The Cottage Orné Quilt

The Cottage Orné Quilt
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Monday, 23 January 2012

Goodbye Erica

I have just been given a newspaper cutting - an obituary of Erica Wilson who died on the 13th December.

I was so sad to hear this because she had quite an influence on me as she helped demystify embroidery and gave me the courage to have a go at it.  After I joined my local Embroiderers' Guild Branch I learnt that many of my fellow new members had watched her TV programme and they too had been inspired.

This book accompanied the TV series

I can see her now bounding onto the TV set full of enthusiasm, explaining each week a different method of embroidery, so that when the programme ended we just wanted to drop everything and start!  Of course this was impossible, because the BBC, in their wisdom had chosen a late Sunday morning slot, just when most of us were preparing Sunday lunch.  This was before video recording and typical of how TV schedulers treat women;  instead of giving us a nice afternoon slot when we could sit down and enjoy such a programme, oh no, that would interfere with men's sport!

Anyway rant over - back to Erica.  When I had any embroidery problem it was her embroidery book I turned to and it never let me down -

Her speciality was crewel embroidery and I remember admiring this picture in the book which is obviously inspired by 17th century British embroidery -

I admired it then and I still like it now, but I never tried crewel embroidery - too scary,  but then Erica learnt at the Royal School of Needlework where she later taught, before crossing the pond!

RIP Erica Wilson and thank you.


Terrie Sandelin said...

A friend bought me her embroidery book when I was in high school (which was, ahem, quite some time ago). I just loved to look through it, and I still have it on the shelf with all my quilt books! What a lovely influence she had.

Taryn said...

Thanks for remembering Erica Wilson with your post. My sister became a master embroideress in the 1970's and Erica was a big influence on her. I remember paging through her books and admiring her colors, design and talent.

Robin said...

I wondered what had become of her. I had her book 'needleplay' but it was destroyed in a basement flood. She had an influence on my handwork too. I took a needlepoint class from a lady who was taught by Erica Wilson. Thanks for reminding me of a lovely part of my past.

Annabelle said...

Dear Mary, Thank you for joining my blog. I am so pleased to meet you virtually - I love your work - the quilts are amazing. I note your interest in Bridgewater Pottery - do look back on my posts and see my huge collection - however, I do not have the beautiful mug you feature on the first page (envy!) I love finding new interesting blogs. xxx

Dreams can come true! said...

This is the first I heard about Erica Wilson. I too have her books and did crewel with kits back in the late 70's, early 80's. Thank you for sharing.