This really is going back some time, but when I found the pictures of this project, I remembered how proud I’d been of it and thought I’d share.
In the summer of 2009, our Embroiderers’ Guild Summer Challenge was to be given a piece of aida and a skein of blue stranded cotton and asked to stitch something on the theme ‘Blue Pot’. It was one of those rare times when inspiration strikes instantly.
Not only do I love beach-combing and street-combing, I’ve also, ever since I was a child, hoarded scraps of Victorian (and older) china which come up in the garden. I found three different blue and white china-type cross-stitch patterns in a big embroidery book and used masking tape to mark off a shard section to stitch. I added some recently acquired stranded silk Gloriana threads in shades of blue and white and stitched five pieces from the three patterns.
First, two pieces in a Victorian floral:
Then two in a Chinoiserie/Willow Pattern:
And lastly one from a blue and white tile pattern:
The pieces were laced over pelmet vilene to give them some body, and then I turned my attention to the background – the soil.
I coloured another square of aida in shades of brown (can’t remember what with – something highly unsuitable probably) and stitched the china fragments to it. Then I began to couch a variety of textured brown threads around the fragments, changing direction and thread frequently and also adding in patches of cross stitch in the couching thread.
The textured thread hid the edges of the fragments nicely and made them look as if they were bedded into the soil. It was one of those incredibly rare occasions when the whole project comes together exactly as your original inspiration.
In September I handed it in and it was very different to anything else anybody had done. The other blocks, in beautifully embroidered forms of counted work, were earmarked for cushion panels. I’m not sure the committee initially knew quite what to do with it! But they kindly took it anyway.
In May 2010, we held our Millennium +10 exhibition. I was wandering round when I found the display of our branch scrapbooks. And I did a classic double take.
It was my piece! Expertly finished, but my piece, and I had no idea that was where it had gone!
So proud! :o)