Thursday, 13 March 2014

A Wonderful Day Out and a Wonderful Witch

Those of you that also follow the Scarlet Letter Year Blogs will know that we have just had our first Meet-Up in London.  As far as Nicola was concerned we were just meeting (for the first time) for a look at some of the samplers the V&A has in their collection.  But Elaine and I had an ulterior motive, the Secret Surprise Quilt many of us had been working on over the last year!

You can read the full report here - The-grand-scarlet-letter-year-meet-up and see all the photos here - Picasa Album.  Here are a couple of photos of Nicola receiving her quilt:

And a close-up of my block:

If you like antique samplers I can really recommend a visit to the Clothworkers' Centre where the V&A now house their textile collection.  It is only 3 stops on the tube and a short walk from the V&A but you do need to make an appointment well in advance and specify which exhibits you would like to see.  But once you are there, you get a full two hours to examine the pieces in close detail, you can't touch but the gloved curator will turn things over so you can view the reverse.  You can also take photos but only for personal use, not for publishing online.  Here's the link if you would like to find out more - Clothworkers' Centre

And here is just part of our lovely tea:

Nicola and her sisters wanted to treat me to a slap-up tea as a Thank You for helping with the blog and organising the day out.  Betty Blythe's Teashop was the perfect place, we were shown our own room where we could dress up in the vintage clothes provided (we were too busy chatting!!) and several courses were brought to us with an endless supply of English Tea.  From dainty sandwiches (sans crust of course) to smoked salmon minis, jam and cream scones, chocolate amuse-bouches to the finale - iced fairy cakes!  If you are in London for any reason I really recommend a visit to Betty Blythe's.  But make sure you go with an empty stomach!

It was a very long day for me, I left home at 7am and returned back just before 10pm.  The upside to spending six hours on a train though is the amount of stitching done!  I nearly completed the entire March design for the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL Blog.  March's theme is Witches.  I chose the Spring Witch by The Snowflower Diaries and finished her off yesterday:

I stitched her on a piece of random 28 count linen I had using the recommended DMC.  The only change I made was to give the witch green eyes and I used satin stitch for the broom.  I just love the effect I got using that stitch.  There are three more seasonal witches and I will definitely stitch them all this year.  Here is the full picture mounted:

This is not a scrapbook page, it's a page from a National Geographic calendar.  Your local Waterstones may still have these for only £2.49 (they might be in the stockroom so you'll have to ask!).  There are twelve different designs all of various landscapes and perfect for mounting stitching.  I just cut a circle in the paper and mounted the fabric behind it with double-sided tape.

Finally, I am taking sign-ups for the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.  Click on the bunny on the right-hand side for more information.


  1. What a beautiful quilt! Really, I simply must try stitching on something other thank 11 or 14 ct aida. I'm just so nervous about not being able to see the holes properly. Do you use a hoop or other product to hold your fabric taut while you stitch?

  2. That is an absolutely lovely quilt. And what a lovely story to go with it. (I clicked through to the other blog.)

    I also really love your witch. What a clever way to finish it.

  3. That's such a fantastic idea for finishing a cross stitch, I am inspired! Your choice of satin stitch for the book looks great to.

    Sounds like you had a fantastic trip. :)

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  5. What a wonderful surprise for Nicola. Your witch is adorable.


  6. Gorgeous quilt - the samplers must have been amazing to see. Afternoon tea is such a treat abpnd to dress up too must have been such fun.

  7. What a gorgeous quilt! And yummy tea treats : Snowflower witches are on my list of to do as well! Lovely stitching

  8. The quilt is so precious, this is a great idea! Love your cute little witch :)

  9. A stunning gift for Nicola and what a special day out for you too. How lovely.
    Loving your little witchy, she's so cute in that framed picture.

  10. The quilt is fabulous.
    I love the little witch, and I'm definitely going to steal the idea of cutting up old calendars to make mounts

  11. Beautiful quilt - such a wonderful reminder of a beautiful year. Looks like a very good time was had by all, especially the tea. Very cute witch finish. Love the calendar page background.

  12. I'm sure you had a wonderful day and what a nice quilt.

  13. The quilt is amazing and I love your idea of mounting your cross stitch using landscape pics. Sorry I will have to steal/borrow that idea it's just too cool! Now as good as all of that was I couldn't take my eyes off the cupcakes...Holy Yummo Batgirl!

    Those pics were awesome it looks like you girls had a great time.
    xo Alicia

  14. wow :D cool cross stitch framing. I like how you used the calendar as a mount. Thank you for linking this up to my party :D


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