I was wondering what to work on next and it was after having seen the second project at the bottom of this post from Helen Cowans that I remembered I had an unfinished piece based on the Northumberland coast between Seahouses and Bamburgh.
I started it in August 2004, on holiday in Seahouses. A sort of forerunner to my Cornish Holiday Journal. But summer 2004 came with a bit of a bombshell as three days into the holiday I discovered that I was unexpectedly pregnant with my youngest daughter.
All the vivid emotions of that time are caught up in the stitching as I struggled to get my head round being pregnant again with two older, independent children, wondering if we could do, it, if we should do it, what effect it was going to have on my health etc.
I stitched it on and off through another rough pregnancy, through two months of potential miscarriage scares and finally put it away shortly after the birth. I’ve worked on it sporadically since, but even though the result of that upheaval is a fabulously bright, sparky, loving bundle of dynamite that I wouldn’t be without for the world…
…the cloth still holds some difficult memories.
But it’s not far off being finished. In fact the only thing I realised I really I needed to do when I got it out was to embroider a line of footprints just below the high tide line and then add the surf. Stitch some good memories into it.
This is how it stands now, with the addition of some footprints which I started during the New Year.
From the bottom: back stitch on a scrap of satin from the dress my bridesmaid had for my wedding, feather stitch on coarse cotton, massed french knot clusters on denim and whipped running stitch on some permanently crinkled dress fabric (you might recognise it from the Cornish Journal!).
Seeding, woven spiders’ webs and back-stitched spiders’ webs in hand-dyed coton a broder on calico dyed with the same dye. Coral stitch in various vintage threads on coarse cotton.
Three weights and colours of silk with back stitch linking two.
More later – I’m feeling more positive about it already.
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