Alison Larkin Embroidery

Historical Embroidery in Full-size and Miniature

Coming Back to Life

The last 18 months or so have been a strange time, but it’s good to be gradually coming back to something resembling normality – at least as ‘normal’ as my life ever gets!

The last few weeks have been a series of what seem like small events, but under the circumstances really aren’t small. First lecture post-covid, first workshop – all milestones towards normality. I’ve been madly busy with them, so apologies for not touching base with my website or email news for quite a few weeks. Even social media stuff has been a bit thin. I’m trying to get back to it, honest!

I had my first ‘book talks’ in September, one to Harrogate Creative Stitchers, and the other at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, no less! Great to get out and share the Jane Austen Embroidery story with interested people, both in the embroidery field and the Austenites. I enjoyed the JA Festival – it’s the first time I’ve been. It was a little subdued, I suspect – not too many folks in Regency gear – but definitely some made the effort, and one lady brought her first embroidery attempt to show me – the needlecase from the book! It was lovely to see it, and she had done very well for a first go.  

Needlecase stitched by a visitor to my Talk at the Jane Austen Festival – her first attempt at embroidery!

While we were in Bath we visited Cheddar Gorge for the first time. I had no idea just how HUGE it is! I’m not sure what I really envisaged, but the reality is a lot bigger than I had thought. and we got some lovely proper Cheddar cheese from one of the shops!

Cheddar Gorge!

I was also at my first show post-pandemic – staffing a stand for the Embroiderers Guild Region at the Northern Quilt Show at Harrogate. We were able to dispel a few myths about the Guild situation, and make contact with members from our region and beyond, which was great!

Yorkshire & Humber Region stand at the Quilt Show.

I also bought some lovely linen fabric at the show to use to make waistcoats. I wear gilets/waistcoats quite a lot, as I don’t like having my arms too encumbered when driving and such. I have a favourite navy blue one, which will fall to bits if I’m not careful. So I want to make a pattern from it and make some more. When I have time, of course…… (Don’t hold your breath!)

Then yesterday I did my first post-covid workshop, for our local stitch group Hull and East Riding Broderers (formerly HER Branch). It was working a little Georgian sprig based on a pattern from the 1816 Lady’s Magazine. It went really well, and we had 3 new members after our exhibition! Everyone enjoyed it: most folks finished, or nearly, and I even sold some of my other kits. Thank you for a great afternoon, everyone, and especially thanks to Janet for the Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake (our favourite celebration cake – quite boozy and VERY moreish!)

Pieces finished at my workshop! Well done, ladies!

I have also completed a new kit, called Midnight Christmas. It’s in blue and silver on very dark blue linen, with silver sequins, and it is available in my online shop. It’s not a complex design, so plenty of time to work it before Christmas if you want to! Link to the shop page at the top of this page.

Midnight Christmas design – Kit available in the Shop!

One lovely development this month is that my co-author Jennie Batchelor has opened a website with patterns from the Lady’s Magazine available to download for you to use for your embroidery! There are some lovely patterns: find them HERE.

Little steps in some ways, but any move forward into ‘normality’ is actually a big step. I just hope people will be sensible and continue covid precautions, so things don’t deteriorate into another lockdown this winter. Do get double or triple-jabbed, wear masks as needed, and give folks space, please, so we can carry on with coming back to life.

Happy stitching, Dear Reader!

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