Saturday, 20 July 2013

I have this aunt...

Not all but most ladies among my Swedish relatives have or have had some kind of connection with textile. The interest in and execution of weaving, lace making, knitting, crocheting, dressmaking, millinery and of course embroidery,  have always been there, and some of us carry on the tradition.

One of my aunts, I-L E, was 'born' to cross stitch. It might actually be in her blood, her mother stitched, and also her father, when he was well into his 90s, was introduced to cross stitch at the Old People's Home. He thought it was a wonderful way to 'blow away the cobwebs of the brain'.

As long as I can remember she has been busy on some complex design, for birthdays and seasonal greeting cards, and also worked hard to make things for various charity events. Although now a gal of 90+ she still needs no glasses to see the tiny stitches. Unfortunately her hands are gradually getting stiff though, and she can no longer work as smoothly as she once did.

I have always been so impressed by the way she controls the thread. In most of her work she uses three strands of embroidery floss and without using a laying tool she makes the strands lay flat on the surface and cover the ground fabric.

When I visited her the other day she dug out an old piece she wanted me to have. Aren't these summer flowers just lovely?




21 comments:

  1. That kind of stitching comes from years of practise and the design is so Scandinavain. When I was young I thought that this kind of stitching was only done in Denmark but then I discovered the Swedish stitching and all the others. How lovely that she wanted you to have it.

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    1. I-L E's enthusiasm, her speed and accuracy have always been a great source of inspiration for me. I have a good collection of Christmas cards but this is probably the largest piece and I love the wild yet elegant floral display. You are right, it is indeed very Scandinavian in style.

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  2. Beautiful! She knew how much you would value it.

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    1. Yes, she knows that I will treasure this as long as I live and that it is not only love of the design but the of the hand that made those perfect stitches.

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  3. I am sure you will treasure this lovely piece, now we understand where all your talent with a needle comes from it is in the blood!

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    1. Ha, ha!
      Well, to tell you the truth I believe that when there is some skill, interest or tradition in the family you will feel proud and enjoy carrying on in the same way. Your beautiful stitches must be treasured by your girls, so do continue to make those wonderful Hardanger pieces.

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  4. What a wonderful story and heritage. How fortunate for you that she shared such a lovely piece with you!

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    1. Yes, I am indeed fortunate. I just hope she understands what pleasure it gives me to look at her work when I am far, far away in Japan.

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  5. Yes queenie, a beautiful piece and you will always have an almost spiritual connection with her through your love of stitching ! My mother in law is now 85 years old and a good embroiderer.....I gave her some pincushions that I made as gifts and she has put them in a cupboard.....So no spiritual connection between myself and her then ?
    Thank you Queenie for popping over to blog,
    hugs
    Chris Richards
    xxxx

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    1. I am sure there is some kind of spiritual connection, between people who love and respect each other. I keep a lot of my embroidery and lace treasures in cupboards, out of the reach of pussy's sharp claws, but placed so that I can see them whenever I open the cupboard door. I call it Visual Delight and it puts a smile on my face whenever I go to get a fresh tea towel or a pair of socks. It wouldn't surprise me if your MIL gets the same emotional shower of happiness when she sees your pincushions (who wouldn't on seeing your eye candy!?)

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  6. What a wonderful aunt you have, she does wonderful work and it is nice to know that men can enjoy the craft as well.

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    1. I think it was very brave of old uncle Sven to take up a 'lady's craft'; after all he was a very old fashioned man. Like his daughter, and wife, he wanted to perfect his stitches and the small wall hangings sold well at the charity fairs.

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  7. Replies
    1. Yes, I am so happy this was given to me. Too many of her works of art have been donated to charity.

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  8. You sure are so lucky to have this beautiful piece with very pretty colors!!!

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  9. Stitching neatly must run in the family!

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    1. It is really nice to have a common interest in the family, yet as we are so versatile, there is no competition; I admire my cousin's lace and she takes an interest in my embroidery.

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  10. It's so beautiful, a love of thread obviously runs through your family. I read a report recently that people who knit/stitch are far less likely to suffer from senile dementia, and that it can benefit physical health too. I always knew knitting and stitching were good for you!

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    1. I have read such a report, too. Anything that stimulates your fingertips, doing jig-saws, playing the piano, typing and of course all sorts of needlework/knitting, is good. So stay calm and carry on stitching. Carry on crocheting and stay sane!

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  11. Very nice flowers! un cadeau qui gardera beaucoup de valeur à tes yeux...
    Pareil pour moi, tant que je le peux je continuerai à broder,crocheter, quilter....

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