Christmas has not stopped the tapestries rolling in, and any tapestries stretched now can have 3 days uninterrupted drying time.
However, setting up several tapestries to be stretched all at once can lead to an aching back!
So today I found the perfect solution.
Stretch a tapestry – Wrap a present, Repeat until you run out of either.
It worked a dream – tapestries stretched, presents wrapped and no backache.
Merry Christmas all round.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself last summer, producing a new range of quick and easy Tapestry designs featuring some of my favourite flowers.
Quick because they are small -18cms (7ins)square, and easy because they are 10 count, or 10 stitches to the inch.
They are versatile too; and can be made into Cushions or Glasses Cases.
Here they are; Vintage Rose, Viola and Poinsettia.
Pretty, as an old,
slightly faded picture.
Bold and colourful
with a cheeky face.
As stunning as the
much loved Christmas
There will be more Flowers throughout 2015. Let me know your favourites and you never know…
About 18 months ago, I decided it was time for more small-ish, portable tapestry kits in my Catalogue. My idea was stylised flower heads with an emphasis on brilliant colour. I designed my first three and because I was due a short stay in hospital – pretty much immobilised, I took them all with me. They made the time fly by!
I would love to say they turned out just as I had hoped and were soon ready to meet their public, but that was not the case (it rarely is) Much tweaking of colours and sizes followed, and mind-changing about which flowers to keep and which to abandon. At least the little designs on 10 count canvas were quick to stitch. So much so, that it was always quicker to start again than to struggle on unpicking where the colours didn’t quite work.
I know that sounds wasteful, but it really isn’t – it’s all part of the process!
I wanted the Flower Tapestries to be versatile; suitable to be made into a Cushion or a gorgeous Spec’s Case that wouldn’t disappear at the bottom of a handbag. So I added a narrow border that could be stitched or left out depending on how the tapestry would eventually be made up.
Then when the designs were finalised, I stitched three of each to be made up in their various ways.
Vi, my ever willing Cushion lady made up both the cushions and Glasses Cases and meanwhile, I set to in the garden, painting all the chairs I could find for the kit photography.
Here at last are the first three designs:-
Vintage Rose, Viola, Poinsettia.
There will be more to come.
There are some very cute daisies that have taken up residence
at One Off Needlework HQ; – I love them.
They keep popping up anywhere and everywhere.
In the garden….
I don’t a bit mind them in my chives… and marjoram.
Or on the steps.
They’ve even crept into one of my designs…
A daisy chain in The Balloons Birth Sampler
There is one shop to which I always deliver personally – Parham House; near to where I live and a lovely journey beside the Sussex Downs and through the woods. The drive from the gates must be a mile long, past the Lodge, over a deer grid and through the park towards the house and gift shop to which I deliver the tapestry kits.
Of course – I have to go in the back way!
Parham House is very special because it is home to perhaps the finest and most important collection of 17th century embroidery in the United Kingdom, displayed in a room off the Long Gallery.
The Long Gallery itself is a joy, with a glorious painted ceiling designed by Oliver Messel, the 20th century artist and stage designer.
And on this ceiling, nestling amongst the oak leaves somewhere down the far end is a rather bad tempered looking owl.
Here he is – on two of my own tapestry kits; The Owl Pincushion and the double sided Owl Glasses Case. I have made his expression slightly kinder!
Here in east-central-southern England…(?) we were very much in the firing line for the Christmas Atlantic Storm. It was not as bad as the other two we have had since the autumn, but it did far more damage to power lines. So we had no power all day Christmas Eve.
After a rather chilly and fretful day, the power came on at 10.15 at night and Christmas got underway again. But all around us there have been trees down, flooded rivers and valleys and roads closed. There was even a mudslide near Petworth.
Three precious tapestries have been on their way to me for over a week now, but they are due to be delivered tomorrow and, although the roads are lined with sawn off tree branches, they are open again for deliveries both to and from One Off.
We found one day without power pretty grim, especially after dark when by candle and torchlight you can see enough not to crash into the furniture but not enough to do much else. I certainly couldn’t stitch!
So I feel very sorry for those still without power since Christmas Eve. I believe there are many with no prospect of heat and light this week.