A trip to Edinburgh and the Yarn Festival

A trip to Edinburgh and the Yarn Festival

Last week I was lucky enough to take a trip up to Edinburgh to visit a dear friend and to go to the Yarn Festival. It was a terrific few days and I was glad to get reacquainted with a city that I hadn’t visited for a very long time. It really is a splendid place …. it has everything - a castle, a palace, a university, Georgian squares, Victorian monuments, a harbour, a beach and is surrounded by highlands.

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Costumes from 'The Favourite'

Costumes from 'The Favourite'

Not all the costumes were in this display (some are at Hampton Court) but I was thrilled to see these. I have always been fascinated by historical fashion and theatrical costumes, but this was something unexpected and changed my views on how you can portray characters from the past. Taking the essence of the story as the lead, the technical inaccuracies of these outfits is irrelevant, as their boldness and innovation enhances the story of a Queen who was until now, mostly lost to history…..I think she might have liked this.

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A SCANDINAVIAN SOJOURN

A SCANDINAVIAN SOJOURN

It came about that my daughter was to attend a tech conference in Stockholm and she suggested that I might like to tag along to revisit a few old haunts.  I was just delighted and we decided to add on a few days in Copenhagen beforehand as well.   Having lived in Stockholm for 3 years until 2014, I was glad to have a chance to recharge those Scandi vibes which always make me feel wonderfully clean and inspired and this little trip provided plenty of opportunities to find this again.


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A Cornish Tale

A Cornish Tale

A Cornish Sojourn - now that is just the tonic after a gruelling winter, a sick house and flagging spirits....and so it was.    I am bubbling with inspiration from the sweeping coastline, the incredible gardens and the charming Cornish villages, peppered along the seashore.  It is a land of myth and legend and I can see why - the imagination is free to roam around rocky islands, smugglers coves and ancient castles.  

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Swedish Embroidery

Swedish Embroidery

We were lucky enough to live in Stockholm for 3 years from 2011.  It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and Sweden generally is a country of absolutely sweeping landscapes, peppered with sparkling waters and rocky islands.    My husband bought me this cushion kit 3 years ago as a birthday present, just before we left to return to England.   As is often the case with hand sewing projects like this, I have picked it up and put it down a hundred times and it has been lurking in our sitting room in a basket for quite some time.  I am not really sure why it has taken me so long, but I guess that is a familiar story to most of you who sew.

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Faberge, Mosaic Eggs and Fabric Bundles

Faberge, Mosaic Eggs and Fabric Bundles

I thought it might be a rather nice idea to follow in Carl Faberge's footsteps and each Easter, create an egg quilt block design that perhaps one day might turn into an epic quilt. Meanwhile, the patterns can be used for smaller, quicker projects that hail the arrival of Spring.......I am not sure it is quite up to Carl Faberge's standards, but it is fun and cheerful and will herald the arrival of Spring in just the same way as his eggs once did, long ago and far away.

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I think Miss Austen would approve!

I think Miss Austen would approve!

I am always in awe of the fine travelling accessories the ladies of Miss Austen's time had and remember especially going to visit Josephine Bonaparte's house in Rueil Malmaision, in the suburbs of Paris and seeing the most wonderful collection of absolutely beautiful accessories with little embroidered bags and embossed leather carrying cases. Somehow, chucking everything in a zip up holdall doesn't quite have the same feel....?

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Venice - Fortune and Fortuny

Venice - Fortune and Fortuny

Back from holidays feeling revved up and ready to go in the sewing room.  Hope you have had or are having a fab time on your vacation, wherever it may be.   We certainly had an amazing time.  We visited Venice last year for a few days and fell in love with this magical city and decided to return to take a closer look...a much closer look in fact.

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The Textile Collection at Gawthorpe Hall

The Textile Collection at Gawthorpe Hall

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to get to visit Gawthorpe Hall and to see a sprinkling of the wonderful textile collection housed there.  When I was working towards my City & Guilds diploma in Sweden, I came across this collection in my research and first learned about Rachel Kay Shuttleworth - the founder of this extensive collection.   My first glimpse of her came in these wonderful books about the history of embroidery by Gail Marsh.  These books are simply wonderful if you love the history of embroidery - full of stunning photographs and packed full of information and techniques, these are ever present in my sewing room and much drooled over.  When I looked further into Gawthorpe's textile collection,  I made a mental bookark to visit this place on my return to England.  As it turns out, amazingly, I don't live too far away and last Saturday we made our first trip there. 

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