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Hello everyone, hope that you are having a good weekend so far. I have a change of plans as unfortunately my back is not too good so will not be going to Bolsover but will be mainly resting on the sofa carrying on with some of my projects. Luckily I have enough to keep me busy for the weekend ;-)
On our whistle-stop tour of Trust properties we made our way back up North stopping off at two houses in the Midlands.
Calke Abbey was an amazing experience, billed as, ‘a very unstately stately home’, it was a treasure trove of history, the collection of the Harpur – Crewe family who owned the house for over 250 years and never threw anything away!
There are gorgeous grounds and gardens and a church with beautiful Victorian stained glass windows.
The house is still in state of disrepair and the decision of the Trust was to repair enough to make it watertight and safe and not to restore but to display it as a country house past its prime, telling the story of those many British houses that suffered due to social changes after the first World War.
The house is crammed with things, an incredible amount of taxidermy, especially given that half of it was sold to pay death duties, and more importantly for me a huge wealth of textile beauty, particularly needlepoint.
There were touching displays of family possessions like this cabinet full of what look to be Edwardian children’s clothes and lace parasols.
One of the first rooms that you visit displays some of the thousands of objects that are in the collection which are not usually out of their storerooms and looks at the conservation needs of the objects.
This 18th century embroidered jacket and waistcoat was among them and made Ellie and I wonder what other costume treasures the house has given that the family kept all their possessions.
This is one of the highlights of the collection, the perfectly preserved Chinese silk embroidered State Bed which was found still in boxes, having never been assembled since it was made around 1715.
These pictures are from the National Trust Collections web site as the bed is displayed behind glass in a dimly lit room to preserve its beauty.
There were so many lovely examples of needlepoint on chairs, cushions and fire screens and wonderful embroidered silk cushions – some pieces half hidden behind cabinets of stuffed animals and birds.
This group of chairs is displayed with only one uncovered at a time to stop them fading and the photo at the bottom is on display on a side table to show them all together uncovered.
There was also this beautiful silk bed coverlet that one of the volunteers had tried to research the origin of, the conclusion was that it may have been Indian and probably dated from the 1800s.
One of the rooms had some of the children’s toys and at the foot of the doll’s house I spotted this sampler, excuse the poor light but you can just see the name and the date on it, Selina Crewe 1809.
Selina was one of the family and I managed to find a painting of her, again from the Trust Collection site. She died in 1838, 29 years after she completed this sampler so was not very old when she died.
It is rare to be able to see pictures of people who stitched the things that I see on my visits and I hope that she had a happy life and enjoyed her needlework.
I managed to find information about the fact that she married and had two children, a boy called Stanhope after his father and a daughter with the beautiful name Georgiana Jane Henrietta Eliza.
In my research for this post I found this great blog by one of the Trust staff called National Trust Treasure Hunt that has lots more photos of Calke and other properties that I will be going back to for a good browse and may inspire you for your visits.
Well I will love you and leave you now as I have sample knitting calling, I have started the mittens for Sarah and all is going well so far.
I have learnt how to do German Twisted Cast On this week so am feeling like a bit of a knitting genius again and have just had a delivery of new bamboo needles so am very happy!
Take care, have a nice rest of the weekend and thanks for visiting.
The really interesting thing about the National Trust houses we visited recently is how each of them was so different in terms of their collections and the way that they were presented.
Barrington Court, which was also used for filming Wolf Hall, was the second property we visited and it is significant for being the first house that the Trust bought in the 1920s.
It was in a severe state of disrepair and was saved by the Lyle family who rented it from the Trust and restored it so that Arthur Lyle could display his collection of carved wood rescued from other historic houses. It has no furniture just information about the family and their restoration.
This makes it a really interesting and very beautiful property, you can just concentrate on the fabric of the building without the distraction of anything else, a sharp contrast to some of the other places we visited last week.
This carved ceiling is amazing, wouldn’t it make a great quilt pattern? One of my, ‘on the back burner – probably for retirement’, projects is a series of blackwork, goldwork, embroidery and quilting designs based on all the historic architecture pictures I have stored.
There is going to be a display of some of the costumes used in the Wolf Hall series and we were lucky enough to be shown these by one of the volunteers who welcomed us when we went into the house, we told her what we did as a hobby and showed her some pictures of the costumes we make.
It was too dark for me to take pictures in the storeroom but I could see that there was some blackwork embroidery on the shifts.
That is the sort of detail that I love as it would not have been very visible during the series. I have found a lovely Wolf Hall costume video on the National Trust channel with details of some of the costume that was made.
This picture from the Evening Standard shows one of the dresses that we saw, worn by Anne Boleyn.
I will be back with more pictures from the rest of our visits later – meanwhile there is one of my favourite events coming up, Tatton Medieval Fayre, not only a gorgeous setting and a lovely friendly weekend but also only an hour from home! If you are in the area do come along – it will be brilliant fun.
Thanks very much for visiting.
I love the old books in historic house libraries, the covers are so beautifully decorated.
There was not a large amount of embroidery on display but this crewelwork bedspread was one of the lovely things in the house.
Not only is the property gorgeous in mellow stone, set in a quintessentially English village of the same stone, (decorated with bunting for their upcoming Summer Festival), but also they have lots of portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery of Tudor and Stuart costume.
Some of the pictures didn’t have labels to say who they were but others were of suitable fame including Katherine Parr, the last wife of Henry the 8th.The detail of the fabric and embroidery is wonderful, especially the collar fabric.
There was also a portrait of a woman wearing a similar jacket to the Layton jacket that I love, apologies for fuzzy photos as it was a bit dark. I have found a Layton jacket Pinterest board of these jackets and other Elizabethan embroidery, some in a museum near here that I am intending to visit over the summer.
Am off out for a walk in a bit with Ted, my friend’s dog. It is a beautiful day here and all the rhododendrons are in bloom so we will have a lovely time, well I will, don’t think that Ted is that bothered about the beautiful flowers but there will be plenty to sniff at!
Then it is back to sewing, I have finished one pair of braies, (men’s undergarments), and have a shirt to cut out and sew this afternoon.
Hope that you are having a lovely weekend whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.
I do love history – you may have guessed if you have been reading this blog for any length of time so I have had a wonderful weekend and little holiday being part of a re-enactment event and then spending three days visiting National Trust properties.
The event was in Templecombe in Somerset, a long trip down for us so we took advantage of being in a part of the country we haven’t spent much time in.
We always have living history encampments at shows and these pictures are of the lovely tents that were on display there this weekend.
There was also a new addition to the site, this beer barn has been built by the site owners and volunteers and the money for it has been raised by the re-enactors who use it, through auctions last year and on the Saturday night of the event this year and by an online donation appeal.
I pledged a custom – made shirt for the auction so am going to be making that this weekend for the re-enactor that won it.
It is a beautiful building and has been made with such attention to detail. The piece over the bar was carved by the owner of the site.
Driving around after the event we saw so many cute little villages as well as the amazing Trust properties. Lots of pictures of those to follow once I sort them out!
There was great excitement at one of the properties, Barrington Court, while we were on our way to visit the second-hand bookshop that we always love at these places, (yes I bought more books!), we discovered a patchwork shop in the artisan workshops. They have a website as well at Barrington Patchworks.
It had an amazing array of fabric but I was very restrained, Ellie persuaded me to buy this very cute print featuring a cross stitch alphabet motif which I thought would be good for the pincushions I will be making for craft fairs later in the year.
Now back to work for two days until the weekend, got lots of kit to make before the next event in 8 days time!
Thanks as always for visiting.
Last weekend as well as the hand stitching on the hexagon car quilt I decided to go and have a play with some other quilt blocks, inspired by how much I enjoyed making the Dutchman’s puzzle block for our block of the month challenge.
I don’t know why but whatever craft I do I always choose very small-scale projects, my cross stitch is on small count fabric (so small I usually need a magnifier now!), I knit little arms and legs for bunnies and nothing bigger than a baby cardigan. It seems I am going the same way with quilting as most of what I have done so far is baby quilts and hexagons.
Partly it is lack of time, as I have limited time to finish things because they are usually gifts small means achievable so less WIPs hidden away.
But I do like small-scale so I thought for my practising last week I would use one of the Moda mini charm packs that I bought a while ago from Simply Solids. I have used up the other two already in the wash bag I made for an Xmas present and the hexagons I pieced from the Printemps pack (see kids I do USE the fabric in that room, it is just sometimes more sneaks in somehow!)
I have two of these ‘Playtime’ 1930s inspired prints and I thought if I keep making a few blocks every so often I will eventually have a small quilt at least!
I wasn’t following a specific block just wanted to practise my half square triangles and stitching accuracy for those 1/4 inch seams but I have ended up with something that looks a bit like a Pinwheel block – albeit a bit random in terms of the fabric placement.
I also decided a 9 patch would be good (God alone knows why) which involved cutting an already small 2 1/2 ” square into four pieces so excuse the slightly wonky finished article!
The miniaturising effect must be rubbing off as yesterday afternoon I rushed up to the sewing room to start on the Feb block of the month challenge, this is my only free weekend in Feb so I wanted to get a good start.
It must have been my haste that led me to create a pretty well pieced (only one triangle lost its point) but rather small block, the target was 12 inches and mine ended up as 8 inches. Turns out when you divide 12 by 3 the answer is 4 NOT 3 – who knew? Well supposedly me as I do actually teach Maths – oops.
However it will look lovely with an extra border to cover up the missing points and I am going to try it again this afternoon WITH 4 INCH BLOCKS!
My lovely Ellie sent me a fabric care package this week with a beautiful card, she is so kind. I had not been feeling well when she spoke to me a couple of weeks ago and work had been a bit stressful so she sent me this to cheer me up.
Look at this beautiful print, in three colourways! With matching solids! Thank you so much, you are a wonderful daughter as well as a great friend :-)
I like lists and it is nice to have a focus and extend your skills so I am going to add that to my challenges for this year, some of them can already be fulfilled by things I have planned (Number 2 by all the medieval kit I have planned for friends) but others on the list I have though about doing but not done (Number 12 I want to make a bag for me).
So it is going to be a busy and fun year, 26 books, 17 plus sewing projects and 12 plus quilt blocks. And we are just sorting out our re-enactment events for 2015 and so far I have 10 events! 2015 is going to be a very good year :-)
Right better get off the laptop and on with the actual stitching now then if I am for achieve all this. Take care, have a nice week and thanks for visiting.
Hope everyone has had a good week. Here in the UK we have had our twice yearly, ‘oh my God it has snowed, panic, panic do not travel’, buses stopped and everyone suddenly appears dressed for the slopes at Klosters.
Other countries with real snow all winter must really laugh to see the reaction here and there have been lots of pictures on Facebook of people managing perfectly well on roads with 20 feet of snow either side.However they do have it more than we do and have the right equipment.
It has been very pretty though and this photo from the local news shows you the loveliness of it all. It has nearly all melted now leaving my garden looking worse for wear so will have to get out and give it a good tidy up.
I wanted to show you some of my pictures from our recent trip to the city of Murcia in Spain. Mum, my Aunt Maureen and I went on a coach trip there, it is about 40 km inland from where Mum lives and the drive alone was very lovely.
We often go on these coach trips as it is a great way to see the country, they are good value at about 10 to 15 euros each and it is a lovely day out with no hassle driving or parking.
I have been to Murcia twice before but never managed to get inside the cathedral. This time we did make it and to the cathedral museum, also the museum that houses the large statues that are paraded at Easter and to the Casino, which is the gentlemen’s club built in the late 1800s.
I have put together a slideshow of some of the best bits here.
|Personalize a digital scrapbook|
As always there was beautiful goldwork, some dating from the 1700s, in the cathedral and museum.
I have another trip to Spain planned in a couple of weeks and we are off to the city of Lorca where they have not one but FOUR religious embroidery museums – excited MOI – just a little bit :-)
As well as tapas in a very lovely bar that dated from the 1920s full of old pictures and posters of bullfights and a couple of stops for coffee and a little retail therapy (two very cute Moroccan style tea light holders – I know I don’t need any more candle holders but they are lovely!) we amused ourselves very nicely.
We also found these very cute little chocolate hedgehogs and had one each!
I am planning to hand stitch for the rest of the day, still working on the hexi cars, have changed my mind about the design so yesterday took apart all the stitching I have done this week so am starting again!
Have a lovely week ahead and thanks for visiting.
Hope you all had a lovely day yesterday – just popped in to post a few pictures for you. Firstly of the sewing case I have made for my sister-in-law as a present, thankfully got this completed on Christmas Eve.
I have taken the pattern from a case that I got in a raffle at a quilt show a few years ago. It is a really useful little travelling case and was very simple to make. The fabric is from Simply Solids – both patterned and plain.
The case is 11 inches in length and 7 inches wide so I cut 2 pieces of fabric and made a quilted sandwich using some very thin wadding. I used my marking tool again to quilt large crosses three times along the length of the case to hold it together.
The pockets are the width of the case and about 3 inches tall. I have lined them as well with wadding and stitched them to the case backing to hide the seam (stitched wrong way then folded back and side seams stitched). I also did some top stitching with zig zag to stabilise the wadding and make it look pretty!
Binding was then attached – machined to inside then folded and hand stitched to outside, I also made a little pin cushion out of the matching labels fabric I had. I have used a big plastic press stud to fasten it as they are nice and invisible when sewn with matching thread.
My lovely children and friends got me some very nice crafty gifts for Christmas, first this quilt history book that I have had on my wish list for a while, ‘Pieced from Ellen’s Quilt’. I love reading about the women who made quilts and this uses Ellen’s letters to tell her story of life in Wisconsin in the 1850s.
Then there was more fabric – Ellie seemed to think I already have enough fabric so was not expecting this (though I had hinted!) but she and Kerry bought me all this lovely stuff from Very Berry Fabrics.
How exciting and means that I have lots of lovely hexi making things to take away with me.I am off to Spain for 2 whole weeks in a couple of days so lots of time sitting on the terrace sewing, lucky me!
Have a lovely New Year and see you when I return.
There was great excitement in the valley last week (well Sharon, Helen and I were very excited anyway) as we went to Simply Solids to meet designer (and Editor of Quilt Now) Katy Jones, who was launching her line of fabric Priory Square.
It was very interesting to hear Katy talk about the inspiration and the design process.
And of course we bought some of the fabric – Helen and Sharon bought some of each design in the range. Here is Lisa , one of Simply Solid’s owners, who matches beautifully with the fabric she is cutting in her top made from one of the prints.
I bought this half yard of that one which is my favourite – look at those lovely flowers!
Helen won the raffle as well so got a lovely goodie bag full of fabric and thread.
There was also the great excitement of a big scraps bin – all at £1 for 50g, so I got all of this for £8 :-) Look at the cute prints, I think these are going to be some hexi centres for gifts for little people. I do love those little robots!
These are also beautiful fabrics for patchwork, do not have a project in mind for this yet!
There is a post on the Simply Solids blog about the event. You can also sign up for their monthly stash club for 2015 which this year has a choice of bundles, this is a really good way to build up your fabric stash and I am using loads from my last subscription.
Happy Christmas to one and all, I have finished a sewing gift late last night which I will post about soon and am still working on some things – better late than never!
Thanks for visiting and have a lovely couple of days.
I am having a very festive weekend, the last bits of decorating have been done and last night was the Marsden lights switch on so the village now looks very pretty.
Our local Morris dancers and fire jugglers were out too so that was very nice. Along with a glass of mulled wine and a mice pie it was a lovely couple of hours.
It is attempting to snow today as well but it is mainly slushy hail at the moment, hope things don’t get too bad, my Mum and Aunt are flying in from Spain today as sadly we have a family funeral to go to tomorrow so the last thing we need is bad weather!
My tree is up and it is not only a Christmas tree but a memory tree, as few years ago I got rid of all the mass-produced baubles.
Now I only have ones that I have made (which remind me of many happy hours of stitching) and special ones bought mainly on holidays or hand-made from other craft fairs.
This year’s hand-made by me have been added ,one flower and one hexagon so far, maybe more to come if I have time.
And here are the special ones both from Bavaria, our visit to Rothenburg ob der Tauber where we found that amazing Christmas shop.
I have also made a few more Christmas flowers for friends.
I am getting on well with the bee quilt, here is my inspiration. Details of the source in this post.
And here is the progress so far, really enjoying doing this, am limiting myself to seven hexagons for this one due to lack of time and it will be appliqued to a cushion cover.
All of this is from my stock of vintage linen, embroidery, lace and crochet with added beads and maybe some embroidered flowers if I have time.
Hope you have had a good week, don’t forget to like my giveaway post from last week as I will picking a winner on Friday 12th Dec.
Thanks for visiting.