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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Exhibits and a journey through Norfolk

Sorry for my long absence! I don't know how so many weeks have passed by and now I hardly know where to begin to catch up. I'll take photographs of my recent pieces of work in the next day or two and post again with an update. But in the meantime, let me show you what I've been up to in the past week.
Our branch of the Embroiderers' Guild has an exhibition currently at the Bankfield Museum in Halifax (Yorkshire). For those of you who can get there it's on until the end of July. So last Saturday we went along to the preview and I have to say I was so proud of the ladies who have produced the exhibits.

Many of us worked on the huge tree of life - it's around 8 feet tall, which is the centrepiece of the exhibition. As well as couching the tree itself and the landscape along the bottom, we produced individual motifs as 'slips' (separate pieces of fabric) which were then stitched onto the tree.

 These are just some of the exhibits inside one of the display cabinets - including my butterfly garden casket. The pieces of work are an interesting mix of traditional and modern embroidery and include stumpwork, whitework, blackwork, crewel embroidery, silk painting and many others.

 And here are two of my pieces of lace. It felt so exciting to see them on display in a gallery!

Sunday I went away for a few days with my local National Trust group on a coach tour of North Norfolk. We saw lots of stately homes, masses of beautiful gardens, and some very special textiles, which I thought I'd share with you.

This bedspread was actually crocheted at the beginning of the 20th century but it is so beautiful.
This little beaded cushion was sitting on the bedside table.

These two pieces of embroidery were worked by Mary Queen of Scots whilst she was in exile. They were on display at Oxburgh Hall, a lovely old manor house which actually has a moat!

 This bedhanging was so relevant to our exhibition - a beautiful example of 17th century crewel embroidery.

 In Sheringham we went to the lifeboat museum where there was an exhibition of fishermen's ganseys. Each area has its own design knitted into the fine wool sweaters.

The local branch of the Women's Institute had made a quilt to be raffled to raise funds to buy one of the restored lifeboats, but the men liked it so much that they asked the ladies to make them another to keep and put on show in the museum.
 The final piece of embroidery that I have to show you is a bed hanging from Knole House in Kent and is currently being restored by the National Trust Conservation Studio, which is in Norfolk. It was fascinating to see how they conserve the beautiful old textiles in our many stately homes and palaces.

All in all a very good week!

And finally ... the wall of a dovecote we came across in one of the gardens, complete with white dove. Have a peaceful Sunday ... wherever you are.