An embroidered alphabet: letter J

A very hurried post. J finished in good time – unusually for me – but called to London a bit earlier than planned and no time to do anything but the barest of posts until now.

Embroidered letter J (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Here is a Chinoiserie J – or is it Japonisme? Whatever it is it is loosely inspired by some of the things I love about the East – silks, curlicues and dangly tassels. Just a bit of embroidery fun.

Sketches of various Js found online

For those of you living in the UK, do read Kate Atkinson’s Transcription or listen to it on BBC iPlayer – a recent Book of the Week. (Sorry not time to provide a link, I’m expected at the Angel tube station in 30 mins and still have washing to remove from washer and hair to dry!)

Embroidered letter J (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Here are a few other Js I’ve embroidered.

J within a ring of swirls and hydrangea flowers (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Linen union cushion: initial ‘J’ and leaves embroidered in ecru embroidery thread

Detail of embroidered and appliquéd ‘j’ (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

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An embroidered alphabet: letter I

Embroidered letter I (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

For me blogging is primarily a mini essay attached to a bit of embroidery. In the short term, family can dip in to find out a bit about my week, while in the longer term I like to think my grandchildren might find it interesting. Unsought bonuses come when people like school friends or former neighbours get in touch or, like this week, when I took up the offer of having coffee with someone who had invited me when first we came to Cheltenham.

Embroidered letter I (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

With volunteering at The Wilson (Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum) and being a trustee at the Holst Birthplace Museum, my husband gets out and about much more than I do. He is forever bumping into people he knows – whether from 40 years ago or from yesterday. Sometimes he even bumps into people he didn’t know he knew, which happened on the day he was walking  through the upper floor of the museum’s coffee shop with one of the museum’s curators (except they’re called cultural producers now! ugh!) His companion stopped to talk to a group of women knitting and, being a people sort of person, he joined in too. Imagine his surprise when someone asked “Are you David? Clever woman, from a walk on, speechless, non visible part in a minority interest craft blog  she had identified the man before her as my husband… Since that day, he’s met her several more times in The Wilson and last week I felt it was about time for me to take up her offer of coffee before I she thought I was incredibly rude.

Dover Handbook of Ornament and a very simple embroidered columnar I

Of course, we got on like a house on fire, talked about family (both had 3 daughters – not to forget my son Alex), working in libraries (both done that ), moving houses (we’d both done too much of that), losing treasured things in the moves (both done too much of that too) and that was even before we got on to knitting and what we liked about the museum, the cultural scene and Cheltenham in general. Three and a half hours later, having passed judgement on numerous common family conundrums, drawn in Ben for a chat (he runs art classes in the museum),  given the thumbs down to several autumn TV dramas and wavering uncertain thumbs up on others, we thought we should go home. And all that from this little blog. Remarkable. We shall meet again.

Handbook of Ornament: Franz Sales Meyer (Dover Publications)

This week I have embroidered an I which is a difficult letter to make a lot of with its simple straight up and downness and general lack of curving lines of beauty. Names like Imogen, Isabella, Iona, India and Ianthe are gloriously beautiful but somewhat disadvantaged in the monogram stakes by that uncompromisingly uncomplicated initial letter. Reaching into classical architecture for a column seemed the only way to unite elegance and beauty, though now I’ve done it, I find  something sad about  a single column on its own…If you ever want lots of details on all sorts of ornamentation, the Dover publication shown below is worth seeking out.

Sketches of various Is found online

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