over one and demands concentration to make the stiches sit neat and proper over the linen, like regular tiny beads - or at least as regular as I can make them. I thought at first it would be better to stitch the background so that the flower would sit proud and would not be encroached by background stitching made after it had been worked. But, that didn't work out and I had to start again. This time I stitched the foreground and am now filling in the background and that works so much better. Sometimes when things go wrong it's an opportunity for learning and some contemplation about how the original stitcher got along with the same piece 350 years ago.

I emailed another great friend, Linda Hadden of The Sampler Guild Sometimes in our busy schedules we find time for a chat. She is busy arranging her fantastic upcoming retreat at Muncaster Castle. We talked about her chickens who are laying beautifully now, and my step-mother who has just had a hip operation and has had a bit of a set back.

We also talked about the controversy over UV glass. Do the chemicals break down and damage the fabric? Perhaps there are two or more different sorts of UV glass and perhaps some are safe and some not. I am sure somebody out there has a scientific explanation to help us.

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