One of the many books in my possession is a facsimile of an early 16th century pattern book, published by Lacis in 1999. A few years ago one of the patterns caught my imagination. Its a depiction of St Margaret of Antioch, a young Christian woman who refused to marry the man her father had chosen, and was fed to a dragon. Apparently the cross she was carrying irritated the dragon's stomach, and after three days it split open and she was freed unharmed (and apparently not even stained by the dragon's bodily fluids!)
My apologies, Dear Reader, for not posting anything for several months. Life has been rather hectic for several reasons. A family illness and bereavement complicated December, and then I was somewhat busy during January getting organised for a trip to ‘furrin parts’, which took place in February.
The trip was to NEW ZEALAND – nothing like going the whole hog if you are planning a trip, is there? If you are flying the world you might as well fly all the way to the other side!
I've just finished a project I've been threatening to do for some years, namely to make a new angel for our Xmas tree. The old one is 18 years old, and was made in something of a rush. It's been looking sad for a few years, and every year I have said "I must make a new angel" and every year I have forgotten or got too involved in other stuff. This year Hull and East Riding New Stitchers (HENS) have a tree in Beverley Minster for their Christmas festival, which I think is the weekend of 9-11th December. So members have been making Xmas decorations all year to put on the tree.
I am just returned from a wonderful weekend out to play in the Big Scary Smoke! I came down to London on Friday morning, mainly to go to the Association of Dress Historians annual conference at the Artworkers Guild. The weekend kicked off with a tour, organised by ADH, of the Clothworkers Hall Textile Resource Centre of the V&A. One of the staff showed us their storage facilities - the biggest range of shelves/drawers I have ever seen, all of those archive type where you wind them on so you can get at the shelves. Vast!
This morning I've finished a project I've been working on for almost exactly a year. It's an embroidered Stomacher, loosely based on a design from Charles de St Aubin's book, The Art of the Embroiderer, which dates from 1770. It's stitched on ivory silk, using silk thread and silver passing thread. The green edges of the ribbon, and the silver passing thread are tamboured, and the rest is long-and short stitch, chain stitch satin stitch and French knots, mostly with spilt silk thread.
Had a great time this last weekend in Norfolk. We were staying with some old friends from my former prison (aka full-time work) who had moved to furrin parts in Aylsham. Margaret had roped me in to demonstrate at the Woolfest she was helping to organise, called "Woolly Worsted"! It's their first go at a wool festival for Norfolk, and the whole weekend went very well.
I had a great day on Sunday this weekend, visiting the EG East Midlands Region Regional Day at West Bridgford, in Nottingham. I was lecturing in the afternoon, about recreating historical embroidery.
I have finished a piece of Dresdenwork I have been working on for a year now - not all the time, of course, but I started it in February last year! It's a new neckerchief, since the one I already have is on exhibition in the Captain Cook Memorial Museum in Whitby this year. One of the hazards of exhibiting stuff is needing more stuff to keep you going in the meanwhile......
If you haven't yet discovered this, Dear (Embroiderer) Reader, then you are missing a lot of fun! Dr Jennie Batchelor from the University of Kent has published a series of patterns from The Lady's Magazine, published between 1770 and 1818, and they are online for Embroiderers to play with. Here's the link: https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/ladys-magazine/2015/11/27/the-great-ladys-magaz...
Lest you accuse me of indolence or slothfulness, Dear Reader, let me assure you I have been busy, even if I haven't posted a lot in this strangely modern journal-thing recently. I've even managed to get some Christmas decorations up in the Studio.