Friday, 20 May 2016

FOOTNOTE : My 'Mrs.Christie Mice'

Footnote ; My ‘Mrs.Christie Mice’

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!.......

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