In which Batty goes visiting, Curis Tabescimus goes straight, and I learn a new stitch
A quick round-up of recent events.
Last week, Batty went on an outing to meet Elizabeth Mason at the Old Market Hall café. Elizabeth and her husband John, are the people who published the excellent facsimile copy of A Schole-House for the Needle, which I have already talked about. She wanted to see the finished Shorleyker’s Bat picture, so we arranged to meet up. I was a bit worried that we might not have much to talk about. I need not have worried! Elizabeth was pleasant company, and told me a lot about the Corbet Bed Project.
She was one of team led by Lady Corbet which embroidered the beautiful hangings and valances for this Tudor bed which comes originally from Morton Corbet Castle. (Trish of Thistle Threads has written about it here.) The castle is ruined, but still a magnificent building (there are more photos of the castle (and the local pigs) in this set on Flickr).
During the project, they were able to study embroidery at the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, including items not normally on show. I was very jealous of that! The hangings took several years to complete: silk slips in tent stitch applied to red silk velvet. The three valance panels, in tent stitch, show many of Shropshire’s important historic buildings. The hangings really glow with jewel-like colour on the rich red silk velvet, and the valances are wonderfully detailed and crammed with life and incident. The bed will have rightful pride of place in the Tudor Gallery of the new Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery when it opens, early next year. I must remember to go and look for Battlefield Church on the valances – Elizabeth stitched that building and three of her dogs appear in the churchyard: Ginger, Pepper and Pickle.
Meanwhile, while I was sipping coffee, Curis Tabescimus Omnes was stretching in my bathroom. I’m pleased to report that after three soaks it ended up beautifully flat: all crinkles and bumps smoothed away. None
Still on the subject of embroidery (as usual), over on Stitching Fingers I came across someone struggling with a stitch diagram that she’d found in a book of traditional Ukrainian embroidery stitches. It didn’t quite work as it was shown in the diagram. Those who know me will guess that I couldn’t resist trying to solve that puzzle. I soon discovered that by changing one thread crossing from an under to an over, I got something that works well. I don’t know if my solution is exactly what the stitch should look like, as I can only find small, fuzzy pictures of it online; but it looks right to me. It makes a fine knotted stitch, which isn’t difficult to do. I’ve made a diagram of my version and added Ukrainian Square Knot Stitch to my Embroidery Stitches page. Thanks to Angelica for introducing me to this stitch and the pleasure of figuring it out.