The fanciful initial: a whitework E

The fanciful letter E (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

The fanciful letter E (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Owing to a seriously ill nanny I have been moved up a grade from back up nanny to the real thing. Christmas present-making schedules have accordingly gone haywire and blogging is likely to become equally erratic. But what are grannies for but to do their bit in emergencies? Carrying a wriggly 11 month old down up to 5 flights of stairs (bath room at the top of the house, his bedroom at the bottom) after bath time requires considerable risk assessment and the counting out loud of each step to aid eye-foot coordination is essential. That the baby enjoys the counting is a real bonus as it means he giggles instead of wriggles – for some reason 13 -19 are especially amusing.

The fanciful letter E: detail of embroidery

The fanciful letter E: detail of embroidery


Here, however, is an embroidered initial commissioned by daughter No.1 for a friend. If you’re interested in the origin of decorated initials like this one, do look here at my post on the fanciful letter M on which I based the one shown above.


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  1. Posted November 24, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Anything that converts wriggles to giggles has to be good – pity 11 months is a bit too young to be transfixed by your exquisite embroidery…!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted November 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      I gave up hand embroidery while my own children were little but managed to do hand sewn patchwork quilts and needlepoint. Thankfully our baby sleeps well, so I don’t even try to do anything but keep an eye on him while he’s awake and save the sewing until the evening – if I’m not asleep.

  2. Anne Hill
    Posted November 25, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Having carried wriggley babies down many flights of stairs, I emphasize with you. Good luck.

    I’m still enthralled by your archives and everyday decide on some new avenue – white work, gold work, english piecing with wildflowers etc etc. I have two large quilts to finish before I tackle anything so I am ample time for dreaming.


    • Mary Addison
      Posted November 26, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Good luck to you going through the archives – I am working on an index which would make things easier for anyone trying to look through past posts thematically. I’m so pleased that you’re still enjoying the blog and many thanks for taking the time to tell me.

  3. Posted November 30, 2014 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    How fit you will be after all those stairs! A beautiful image of a laughing baby bobbing up and down the stairs with his Grandma kindly singing…

    • Mary Addison
      Posted December 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      I shall hold your positive image in mind when I’m not feeling quite up to the job in hand. Thank goodness he still has good naps!

  4. Posted November 30, 2014 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Just a quick note…. spurred on by your smocking posts I have been learning to smock and what a joy and a trauma it has been. My stitches have been sewn, unstitched, sewn, unstitched – a new light with a magnifying lamp has been purchased, and now I am triumphant as I have nearly completed my first smocked bishop. I love it! Thank you Mary.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted December 1, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Well done, I’m very impressed. Who have you done your smocking for?

  5. Posted December 6, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I love your monogram – wow, it is so classic & elegant. Did I mention I am very impressed with your beautiful blog?

    • Mary Addison
      Posted December 8, 2014 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Glad you like the monogram – I have done lots more which at the moment you can only see by going through the gallery (shorter than going through all the posts). After Christmas I hope to provide some sort of index). Thanks for another lovely comment, Dee.

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