Wednesday 31 October 2012

3 Winners For The SANQ Draw

I am delighted to announce that the winners of the draw for the 3 Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly Magazines are: Marjan from the UK, Rosella from Italy and Cristina from Portugal. And tomorrow we shall reveal the winner of A Mirror To My Art!

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Elizabethan Jacket @ The British Museum Until 25 November 2012

Now that I have a little more time, I was able at last to take a day out to visit the Shakespeare : staging the world exhibition that is currently on at the British Museum until 25 November 2012. This is a totally amazing experience and you will need at least two hours for your visit. One of the magnificent items you can closely inspect is this exquisite embroidered jacket.

Other items include Sheldon tapestries - above you can see the huge map of Warwickshire being hung and details from its reverse showing how bright the original colours were. Also there is a beautifully woven bed valance recalling motifs from stumpwork panels and a tiny hornbook. Click here to read more about the Sheldon tapestry. Click here for more details about the exhibition.

Monday 29 October 2012

Medieval Dress on the Walls of Schloss Runkelstein

While in the Dolomites we visited the fabulous Schloss Runkelstein. You can take the regular free bus from the centre of Bolzano, in the Alto Adige, up to the local castle of Runkelstein. There you can marvel at the early 14th and 15th century frescos commissioned by the brothers, Franz and Niklaus Vintler, to adorn all the walls. Above you can see a courtly game of catch-ball, played by (amongst others) two crowned ladies in the most refined and superbly trimmed gowns.

In the fresco above, well-costumed lords and ladies appear to peer down at you from galleries above trompe l'oeil wall-hangings and marble walls.

In one of the galleries is this noble lady in her parti-coloured, sable-trimmed gown. But is it you she is looking for, or perhaps she is waiting for her courtly-lover?

Talking of courtly love, the summer house is decorated with frescos recounting the famous love story of Tristan and Iseult - and also of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. There is a restaurant in the castle where you can take lunch, enjoy a light bite or simply quench your thirst with the local beer. The frescos are well documented and photographed and you can buy a comprehensive guide to them at the Schloss.

Sunday 28 October 2012

British Patriotic Samplers Blog

It is always interesting to discover other people's blogs - particular those relating to textiles and samplers and just recently I came across this blog which I thought might interest you. The focus is on British patriotic samplers and embroideries, especially those from 1901 to the present day. Its purpose is to be a catalogue/reference of the remarkable array of these hand-made works. Each one is a piece of social history, someone's time and skill and heart-felt emotion stitched to commemorate an event to which they must have felt a strong connection.

The blogger says I'm not so much a royalist as a student of social history and needlework. Every one of these items has a story. And this Dig For Victory work is certainly a wonderful piece of history.

The items pictured on the blog are many in their variety and technique - the picture above is a detail from a large portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and the designs on the cards below were made by the Royal School of Needlework. Click here to visit and see much more!

Saturday 27 October 2012

Stomachers @ Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs - Mode et Textile - housed at 107, rue de Rivoli (in the side of the Louvre), Paris was opened in 1905 and now houses over 81,000 works.

Because of the fragile nature of the items, they can usually only be seen during exhibitions displayed over two levels of galleries covering 1,500 square metres. Just 3 of the 81,000 items are these fabulous stomachers. So the next time you are in Paris, make sure to drop by the galleries and see what is currently on show. For more details, click here.

Friday 26 October 2012

Lisa Anne Auerbach * Knitting for Non-Passives

It's been raining here for most of the summer - I keep telling people we are going mouldy.... These knitted sweaters by Lisa Anne Auerbach brought a gleam of sunshine through the watery twilight. And I think below says all I need to say to drivers who think the narrow lanes around here mean I should get off my bike and climb a steep, slippy bank to clear the road for them. To see more of Lisa Anne's designs click here.

Thursday 25 October 2012

The Micheál and Elizabeth Feller Collection Volume I

Thank you so much for all the brilliant things you are saying about Volume II of The Micheál and Elizabeth Feller Collection. Our ears are pink, but we are all so thrilled you love the new book! I have had many emails from people now wanting Volume I of this superb collection that the best thing I can say is, do ask your local store, but if you draw a blank you can always purchase from here - the price includes airmail shipment to wherever you live in the world. Just click here to browse or buy Volume I.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

3 Giveaways * SANQ Celebrates the Micheál & Elizabeth Feller Needlework Collection

I was very honoured a few months ago to be invited by Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly to write a few words of introduction to the Micheál & Elizabeth Feller Needlework Collection. And the other week SANQ kindly sent me 3 free copies of the magazine with the article.

So now I can offer 3 free giveaways in this week's draw which we'll announce next Wednesday, 31 October. To enter the draw simply click on the flying angel below.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

A Mirror to My Art - Only A Week to Wait

This year has been a very special year for us, seeing the publication of the final volume of the Micheál and Elizabeth Feller Needlework Collection and the announcement by the Ashmolean Museum of an exhibition of the collection in summer 2013, to be curated by Mary Brooks. At the beginning of this special Olympics year, we announced our own needlework Olympics - A Mirror to My Art - with a first prize of £500. Many of you know that Needleprint was founded with 3 aims to: open up the world of needlework, by making images of needlework more accessible; conserve needlework collections for generations to come; and promote needlework. The aim of this competition was to inspire needleworkers around the world with the objective to design and stitch a cover for a handheld mirror - the sort of mirror you might pop in a handbag. And you were certainly inspired! We had many, many entrants from all around the world - though, sadly, no juniors. The entries were finally whittled down to 20 finalists who were chosen for their skill and diversity of concept and design. If you have not yet seen the finalists, you can see them by clicking here. And now there is just a week to wait for the announcement of the winner and runners-up.......

Monday 22 October 2012

Micheál and Elizabeth Feller books @The Crewel Gobelin * Killara * Australia

The Crewel Gobelin on Marian St in Killara has been stocking Needleprint books since we first started publishing some 8 years ago. Margaret ran a wonderful shop for many years and now she has retired, the shop is under the management of Julie Milne. Crewel Gobelin is situated approximately 150 metres from Killara station and is opposite the Marian Street Theatre with plenty of parking available. If you are not able to call in personally then you can order on line. Apart from all the wonderful threads and linens and kits, Julie will have stock of the Micheál and Elizabeth Feller Needlework Collection Volumes next week - so if you are in that area, place your order now! Click here to visit the Crewel Gobelin website.

Sunday 21 October 2012

Embroidery Museum - Oberhundem * Germany

Oberhundem lies about 100 kilometres south-west of Dortmund. There you will find in an old half-timbered rectory built in 1685 the Embroidery Museum. This is a beautiful setting indeed for pieces collected from around the world by Henriette Steinacker. Here are examples of cross stitch, satin stitch or Plattstickerei, Richelieu work and Hedebo all worked on clothing, wall hangings and table linen. Noteworthy examples are a pattern cloth in drawn thread work from the year 1790, French Hochstickerei from 1849, a nine-metre-long pronkerolle from Hengelo dated 1909 and Ayrshire work from Scotland. There are also many samplers.
Attached to the museum is an embroidery shop that carries many different embroidery threads, linens, patterns, embroidery kits and and accessories. There are also table linen, beads and picture frames made to measure. You are free to browse at your leisure. Opening times are: Tuesday to Friday 14.00 - 18.00, Saturday and Sunday 14.00 - 16.30. The museum and shop are closed on Mondays and public holidays. Click here for more information.

Saturday 20 October 2012

Mary Jaene Edmonds Sampler Collection for Auction * Sothebys * 26 January 2013

Mary Jaene Edmonds bought her first sampler in the early 1970s when she knew very little about them and when they attracted little attention - all that would change in the 80s and 90s! Sampler prices at auction rocketed and Mary Jaene went on to publish her admirable book Samplers and Samplermakers which includes all the works that will be auctioned.
The Mary Jaene Edmonds Collection of American Schoolgirl Samplers comprises over 70 examples from the early 18th to the late 19th century. A catalogue for the larger sale to include the Mary Jaene Edmonds collection will be available from Sothebys at the beginning of 2013.

Friday 19 October 2012

The Perpetually Engaging Diary Offer

If you love the Micheál and Elizabeth Feller Collection, then you will love this diary which is good for any year - it has pictures of 27 needlework treasures from the famous Feller Needlework Collection and 12 stitching projects - one for each month. The ideal gift for you and a friend, now you can save on buying 2 copies of the Perpetually Engaging Diary. Price includes postage.

A special offer when you purchase a copy of the Perpetually Engaging Diary and the Ackworth School Memory Book together. Price includes postage.

A special present for you and a friend. Make savings by buying 2 copies of the Ackworth School Memory Book. Price includes postage.

Thursday 18 October 2012

Ackworth Sampler by Mary Grimshaw 1805 @ Tennants Auction * 2 November 2012

Lot 1231 is for auction at Tennants of Leyburn on 2 November and is, as you can see, a beautiful framed Ackworth School Medallion Sampler by Mary Grimshaw. Worked in 1805, Mary has cross stitched many of the decorative motifs unique to Ackworth of half medallions, swan, cornucopia of flowers etc. It measures 35cm by 46cm and has an estimate of £3,000 - £5,000. Mary Grimshaw was the daughter of Joseph and Margaret Grimshaw. She was born at Rawdon, West Yorkshire in 1795 and brought up with her seven siblings. The Yorkshire Grimshaws had very strong Quaker connections. For more details of the auction click here. You will need to register before bidding, allow yourself some time to do this.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Marie Antoinette's Shoes for Auction @ Drouot, Paris Today

Some very poignant personal items belonging to Marie Antoinette are to be auctioned today in Paris.  The first is Lot PH120 the pair of silk shoes above with an estimate of 8,000€ - 10,000€.

Above is Lot PH122, the cotton jersey sleeve worn by Marie Antoinette when she was imprisioned in the Temple in Paris - its estimate is 2,000€ - 2,500€. Lot PH123 below is a fragment of the last dress worn by the doomed queen which has an estimate of 3,000€ - 3,500€. For more details of the sale, click here.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Samplers For Auction at Gorringes, Sussex UK * 24/25 October 2012

Gorringes of Lewes in East Sussex have a number of samplers coming up for auction next week. The sampler above is Lot 64 and is a George III needlework sampler by Christian Shittler, dated May 21st 1819, worked with a verse, flowers and birds in a verre eglomise mount and gilt frame. It measures 18.5 inches x 17 inches (47cm x 43cm) and has an estimate of £300 - £500.

Lot 67 above is also a George III needlework sampler and is dated 1815. It is worked with a verse entitled On Youth and features some charming angels, figures and flowers. In its ebonised frame it measures 20 inches x 18.5 inches (51cm x 47cm) and has an estimate of £100 - £150.

Lot 65 is a William IV needlework sampler worked by Catherine Frost, dated 1834. It features a large hare facing a squirrel and is in a later cushion frame measuring 21 inches x 16.5 inches (53cm x 42cm). The estimate for this piece is £200 - £300.

A fine mansion house heads up this sampler. It is Lot 62 and is a Victorian needlework sampler by Sarah Doulton, dated 1840. It is in a modern frame and measures 23 inches x 17 inches (58cm x 43cm) and the estimate is £250 - £300. For more details of these samplers and the others in the sale, just click here.

Monday 15 October 2012

Winner of the St Ulrich's Museum Doll Cards Draw

I am delighted to announce that the winner of the Giveawy of the 6 doll post cards from St Ulrich's Museum is Donna from Lewisburg. We'll have a very special giveaway next week - in fact 3 giveaways!

Sunday 14 October 2012

Threads of Silk and Gold * Ashmolean Museum, Oxford * 9 November 2012–27 January 2013

Very exciting news - the Ashmolean Museum will be showing the first exhibition of Meiji textiles ever to be held outside Japan later this year. The Meiji era 1868–1912 was the famous period of Japonisme, which saw the European Impressionist painters exploring themes and styles taken from Japanese art, and Victorian rooms filled with Japanese decorative arts and crafts. Japanese artists were producing exquisite embroideries, sophisticated resist-dyed silk and velvet panels, grand tapestries, and appliqué work that captured the imagination of the West. This exhibition promises 40 examples of the highest-quality Meiji textiles from the newly acquired collection of the Kiyomizu-Sannenzaka Museum in Kyoto. Pieced together from around the world, this outstanding collection is one of the finest and most comprehensive of its type in existence. Also on display will be some superb pieces from the Ashmolean’s own collections. A must-see so pop it in your diary now.

Saturday 13 October 2012

Some Delights of Bolzano Museum

Across the street from the long queues outside the newer museum which houses the man deposited out of a glacier, is the old and delightful municipal museum, filled with mannequins sporting local costumes and all manner of beautiful handicrafts like this decorated wool-carding comb.

There are exquisitely decorated everyday objects such as these little boxes

And objects of whimsy you can imagine being worked when the weather was not good enough to get out and work, like these miniature chests of straw work.
I particularly liked this special collection of embroidered belts - I don't know if you can see well enough, but the belt on the right has the name Agnes embroidered on it.

You can get to Bolzano by taking the train from Verona - pop into the Arena while you are in Verona to enjoy an opera on a balmy summer's evening with a nice glass of prosecco to hand! Travelling up to Bolzano towards the Dolomites, you pass through the most beautiful scenery, thick with vineyards famous for the Adige wines. I rate Bolzano on a par to Aix en Provence - it is one of the most wonderful towns - you can never tire of its attractive old porticoed buildings and shops, pretzel stalls, fruit markets, fine cuisine and general love of life. If you like riding bicycles, Bolzano has many for rent - often with battery packs for power-assisted pedalling - so you can take in the sights in a more leisurely manner!