I have written a little footnote about the mice I went on to sew simply because I recall so fondly this first project. It makes me smile more than anything now because at the time Trellis Stitch used for the mice in Mrs Christies original presented such a mystery that I had to abandon it in favour of Stem Stitch! I remember reading and re-reading her instructions and just not understanding them at all! What’s more a friend and I spent an entire afternoon trying to find modern instructions within the books I had for sale in my shop (my own library wasn’t as vast as it is now!) to no avail. What’s more my friend was just as baffled
|Mrs.Christies version now at the V&A|
Ten years on, and it is the first time I have considered that first piece. I smile and think back to those days before the internet as a mainstream part of our lives and then it occurs to me to give it a whirl through Google. A quick search on Pinterest and to my utter delight there is a colour picture of the original now housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum! At the time I worked from the black and white plate below and was rather delighted that my colours were not at all dissimilar! I remember those notorious pages 59 and 60 of Samplers & Stitches : ‘TRELLIS STITCH, Figures 87-89. – Though nowadays an almost unknown stitch, Trellis is unusually attractive.’ …I don’t think it actually crossed my mind at the time that if it was unknown in 1920, I hadn’t a cat-in-hells chance of finding it in 2006 never mind by such limited means! However rather joyfully a quick Google throws up several You Tube videos and dozens of examples of workings!
|The Plate that started it all!|
Despite having never embroidered in my life, part of me at the time felt that I had rather ‘cheated’ using Stem Stitch but I look at it now and am pretty chuffed that the shading all seems to point in the right direction never mind the fact that I was using Pearsalls silk which was probably one of the most impudent threads a novice could use, so perhaps I shouldn’t beat myself up too much!.......