Announcing a February Stitch-a-Long

The latest newsletter from The Attic Needleworks has been published today. Jean has announced a new SAL for Mary Clayton.
 
This is what Jean says:
 
“I wanted to schedule this for January, but knowing the difficulty we have had in gathering supplies, with the Holidays only weeks away and lots of suppliers’ closures, we will begin on February 1. With the purchase of the $133 kit (chart, 37ct linen with 3”+ borders, and Au Ver A’Soie silk) and if you complete this sweet quick-to-stitch sampler by April 1, you will receive a 20% custom-frame discount and you will be eligible for a drawing to have your sampler framed for free by our very talented framer at The Attic, Sandy.
We are kitting this with Au Ver A’Soie silks and 37ct Legacy Linen, a beautiful new linen that we’ve fallen in love with and we think that you’re going to love it as well! If you want the 52/60 linen”
 
Are you going to join in?
 
Click HERE for the newsletter. 

Two new releases

On December 1st we launch our 2018 Christmas release, the beautiful Hariet Hartland 1782.

 

We are very excited about Hariet, she is stunning. Please visit her webpage for more details.

Our second release is the sweet Mary Clayton. She is delightful!!

 

We hope you enjoy these two samplers, the last of our releases for 2018. Hands Across the Sea Samplers would like to thank all our customers for their patronage this year and wish them a very Merry Christmas. Here is a small gift of thanks O Holy Night Christmas 2018 , a small chart to download

 

O Holy Night Christmas 2018

 


MH 1656 ~ My Beloved’s Gift – The Stitch-a-Long – Stitch Path Row 1

Yesterday evening we had a discussion in the Facebook group about the stitch path for the first row. You need three separate passes. You can work them from right to left or left to right.

You CANNOT carry your thread on all three passes. With certain combinations you can carry your thread once. This is due to how you need to finish the stitches at the beginning and end of the row to replicate MH’s stitching.

The dotted grey line represents the stitches automatically laid on the reverse as you lay the stitches on the front.

The second diagram shows the back if you turned you work over horizontally rather than vertically.

I found starting and ending with a minute pin stitch the easiest using 100/3.

 


A Stitch-A-Long for MH 1656 ~ My Beloved’s Gift

 

We have set up a closed Facebook Group for stitchers to share their journey as they travel with needle and thread through the numerous and beautiful reversible bands of MH 1656 ~ My Beloved’s Gift.

Starting November 1st 2018 and at monthly intervals thereafter Nicola will post photographs of the bands of the sampler as she has stitched them. Whilst not a workshop Nicola will share some tips and tricks along the way. There will not be detailed stitching notes as the graph in the HATS booklet is detailed and well annotated.

However, if a member has a question or needs help Nicola will try her best to assist. Questions can be raised in the group or Nicola can be privately messaged.

To join the group please click HERE

 


Are you sitting comfortably?

This morning we have a post from Tom Suddes, a golfing friend of my husband. During Tom’s naval career he was known as “Snaps” as he was the Queen’s official photographer when on board the Royal Yacht Brittania.

Tom is a great dinner party guest as he has some wonderful tales to keep us all entertained. The first time I met him and was seated next to him he was surprised when rather than asking him about the Queen and the Royal family I asked him about his “housewife”.

This is what he told me in his own words together with another story that touched me.

“I joined the Navy to see the world, what did we do? We learned to sew!”

I joined the Royal Navy in 1964 when I was 15 years and 1 month old, wow what an adventure!


I went first to HMS GANGES, a boys training establishment of 2000 boys on the River Stour near Harwich. For the next 12 months our time was divided between learning a trade, studying Maths, English, Mechanics and Naval History, but the best bits were playing sport, sailing and pulling (a naval term for rowing). This was great fun, although the training was very strict with little opportunity not to achieve.

On day two of this great adventure, we were introduced to washing our clothes by hand and began our instruction in sewing, yes sewing! Not what we expected. We were issued with our kit and every item was marked in black or white ink to ensure we didn’t ‘lose’ anything. Amongst the items issued, perhaps most unusual was the ‘housewife’, a small blue rolled-up piece of cotton with pockets containing all our sewing kit, complete with needles, thread and thimble.


So, we joined the Royal Navy and our first task was to chain stitch over our names on the housewife, using red embroidery cotton. At first this tedious task seemed silly and insignificant. We were expecting to handle fire arms, learn to march and throw ourselves into REAL military activities. But sewing?

This delicate work had to pass inspection, with very few first attempts meeting the high standard demanded by the instructor, a World War II veteran Chief Petty Officer who knew every trick in the book (and a few more besides!). As any seamstress will know, the ‘needlework’ demanded patience and great attention to fine detail. On hindsight, it is obvious that it was a cunning test to see who could use their hands, had the patience to tackle something new and different, to achieve the unthinkable – perfectly crafted chain stitch! You might think some would lose interest or give up but everyone was keen to succeed and the pressure was on; with needle in hand we persevered and eventually passed the test.

Some were hampered from the start, I remember one messmate by the name of Van Der Westhuizen. He was one of the smallest in the class and yet his name tallies were so long they were in two rows! At the same time what would ‘J Day’ do once he completed the task in record time? Would he volunteer to help his fellow mess mate? (Team spirit, an essential element to naval ethos and military life was never far away).

52 years later I still have my precious housewife with a number of rusty needles and little cotton, but no buttons left, The housewife is intact and I still have the thimble; the red chain stitching is still there too!!

“My first night away from home”

Picture the scene, some 40 young, 15 year old boys away from home, most for the first time, lying in single beds arranged in perfect line down both sides of the dormitory style mess deck. The floor is highly polished parquet tiles, there is a silver polished dustbin (never used) in the centre of the room, and everything is stowed away ship shape and ‘Bristol fashion’.

We had already received instructions on how to make our beds. White cotton sheets were to be fitted with pristine hospital corners, topped with squared off pillow cases, ‘itchy’ wool blankets that probably came off the Mary Rose, and all covered with an attractive blue and white counterpane sporting a large naval anchor embroidered in the centre (standard RN issue).

Our instructor, now in the twilight of his career, immaculately dressed in full naval uniform and cap is slowly pacing around the mess deck speaking in a loud, strong voice, complete with cockney accent. He is listing clear, concise instruction for tomorrow morning and what he demands of us.

We are lying on our backs, sheets pulled up to our chins, hands and arms by our sides, like sardines in a tin we are lying almost ‘to attention’ in bed. We hang on the instructors every word, keen to miss nothing, there is a great deal of anticipation in the air, we have just joined the Royal Navy.

“…and tomorrow morning you will awake at 0600 to ‘Call the Hands’ where you will go to the wash room to shave, shower and then dress in the Number 8 uniform you have just been issued with this evening. Having dressed, you will muster outside the mess deck on the parade ground ready for my inspection at 0630 before going to breakfast…..” boomed the Chief Petty officer with his imperious tone. But as he continued his dialogue, pacing around the room something caught his beady eye and his stopped in his stride……

”you Boy, what’s your name lad?” Said the instructor in a loud voice.

“Shaw, Sir” replied the startled young man, lying in bed.

“Shaw, eh?, well Shaw where’s your sheets and pillow case?”

Shaw looked shocked and replied in a weak, timid voice “Sheets Sir?”

“Yes, my son, your sheets and pillowcase, don’t you use sheets and pillowcases at home Shaw?” continued the Instructor with his intimidating voice and Cockney accent.

“No Sir” replied Shaw “we don’t have any at home”. At this point I have to highlight that some boys who joined the RN in the mid 1960’s were often from poor homes, orphanages and had joined the Service hoping to find ‘a family.’

Everyone in the mess deck is staring at Shaw and the instructor, thinking he must be in deep trouble, Day 1 and already not following instructions. I am certain the Instructor is bound to give him a clip ‘round the ear, take him outside or have some other form of ‘private conversation’.

I lie in great anticipation, eyes popping out like chapel hat pegs, waiting for the first ‘lesson’ in military training.

“Right Shaw, get out of bed” replied the instructor, but this time his voice was soft, friendly, encouraging and sympathetic.

We all anticipated the worst for Shaw. HMS GANGES had a reputation for being a very disciplined training establishment with the highest standards of behaviour and conduct.

But no; what followed was a brilliant lesson in HR which I remember to this day and which I took with me, and used, throughout my 46 years service.

“Right son” continued the Instructor, in a friendly, almost hushed and fatherly tone, “this is what we do every night when we make our beds, first you take a white sheet and put it on the bottom, like this, then on top you put another sheet. After one week, we take the bottom sheet off and wash it by hand. Don’t you worry about that, I’ll show you how to do that later. Then you put the top sheet on the bottom and the third spare sheet you have, that goes on the top, nice and clean like. OK?”

“Yes Sir” replied Shaw nervously.

“Then we put the pillow in this pillow case, makes it nice and soft on your face.” The Instructor continued to make the bed adding the itchy wool blankets and counterpane, tucking in the corners and edges, just so.

Shaw stands, dressed in his newly issued naval pyjamas, motionless but following the fatherly instructions.

“Now then my son, you just slip into your bed and see what it feels like”.

Shaw obeys and immediately a smile comes to his thin, pale face.

“Now how does that feel like? Nice and soft, better than those rough blankets, eh?” Invited the instructor.

“Yes Sir”

“Well now Shaw, every time you make your bed, you do it just as I showed you, and you and I will get along just fine, do you understand son?”

“Yes Sir”

And in a flash it was back to business.

“Right boys he resounded! Now, about tomorrow morning, when you muster on the parade ground…….” and off he went, back into auto, back into his strong, commanding voice, walking around the mess deck continuing his instructions one after the other.

We couldn’t believe our ears. Not at all what we expected to happen. Here I saw at first hand this experienced, long serving war veteran looking for the first opportunity to give a struggling beginner a helping hand. Clear instructions, followed by a simple demonstration and guidance for the future, superb.

I don’t know what happened to Shaw, whether he stayed in the Service or left for pastures greener. But, on reflection those first months of training were littered with other examples of good leadership, training and care. How lucky I was. Here is a picture of a typical messdeck at HMS GANGES in 1964.

 


Book Review

We were thrilled when we learnt that Nancy Nicholson was bringing out a new book called “Modern Folk Embroidery” published by David and Charles, and are quite privileged to see a preview of it.

img_2385

What a wonderful book it is, jammed packed with 30 inspirational projects including pin cushions, samplers pictures, cushions and a lovely folk doll that any child would love to own.

img_2388

It contains instructions of all the tools and materials needed to complete these wonderful projects. A very easy to understand Stitch Library of all the stitches needed to complete the projects.img_2389

 

What I like about the stitch library is that the stitches are all contained within each stitch family e.g. Button Hole Stitch Family. Each family of stitches shows drawings of stitches in that particular family along with beautiful photos of examples from the book where the stitches are used.

img_2386

All the projects in the book have full step by step instructions plus further suggestions that could be made by using other stitches in the book.

img_2387

What I also like is that the book also contains all the templates needed to complete each project at the end of the book.

Overall it is a wonderful book of 130 pages that every needlewoman would love to have amongst her craft books and they will find many projects that they would love to make. It would make a wonderful present for yourself or a wonderful Christmas present for friends.

Available in the UK from November 16th and the US from November 24th it can be pre-ordered from Amazon or other book sellers and needlework stores.

If you have enjoyed today’s blog post you might like to sign up for our newsletter and receive future posts via email.

Subscribing is easy just fill in your email address in the box at the top right hand side of this page. Don’t forget to add us to your contact list so the newsletters go into your inbox rather than spam.

We will never share your details.


A book review – Early Style Hardanger by Yvette Stanton

Very few of us become proficient at a craft by instinct. If we wish to learn we need to find out as much as we can about the materials we need; the tools to use and the correct way to use them. Needlework is not just a question of a needle and some thread, but of which needle and what kind of thread, and how to use them once chosen. There are a multitude of stitches and techniques to discover and master.

image

I am a self taught needleworker and through Yvette’s earlier books I have become competent in Hardanger,  whitework and drawn thread work. I have come to appreciate the simple elegance of white on white. When there is no colour to distract, the pattern and texture formed by the stitching really comes to the fore.

I have been eagerly awaiting delivery of Yvette Stanton’s new book “Early Style Hardanger” since its publication was announced, and I have not been disappointed. This is a must have book for a needleworker’s library.

image

Normally I dip into books but I have been totally enthralled from the 1st to the 160th page, all of which are packed with over 1500 colour photos and diagrams.

There is so much to enjoy including a fascinating section on the history of hardanger. I found the chapter comparing the early style Hardanger and the modern day version particularly interesting. Early-style Hardanger is quite distinct from contemporary Hardanger. This historical style of embroidery has traditionally been used on the women’s clothing in the Hardangerfjord region, and was designed to emulate needle-made lace of the 1600s and 1700s.

2

The Projects chapter has 10 gorgeous projects that tempt. The small projects make wonderful learning pieces culminating in a traditional apron. The projects have well written finishing instructions and the pattern sheets come in a separate pack at the back on the book.

1

The section on “Stitches and Techniques”  opens with “where to start” which explains how to read a chart, the stitching order and how to find the starting point, all important basics that can often be overlooked.

Yvette guides the reader through this comprehensive section with right and left handed step by step stitch and technique instructions that are extremely clear and easy to follow supplemented by well drawn out illustrations.

Early Style Hardanger is now one of my “go-to” stitch reference books and can be found on my “special shelf” within arm’s reach of my stitching station.

The book is now available through needlework stores, and direct from  YVETTE.

1

Yvette Stanton is the publisher and designer behind Vetty Creations. Yvette is a highly respected tutor accredited by the Embroiderers Guild of NSW, and teaches embroidery classes, specialising in whitework at shops and guild groups around Australia.

If you have enjoyed today’s blog post you might like to sign up for our newsletter and receive future posts via email.

Subscribing is easy just fill in your email address in the box at the top right hand side of this page. Don’t forget to add us to your contact list so the newsletters go into your inbox rather than spam.

We will never share your details.

 


A Visit – Part 2

Yesterday we looked at church vestments and the work of the Truro Cathedral’s Sewing Guild. The guild also cares for the altar cloths at the Cathedral.

Altar cloths are  used by many religious groups as a sign of respect towards the holiness of the altar, as in the Catholic Church.

1

Cloths can also be used to protect the altar surface or to beautify the altar.

2

The use of altar-cloths goes back to the early centuries of the Roman Catholic Church. By the fourth century, during the celebration of Holy Communion, the altar was covered with a white linen cloth. Symbolically, the cloths represent the purity and the devotion of God’s Faithful, and the linens in which the body of Christ was wrapped when he was laid in the tomb.

1

In the Roman Catholic Church the custom of using three altar-cloths began in the ninth century. The reason  being that if the Precious Blood should by accident be spilt it might be absorbed by the altar-cloths before it reached the altar-stone. There are four symbolic colors: red, white, violet and green, while black is sometimes used for funerals.

1

Red symbolizes the color of fire to represent the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and times when the work of the Holy Spirit is emphasized. During Holy Week it represents the blood of Christ. Red is also used for ordinations, church anniversaries and civil observances such as Memorial Day and Thanksgiving.

image

At Truro Cathedral there is a magnificent red altar cloth “The Angels and the Censer” which I was able to study in close detail on my visit.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

I am trying to find out more about the altar cloth, when it was made and who did the originally embroidery. I will be visiting the Courtney Library shortly to carry out some further research. I do, however, know that the altar cloth was repaired in more recent years by Sheila Landi of The Landi Company.

2

If you are interested in textile conservation Landi’s book “The Textile Conservator’s Manual” is worth adding to your library.

Truro Cathedral has some altar cloths on permanent display. (The photographs have been taken through glass)

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Besides the grandeur of the Gothic architecture and the magnificence of the stained glass windows there is much to see at the Cathedral. Tucked away in a small corner of the Cathedral next to the books of remembrance is a small sampler – on every visit I take time to read it and say a prayer.

image

TRIVIA

For over nine hundred years, Cornwall was part of the Diocese of Exeter. The sheer size of that Diocese meant that the Bishop of Exeter was a rare visitor west of the Tamar, and there was a growing pressure from the leading Cornish Anglicans during the nineteenth century to create a separate diocese for Cornwall.

In 1877, after 30 years of intense lobbying, the Cornish Diocese was re-established at Truro. The Diocese of Truro covers the whole of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly plus two parishes in Devon!

image

The site chosen in Truro for the Cathedral was where the Parish Church of St Mary’s stood. Since at least 1259, and probably before, there has been a Parish Church of St Mary located on this site. When Truro was chosen it was assumed that the Parish Church would be completely demolished to make way for the Cathedral. However, the architect John Loughborough Pearson, argued and eventually gained permission to keep at least part of the old Parish Church. He cleverly incorporated the South Aisle of the church into his design for the new Cathedral.

Truro Cathedral was the first cathedral to be built on a new site since Salisbury was started in 1220.

Edward White Benson was the first Bishop of Truro (1877 – 1883). He was previously Headmaster of Wellington College and then Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral. It was his vision and energy that really established the new Diocese of Truro and the building of this wonderful Cathedral. From 1883 until his death in 1896 he was Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1880 Bishop Benson created the ‘Service of Nine Lessons and Carols’ which for over 120 years has formed part of the Cathedral’s traditional worship on Christmas Eve.

If you have enjoyed today’s blog post you might like to sign up for our newsletter and receive future posts via email.

Subscribing is easy just fill in your email address in the box at the top right hand side of this page. Don’t forget to add us to your contact list so the newsletters go into your inbox rather than spam.

We will never share your details.

 

 


A Visit – Part 1

image

On a recent visit to Truro Cathedral in Cornwall, England I found a small group of dedicated needleworkers busy sewing new vestments. The Cathedral Sewing Guild meets weekly to maintain and repair the robes, embroideries and hassocks.

Over the years the Guild has made vestments, collection bags, cushions, kneelers, gowns for St Mary’s Singers, and carried out numerous adjustments to the choristers cassocks.

image

They work in the Cathedral as besides the good light and space available it enables visitors to witness their work and ask questions.

Church embroidery opens up a whole new field of needlework to be explored. As the the V&A’s autumn exhibition Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery, draws nearer now is a good time to find out more.

The Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary  is an Anglican cathedral located in the city of Truro, Cornwall, England. The “uniform” used in the Cathedral is known as a Set. (Images used are taken from different periods, denominations and countries).imageCHASUBLE: This is the principal vestment, worn by the President (the officiating priest). It was originally circular with a hole for the head but is now open at the side like a tabard.

image

DALMATIC: A short robe with large, full sleeves and often highly ornamented, which is worn by the Deacon (this originated in Dalamtia, hence the name.

image

TUNICLE: Shorter than the Dalmatic and less richly ornamented; it is worn by the Gospel Clerk (who carries the Gospels) and the Crucifer (who carries the Processional Cross)

image

STOLE: A band worn like a scarf; it is a symbol of priesthood and represents the yoke of Christ.

image

BURSE: A flat square of stiffened silk which holds the Corporal, (the cloth on which are placed the communion vessels)

image

VEIL: A square of silk, which covers the chalice on the altar.

image

Liturgical colours are specific colours used for vestments and hangings within the context of Christian liturgy. The symbolism of violet, white, green, red, gold, black, rose and other colours may serve to underline moods appropriate to a season of the liturgical year or may highlight a special occasion.

image

On my visit to the Cathedral I was fortunate to be taken down into the Crypt and allowed to see the vestments.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

TRIVIA

There are some regional exceptions to the Liturgical colours.

image

Blue, a colour associated with the Virgin Mary, is permitted for the feast of the Immaculate Conception in Spain and in some dioceses in Portugal, Mexico, and South America. In the Philippines, it is authorised for all feasts of the Virgin Mary, a practice followed in some other places without official warrant. There have also been uses of blue in place of violet for the season of Advent despite the fact that this practice is prohibited under liturgical law.

image
White or cloth of gold was traditionally used for the Novena from 16 to 24 December according to a Spanish custom abolished in that country in the 1950s, but still widely observed in the Philippines. White is also used for East Asian Masses for the dead, as white is the traditional colour of mourning in many of the region’s cultures.

image
Violet or black are often permitted on national holidays honoring military dead. For example in Canada, they are used on Remembrance Day.

image
Gold or silver may be worn on more solemn occasions in the Dioceses of the United States.

 

If you have enjoyed today’s blog post you might like to sign up for our newsletter and receive future posts via email.

Subscribing is easy just fill in your email address in the box at the top right hand side of this page. Don’t forget to add us to your contact list so the newsletters go into your inbox rather than spam.

We will never share your details.

 

 

 

 

 


A free cross stitch chart

3

We are delighted to offer our clients and newsletter subscribers this charming free cross stitch CHART which Rosella has stitched so beautifully and finished into a pillow.

2

This keepsake would make a charming gift for a needlework friend or for your own bowl of pillows.

A big thank you to Rosella, your stitching is exquisite.

 

The inspiration for the design has come from our reproduction of the HANNAH COATES sampler. 

1

 

We are looking forward to seeing your chosen colours, the words you stitch and how you finish Sandra’s design so please share some photos with us. If you click the graph it will enlarge. ENJOY !!

Thie Work I've Done

 

If you have enjoyed today’s blog post you might like to sign up for our newsletter and receive future posts via email.

Subscribers to our newsletter will be the first to hear about new chart releases, antique samplers for sale, special offers and freebies.

Subscribing is easy just fill in your email address in the box at the top right hand side of this page. Don’t forget to add us to your contact list so the newsletters go into your inbox rather than spam.

We will never share your details

 

 


Old Samplers and Tapestry Embroideries

image

In March 1900, an exhibition called ‘Old Samplers and Tapestry Embroideries’ was held at the Fine Art Society’s rooms, London. The exhibition was curated by Marcus Bourne Huish and a Mrs. Head, who gave details about techniques and stitches.

The exhibition was divided into three sections: examples of embroidery under the general heading of ‘Pictures in imitation of tapestry,’ then over 350 samplers together with items such as book covers, garments, caskets, purses, and so forth, which were embroidered by those who had learnt the art of sampler making or were using samplers as guides for their work. There were samplers from every decade since the mid-seventeenth century. Many of the items on display came from Huish’s own collection.

A small catalogue with the same name accompanied the exhibition. The catalogue was twelve pages long. Soon after, the catalogue was expanded by Huish into an extended study called Samplers and Tapestry Embroideries (1900; London: Longmans, Green and Co.). This book was reprinted in 1913 as an enlarged version that included extra information, especially about American samplers.

This book has become a classic source of information about the history of British, European and North American samplers.

image

A digital copy of the 2nd edition can be enjoyed HERE

Marcus Huish was born in 1843 in Castle Donington, Leicestershire (England), the son of Marcus Huish (a solicitor) and Margaret Jane Bourne. In 1862, at the age of 18, Marcus Bourne Huish went to Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, where he studied law. Huish was called to the bar in 1867 and became a barrister. He married Catherine Mary Winslow in 1878 and they had one daughter, Margaret Dorothy Huish (born in 1879). Huish was very involved in the art world, especially Japanese art, and published several books on the subject. He became a part-time art dealer.

In the early 1880’s he retired from the law and became the editor of The Art Journal (editor: 1883-1891). He was also Director of the Fine Arts Society and chairman of the Japan Society (London; 1879-1911). His work with Japanese art and culture was recognised by the Japanese government by the awarding of the rank of Chevalier of the Order of the Sacred Treasure. In addition, he was made a Knight of the Order of the Crown of Italy for his part in organising the British section of the International Art Exhibition, in Venice (Italy; later called the Venice Biennale) in 1909.

At some point Huish started to collect samples and samplers and it would appear his large collection included early seventeenth century English examples, as well as Dutch, French, German, Indian, Italian, Scandinavian and other forms.

Huish died in 1921 in Kensington, London.

If you have enjoyed today’s blog post you might like to sign up for our newsletter and receive future posts via email.

Subscribers to our newsletter will be the first to hear about new chart releases, antique samplers for sale, special offers and freebies.

Subscribing is easy just fill in your email address in the box at the top right hand side of this page. Don’t forget to add us to your contact list so the newsletters go into your inbox rather than spam.

We will never share your details.


It’s not Cosmopolitan !

image

Magazines have been a part of American culture since American Magazine was first published in colonial America.

image

Peterson’s and Godey’s dominated the 19th century American women’s magazine industry.

image

Launched in 1842 Peterson’s included a combination of literature, sewing patterns, craft projects, recipes, domestic advice, fashion plates – both colored and black and white and all sorts of advertising.

image

Using their European counterparts as inspiration, the American editors sought to present the current fashion trends in a more Americanized manner. Plates from French magazines were often copied and modified to suit the more “modest” American tastes.

image

We thought for today’s post it would be interesting for you to “read” the June 1883 edition of  PETERSONS LADYS NATIONAL MAGAZINE    It’s more Good Housekeeping than Cosmopolitan !

If you have enjoyed today’s blog post you might like to sign up for our newsletter and receive future posts via email.

Subscribers to our newsletter will be the first to hear about new chart releases, antique samplers for sale, special offers and freebies.

Subscribing is easy just fill in your email address in the box at the top right hand side of this page. Don’t forget to add us to your contact list so the newsletters go into your inbox rather than spam.

We will never share your details.


A new release – Hannah Coates 1848

We are very excited to launch our third release today – Hannah Coates 1848. When we stumbled across this charming English sampler our hearts skipped a beat. We have had so much pleasure reproducing her, we hope that you will enjoy her too.

Just click Hannah’s photograph to find out more about her.

 


Did Henry VIII Embroider?

image

Now that is an interesting question and something that we had not given any thought to before watching this VIDEO which looks at the Royal School of Needlework.

We know that many English queens, queen consorts and princesses were enthusiastic embroiderers and that Kings and Queens wore elaborately embroidered and embellished garments. But have you ever heard of a King that embroidered?

In June 1539 the French Ambassadors Marillac to Montmerency wrote:-

“The King, who in some former years has been solitary and pensive, now gives himself up to amusement. He evidently delights now in painting and embroidery

We know that Henry commissioned many great tapestries and his palaces were lavishly furnished but it is hard to imagine the King sat stitching away with a hoop and needle in those large hands.

 

 

 

 


Consider the lilies

Easter is a time of year that means many things to lots of people. It is the most important day in the Christian Church. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It means rebirth In The Northern Hemisphere with the beginning of Spring. To young children it means a visit from the Easter Bunny bringing Easter eggs a plenty, school holidays and to children in schools in Australia it means Easter Hat Parades.

image

One of the symbols of Easter and the Christian Church are flowers from the Lily Family. They not only have Religious links they also appear on many antique samplers.

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. – Luke 12 – 27.

image

They are a symbol of purity and innocence and are associated with The Virgin Mary. The Easter Lily, a particular variety which blooms in Spring from a seemingly lifeless bulb, has become symbolic of Christ’s Restitution. A lily among thorns has been used to represent the Immaculate Conception and a lily can also be used as a symbol for Christ.

image

One sampler in both of our collections is Dutch Beauty, a sampler that is filled with symbolism. Either side of the Pelican with her chicks appears in vases the Fritillaria lily.

image

Sandra stitched this over 1 which is an amazing acheievement.

There are several varitites of the Fritillaria lily and have some interesting names such as Snakeshead, the Sullen Lady and sometimes The Leper’s Bell.

image

The Crown Imperial or Fritillaria Imperialis is a particularly beautiful strain and is connected to Jesus Christ.

Legend has it that the lily like flowers of The Crown Imperial were once white and pointed upward and that they grew in the garden of Gethsemane among many other beautiful flowers. As Our Lord walked sadly past them, the flowers bowed their heads in sympathy – all bar the Crown Imperial, proud and haughty because of its own crown of leaves. Christ noticed this one conceited plant and turned back and rebuked it, and at once it hung its head in shame and blushed crimson. Tears appeared in its eyes. These “tears” are drops of nectar that hang within the flower bells still. They cannot be dislodged even if the flower head is shaken vigorously.

image

This year Good Friday marked a curious occasion for observers of liturgical calendars. Good Friday is the day recalling Jesus crucifixion, – occurring on March 25 – is also the Feast of the Annunciation, recalling the day upon which the angel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Virgin Mary. By extension, this day was considered to be the day on which Jesus was conceived; a deduction arrived at through the early celebration among Christians of Jesus’ birth on December 25. So significant was the Feast of the Annunciation that until 1752, it was regarded in England as the commencement of the New Year.

This confluence Good Friday and Annunciation, whilst rare, is not unheard of. The last time this occurred was in 2005; but it won’t happen again until 2157.

image

We hope that you have a wonderful Easter with your family.


A TV programme about samplers

image

One of the most exquisite band samplers to be seen at Witney Antiques is from the mid  17th century. It was stitched using silks with intense shades of blue, green and red. Previously it belonged to Emma-Henrietta Schiff von Suvero an Austrian Jewess. Following a forced sale by the Nazis it was held in what is now  the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna unseen for seventy years.

The sampler, together with several others, was featured in a talk given by Joy Jarrett for Antiques TV.

For anyone who has an interest in samplers this is a must watch video (probably more than once).

Witney Anitiques is holding an exhibition this summer where their extensive collection can be viewed. Please see a previous POST for details.