Thursday 25 March 2010

The Girl on the Wall

Every so often you come across truly inspired books - not always highbrow - not always richly beautiful - but books that evoke a resounding, gasped Yes from the heart of you....books that I wish I had published! One of these special books is The Girl on the Wall by Jean Baggott. Jean has mapped out her life on a panel of linen which hangs above her dining table and this book is her very personal guide to her stitched journey, explaining the people, places, events and feelings which have coloured her life and which are captured now in thread.

Jean, a needlewoman since childhood, was inspired by the plaster ceilings at Burghley House but had run out of room on her walls; there was no more room for cushions (sounds just like my house!) - what to do? So, she initially thought she might make a table cover - which later became the wall panel above her table. The overall theme is circles of life and so she charted 73 interlocking circles which took nearly 37,000 stitches to create - and this was before she started to fill them with the history of her life. And it wasn't as though she was doing only this - like all of us she was looking after family and home AND studying part-time for a history degree. I believe this book illustrates the thread that stitches understanding and meaning into our lives creating something richer, deeper and more beautiful than we could ever have imagined.


  1. What an extraordinary project! Thank you for calling our attention to it, Jacqueline. It is an inspiration to all of us. I wonder if any of us will follow Jean's lead - it is so very tempting, isn't it?

  2. I think it would be very interesting and powerful to leave behind us a testament of our lives in stitching, in addition to our stitched collections. How wonderful for children and grandchildren to have this key to our memories - it is a starting point and wonderful platform for communicating our memories and experiences....Yes, let's be tempted each in our own particular way with our own particular skills and preferences!

  3. I love this!!! A autobiography cross stitch!