Thursday, January 31, 2008

Queen Mary's Rug

This is my progress on Margaret Gibson. I really haven't got that far along over the last week or so as I have been trying to finish hand quilting a quilt that I started early last year. Hopefully I will finish it in about 2 weeks. Please God, I hope.

I thought I'd share with you some pictures from one of my favourite books from when I was a little girl. This book belonged to one of my Great Grandmothers and when she passed away I was given this book. I used to love to sit and go through it on rainy days. I think it has given me along with another similar book that was also given to me by another Great Grandmother the love of English and European Royalty and their history.

The very regal lady sitting below is Queen Mary. She was the wife of King George V and is the current Queen's Grandmother. A lot of people don't realise that she along with Mary Queen of Scots and Catherine of Aragon was also a great needleworker.

There were a few things in this beloved book that I always loved to check e.g. Queen Mary's Dollshouse (I will tell you about her dolls house in another blog)and Kensington Palace and also this incredible rug that she made. What is quite amazing about this rug is that she was 74 when she started it. She was born on the 26th May 1867. For history buffs her mother was the daughter of the Duke of Cambridge, the youngest son of George the Third. Her father was Prince Francis of Teck, son of the Duke Alexander of the kingdom of Wurttemberg.

Apparently Queen Mary was always a skilled and enthusiastic needlewoman and in 1941 she started work on a twelve panel needlepoint carpet when she was staying with her niece and her husband the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort at Badminton in Gloucester (it is apparently where she spent most of the war years).

The design was inspired by some eighteen-century tapestries in the V & A Museum and they were brought to her at Badminton. She did not follow the original colour scheme but made her own selection. Slowly the first panel began to take form and was finished in 1941 and put away in a drawer. In 1942 three more panels were worked. By 1944 ten panels had come from her needle.

She liked to work sitting in the sunshine on the lawn while one of the members of the household read her the newspapers. When the war came to an end the carpet had still to be finished. It was finished in the 1950.

In 1949 there was much excitement when it was announced that the Queen proposed to sell it to the highest dollar bidder, being her own personal contribution to the nation's export drive.

First of all it created long queues at the V&A where it was on display. It then went on a tour around the U.S.A. and Canada. In 1950 it was announced that a bid of 100,000 Canadian dollars had been accepted. The purchasers were the Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire.

One of the requests from Queen Mary regarding where her rug should go was to a National Gallery and I believe it is hanging in the National Gallery in Ottawa, Canada. It is one of those things that I would love to see. I would love to see what colour choices she made.

This picture shows Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret insplecting the carpet while it was on display.

This one shows Mrs. Elanor Roosevelt admiring the carpet on its arrival in New York. It was sent to America in a specially designed stainless steel lined wooden chest.
The Royal cipher was embroidered on each panel.

Apparently she was quite an amazing woman. There was no public mention of where she was staying during the war, but there were alot of tales of her giving lifts to American soldiers around Badminton and of her attending a few baseball matches at their invitation. She was friendly will all the soldiers in the neighbourhood, unbending in a way perhaps that she had never done in her life before, and was always amused when they were incredulous at her identity. Apparently one U.S. soldier wrote to his parents in Massachusetts that he told her that he recognised her because he was a stamp collector, and she asked whether he thought it was a good likeness that used to be on the British stamps.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Wedding

I thought you might like to see a couple of photos of my son and daughter-in-laws wedding on Saturday.

It was a beautiful day. Everyone and everything looked beautiful. The brides dress was stunning and was made of French lace. I believe it was lace that Catherine Zeta Jones's wedding dress was made out of. Unfortunately you can't see the bottom in my photos, but it was a little longer at the back.

The only unfortunate thing about the day was the rain. It never let up. The Reception was in a very old building near the Parramatta River and the idea was to have all the tables under the few large magnolia trees that are in the garden. As we couldn't do that we had the tables around the veranda and inside the building. Everything was just beautiful.

The cake was absolutely finger lickin good. It was a chocolate cake that was delicious. The photo was taken on the outdoor veranda.

The bouquets were roses and lisianthus in pink and white shades.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I'm Earlier Then Expected

I know I said that I would do this next week but I had a quite moment where I thought I'd get my son to put these photo's on the computer for me while I did some of my dreaded housework. It didn't take long at all as my DH bought us a new computer for Christmas because the old one was soooooo slow. Its amazing how quick this one is. I uploaded all these photo's in the time that it took the kettle to boil. So I will write my bit while I have a lovely cup of tea.

This is my progress on Margaret. She is still lovely, and the colours really remind me of my visits to Scotland. The colours remind me of the heathers I suppose they are called Glens. If it was England it would be moors. Truly beautiful and interesting places.
I had a lovely parcel from the lovely Joanie the other day. She sent me all these beautiful Mary Garry charts. I quite like Mary Garry's work. I had a old JCS magazine where she was the featured designer and it had 2 lovely pin cushions in it. They have always been on my list "to do", but as usual I haven't got there yet. Where does the time go. Yikes.

I thought I'd also show you this beautiful sampler. When my son was fixing the computer for me he found this lovely sampler on Goggle Images for my Deskground Background. She is called Margaret Logan and is a Scarlet Letter Sampler. On reading the above info discovered that she is an English sampler and has a lot of Quaker motifs in her. Apparently Margarets teacher was educated by Quakers and there are another 2 samplers by other girls that were also designed by the same teacher. All very interesting as they say.

While looking for something the other day I came across these 2 books with samplers that are on my "to do" list. It's quite long. I think the list will outgrow me. The sampler above is from a BH&G Special Interest Publications called Country Crafts 1997. The original sampler if you can see it is on the left. Its called Heart of Home Sampler. The one on the right is an adaption of the original.

All the following photos are from a book that I have had for a long time calledAustralian Needlework- Cross Stitch, Counted Thread and Canvaswork. It was published in 1993. The sampler below is called Kitty Bigg, 1793 and was started in England and bought out to Australia when the family immigrated out here. The graph for this sampler is included in the book. The original is owned by the Museum of Applied Arts and Science, Sydney.

This sampler is one of the earliest Australian Samplers. It is called Emily Lakeland and was done in 1825 when she was 6 years old. The picture on the top is of Emily. The V.D.L. on the bottom is Van Diemans Land which is now know as Tasmania. Unfortunately there is no graph for this one in the book.

This one is called Catherine Toms 1867. This is also Australian and is in Canberra. Catherine was a Governess to a family who lived near Canberra and was probably a teaching aid for her students needlework. My book has graphs of only the smaller things e.g. the large flower, the tree, and baskets.
These two are very interesting. I actually have the graph from another publication of the smaller sampler. The smaller one is called sabel Buist, 1839 and she also lived in Van Diemans Land. The larger sampler is called Mary Ann Williams 1831 and is English. Both these 2 samplers are owned by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney, which I now believe is The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.

Well I have finished my cuppa so I better get back to the dreaded housework. I have a pile of ironing to do that you wouldn't want to believe. Well I suppose its not that bad. Maybe an hours worth of quite contemplation while I do it or dreaming of my next sampler. Ahh samplers. Love em.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm Still Here

Just thought I'd write a short post to let you know that I am still here. I had a lovely Christmas with my family and Santa was very good to all of us.

My DH has been for awhile after Christmas and one of my sons is on school holidays. With the pair of them and my other son who is at home I don't get much chance to post at the moment.

I have been quite busy since Christmas also as my eldest son is getting married next week, so I have had a lot to do.

I was hopeing to publish a post today or tomorrow with new photo's, but unfortunately it doesn't look that way. So I am aiming for Monday or Tuesday.

Thank you to all the lovely people who have been visiting my blog and those that leave comments. I enjoy reading them all and its nice to be appreciated.

I'm sorry that this one is short who I promise to do better next week.