As a teacher, I am a big believer that education is never complete. Even after we leave the formal setting of schools and universities, our education continues, whether it be on the job, doing further courses related to our careers, or learning more about our hobbies, we are all life long learners.
I have always been interested in needlework. I cannot recall which came first, the gift of a needlepoint that my grandmother and mother assisted me with, or seeing embroidery being done on tv, but it doesn’t matter. You see, since I was around 8 years old, my embroidery knowledge has largely come from exploration. I am, in essence, a self taught embroiderer. I had already been practicing embroidery for 20 years before I had my first formal class. But I have always been nervous about exploring new skills.
About 6 weeks before my son was due, and 2 weeks before he was born, I attended my first formal class – it was a chatelaine class held during the July school holidays at the Embroiderers Guild in Melbourne. About the same time I also attended a ribbon embroidery class in Geelong (where I lived at the time). The ribbon embroidery class was brought to a premature end, due to the early arrival of my first child, but Angela Dower, the teacher, helped me complete the class before we moved to Europe 6 weeks later.
Living in Europe, one of my goals was to develop my embroidery knowledge, and so I sought out opportunities to learn. Hence my 2 trips to Plymouth for the Sampler Gatherings. On the second trip, I was very fortunate to have a class with Lauren Sauer. It was her Lavender Lovelies class. I still have the candy basket ready to receive the completed smalls, but as you an see in the pictures below, I think I have done most of the stitching on the lip balm sleeve, and have started on the thimble bag.
I think it may be time for me to finish this project this year, so that I may give it pride of place on display.
CA Wells is a brilliant designer, and her pieces, though apparently easy to stitch, are fiendishly confusing to make into the finished product. In 2002 I attended the Stitching Weekend with CA hosted by Susan at Hanging by a Thread in the UK where we had the opportunity to make both the Sampler Slide Purse, an item that I had seen and fallen in love with at A Sampler Gathering the previous year, and the Jubilee Thimble Case, a variation of the thimble case that CA presented at the Sampler Gathering. Unfortunately my tendency to procrastinate played out here, and neither of these items were completely stitched. I only hope that when it comes to making them up into the finished items, I will be able to work out CA’s method for joining the seams invisibly.
Jubilee Thimble Case
Sampler Slide Purse