An embroidered alphabet: letter E


Embroidered letter D (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

The small people and their parents have come and gone, enjoyed playing in the tent and happily suffered no bombardment from falling apples. Great fun was had with the old Playmobil Farm and the dolls’ house, a £10 charity shop find which I filled with Sylvanian family inhabitants (crammed a family of four to three of its four rooms). It’s a real pleasure seeing another generation enjoying toys as much as their parents did (and makes worthwhile our carting them around with us in our 4 moves in 10 years). How children prize memories of such things was brought home to me the previous week when my husband’s 15 year old grandson  expressed the hope that we hadn’t got rid of my son’s box of Micromachines he used to play with when they came to visit. (We still have them.) It reminded me of how one of my own children’s grannies always had a few rather good toys stashed away in one of her three splendid oak dressers. The singing frogs satisfied the youngest children while the battery operated marching penguins which laboriously climbed a moving stair before swooshing down round a figure of 8 circuit just about had us all entranced. (That particular granny was even more impressive as she would stand by, watching unflinchingly while one of the little ones emptied china from one of the other cupboards -” no child has ever broken anything before and I doubt this one will now”. Such enviable confidence, though they never did break anything  now I come to think about it!)

Embroidered letter E (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

This calligraphic F has been embroidered in stem stitch and was inspired by the handwork of Maricor/Maricar, a pair of Sydney based embroidering sisters who are bringing hand embroidery, both design and execution, bang up to the minute.

Various letter Es – sketched from online examples

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An embroidered alphabet: letter D

Embroidered letter D (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Now the weather has turned, we have rain, overcast skies and a real drop in temperature. Though I have no complaints at all about our recent wonderful sun and heat, the change in weather does at least make getting on with the Ipsden altar frontal more congenial – all that heavy patchwork over the knee when ambient temperatures are constantly high was bad enough but hand sewing became increasingly difficult as needles quickly lost their shine, started squeaking in their passage through several layers of fabric and needed replacing regularly.

Embroidered letter D (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

This letter D has a hint of Art Nouveau and was inspired by a capital B with a leafy flourish found (and then lost) on an internet search. An appliquéd piece of ivory silk was in part embroidered over in a cool bathroomy sort of green and the pillar of the D was then picked out in a single strand of black embroidered floss. Instead of using my favourite satin stitch,  I went for stem stitch which gives a satisfying smooth yet textured appearance. It would look good on the pocket of a pair of pyjamas.

Various letter Ds – sketched from online examples

Hooray for expensive titanium framed spectacles. This week I narrowly missed damaging my eye from a direct hit by a falling apple. My spectacles took the full force of the blow – the apple plummeted into the right lens, pushed it firmly into the eye socket but fortunately the spectacles then recoiled intact – no broken lens, no distorted frame. Thank goodness, my husband’s post cataract eye is doing well but still a bit blurry – we don’t want to go down to just two eyes between us! But I should explain. Apples have been falling thick and fast in our back garden recently and usually this is nothing more than mildly irritating – when there are only two of us we can sit outside their range. Next week we will be visited by family, including the two littlest ones (4 and 1 years of age) who will inevitably make a bee line for the garden when they arrive. My husband set to thinking. So it was that one afternoon I came out to find him, armed with a line prop, poking at the most threateningly looking  apples. Of course, I had to have a go too … and then I got more than I’d bargained for. We retired inside to rethink. Perhaps we should get a little tent for the small people to play in. Why have I never had to worry about falling apples before? Have we all become hyper Health and Safety in the C21st? Perhaps rain will be our saviour and we shall stay inside!

Useful handbook for styles of lettering. (4000 Alphabet & Letter Motifs: A Sourcebook by Graham Leslie McCallum; Batsford 2009)

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