I’m currently on holiday in India, and have taken plenty of linen & threads with me. I’ve managed to get three finishes done so far, and I’m working on a new (Quaker related) project also, but more on that in a future post.
We started the holiday with spending several days in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen – a valley in the Himalayas, known as the Fruit Bowl of the Kumaon. Ramgarh, where our guest house was, is situated in a green valley with beautiful gardens and fruit trees, attracting many birds and other animals. Here I started and finished my new pattern The Birds in the Orchard. I couldn’t have wished for a more inspiring environment to work really – with the fragrance of flowers and birdsong in the air, it was a true joy sitting in the beautiful gardens of this valley.
I met several fellow stitchers from all over India who also stayed at the guest house, and chatted with them about embroidery. It is always so wonderful to meet people from all over the world, and discover that you have a shared interest in something.
Earlier in the holiday I finished my Quaker of Hearts pattern (available for pre-order as an embroidery kit here), which I had started just before we left the UK. I stitched most of it during an unexpected stopover at a hotel in Amsterdam. I’ve done quite a few Quaker style patterns now, and I keep coming back to them as they are just so inspiring to make (and stitch!). I’m already getting excited to share the new project with you also, but I will try and be patient with that for now.
The last project I started and finished is a design in my “Dark Crosses” range of patterns. A while ago I did research into the samplers at the York Museum Trust archives, and came across a small (and slightly unremarkable) sampler by a girl named Elizabeth Groves. In 1822 she stitched a small sampler with bright colours, featuring fruit baskets, birds, and flowers. But what stood out for me was the little rhyme she added at the top of her work: “This Work My Frends (sic) May Have When I Am Dead And In My Grave”. It was common for young girls to reflect on life, death, and good Christian virtues, but the simplicity and honesty of these words moved me. I chose to use the exact lettering Elizabeth used, and keep the spelling mistake she made in ‘friends’ in tact. I left enough space however for you to insert an ‘i’ in the sampler, if it would upset you too much… :D. You can find When I Am Dead And In My Grave here, in my Etsy shop.
For now, I’ll just leave you with a few photos from the valley and my new projects. I’ll get back to a little stitching on my new project!