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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

EMBROIDERY

Good Afternoon to you,


Let me introduce you to a much loved English actress..... Una Stubbs.



Throughout her career, Una has played many parts on stage and screen. One of  Natasha and Danielle's favourite children's series was Worsel Gummidge, in which Una  played the part of Aunt Sally.

.....but I think you will know her from the Bafta Award winning series, Sherlock, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, where she plays the part of  the landlady, Mrs Hudson.

Apart from acting, there is another side to Una.  Una is a self taught needlewoman..... and her work is exquisite.



I bought Una's book "In Stitches" in 1985 and I was drawn in by the beautiful photographs.  

I certainly could find a place in my sewing room for this beautiful shaped dresser, as I love the brass handles on the drawers and the Bakelite telephone which sits on top of the dresser. The overflowing basket of  muted coloured wools, the cotton materials and  the lace, all beckon me to open the other drawers to see what other treasures  are hidden inside. 

This dresser has been beautifully lime waxed. Nowadays chalk paint is popular, but in the 1980's it was all about removing paint from furniture and lime waxing. 

.... and so the wheel turns, paint on, paint off, paint on.  How many years will it be before it is paint off again.



I always thought of this as the perfect sewing corner. The baskets ladened with embroidery threads,  the wooden hoops, the books and baskets of dried flowers, and the reading lamp to ease the eyes whilst sewing.

During the 1980's and early 90's, dried flowers were very popular.  At the time I was part of a fund raising team for our school and one of the ideas we came up with to raise money, was to have an auction.

We arranged for a local auctioneer to host the evening. Parents and businesses were very generous and the donations came flooding into school.  One of the items, was a  beautiful basket of dried flowers.

At the time, I had a large fireplace with a basket of dried flowers on the right hand side, but I needed another basket of flowers on the left side.  So this was a perfect opportunity to bid for the basket. I had meant to bid, but I became caught up in the running of the evening and I missed my opportunity and so I never managed to make a bid.

The bidding started, and unbeknown to me, Natasha was amongst the bidders. The bidding reached the point where there were only two bidders remaining, Natasha and another person. Natasha would up  her bid and from the back of the hall came the other persons bid, they went back and forth upping each others bid.  Now, there were no voices to recognise as the bidders just showed their cards. Can you imagine the surprise when Natasha turned around to see who else was bidding and to find out it was her dad, all anyone heard was "D...a....a....a....d,  I'm buying this basket for mum, will you stop bidding!" to which everyone burst out laughing. George conceded and Natasha bought the basket of dried flowers,  at a rather inflated price.  I was thrilled when Natasha gave them to me and laughed when she told me the story.  In George's defence he had popped in on his way home from work, as he wanted to bid for the basket of flowers and he did  not see Natasha seated at the front. It was so lovely that they both had the same thought and wanted to buy me the basket of flowers as a gift. 



Doesn't this sampler make you want to pick up your needle and thread and start recording the stitches you have learnt.



Una writes "My long-legged son.  Not a perfect likeness maybe, but a very special memory nevertheless."

I love the humour in this piece of work.



These cushions are made by drawing threads, using embroidery stitches and beads.

I think you can see how my love of embroidery and beading evolved..... thanks to Una's inspiration.



This is a close up of the centre panel on one of the cushions..... it is so beautiful.



I have made quite a few of these brooch cushions  some were used for brooches, but others were filled with lavender.  



I love everything about this photograph, but especially the embroidered tablecloths.

Una mentioned in the book that the inspiration for these Signature tablecloths came from Una's grandmother's embroidered tablecloth .

I think this is a wonderful idea. Have you ever thought of asking family members to write their names on a tablecloth and then embroidering the signatures.  I did this once for a friend who was moving, all her friends wrote their names on a tablecloth, which I embroidered.  When we gave it to her as a gift, she burst into tears, not because she was upset, but because she said she would never forget us.  In the years to come, she would think  of us every time she looked at our signatures. 



These embroidered cards are adorable, again these are cards I have made time and time again, but not so much in recent years...... maybe it is time I started making them again.



..... and finally, this beautifully embroidered barley design. Una added this design to form the centre-piece for a set of pillowcases..... it is just lovely.

This is a lovely book, and although each time we moved, I had to cull books from my shelves, I could never part with this one.

Is there a book you have had for a long time which you would not want to part with. Maybe it is a cookery book or a gardening book..... well, really it could be just about any book. I would love to know.

Take care and I will see you later in the week.


This week I shall be joining,










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