The Cottage Orné Quilt

The Cottage Orné Quilt
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Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Between times

May I wish you all a very happy time over the holidays with a knitted toy I would love to own!  Just look at her dress with the dear little robins and the striped stockings!!

She was made by Julie of and I would love to own her - who wouldn't?

Julie's rabbits and other knitted animals are so popular that the name of a purchaser has to be selected by a random selector. Oh I do hope I have the chance to buy one soon! 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Some EB for Christmas

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas for me without a new piece of Emma Bridgewater and here are two of my festive purchases -

This first picture is a personalised 1 pint mug.  The pattern is a special version of Joy and I chose to have the date 2012 printed on the base of the mug rather than on the body as I did last year.  This was because I preferred the space filled entirely with robins!

This second picture is a specially commissioned Waitrose mug which arrived this morning.  I was delighted with it and also the star box it came in!  I love nice packaging and EB do well in that department - just look at the lovely bag behind the mug which holds a yet to be opened present!

Here 's one I didn't buy but wish I owned - it says all I wish to everyone who reads this blog -

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Wonderful Needlefelt Animals

I recently discovered the work of Jenny Barnett when, with my friends Jilly and Pauline, I visited the Heart Space Studio in Bristol.  This studio is the brainchild of Janet Haig, a wonderful embroiderer whose work I have admired for years.  Anything Janet sponsors is OK with me and Jenny Barnett teaches at the studio.  When we visited there were some of her things which we could buy! 

Jenny is a needle felt artist and sculptor  Having worked for many years in the ceramics industry designing signature pieces for Wedgwood, Coalport and Genisis fine arts, she changed from working with clay to working with wool fleece and cloth.

Here are some of her animals -

I have one of these bears!
This is Merlin, the Welsh Terrier!
Isn't this cat adorable?
Bad Mr. Fox!
 Mad March Hares!
As it's nearly Christmas I'll end on a festive note. 

Aren't they all delightful?

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Chanel in Scotland

On a snowy evening last week, a magical show took place in the courtyard of Linlithgow Palace near Edinburgh - Chanel had come to Scotland!  Hundreds of invited guests, kept warm with Chanel blankets, champagne and whisky, watched the models parade the central courtyard of the palace in the light of flaming braziers.

Linlithgow Palace was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots and this was the inspiration.

The setting, Linlithgow Palace.
The inspiration.

Some of my favourite outfits from the show - don't they all look nicely wrapped up?

Not clothes one could wander down the high street in and it would help if one was six feet tall and size 8, but oh how romantic.  I'm away to dig out my tartan and throw it all on!

Here is the link to the video - just settle down with a cup of coffee and enjoy!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Welsh - I think not!

It's usually the other way around - a Welsh sampler mistaken for an American one!  This sampler is thought to be Welsh but I'm not so sure it is.  It was sold at auction a few years ago and I remember being mightily impressed with it.  Now it is appearing on Pinterest as Welsh, so I thought I would air my doubts about its origin.

This is the link where you can see more detailed pictures and read all about it - there's quite a bit to read so I thought this would be the best way.

Now I would love to claim it as Welsh but I just can't believe it.  Somehow it is all wrong.  I know Griffith is a Welsh name but that is all that is Welsh about it.

 If you read through the text on the website you will notice that whoever wrote it found it unusual and mentions that it is unlike other Welsh samplers.  Well I agree.  If I were to take a guess and bearing in mind that I am no expert on American samplers, I would guess at Pennsylvania being the place of origin. There are lots of Welsh names there I should imagine. But the style, format and detailed work on this sampler suggests American to me.

Though my new blog is dedicated to Welsh Samplers I still want to talk about samplers here, especially as this one is of more general interest.  Are there any experts on American samplers out there reading this who would give an opinion?  Wouldn't it be good to trace its source, because there must be more like it as it's very rare to find a one off!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Quilts and Samplers

Quilts and Samplers seems to go together! They do for me anyway and it seems, from looking at other blogs, that many of you share this twin interest?

In the past, when I have suggested to a publisher that a book combining them would be a good thing, they weren't keen at all!  I am not sure why?  Maybe they think that one subject dilutes the other, or maybe they think we can't cope with two specialties?

The fabrics in the central area date from the 1820s, whilst the outer pieced squares frame dates from the 1840s. There is a cross stitched name and date 'I (heart shape) M March 8 1844'. Quilters' Guild of the British Isles Collection.
I own a sampler very similar to this one and I believe it was worked near Richmond, Yorkshire.

I pursue both with a passion but I don't sew samplers anymore. My sampler interest is now mainly research.  It isn't of an academic standard,  it's making an attempt to record the content of Welsh samplers and drawing conclusions on what I find.  I do this by trawling the internet auctions and with the help of an antique dealer friend who has access to private collections.

I also like to think that my experience of teaching the subject for many years gives me an insight into the thought processes of  female stitchers, which may help a little to understand how certain designs evolve. After although our lives are so very different, human nature hasn't changed much?

All of this is by way of a trailer to my other blog Welsh Folk Art Samplers you can click on it here or access it regularly from the picture of its header at the right hand side of this page.

WARNING - I am having major problems with my computer and there maybe a break in this blog.  If this happens, please keep tuned in as I will return as soon as possible.