Alison Larkin Embroidery

Historical Embroidery in Full-size and Miniature

Newsletter for September 2020

September 2020            Alison Larkin, Embroiderer


Greetings from sunny Hull – although given the forecast I’m not sure how long sunny will last! I hope you are all well and surviving the developing situation with Covid-19. It looks increasingly likely that we will be locked down again, at least partially. I keep thinking of the ‘Rule of Six’ as ‘Six-and-out’, which was the family rule when we played cricket on holidays as a kid. If the ball went over the fence, or into the sea, it counted as a six, but you were out – and had to fetch the ball! Ah well, lots of time to keep stitching.


I’ve managed to finish a couple of pieces (OMG! Finished!) One is a miniature bedspread based on a pattern from the Lady’s Magazine. The original design was for a firescreen, but it makes a lovely dolls house scale (1/12th) bedspread. It is stitched with split flat silk thread, on silver dupion, backed with fine cotton lawn to give the embroidery support.

I’ve also finished a sampler of counted thread techniques that I have put together as a possible stitch-along project. I call it “Stitch in the Time of Covid” which is loosely based on the title of a novel by Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera. It seemed appropriate, somehow….

My original is stitched on 36 count linen with Cotton threads. The idea is to work on one block per month trying different techniques each time.  I’ll be posting more news on this when I have things a bit more organised.


One unfortunate side-effect of the increasing case-numbers and the ‘Rule of Six’ is that I have had to put plans to restart my face-to-face classes on hold for the foreseeable future. As soon as we have the freedom to gather indoors in bigger groups, I will be making plans to reopen.

I am looking at the idea of starting some online courses, possibly based on “Stitch in the Time of Covid” or something similar. It would be a great help if you could fill in the attached survey about online courses to guide my plans:


I’ve had fun lately being involved in two great online events. The first was part of the Bradford-on-Avon Book Fiesta for 2020: this is the first of what is hoped to be an annual event, organised by Gabrielle Malcolm. Jennie Batchelor and I were talking about Jane Austen Embroidery to Gabrielle: it was all recorded, so you can find it online here:

I was also involved in an event for the University of Kent, called ‘Crafting Through Covid’. This was an online conversation and stitch-along, discussing embroidery, the book, and how embroidery has helped folks cope with lockdown. Again, it was recorded and is available on YouTube:

Do have a look at these, and if they raise any questions for you or you have comments, email me!


Both versions of the book seem to be selling well. In fact, they have had to send the UK edition (by Pavilion Books) to reprint, as they were running out of the first print-run, which is great news. Thank you all for buying it! Do let me know how you have been getting on with the projects: you can email me, or post on my Facebook page:

There have been more reviews, and a new-ish magazine, Love Embroidery, ran the apron project in their latest issue. House and Garden also featured one of the projects on the website:


My website is coming on. It now has an events page, although I have to admit there aren’t many events on it at the moment. I had put my embroidery classes at Charterhouse on there, but I’ve had to delete them again. Ah well… Next stop is an online shop, I hope.

I’ve also been using the lockdown to work on my photography, and to try my hand at videos, so I now have a YouTube channel, and there is even a video on it! It shows some of the projects from Jane Austen Embroidery, and I put it together for the Bradford-on-Avon event. Do have a look:

I was pleasantly surprised how easy the techie stuff is: I’d been dreading the website and videos for years, but it all went quite smoothly. There now, I’ve probably jinxed things now……


I hope to put a Newsletter together monthly with information and, well, news. Do keep an eye on my various social media feeds for news in the meantime.

 If you want to contact me you can DM me through the above or email, or you can reach me through my contact page on the website:

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