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22 July 2017

Encyclopedia - what tales you tell

Recently at my Embroiderers' Guild Branch, we had a most excellent talk by Amanda Clayton - one of those filled with snippets of information, the sentence in the midst of the topic which strikes a chord.  And of course the work, I loved.  Her own collection of things, handmade books, and, just pure deliciousness!

One of the things she brought along was an old copy of Therese de Dillmont's Encyclopedia of Needlework.  Two things I loved about this - its age and the fact it was a very fat little book.  I do already own a modern reprint of this book, but felt the need to buy an old copy.
So, Ebay search and this came through the door.


Its only A6 size, but over 800 pages


Look what I found within the pages
There's no date as to the print of this copy, save for it being a revised and extended version with colour plates.  It is full of wonderful phrases not used today, such as:
"Decoration of the gathers, known as Smocking"
Here are a couple of paragraphs which caught my eye.


"Mechanical power" - ooooh


So often we don't sit properly to work, and end up with neck and back ache.
"an awkward attitude" - mhmm does that include having a hissy fit when it all goes wrong.

This book is not so beaten up by time or use, I wonder who owned it, did they use it, was it a present for someone who hated stitching, but it was expected of them.
Who knows, I might make up a story of who owned it and when.

19 July 2017

Diary Dates - Embroiderers' Guild


Saturday 5th August 2017

Once again my Branch will be participating in the National Celebration of Stitch day.
I will be along from lunchtime to steward.  Please come along, we will have Make & Takes, a chance to share stitching and to chat with Members to find out what the Guild is about.


Saturday 12th August 2017
Branch Meeting
1.45 - 4.30pm
Balmoral Centre
Westcliff on Sea

This is our usual Branch Meeting, which will be a practical afternoon.  Bring your sewing kit. The theme of the afternoon will be Metallics.  There will be a variety of hands on practical sessions for you to join in.  I will be running one myself on Decorative Cords.
For more information on our Branch click, HERE 

I hope to see you at one of these events.


17 July 2017

Paper Everywhere

A plumbing issue meant a trip into the loft, so the much over due clear out of my Part 1 Embroidery commenced.


Out of sight out of mind... well nearly.  Plus at my P1 college all our samples had to be mounted for display, hugely impractical, mega expensive.  So the reluctance to edit came down to
1) blood sweat and yes lot of tears, to achieve 
2) the expense tied up in the presentation,
3) the evidence of a lifelong dream achieved, and
4) when would I feel ready to do it.
I'd already done the P2 work, because that was in folders, easier to edit, and never made it to the loft.


All of this is just the back up paperwork.... 10 x A3 files of design work for the Preparing Working Designs element.  There were an additional 2 files for the Full Working Designs - at my college we had to take a design further, and the item to be made from it, had to have full step by step instructions on how to construct, complete with photos, diagrams, costs. Happy to bin that.
Then there were the fat ring binders full of design techniques, principles of display, colour theory etc etc. All of that is in here somewhere.
The actual display of the 10 design themes, method of which we were not allowed to repeat, huge A1 boards, books, boxes and all sorts.  All out, phew.

Of course there were the actual embroidery samples.
Most of those have been binned.  Couple need dismantling, some need photographing before hitting the bin.  This is all that's left.


Not sure I have all the embroidery samples, think may be another box somewhere.  We had to make 3 Experimental Samples - the box contained 1 and 3, but no 2, and I can't remember what it was at all.  Quite a lot of the work was dire... so glad experience and practice makes improvement.

In one of the boxes I also found my childhood bible.   I can't remember if it was ever new, but its falling apart.


As a child I had heard that families kept their history records inside the cover of the family bible.  So naturally I thought I ought to do this, and kept a record of me!  I particularly like 'this is how I write long ago' - already writing it thinking of someone in the future reading!


I had also heard/seen that some books had gold edges to the pages... so I took a red pencil and coloured the fore edge of this bible!!

As an adult I would learn that indeed history of births and deaths were in a family bible. However my Great Grandmother was married to a violent man, she left him, but was ordered by the Courts to take him back, and in a fit of anger she ripped out this history, guess she was trying to remove his existence in some way.

I wonder if interests are forged in early childhood, certainly I love all things book... and I love words, but then as a child with nothing else available, I did used to read the family dictionary.  A big book with finger holes for each letter.  The last hole punch I bought makes the finger hole shape.

I'm in the midst of making more books.... perhaps its time to gold leaf the fore edge... or make a book with pretty edges, mhmmm good idea.