Sunday 31 January 2010

Yumi-san's Mary Wigham

As many of us know, Life happens, and then our stitching projects have to go on hold for the duration. Yumi-san was making excellent progress with her Mary Wigham sampler and then had to stop stitching for several months due to illness in her family. We only get one chance to care for others, but there is always stitching time again, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. And so Yumi-san finally finished her sampler - your comments were very encouraging to her. Yumi-san says that participating in this SAL will be treasured as a life-long memory for her. I am sure you will remember and enjoy seeing again her version of Mary on blue linen.

Saturday 30 January 2010

Celebrating Needles - L'Aiguille en Fete 11-14 February 2010 - Paris

I am very sad to have to miss the unmissable l'Aiguille en Fete this year. But don't mind me - buy your plane and Eurostar tickets right now. This is a fabulous event, the like of which we do not see in the UK. Every February this huge, buoyant and inspiring fair takes place in Paris. More recent years have seen the event located from the Porte de Vincennes to Grande Halle de la Villette in the area of les Halles near the Pompidou Centre. The first time I visited I was a little concerned that it might be tricky finding the exact venue from the metro stop. Not so, you would have been able to see the stitchers and knitters converging on this event from outer space. You don't need to book - just turn up:
11-12 February from 9am - 7pm
13 February from 10am - 7pm
14 February from 10am - 5pm
If you are thinking of going as a group, get a rope and tie yourselves on - or first thing agree an easy to find spot for a meeting-up place for members who go adrift. This is the mummy of stitching events.

Friday 29 January 2010

Do You Know this Woman? Another Mystery to Solve

This is a very special depiction of a woman with child. Various commentators have pronounced that it is an image of the Virgin Mary - or Mary Queen of Scots. Although dating from the 17th century, it is not alone. There is another panel which shows exactly the same representation. I think we need to cast our net wider and like Interpol, pose the questions to all our readers, Do you know this woman? Have you seen this woman before? Do you know who she could be? We would be grateful for any help you are able to give. This raised work item is for sale from Meg Andrews.

Thursday 28 January 2010

The Rajah Quilt 1841 - Fruits of Industry

While recently in the Lake District talking with Quaker friends, they told me the story of Elizabeth Fry giving thread, needles and fabric to women convicts who were bound for transportation. I had not heard the story before and so I was mesmerised as the tale of the Rajah Quilt unfolded. (Rajah was the name of the ship upon which they were transported.) The Rajah sailed with 179 female prisoners from Woolwich on 19th July 1841, bound for Van Dieman's Land, present day Tasmania. There is evidence that the women made other quilts for their own personal use with the materials given to them, but none so far have been discovered. The importance of this work is that it demonstrated the women recognised the benefits of Fruits of Industry and were willing to reform their ways. See the Australian Bonnets Project to learn more about the female transportees.
The quilt was presented upon arrival to Lady Jane Franklin, wife of Sir John Franklin, then Governor of Van Dieman's Land, and later to be lost in the Arctic in his search for a North West Passage. The Rajah quilt is larger than King Size measuring 325cm x 337cm and is in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia Accession No: NGA 89.2285
The inscription reads: TO THE LADIES of the Convict ship committee. This quilt worked by the Convicts of the ship Rajah during their voyage to van Diemans Land is presented as a testimony to the gratitude with which they remember their exertions for their welfare while in England and during their passage and also as proof that they have not neglected the Ladies kind admonition of being industrious. June 1841. Thank you to Mary Jenkins for reminding me to say that this quilt will be exhibited in the forthcoming quilt exhibition at the V&A - it is the first time that this quilt has been out of Australia.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Grenfell Silk Stocking Mats - How Exciting Is This!

I am very grateful to Patricia Richards for her research into the Grenfell Mission (see the Hiawatha cut-out doll see on Monday's post). She has discovered for us a whole fabulous world of hooked rugs. These rugs made from discarded silk stockings, dyed with soft hues, were made by Newfoundland and Labrador women during the 1930s to supplement fishing income for their families. What is so very special about these rugs is not only the beauty and technical skill that they display, but also the fact that they reflect life in Newfoundland. This first rug depicts local flora: plumboy; bakeapple; crackerberry; squashberry; twinflower and dandelion.
When Grenfell arrived in Newfoundland he met hardworking people who were fighting terrible odds against chronic disease, hunger, poverty and exploitation. From his determination to alleviate their distress, Grenfell's medical mission began. His conviction that outright gifts of money, food and clothing would offer no long term help led to the development of a cottage industry known as "the Industrial," which produced distinctive handicrafts including hooked mats. The mat industry rose to peak production in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Hooking was first introduced by the English and Scottish settlers and all girls learnt to hook. The quiet months of February and March were the "matting season".
This rug depicts the pelt of a ringed seal - these pelts curing on racks would have been a common sight since Mission people were very dependent on hunting seal to provide food and raw materials for a vast array of life's necessities.
There is a wonderful book: Silk Stocking Mats: Hooked Mats Of The Grenfell Mission by Paula Laverty documenting the history and designs of many of the mat designs. The cover shows detail from an anemone and starfish rug.

Tuesday 26 January 2010

The Foundling Hospital and Ackworth School

The buildings that now house Ackworth Quaker School were originally commissioned by the directors of the London Foundling Hospital to provide overflow shelter for abandoned children. It was considered that the bracing and relatively clean air of the northern moorlands would be beneficial to their well-being. The London Foundling Hospital came into being thanks to the vision and dogged persistence of Thomas Coram. Born in Lyme Regis, he was later apprenticed aboard ship and sailed to America where he prospered. Later in life, he returned to England and settled at Rotherhithe, famous for its docks on the Thames, and infamous for its heaps of uncollected garbage. Here Thomas saw the bodies of babies who had been abandoned by desperate or incapable mothers and was moved to take personal action. In the Foundling Hospital children were taught to read and perform simple arithmetic. A resolution of 1754 stated that no children should be instructed in writing since that might encourage them to seek work above their station – such as clerking. However, attitudes changed and at the end of the eighteenth century, writing was incorporated into the curriculum. Boys were taught to knit, though this was later dropped as it was not viewed favorably by prospective employers. Girls were taught needlework and spinning ‘in such manner as may enable them to make useful Servants’. A woman also taught the girls ‘Pencilling on Calico’. In 1772 the Schoolmistresses reported on the talents and likely work opportunities for the girls in their care: 17 Shirt and Shift menders; 5 Darners; 17 Knitters; 12 Spinners; 13 Coat menders and several young children not capable of anything. The girls’ uniform changed little over the centuries and consisted of a little peaked white muslin cap and a white triangular bib and apron worn over a brown serge dress trimmed with red. And on leaving the Foundling Hospital they would, most likely, have simply changed one uniform for another.

There is a free download of a longer article about the Foundling Hospital. To read more, just click here.

Monday 25 January 2010

Margaret Ellerby, Ackworth School and Me

Another question I am frequently asked is how did I get involved with the samplers at Ackworth School. There are some things in life that are not planned, and in 2003, Ackworth School did not figure on my radar at all. I was invited by the curator of Haslemere Educational Museum to record their sampler collection. (Haslemere sits under Black Down which is a landmark seen from the top of our hill). It was an exciting time for me, having just completed recording the collection at Guildford Museum. But I have to say that it was not Margaret Ellerby's sampler that at first caught my eye. Instead, it was a fabulous 17th century Dutch sampler which had somehow found its way there. But Margaret Ellerby's was the next sampler to have my undivided attention. It looked like an Ackworth School sampler, and since there were a batch of samplers which had migrated south from the north of England, we sent an image to Fred Davies, then curator at Ackworth, to confirm this - or not. Sadly, the answer came back that Margaret had not attended Ackworth. However, there were two Ellerby boys at school about the same time this sampler was worked, and another boy who attended some years later. So we conjectured that Margaret was their sister and had somehow had contact with the school, though not as a scholar. It was through Margaret that my links with Ackworth School were established - and as the saying goes - I have never once looked back.

Sunday 24 January 2010

Hiawatha's Song - The Nets that Bind Us

Please bear with me - I am not having a senior moment. The snow had cleared enough for us to go out and fill the pantry. While out, I nosed into a little charity/thrift shop and bought this item for £1. This is the perfect stitching project for a little girl I know - or rather her mother! (I confess to being a great lover of Hiawatha - it was the first poem I learnt by heart as a child: instead of bed-time stories my father taught me ships' rigging, flags of the world, morse code and the Song of Hiawatha. Years later, travelling in Finland, I discovered and fell under the hypnotic spell of the Kalevala, the model for Hiawatha. Now I really am digressing too much.) I was wrapping up the cloth to post when I read The Grenfell Association printed on the selvedge. This called for some research!
Well, blow me down with an eagle's feather! This funny little £1 item has quite a history. Wilfred Grenfell graduated in medicine in London in 1888 and in 1892 was sent to Newfoundland by the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. His mission was to improve the conditions of inhabitants and fishermen there. He recruited nurses and doctors and opened hospitals along the coast of Labrador - then he moved out of the box - he worked to provide schools, orphanages, co-operatives and industrial work projects. He was knighted, as he deserved, by King George V. My father, an old sailor, who loved Newfoundland where he had spent many leaves in the war, would have been as pleased as Punch to know this man. I can imagine the two of them talking together. I treasure the photo of my father and mother and big sisters taken at Buckingham Palace, taken when my father received his medal from King George VI. So, to return to the beginning. The Grenfell Association was set up to support the work of Wilfred Grenfell and this little cloth would have been produced to raise money for the charity. I shall make sure this history is passed on to my favourite little girl with her Hiawatha Doll kit.
And the last of all the figures
Was a heart within a circle,
Drawn within a magic circle;
And the image had this meaning:
Naked lies your heart before me,
To your naked heart I whisper

Saturday 23 January 2010

Mrs Murphy Rules OK!

Last week you told me how much you liked the Volga Linen items, so I thought you might like to see these items which I stumbled on, created by a Swedish designer with a great Swedish name - Mrs Murphy.
There is a quality of peace and tranquility in these stitching-pattern inspired simple household items such as tea-towels and kitchen boards. They are very understated and a delight to have around.

And the designs work from the kitchen right to the littlest room - why haven't I seen tiles like this in the stores? If you would like more information, here is the contact for Mrs Murphy Designs.

Friday 22 January 2010

New York Sampler - Sotheby's 23 Jan 2010

Ever since I first saw a sampler like this and was taught that there was a whole school of them from New York, I fell in love them. It is their unique, almost comic-strip way they have of representing biblical stories that appealed so much to me. This type of sampler was worked between 1746 and 1768, mostly by the daughters of Trinity Church parishioners. It is thought that their patterns most likely originated at the French boarding school for girls in New Rochelle. Here you can see Adam and Eve, The Parable of the Sower, Elijah being fed by the ravens and Jacob's Dream. Jane Deall who stitched this samplers was born 10 July 1759 in New York City, and was baptized 8 August 1759 at Trinity Church (in lower Manhattan). Her parents were Samuel Deall and his wife, Elizabeth. This wonderful sampler is Lot 460 and is to be auctioned at Sotheby's in New York on 23 January.

Thursday 21 January 2010

A Four Metre or Thirteen Feet Long Sampler

Samplers and Buttons is one of my favourite blogs - do visit! Seeing some examples of Joke Visser's Souvenirs de ma Jeunesse there prompted me to see if I could find something which would convey the size of these pieces. When I have photographed them in the past it has been section by section, because they are just so long, and somehow the whole experience is diminished. Fortunately, someone has posted this fabulous video on You Tube so if you have never seen any of these long samplers composed of exercises made throughout the schooling of convent educated girls in the Netherlands, you can have a better idea of what they are all about.

Wednesday 20 January 2010

Talking of Unicorns....and Arzon

Talking of narwhal's tusks and unicorns on Monday made me long to be back again in the Musée National du Moyen Âge in the Hôtel de Cluny on the left bank of the Seine in Paris. Here are some truly amazing tapestries, not least the sequence of six tapestries called the Lady and the Unicorn. These tapestries cover the walls of a single room and you can sit in the middle of the room and savour them all. Savour is the appropriate word, for each tapestry illustrates a sense. This first is the sense of sight. The unicorn, symbol of Christ, rests in the virgin's lap and is shown his reflection in a looking glass, recalling the monstrance of the mass. The tragic look on the virgin's face foreshadows the fate of the Saviour.
Now the sense of hearing conveyed through the playing of a portable organ - look closely and you will see the unicorn again.
Arzon gets everywhere doesn't he? Here he is in the sixth tapestry in the sequence and this tapestry is something of a mystery. Does it represent the sixth, or so-called common sense? The tapestries were all woven in Flanders in the late 15th century on a high warp loom. This meant that the makers sat behind the tapestry and could see their work only by looking at a reflective surface placed in front of the loom. The gorgeous mille fleurs backgrounds are found in illuminated manuscripts of medieval European and also Asiatic origins. Whenever I look at spot samplers I see something similar - but not the same....sources have changed in the intervening 200 years.

Tuesday 19 January 2010

Free Sampler Digital Jigsaw Puzzle to Download

I thought you might like to play a while today - so under a special arrangement with David Gray designer of Jigsaws Galore - the powerful jigsaw player and creator for Windows, we have a free digital jigsaw for you to download. Sadly, this is not going to work for Mac users. Instructions: Click here next Click Open, then click the .EXE file name and click Run, when you see the jigsaw puzzle, click Play
Too many pieces? Try clicking on Trays on the top tool bar to create any number of resizeable trays to sort your pieces can also click the Cheat button and watch the puzzle solve itself!

Monday 18 January 2010

Whitby Museum Sampler Catalogue on CD - and Sampler Curator Wanted

Whitby Museum is one of my favourite museums and I make a point of visiting at least once a year. Located on the North Yorkshire coast, Whitby was once a busy whaling port and port of departure for Captain Cook, how could I not love it. (Queue at the Magpie for probably the best fish and chips in the world.) In the museum I have held in my very hand a narwhal tusk, said to be the inspiration for the unicorn; consulted the Tempest Prognosticator, powered by leeches; and smiled at the Jurassic dinosaur embedded in the wall on the diagonal because someone got the measurements wrong: it should have been displayed horizontally. But with all our faults we, too, can surely incline ourselves at an angle to the universe, eyes on the stars. The Museum is home also to around 90 samplers, the earliest of which is the one here by Abiah Dickinson dated 1714. A chart of this sampler is available direct from the museum.

I thought you might be interested to see this Quaker by Ann Lister of 1790. We have no idea at present where Ann spent her life - perhaps someone knows something of her. Again a hand-drawn chart for this sampler is available to purchase from the Museum.

I am also intrigued by this Quaker sampler by Betty Carr, it is very much like the York and Ackworth text samplers. Campsall is near Doncaster in the south of Yorkshire, but is somewhat of a mystery still - any help would be so useful.

And finally, one couldn't leave without a glance of a Whitby girl's sampler. All the Sampler Collection at Whitby is available on CD direct from the museum. The catalogue is in Word format and the images are adequate for study. Again for £10 plus P&P it will not break the bank. If you live nearby, the Museum may be interested to hear from you as they were short of a Sampler Curator the last time I spoke to the Registrar.

Sunday 17 January 2010

Plough Sunday and Yorkshire Costumes

Traditionally the first Sunday after Epiphany is celebrated here as Plough Sunday and marks the beginning of the agricultural year. The ploughs have not been able to get to the ground because of the snow and so Plough Sunday celebrations have been postponed in some parishes until today. Ploughs bedecked with ribbons are taken along to church for blessing, after which follows Morris Dancing and a little light revelry - what we here like to call a regular old knees-up. And here you can see a very accurate illustration of what a regular old knees up looks like. These plates are from my copy of George Walker's The Costume of Yorkshire (as some of you know, that is the county of my birth). This is a fabulous book if you are able to get hold of a copy as it shows not only costumes but occupations - such as spinning with a great wheel.
Grandmother is skeining the spun yarn. The ladder to the left may go up to the bedroom or weaving garret, where the husband of the house would be working at his loom.
And the famous Wensley Dale knitters - men, women and children who knit all the while, whatever other task they may be performing, whether cooking or shepherding flocks. If you stopped for a chat, you would stop for six - the length of time taken to knit six rows. In the evenings, to save fuel, knitting, singing and story-telling by the light of a dying fire, the little community would gather turn by turn at each others' homes.

Saturday 16 January 2010

Couson's - and Arzons's Mary Wigham

It is a little while since we've seen a Mary Wigham. Couson in France has now finished hers - here you can see the finishing stages.

But maybe Cousson had a little help? The sampler is signed Couson et Arzon...who is Arzon?
Here is Arzon. Couson says that he didn't want to be separated from his Mary!

Friday 15 January 2010

Simple Gifts - a Free Download from Rosemary

Today I am celebrating - I am making Bottom-of-the-Fridge soup. After more snow and blockages yesterday, there is now a thaw and it will be possible to get out this afternoon, so all the vegetables I have been providentially reserving against longer confinement, can now be popped into a big soup pot. Richard says he prefers my cooking when we are in make-do situations - and the truth is that I love the challenge of making something from whatever remains. Although as time has gone on, a bizarre imbalance in the pantry has become manifest. Yesterday we had one egg left, but nearly a whole bottle of pickled lemons. We were out of jam, but had plenty of Harissa...mmm...not sure about Harissa on toast, somehow. But, the message is clear, simple living is enjoyable. And simple gifts are treasured. Rosemary has created this lovely Quaker design as a gift to all stitchers - it is the fruit of her hands for us to share. Click here for your free download of Rosemary's design. Thank you, Rose. In the spirit of living simply so that others may simply live, perhaps you would consider a donation to the Haiti Earthquake Appeal through a relief agency in your country.

Thursday 14 January 2010

New Sampler Book from North East Museums

It is a day of rejoicing for me when museums publish or make accessible their sampler collections and I have been looking forward with great anticipation to the publication of the joint collections of not 1, but 15 museums in the North East of England. Such an inspired concept to have created a consortium to provide a critical mass of exemplars for publication. This project has entailed an extraordinary feat of management and co-ordination. The book has 114 pages with around 60 images and is very handsomely produced with clear text and fine layout, and comes with a CD Rom of the sampler images. Brilliant - I would really like you to support the project and buy the book. However, you do need to know that the task may have been just a stretch too far. The CD doesn't work as it should, though I am told it can be replaced. There are a considerable number of images on the CD which are empty boxes marked image not available. And when we come to the images on the CD and in the book, the stars of the show, as it were, it just saddens me that time was not spent taking more care with the images. Some are out of focus, have reflections, and one like the Quaker sampler below is, inexplicably upside down.

I know the problems associated with a project like this - it is very tough work - and I have a great deal of sympathy. It is a project with great vision and ambition - and some great samplers such as the one below of Susannah being manhandled in a way I have never seen before, are wonderfully presented. In spite of the problems, I know you will still find enjoyment in the book and for £12.95 plus £2.95 P&P for UK it is not going to break the bank.

Wednesday 13 January 2010

Marken and the Italian Connection

As a young mother, I would bundle up my month-old daughter and take her along to the library in the little Fenland town where we lived, to enjoy story-telling sessions with the local children. It was no surprise that these Fenland children had never travelled further than the north Norfolk coast for a special holiday, since visiting the next big town by bus in my childhood was a daunting and dangerous affair. So it is easy to construe, quite wrongly, that only in recent charter-jet times has the world and her husband set out to eye-up the neighbours on our planet. While I could go into the history of medieval international trade, I'll spare you, and give you you one example: Venetian and Genoese galleys were annual visitors to Bruges in the early 1300s, where there was a company of Italian merchants, such as the the Arnolfini from Lucca - Giovanni Arnolfini famous for his and his new wife's presence in the Van Eyck painting of 1434. Here you see the interior of a Marken home. The Isle of Marken, near Amsterdam, was formerly a prosperous fishing port, reclaimed from fens and built up, not quite beyond the powerful reach of the North Sea, on werfs and piles. Marker women, because they had small homes could whisk through their household chores in no time and so have plenty of time for stitching for their children and home. There are two bed alcoves in this Marker home and if you look at the one on the left you can see that the embroidered pillows and sheets are displayed for our admiration.
If we zoom in on those pillows (sorry for the poor quality of the image) it is just possible to see that the ends are of lace, and to show them off to their best advantage, they are backed with red satin or silk.

Just as these pillows are in this detail of a painting of 1583 by the Florentine artist, Alessandro Allori.

When I was working with Margreet Beemsterboer on the publication of her Sampler of Motifs from Marken, I was struck just how much these motifs seemed to spring from a birthplace a world away, also constructed upon built-up wharves and similarly imperiled by the sea - Venice.

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Bonhams 14 January Edinburgh - and one that got away today

If I hadn't had so much in my in-tray, I might have spotted earlier this little sampler finished by Emily Sarah Crick on a leap-day, February 29th, in 1840. It was auctioned by Bonham's at Knowle today and realised the princely sum of £48.

However, there is another Bonham's Auction with samplers and needlework related items in Edinburgh in two days' time. Below you can see a sampler by Charlot Clark from 1821.

There are also a number of lots of Mauchline Ware which feature stitching accessories. Mauchline is a village in Scotland, which like many other communities economically stranded by the Industrial Revolution, was casting around for a way to make money with its traditional craft base. In the 1820s two Mauchline brothers, William and Andrew Smith, set up a factory to make snuff-boxes. Out of this venture, in which Andrew was and remained the leading spirit, grew an industry which was to dominate the market for wooden souvenirs during most of the Victorian era. All the items feature a transfer printed vignette of a tourist destination from where, presumably they were sold. The trefoil pin cushion below has a view of the Ruins of the Old Abbey, Reading. I really must go and visit!

Monday 11 January 2010

Needleprint Bridegrooms' Hearts Charts Ready to Download

This is our first Infinity Book- a book of Bridegrooms’ Hearts. It has been a twinkle in my eye for some years, since first I learnt about the custom in Sweden of embroidering hearts on brudgumsskjortor - bridegrooms’ shirts. These hearts were often stitched by the bride-to-be, sometimes in the summer in the pastures, and long before she knew to whom she would be married. Mothers of the bride-to-be have also been known to stitch the shirts on behalf of daughters yet-to-be-born. It goes almost without saying that, because the bridegroom was nearly always unknown when it was made, the shirt was amply tailored so that there would be next to no man it could not fit!

The bride continued to wear her wedding clothes after the wedding, without the trimmings. But the bridegroom’s shirt was taken off, carefully folded and stored away, never to be worn save on one more occcasion. His shirt with all the hours spent on its stitching was worn once only, at the wedding, and then, it was never worn by him in his lifetime. It was put away and stored against the time of his death, when it was brought out again to dress him for his burial. It was believed that not only the body would be resurrected, but also the shirt itself of those who had never broken their wedding vows. Should his first wife die and the man engage in marriage again, then his first shirt had to be destroyed upon the eve of his second wedding. It is for these reasons that few brudgumsskjortor survive today to be admired. It is possible that in times of famine or epidemic, the burying in brudgumsskjortor may have been overlooked.

This is our first Infinity Book and it contains 11 designs for Bridegrooms Hearts together with background information and licensed images of Bridegrooms' Shirts from Nordisksa Museet in Stockholm. In addition to the Infinity Book download, there is a separate charted pdf of all the patterns with additional alphabet, nubers and borders from Dalarna, Sweden. And if that were not all, those of you with cross Stitch designer have the bonus editable jgg file for use with Cross Stitch Designer. Just click here to browse some pages of the book or purchase. If you don't yet have Cross Stitch Designer, click here to purchase it now for $20 - it comes with editable charts for the Beatrix Potter and Mary Wigham samplers ready for you to start to enjoy.
My gratitude goes Caroline Seldon and Beryl Lawrence without whose inspiration and enthusiasm this would not have been possible. And many thanks to Erica Uten for her awsome stitching which you can see on the front page of the book. Take a bow, all of you!

Sunday 10 January 2010

Why Needleprint? (And another New Year's Revolution!)

It is more than reasonable to assume that the name Needleprint was chosen for this enterprise of ours because we print books specifically to do with needlework. However, for me, the word print has more significance than simply printing books. It signifies a unique, perhaps traceable, identity - in the same way we have fingerprints, footprints and, now, DNA prints. The sound, or mark, of a thread left behind by someone plying a needle has no word of its own that I know of. It might be interesting to consider what that word might be if it existed. I would be interested to know what comes to your mind. There is so much heart in something hand-stitched, that I have created another New Year's Revolution for myself: To give presents that are either books - or hand-made stitching and nothing else. And I shall ask my family not to buy me presents in future, but to simply put a few stitches, what ever they can achieve, in a little square of cloth for me, and tomorrow I shall be sending out some little offcuts of linen, thread and needles, to help them and not leave them too daunted. (I hope!) By doing this, my wish is to spread the gift of stitching, because stitching in itself is a great gift and it would be sad not to have it, or to lose it. I was very taken by a very forward-looking initiative taken by Stockholm City Council to promote handcrafts - particularly those which recycle existing materials. They are sponsoring craft consultants who will work in schools, hospitals, with the disabled and in the wide community. There is a little PDF in Swedish to download - but you can make sense of it by copying and pasting into Bing or some other translator. Does your council have some intitiave like this? Do you think it would be a good idea? It might not happen unless we are the ones to talk first about it. Perhaps if we take some stitching along, our stitches may speak louder than words.

Saturday 9 January 2010

The Needleprint Infinity Bridegroom's Hearts will be arriving any day soon.

We are putting the finishing touches to the charts for the Bridegrooms' Hearts ready for you to download any day soon. Here is a little preview of a model stitched by Tokens of Love Erica Uten. Make lovely pillows for Valentine's Day, Anniversary Gifts, Ring keeps for Weddings or something special for the Dear Hearts in your life.