Tuesday 27 February 2018

My love of slow stitching and samplers.

Slow stitching whilst watching tiny
snowflakes dance in the air, waiting
for the big snow fall that
 is heading our way.

As I think you all know now I have a deep love of samplers, especially the red on white ones. They are, to me, exceptional and I am a collector of them.

This time of year, it is still Winter after all, even if some of the Spring flowers thought a little early that it was not, they look wonderful and of course make our home feel cosy and inviting to us.

The picture on the left is of one of my collection and is dated 1886, it is a small sampler and it is perfect!

We are still very much in Winter mode here as our temperatures plummet and the Arctic snow is blowing our way.  We had a little snow yesterday but our big one is over night on Wednesday and on Thursday so the weather man has said and for over a week now too. Generally it changes but they are convinced of it.  I am thrilled as you can imagine and a snow angel will be made and there will be some fun in the snow.

I had a wood and coal delivery on Monday and should see us through the next two weeks.  Candles are still being lit on the darker days and always when the sun sets over the sea.

We still have our quilts on the beds and they are still with the reds at the moment, I feel too cold to be thinking Spring just yet I am afraid. 

Yesterday our temperature was only 2 degrees all day but felt like minus 3 and with the flurry of snow that was drifting around our garden it was so very pretty.

The birds are very hungry and I fed them three times yesterday.  A whole coconut fat ball went by the end of the day and they seem to know cold weather is setting in because they are eating so much.

Every morning I am taking a the ice off of the birdbaths and then refilling the water but with some warm water as well so it does not just freeze over again too quickly and I keep going out and checking it and removing any ice that has formed.  We live so near the sea and I can not remember the last Winter we had that was this cold.  My Grandma would have said it was a good thing to have severe Winter temperatures because it would kill off all the horrible bugs.

I am still awaiting my replacement boxes ( as you remember they sent the wrong ones!!) and I am also waiting to pick up my iron on designs.  This week seems to be a waiting game, snow, boxes and designs.  In addition we have company for the weekend and I have been getting the guest room ready.

In addition it is my Mums Birthday on Friday and we are having a lunch time party for her at my sisters house so I am taking a long weekend.  I will not be blogging on Friday.  There is so much to do and we want to make it so very special for her.
Birthday cake and a lunch along with flowers sent to her care home in the morning before opening parcels in the afternoon .... It is a simple lunch designed with her in mind only and things that we know she will eat.  She eats very little unless it is cake or ice-cream !! bless her.  She does however love a good cauliflower cheese with bacon bits so that is the main for her.  We decided on starting with melon and some little pieces of parma ham as well.

I am hoping she will love the snow that hopefully will be there on her Birthday, she always loved it
and as long as she is dressed warm to be picked up she will enjoy the ride in the car and looking around her.  Her little dog that she had will be there too, she now lives with my Mums Sister and she is bringing her along.  When my Aunt visits my Mum she always  takes her along for her to cuddle up to. 

With a pot roast for Friday evening here for our guests and wine by the fire and hopefully the quiet that only snow seems to brings, It is like a quiet white blanket hugging the earth.  I think we may loose our crocuses that have started to flower so I am going to put little pots over them on Wednesday in the hope I can save them and keep them warm.

For today that is it as I really must get on with some sewing.  I want to sit and stitch and hope that today the snow comes early I am a little impatient it seems.  I am ready and I am waiting .....

I hope you all have a  wonderful day and I will see you back here on Thursday .. hopefully with snow pictures as well!

Have a wonderful day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Monday 26 February 2018

Miss Muddy Beak and slow stitching!

Drawing makes you look at the world
 more closely.  It helps you to see
 what you're looking at more clearly.

I am hoping you all have your warm drink and are cuddled up cosy and warm whilst reading this because baby it's cold outside!  This week seems Arctic to me and we are have minus nine and ten outside at night.  I do worry for our little birds out there because being near the sea we are normally milder weather here thus why we do not see much of the white stuff!  although it is forecast here this week.  I keep putting out food and fat blocks along with mealy worms and bacon fat.  This morning they had bacon as well.  Its very cold and so the cosy of our home remains and I have not gone into Spring in here as yet.  My hot water bottle is earning its keep and I am pleased to stay in.

It was rather a cold weekend too and my husband had some things to do on his computer so I decided to sketch and thought you know I have never designed anything around Miss Muddy!  So I have designed a mixed media piece but not true to life but it is her outline.  I copied it from photos that I have taken of her last Summer.

I am hoping this week all my printing will be done and I can start making up the slow stitch kits to show you all.  There was a hiccup at the printers with a machine going crazy! and I needed more boxes and they came last week but they were the wrong ones so I had to phone up and they admitted it was their mistake and today a courier is coming to drop off the correct flat packed boxes and pick up the wrong ones .... these things are sent to try us!!

So there is more hand slow stitching going on here and pottering about with nothing happening just
yet.  I cleared myself to start making kits up but as yet I do not have all the components!

I decided out of the blue to start stitching something for us.  I am hoping it will be large enough to be a top cover on the bed not really quilt size.  I however have called it our poets quilt.

I have a panel that is from a gorgeous French linen sheet and the monogram is a S and A so that is the middle of it.  Then I am embroidering quotes or parts of poems from my favourites - Byron, Shelley, Wilde and Keats.  They are love poems mostly and about words as well.  There are gorgeous bits of lace attached as well and it is really coming along.  I have cut strips of vintage fabrics to go in between and it more of a crazy quilt as no panel is the same size.

This is some of the fabric that I have cut strips of fabric from and there are other ones as well like this gorgeous paisley old eiderdown fabric and it is all coming together really well.  I think I
will attached it to a vintage cream blanket and hand quilt it and do some stitches and embroidery on other patches ... I am hoping it will be very unique and romantic for our bed as a topper.  Maybe on there during the summer months as the delicate colours that I have chose with gorgeous lace bits will look splendid I think.

It does not have to be huge but just sit in the middle of our bed and will probably be 5ft by 5ft ish.

I have managed to do lots of hand stitching already and have had such fun going through my poetry books to find ones that are personal favourites.

The forecast is for snow here this week from Wednesday so we will see, trying not to get over excited but the camera will be out if does and a snow angel is a must ( even if it is like icing sugar has been sprinkled and it is not deep - I will find a way! )

I have stocked up on fuel for the fires with logs and coal and also bird food for my tame brood outside.  We are ready for it....

Hand stitching by the fire with watching snow fall from the window is a wish that I have had and wanted to come true for some time and I think it might happen.  It is still minus degrees outside as I write this and it only set to be 2 degrees high today but will feel colder in the wind chill. 

I have plenty to keep me busy today and I am hoping to get making boxes later today and picking up the iron on transfers of my design by Thursday ....

I also still have some work to do on my large needle case if you remember from last year and I am adding all sorts to it.  This week I would like it finished so that I can photograph it for you all to see.

Well that is it for this cold Monday morning so keep warm if you are in the winter months like we are and maybe if you are in warmer climates sipping a cool drink then have a lovely time basking in the sun!

Have a great day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Thursday 22 February 2018

Delicious antique papers, penmanship and fabrics.

Letters are among the most
 significant memorial a person
 can leave behind them.

Johann Woolfgang Von Goethe

The feel of it and the smell of it ... antique paper fills my imagination of possibilities of all sorts of bespoke makes.  There is something about it with the old copperplate writing and when you think you can add to its story with inks and stamps and fabrics and stitches it brings these often forgotten pieces back to life and out of cupboards and drawers and into art work to be admired and loved.

I worry for future generations because the art of writing letters has almost disappeared.  As you know I do write letters and even thank you notes, that is from a childhood that we were taught it was polite.  I adore writing and I also keep journals but so many do not.  The history we will leave future generations behind on computers is not as beautiful.  Going through your great great Grandmas emails is not the same as seeing her hand writing.

When I have been doing my family tree and have come across handwriting from my relative pre 1900 I am in awe and so happy.  This, I think to myself, was my Great Grandmas writing and she touch this piece of paper. Dipped her pen in ink which is still here on this page and it fills me with such joy.

Of course I can only photo copy the parish records, and I have, but my Fathers Grandma played the organ in the parish church of Old Alresford in Hampshire and there are little notes in the columns of the register .. Such a precious history and with so much more beauty than the typed words or texts of the young which is there future blue print on this planet.

Then when I come across old letters and papers and enhance them and put them in a frame to be
looked at it fills me with joy and happiness that these letters can still be seen today 150 years down the line ....  To look beyond the words and find the history and the beauty of that history.

Letter writing is the only
device for combining solitude with good company.

Lord Byron.

Collecting little bits of fabrics, cottons and buttons to add to some old papers or an envelope is exciting and to write something. on there to add to the antique words along with maybe a stamped image as well... makes for the best of little pictures to adorn walls.

Yesterday I went to see my Mum with my sister and our Aunt and we did have a jolly few hours with her.  I think though we have discovered why picking up a pen and writing is fairly hard to do.  She is right handed and her right hand is the one that has this little shake but she always sorted of clenches and curls that hand and it sits on her lap and shakes a little.  When my Aunt tried to hold it we
discovered that it is so stiff from the position she holds it in it has seized it seems.  Her fingers just can not go out straight anymore.   It is her Birthday next week and we are having a Birthday lunch with her and I thought I might try and rub hand cream in and see if the hand relaxes at all.  We said we would try that day when the family are around her to see if she will write a few words on some paper.  When one of her siblings are around she seem a bit more perky because of childhood memories ....

More than kisses letters mingle souls.

John Donne.

Update on slow stitching kits, I am hoping to hear from the printer today fingers crossed that they are ready.  I was aware he had to finish a huge job but he did send me the proofs on Wednesday and I approved them so it was getting near then.  

I have enjoyed my week though with being in and being able to mooch about a little, it is the calm before the storm.  My car is back with me and my husbands car is back after a thorough overhaul and service.  With all the miles he travels and on motorways in some pretty awful conditions I am happier that the car has had a big medical and is safe.  

The weekend is upon us and I look back at my week and wonder where did it go.  The mornings are lighter now and so are the evenings so Spring and Summer are on their way but we have a cold spell again  last night our temperatures plummeted and Jack Frost visited us the weather forecast over the next week is extremely cold so we are not there yet. Last night here was minus 6 and everything is white this morning.  I cooked some bacon fat for the birds and you guessed it Miss Muddy Beak was out of her cosy nest first thing to get in on that feast along with Robin .... other birds were no where to be seem and still huddled together roosting I would imagine.  

My footprints were in the frost on the grass and it was crunchy under foot like it was Autumn and I was walking on leaves.  I had to get ice off of the bird bath and fill with warm water for them.

Well that is it for today and I hope that you all have a wonderful day today and a lovely weekend whatever you may be up to.

All that remains to say is I will be back here on Monday and until then....

Happy Stitching! XX

Timeworn but loved

Timeworn, preloved, treasured,
saved and to be used once more!


The thing about timeworn fabric is well just that it is slightly worn and faded but it so soft and delicate to the touch.  The weave of a hundred years ago is so different to the new fabrics of today and the colours are just stunning!

The piece of fabric you can see on the left is of gorgeous sweet peas and the colours are amazing.  It is a fairly large piece and is earmarked to make a cushion for one of our Lloyd Loom chairs for the garden.  The reason it is not been made is because we have not moved yet and have no room in our shed for eight Lloyd Looms so at the moment it is tucked away happily and wrapped in acid free tissue paper awaiting its time to be made into a cushion for the garden that we do not have just yet.  As I have had a few delicious days where I have been able to afford myself the time to sort through my sewing room cupboards of vintage beauty ( fabrics) I got it out and looked at it and thought a photo was in order.

The last few days have been wonderful and I have enjoyed myself way to much.  No running about in the car and I have been able to catch up a little with getting things sorted here, which does me the world of good I can tell you.

Once more the calm and the tidy presides over my sewing room and I can see out of the shining and sparkling window.  Although when I was walking along the sill I could see birds in our Elderflower tree looking startled.  I thought they were saying ' oh she isn't going to try and launch herself into a flight is she..... think she is spending to much time with us and not humans!!

I now have an addition to my shelf in my sewing room and when the tea lights are on ( the false ones)
it looks so pretty.  When it is dark outside and they are on and the star fairy lights and I am catching up with emails it makes me feel cosy and happy.

These primitive houses are so beautiful, there is the cream one in the middle and then a dark red and a green one.  Sorry the light was fading but it was the only way to take the photo so you could see them twinkle!

Having some beautiful things around in my sewing room inspires me and makes it such a wonderful place to spend my days being I am in here normally when it is still dark and all day until it is dark again once more.

We have sun today but it is only single figures out there only 6 degrees and once more my hot water bottle is my best buddy until I step out later to have a visit with my Mum.  Next week is her Birthday and it is on the Friday so we are going to have a little party for her.  She loves cake so she should enjoy herself .. if she stays awake long enough.

I must tell you, although I do not normally do this I had a little peek at my drying flowers, only the snow drops and they are so beautiful... coming along so nicely and I can not wait to use them in a mixed media piece.  I do not look at the rose hips as they were very plump when the went in to be pressed so I think that I will not dare peek for another month at least.    Later on in the year we get
lots of pretty violets pop up in our front lawn.  It is the strangest thing as they were not there until a few years ago and it was after a neighbour died here in our road called Violet who was married to George.  Both sadly gone now.  The day of her funeral there were all these violets in our front lawn and they continue every year since.   As we have to cut our lawn I always pick them first and bring them inside into a little jug.  This year though I think some will be pressed and saved.  I hope now I have said this they do come up again this year.!

This morning I noticed lots of beautiful buds on our pear tree and soon it will be in full blossom and I get out there with my little paintbrush and do a little cross pollinating to help our bees.  Last year the tree was bent under the strain of how many huge pears where on the branches so this year I think I will be not quiet so enthusiastic .... Again I think I will pick some and press them.  I am thinking about getting a little flower press as well as my book could not take all these pressings at once!  Little Women would burst at it seams!

This morning though I am getting on with some slow stitches and waiting to hear from my printer.  I should get a phone call by tomorrow and then my slow and peaceful week will be over and it will be all go again for a while.  At least I will have caught up a little with other things and can devote my time to making up kits.  They have to be just so in my eyes and I have been thinking about every little detail .. TWICE!  I want the whole kit from outside to in, to be eye candy....  When they drop through the letter boxes I want them to look special and beautiful and for the purchaser to feel like it is a parcel on their Birthday.

I am going to enjoy my week of pottering and I have achieved an awful lot of what I set out to do at
the beginning of this week, I can not believe the weekend is nearly upon us already, where do the days go?

The diary is getting full with vintage fair dates and I am happily popping them on the house calendar as well as my work diary.  I can not wait now for the warm weather and the marquee;'s filled with hygge of it I am getting ready now for the lazy hazy days of Summer when our bumble bees and butterflies are floating around and the air is filled with the gorgeous scent of roses and honeysuckle.
beautiful vintage goodies.  Mingling with like minded people and catching up with dear friends. This winter has seemed very long and although I adore the hibernation and the

Well that is it for today as I am keen to get some slow stitches in this morning.  Have a wonderful day and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Cosy creative February days ......

Happiness in foraging, creating,
stitching and sketching.


Yesterday I had a glorious care free day, I decided whilst the sun was out in our back garden that the first thing I would do was to go out there and have a little forage around our garden every little path way had little puddles where it has been very bad and stormy weather in this last week.

Moving plants around and taking a good look at what might be interesting and suitable to press I was in my element except suspiciously on the look out for my arch enemies The Arachnid Gang! yes dear reader I was happily armed with a little basket lined with kitchen towel and happily investigating when it occurred to me they were out there too.... So I was very careful, think it is too cold actually because for once I did not see one but did jump a few times as I thought things were them! honestly what am I like.

Still I had a lovely time out there in between the drizzle, watched by some birds and Squire Squirrel who probably was wondering if I was after his buried stash of peanuts that he insists on keeping busy with.  Little holes in the lawn where he has dug them up and moved them on ... he makes me laugh.
I managed to get some rather lovely rose hips from my rose bush and they are now being dried.  There were a few daises strangely enough so they came along but also I picked out some beautiful flowers from my bouquet of flowers that I had from my husband for Valentines as there were some small white flowers that I thought were gorgeous and I must look them up to see what they are, or does anyone know please.

Spring is in full force in our garden and soon enough it will be Summer and everything will burst into
life and I will be able to press some more bits for later projects.  I am loving the mixed media of  old papers, dried pressed flowers, slow stitching and fabrics or in some cases ink and quill......

When I was looking for quotes yesterday as I lost the light for stitching I decided to look at Lord Byron, who along with Oscar Wilde and Percy Shelley are my favourites I came across this wonderful quote from Byron.

A woman should never be seen eating or drinking
 unless its Lobster salad with champagne!

I thought it was very civilised indeed!  It made me actually laugh out loud and when I told my husband he said ' no wonder he is your kind of guy'  ....

In addition, yesterday saw some long needed housework done along with some slow stitching! how happy was I.  Today it is much of the same thing here and I am happily pottering around the house and enjoying the calm before the storm.

Today see's me tackling some tidying and cleaning in my sewing room and the window cleaner has been in the last few days so I am going to clean the last of the windows inside, yes the large sewing room one.

The last few months have not seen the poor owl around here crash into the large window.  Yes I know
it has happened because the outline has been on it when the sun shined!  We have never heard it with our bedroom being at the front of the house but I keep thinking when I see it that ' that must of hurt' poor thing.  I think its because of time fairy lights on the sill so I have stopped doing that and just pop them on and off when I am in here.

Fully prepared today to get to grips with my sewing room and I actually in enjoy tiding it and sorting. I can not do much about the corner where all the flat packed boxes for kits are and with lots boxes made up in little stacks but that is a temporary thing and I have to get another big box for them then it is easy to move about and get some out to make up with the interest that has been shown I am hoping lots of them will be flying out of the door in the next few weeks.

Later today when the evening darkness sets in I am going to sit and sketch as I have some designs to be getting ready for later in the year and they will have to be stitched as well.  So as you can see my enforced house bound few days are busy but really delightful.  I am getting things done and enjoying the freedom to potter.

So for today that is from me and I will be back here on Thursday morning.  I hope you have a wonderful day today whatever you are up to.  As always Happy Stitching! XX

Delicious vintage fabrics piled high, quilt pieces made into hearts with all the history and soul that is in these preloved threads and weave .... makes my soul sing!

Delicious vintage fabrics piled high, quilt pieces made into hearts with all the history and soul that is in these threads and weave .... makes my soul sing!

Sunday 18 February 2018

Preloved fabrics & quilt pieces

The word Preloved 
makes my heart sing.


With little more that I can do now until my printer phones me at the end of this week for pick up to make up the kits I am now looking at other projects, I am turning my mind to other things that I would like to do with this week.   Firstly there is the matter of some serious housework so I have decided over the next few days to to 3 hours daily to catch up.  It cleans my mind and the house.  Secondly I have lots of projects to catch up on as I did rather drop everything to make the kits happen. I had so many emails asking if I did them that I felt I should give it a go.  It has been a massive learning curve for me.  The design part was really enjoyable and really not that hard but getting everything else done that goes with it has seen long hours here at HQ.

The calming thing to do for me is make a coffee, pull up my little stool and go into my cupboard or drawers and look at my beautiful stash of preloved fabrics and quilt pieces.  It brings a calm over me and is my happy place to be during the Winter months. I will afford myself some precious time to do that as I need to take stock to make a few inspiration boxes as well.  There is no hardship with that task, except letting go of some beloved stock!

I am loving making tiny wee pumpkins out of fabrics and hearts out of antique quilt pieces and I have decided to do some more designs this week too for magazines later in the year.  I need to calm down and focus on the week in hand but  also take lots of time to slow stitch and I have missed it so much over the last 12 days or so.

Miss Muddy Beak has been told all these things and it is strange because she is getting really rather tame with me, if I am not jiggling about.  She has almost become a pet to me and I do love her so.
  The other morning over the weekend I was in the garden and putting extra food out and I saw that cat that I told you about,  he was garden hopping and had decided to shimmy across our back fence and amongst the bushes.  To my horror he/she had what looked like a bird in its mouth.!  It looked like the colour of Miss Muddy ..... I think I went pale.  I stood there wondering in a split second do I chase it off or try and get closer to see what bird. ... well it saw me first and ran.

I charged inside and started frying up some bacon bits ( she always comes to the smell of that) and eagerly awaited it to cool.  Armed with my enticement I sat down and put it on the lawn with mealy worms... and waited.  Mr Robin appeared and other birds who are not so tame perched in trees and on the shed and our roof.  It was like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock!   Then to my sheer joy about 10 minutes later ( it seemed like an age) she appeared and hopped over.  My relief in seeing her was immense but I was so sad for the bird who would not make it back home.... Luckily I thought it is too early for them to start nesting for young but only just.!   I actually then thought oh gosh when we move can I take her!! ... Who ever buys this place will be left with our bird table and bird bath etc and
a huge bag of food ... I am hoping they will love feeding them all as I do.  At the moment we are not even looking with Mum as she is so I do not have to fret about that right now.

So early this morning I went hunting and gathering in my cupboards and drawers and I have a lovely little pile of delicious and beautiful preloved fabric and quilt pieces and I am going to have a day of just creating and sketching or jotting ideas down that pop into my head.

I can not go far anyway as my husband had to have his car serviced and some work done and so for two days he has taken my car to work and I have two days where if it is not local - I can not go there and so I am going to enjoy these few days of just being in a creative comma!

There are buttons to sort and actually my sewing room rather looks like a north wind has blown through so I think an hour spent tidying, dusting and pushing Mr Dyson about would do both me and the stitchery room some good, get rid of cobwebs for us both.

I have sorted out some pencils and my sketch book along with my quote book and think I will go through my books and google is my friend and search for some more beautiful quotes as well.  As you can see I have the next few days sorted.  I can not get to my Mum until the middle of the week but my sister can and so I am going to enjoy my in forced time here and light the fire and candles and just think of creative pursuits and also go into the garden and see what is out there for pressing.

My dried flowers that I pressed have been used in a picture and the flowers are absolutely beautiful.  I have put three snow drops in my book for pressing.  It is a vintage addition of Little Women and sits on the mantle piece over our open fire.  It is warm there and the pressing process enjoys that.  I think I spotted some rose hips as my little rose bush has finally succumbed to winter and the buds have all gone.  In a few months I can pick some more because as you can see they turned out beautifully.  I think I will feed the birds again mid morning and then have a little rummage around our garden to see what I can forage....

With plenty to cram in today and tomorrow I am going to be busy but very happy with a needle in my hand and finishing some bits and thinking of other designs for this coming year.  The weather forecast is for drizzle rain and dark few days but brightening up mid week but again getting lots colder.  So I have sorted the fire this morning to light later, the candles are all ready to light too and the fairy lights are already ablaze.  When I have finished some housework and bits I will be snuggling down in a comfy chair and a warm drink and my wonderful sewing basket and threads.

Well that is it for this morning and I will be back here tomorrow to tell you what I got up to today in my own whimsical way.

Have a wonderful day whatever you are up to and as always Happy Stitching! XX

Friday 16 February 2018

...... And so the story begins

“A story has no beginning or end:
 arbitrarily one chooses that moment 
of experience from which to look 
back or from which to look ahead.” 
 Graham Greene

It was all go yesterday I felt I was whirling like Autumn leaves there was so much to do and achieve and I am pleased to say I basically did.  I have stitched the first little slow stitch kit design and that makes me happy.  It worked well and therefore I was in the position that those of you who have said you would like one of my kits will be when it drops through your letterbox.  Although I did not receive it in a box with all the beautiful wrapping that is planned ..... But I imagined that I did.

Yesterday started out as a nice sunny morning and then it was quickly take some photos before it decides that having rose that morning it did not much care for it and went back to bed and let the other elements take over!!  However the sun gave up around mid afternoon here and the most fierce hail stone storm raged outside and that was it for the light.

Still I got that piece of stitching done and I am pleased now today I can type up the instructions with knowledge of what I feel is needed to stitch the first in a series of four smaller designs.  These will be followed by a slightly larger design but is one on its own.  Well that is enough about  the kits today except to say I really hope you like them.  It is like that when I send one to a magazine in America, my heart is in my mouth until I hear that is good.  I am told not to worry as they love what I do - still its my version of stage fright I think.

Today I would like to tell you a little story about a teapot! ... Before Christmas I had a knock on the door and there stood our lovely postman with a parcel in his hand.  I had to sign for it and it had travelled all the way from America.  It was such a surprise.  Anyway I opened it up and the card inside was from our great friends there but actually it was from his sister who we had only just met but got on famously with.  It was like I had known her all my life and Thom had said when I met his sister Lisa it would be like that.  She loves vintage and she is a talented stitcher and maker.

As you know I was really not well and it was literally a few days before the big event.  I opened it up and it was a lovely teapot.  I found a spot on our dresser with pride of place and then I mailed her and said thank you and that she really was naughty to send it.  Lisa said no she saw it and it was so me that I had to have it.  

That evening I showed my husband and he said it was a great size for me as I only drink herbal tea and not black tea and it would be fabulous to make a pot instead of a cup and have it in my sewing room  and not have to keep going down stairs to make another.  

Not remarkable I hear you all say, a nice story but still! - well said teapot sat there and it was not used over all the time I was poorly and it was only the other day that I decided to make tea in it.  So on went the kettle and I was choosing what tea I would like ... I took off the lid to warm the pot as I have been taught by the tea drinker in this house and I could not believe my eyes.  Inside was a little bag of stitchery bits, cottons, needle threader, tape measure, thimble and in my other hand I was holding the lid, which was actually a pin cushion!!! ......  I was amazed and laughing, so much so I had to call my
husband who could not believe it either. 
I had to mail Lisa again and confess that I had only just noticed that it was not just a teapot for me to make my drinks but the dearest teapot ever!  She laughed and said she thought I had not opened up the pot at that moment and had waited to see what my reaction was when I did!  This gorgeous and thoughtful gift takes pride of place on my desk in my stitching room and when ever I look at it now I can not help but give the biggest smile every time!


I feel it was like a gift that gave twice, I was thrilled to have a pot to have three cups of Cinnamon tea in at my desk under a cosy but I am thrilled with the sewing version that has brought Spring and Summer into my room in the Winter months that are out of the window as I type this.  It is sunny again but today I will not be fooled.  It is cold out there and when I go out later to have a warm drink with my Mum  ( I make her a flask of hot chocolate from here and take in her mug from here and she loves it) I will dress like a snowman again ....

Well that is it for today and I hope that you all have a most wonderful weekend and the sun shines for us all.

I will see you back here on Monday, Happy Stitching! XX

ps ... I am going to make myself another coffee now before I do anything else!

Thursday 15 February 2018

Wishes and little stitches

Slow stitching means settling down
and loosing myself in each stitch.
Each little stitch today
 is very special to me 

Today marks a very strange but wonderful event for me, I am going to start to stitch one of my own designs. You may be puzzled by this as its what I do for a living only this time I am going to stitch the very first design for one of my slow stitching boxes, which is a first for me and I feel I must make a little drum role before I take that first, slow, delicious stitch.

I had the first iron on transfer off the press to iron and check out and its so exciting.  Needing to write instructions there is only one way to do this and that is for me to stitch it.  Try and stop me!  In addition it is time to prepare my first imagination vintage fabric box as well.  It is trial run times.  By the end of next week I should be in full production.

This week has seen me and my darling husband cut all the 160 pieces of vintage French linen for each of the first four small designs that are a series.  Tick! I had a little dance this morning and whilst I was happily feeding my birds  Miss Muddy Beak and Mr Robin came down and whilst they were watching me fill everything up and doing a little twist with some amusement I told them all about my first kits.  They were getting bacon fat and mealy worms before the others so I guess they thought it was a small price to pay for a good breakfast to listen to the obviously mad human this morning, who normally is a lot more sedate that early!! ..
Any neighbours that were up that early and staring out of windows would be nodding and muttering ' I knew it' and shaking heads 'the poor wretch has finally flipped' ..
I have been making up the boxes that they are going into ( they come flat packed!) and they are the same boxes that the inspiration fabric packs will be in..   I just await production of the transfers with a
little tweaking to be done. 

So far it has been a very busy week indeed and not a needle threaded but that will change.  I will have lots to stitch soon with another four designs awaiting at the printers after the series of four so its busy times ahead.  

The weather is so cold and the rain is icy, my hot water bottle is in use permanently at the moment. Still it is hygge weather and great for snuggling down under a vintage quilt with my stitching and the fire blazing away.  Candles are lit on dull days and every evening as well it is a wonderful relaxing but productive career I can tell you.

I have been slightly chasing my tails with other things like paper work, emails and letters along with house work in general and other stitching commitments.  Still I would rather be busy than tapping my fingers ...

My sewing room has suffered a little and so over the weekend I am going to have a little sort and tidy and of course I need to go through my drawers and cupboards for fabrics for the fabric boxes as well, oh dear you can fore see where that might lead - yes to hours of looking and feeling and re folding fabrics!! Then of course I need to sort the buttons for the designs as well  and again this could take a few delicious hours of contentment on my part.

As you know I am a mother of pearl lover and that really is all I use unless it is the linen covered buttons. I have a few cards of those to use in designs.

I have been covering buttons recently for my dresses that the lady is making for me and I am doing the buttons and the embroidery ( yes I said dresses and it will be four in the end I think)  So when the cut out piece of my dress is ready it is given to me to stitch on my little design and then back for stitching.  Later in the year when they are done you will see  me in them at vintage fairs but I will
photograph them as well..... This is further down the line as it was a favour and between work already booked in.  All mainly out of vintage soft French linen sheets but with other fabric around the cuff and the bottom in some cases and lined pockets .....

Well that is it for today as I really must get on with my busy day.  I went to my Mum yesterday this week and she is ok but very non responsive ... she is happy when I am there holding her hand and we have coffee and hot chocolate together with my sister.  Still no joy on some writing but I have not thrown in the towel just yet...

Have a wonderful day and stay warm and cosy.

Happy Stitching! XX

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Beauty made one stitch at a time!

Keep your face to the sun
and you will never see 
the shadows.

Helen Keller.

Oh what a blustery, cold and wet day out there! not a little bird to be seen - all still tucked in their nests and holding on tightly I would imagine, poor little things.  I braved it out there to check on their feeders and to put more on the covered bird table.  As yet there are no takers.

Well this week is a very busy one indeed.  I have a meeting with the printer to see my first design come off the press tomorrow and I am beyond excited.  I have worked very hard to bring these first series of kits to fruition and I am happy to tell you they are a series of four.  Each one sold separately and only 40 of each design.  I am making them exclusive and will not be re printed.

Each kit will contain a piece of Antique French linen to stitch it on to and the cutting of the sheets has begun in earnest!

Each kit will be in a box and wrapped beautifully and I really hope you all will enjoy the slow stitching kits that I am producing.  As asked we have started with smaller designs and as I say the first one is part of a four collection.  You could choose to purchase all four or choose your favourite.

As soon as they are ready I will know prices etc but at this moment in time I have not sorted it all out just yet.  The printer only gave me a ball park figure until he figured out how to run each design.

All my other projects are on hold for a week and I feel I have not picked up a needle in far too long, although I am going to have to stitch each design so it can be photographed for each box.
Wish me luck I can see very long days ahead for a few weeks.  I have already designed more for after these have gone and some are a little bigger but not huge right now.  The designs can then be added to things or framed the choice will be yours.

The bi product of purchasing lots of antique French linen sheets is that there are monograms and some are of S and A so I am thrilled but I will be selling off the others that I do not need.

In addition to this there will be some vintage fabric inspiration boxes being made up with pieces of gorgeous paisleys, eiderdown and other delicious fabrics with some mother of pearl buttons as well.

I had a wonderful time at the pop up Spring antique and costume fair in Lydeard St Lawrence near Taunton on Saturday and it was wonderful to catch up with some wonderful friends.  Liz and Jack were the hosts but I bumped into the lovely Sue Meager of Vintage to Victorian as well and we were able to have a good old catch up.  In addition I met up with Julie who I met through my blog and has become a dear friend .... it really was a great day indeed.  These kind of vintage events are almost like get like a social event too.  Everyone chatting and talking and even if you did not actually know some one it did not matter everybody was friendly, laughing and happy.

There were buttons, vintage embroidery transfers, clothes, shoes, threads, cottons, fabrics by pile after beautiful heart stopping pile and so much more!

There were lots of people wandering around this lovely country village hall and it was heated and had music going in the background.  There was so much to see and purchase and some gorgeous linens from France too.  I bought a bolt of blue and white linen ( Eastern European) and I will be selling what I do not need off.  It will be sold by the metre if anyone is interested.  There will be probably 6 metres up for grabs ... It is around 21/22 inches in width. Its age is 1930 or possibly earlier but certainly not later than that.  

Then we went to our friends cottage in Devon and he put on a dinner party for us and other friends and we stayed over on Saturday evening. We had a wonderful evening and it meant no driving home.  Although our friend had been with us all week we up and moved our camp to his cottage for an evening and a lovely Sunday.  In the morning when we woke up it was snowing! now how pleased dear reader do you think I was ...... I was running from room to room in the cottage and I felt like I was a child again.

I could not contain myself for long and showered, got dressed and headed out into the snow and had a walk through his woods and also picked myself some snowdrops that he said I could collect.  I was covered in snow in my hair and on my shawl ... cold a little yes but oh so very happy.

His waterfall in his garden was flowing fast and made such a beautiful sound I heard birds chirping in the trees but the world had gone quiet and my wish this year came true that I would get to be
somewhere where there was snow....

Well that is it for today as I really must be off and continue my day.  I will be back here on Thursday morning as bright and as early as possible.  I hope you all have some pancakes tonight as its pancake day and of course have a wonderful Valentines evening.  We are going to light the fire and cuddle up with some wine and something warming that I am going to be cooking.  There is however gravalax and champagne to start!

Happy Stitching! XX

Monday 12 February 2018

Coming soon little slow stitch kits .....

The greatest achievement was at first and for a 
time a dream.  The oak sleeps in the acorn, the
bird waits in the egg and the highest vision of the
soul and waking angel stirs.  Dreams are
 the seedlings of realities.

James Allen.

Refreshed from my few days with our friend from Devon, the fun and laughter rang through our cosy home.  The fire was lit every day and the candle flames danced to the sound of our laughter. 
Laughter they say is good for your soul, and I believe that so much. 

Well I did not pick up a needle but did give a little embroidery lesson which was fun it was French knots and split stitch for panels for a quilt.  All done in red work and was thoroughly enjoyed.

Now I can can here you say well what did you do because you know I can not just sit idly all day.  In the evenings when the light had gone and the sewing had stopped and I had to stop too ( more about what I did in a moment) sipping our wine by the fire waiting for my husband to get in from work and the smell of one pot meals in the range wafting through we were happy just to chat.  In the day whilst sewing was being done I was designing for the kits that I will be producing and I am happy to say I have produced four to go to the printers.   All I need to do do is to write out clear instructions now and wait for the printer to do his thing and then it is a case of putting the beautiful boxes together.
Not long now to wait .....  

Thank you to those of you who did  the survey on FB for me and that helped me in my designs and the design of the actual box that it will come through your door in. I have taken great pleasure in drawing the designs and getting them ready for the printer.  They will be made to iron on to the piece of vintage French  linen that will be included in the box.  The general feeling of those who took part in the survey was they would prefer to use there own threads and then it uses the ones you already have  instead and also gives each slow stitcher some creativity to choose for themselves.

The saying at the top of this page gave me a nudge in the right direction and believe that I could
produce some designs for people to stitch and to make the kits up myself and I want a certain look to them and for them to be pretty and unique.  It has taken a bit of work and with other commitments as well it seemed ambitious to begin with but I have had encouragement and such lovely emails and messages from you that it helped me achieve it and enjoy the process.

Well on Saturday we got up early and headed to the Spring pop-up textile and costume sale in Lydeard St Lawrence.  This was organised and put together by Lizzie and Jack of Washerwoman fame.  We then headed to our friends cottage in Devon which was about 50 minutes away and had dinner and stayed over there for the night so it was a lovely end to a wonderful week.  More about the fair tomorrow....  It was a wonderful event and was lovely to see some great friends there as well.  With this flu bug and being ill over all of December and into the New Year we did not see any friends and all the things that we had planned we had to cancel.  I was so pleased to get out and see my dear vintage friends and chat with like minded people.  

The weather is absolutely bitter here along the Dorset coast and I am happy being in most of the day and working.  I would like to get some stitching done this week but it is going to be mostly about producing these kits.  I will have to start stitching some of the designs too.  But I am going to wait for the iron on ones to come back to me as I have to test them out for you guys first before sending them out to their new homes. If you haven't already then leave a comment on here or email me if you are interested in the slow stitching kits and also the boxes of inspiration packs.  They will be  filled with some stunning pieces of fabrics and they are pot luck .... there will be some paisley and eiderdown fabrics in them and some mother of pearl buttons too. ...

In the kits there will be buttons as well if they are in the design and they are all antique mother of pearl ones.  All fabrics in inspiration packs are antique as well and I will be doing a slow stitch kit that partly embroidery and partly fabric to lay on and stitch around.  

Well with so much to do that is it for today and I will be back here tomorrow.  Until then keep warm and Happy Stitching! XX

The optimist is a man who plants two
acorns and buys a hammock.

Jean DeLattrede Tassingny.

Monday 5 February 2018

The Suffragette embroidery of 1912.

With the anniversary of the suffragette movement today I wanted to share with you all the a piece of embroidered history.  I hope you enjoy reading this today.  It is fairly long but all the ladies had to be named.  They fought bravely  for us and some died for us.

Women's suffrage in the United Kingdom was a movement to fight for women's right to vote. It finally succeeded through two laws in 1918 and 1928. It became a national movement in the Victorian era. Women were not explicitly banned from voting in Great Britain until the 1832 Reform Act  and the  1835 Municipal Corporations Act.  As well as in England,  women's suffrage movements in Wales  and other parts of the United Kingdom gained momentum. The movements shifted sentiments in favour of woman suffrage by 1906. It was at this point that the militant campaign began with the formation of the  Women's Social and Political Union.

The outbreak of the First World War  in 1914 led to a suspension of all politics, including the militant suffragette campaigns. Lobbying did take place quietly. In 1918, a coalition government passed Representation of the People Act 1918 , enfranchising all men, as well as all women over the age of 30 who met minimum property qualifications. In 1928, the Conservative government passed the Representation of the People ( Equal Franchise) Act giving the vote to all women over the age of 21 on equal terms with men.

The movement became very militant and there was breaking of windows, hunger strikes and chaining themselves to railings and lamp posts.  Many of the suffragettes were tried and put into Jail.  In Holloway Prison 66 signatures were embroidered on a handkerchief and it was dated as March 1912.  It was probably embroidered in the ladies limited exercise periods.

The following is a list of the women who signed the handkerchief, with the
limited information we have on them:

Mary A. Aldham.
She had been imprisoned after the November 1911 window-smashing
demonstrations & was sentenced to six months after the March protest. She took part
in the hunger strike & was released at the end of June without being forcibly fed. She
was one of the two grandmothers whose names appear on the handkerchief.

Janie Allan.
She was imprisoned in November & sentenced to four months in March. Her
trial was notable for her speech comparing the apparent tolerance of child abuse, the
white slave traffic (kidnapping of young girls who were forced into prostitution) & the
exploitation of women at work, with the outcry over breaking shop windows. She was
a member of a wealthy Socialist shipping family from Glasgow, where 10,500 people
signed a petition protesting at her imprisonment. In May she barricaded herself in her
cell & later joined the hunger strike, which lead to her being forcibly fed. She
continued with her militant actions after her release & in 1914 she became famous for
firing a blank shot at a policeman trying to arrest Mrs. Pankhurst.

Doreen Allen.
Sentenced to four months she was forcibly fed after joining the hunger strike. To
pass the time a scene from Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” was performed
by the prisoners & she took the part of Narissa.

Kathleen Bardsley.
No information available. She may have used a false name when arrested. This
was often done to protect a husband or family.

Janet Boyd.
The second grandmother on the handkerchief, she was imprisoned in November
& sentenced to six months in March. She went on hunger strike but released at the end
of June without being forcibly fed.

Hilda Burkitt.
She was a WSPU organiser in Birmingham & had been arrested many times
before being sentenced to four months in March. At her trial she said that she had
done nothing malicious & refused to be bound over, saying that she would consider it
a disgrace to womanhood. She went on hunger strike & was released before the end of
her sentence. She played the part of Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice”. In 1914
she was imprisoned again for setting fire to a house & some haystacks in Suffolk.

Eileen Casey.
Sentenced to four months, she was forcibly fed after going on hunger strike. She
was arrested on at least two other occasions; once in Bradford, when she was
sentenced to nine months but escaped dressed in men’s clothing & again in
Nottingham when she was sentenced to 15 months after being found in possession of

Isabella Casey.
She was arrested in March but no further information is available.
Kate E. Teresa Cardro.
She was awarded the WSPU medal for taking part in the 1912 hunger strike but
little else is known of her.

Grace Chappelow.
From Chelmsford in Essex, she had been arrested in November & was
imprisoned again, for four months in March.
Georgina J. Cheffins.
Sentenced to four months. At her trial she said that she was a Suffragist by
conviction, because, after living & working among the very poor for more than twenty
years, she had come to the conclusion that all efforts to improve their conditions were
futile without the benefit of the franchise. She supported the WSPU because she felt
that their militant methods gave the best chance of success. She joined the hunger
strike & was forcibly fed.

Constance J. Collier.
She was Hon. Secretary of the Hampstead WSPU & was sentenced to four

Constance Craig.
She had been imprisoned in November & was sentenced to two months hard
labour in March. She later wrote of her first spell in prison; “I was sentenced to three
weeks but there were so many of us that the authorities got muddled, & I served only
three days – someone else did my three weeks”.

Ethel M. Crawby.
No information available.
Nelly Crocker.
One of the organisers of the Nottingham branch of the WSPU she was sentenced
to four months in prison for attacking a post office in Sloane Square. At her trial she
said that she was there as a result of the brutality shown against women on “Black
Friday” (when women marching on Parliament had been attacked by the police). She
also wanted to protest against the vindictive sentences given to WSPU supporters.

Alice Davies.
Forty-two years old & from Liverpool she was sentenced to three months. She
said at her trial that women were determined to fight for the same human rights
enjoyed by men. They were tired of being treated as aliens & would continue their
struggle until they had reached their objective.

Edith Downing.
She had been imprisoned in November & was sentenced to six months in March.
At her trial she told the jury that she regretted that peaceable & law-abiding women
had been forced to do these things. She referred to the brutality of “Black Friday”,
when she had almost lost her life & to the taunts of cabinet ministers over the
women’s previous mild methods. She said that women were prepared to die in this
“agitation”. She joined the hunger strike & was forcibly fed before being released
early in June.

Emma Fowler.
She was arrested in March but no further information is available.
Lettice Floyd (1865-1934).
Sentenced to two months hard labour. She came originally from Berkswell, near
Solihull where she was a nurse in a children’s hospital. She later wrote of this
experience; “I was there some years, but as most of the cases seemed to be due to bad
housing, bad feeding or immorality, it was not entirely satisfactory work, & it did not
go to the root of the matter”. With her sister, Mary, she set up a local branch of the
Birmingham & District Suffrage Society but after the first militant actions of the
Suffragettes this was dissolved & she left the hospital to work for the WSPU. In 1912
she was Hon. Secretary of the Halifax & Huddersfield branch. She was arrested
several times, in London, Leeds, Hull & Cardiff.

Katherine Gatty.
A member of the Women’s Freedom League & a friend of Emily Wilding
Davison, she was imprisoned in November & was given a six-month sentence in
March. At her trial she said that men were allowed to break women’s hearts & homes
without punishment & that for breaking £42 worth of glass she was being sentenced
to four months more than an Edinburgh man who had broken his wife’s skull. In her
opinion property was worth more in the eyes of the law than the person. When in
prison for the first time she had seen the misery & poverty &, even though she was
peaceable by nature, she would gladly break the law if by doing so she could obtain
for women some voice in the making of it. Although Suffragettes were normally
segregated from other prisoners this was not always the case & she was initially sent
to Holloway’s E block, which “was ghastly! The lavatory accommodation was
absolutely inadequate. The whole block was infested with mice & co. – there was no
heating apparatus at all”. She had the privilege of visits withdrawn for refusing to
work in prison &, after going on hunger strike, was forcibly fed thirteen times. She
was released early, in June, in a very weak condition. She was forty-two years old.

G. H. Grant.
She was imprisoned in November & sentenced to two months hard labour in

Alice Green.
Imprisoned in November & sentenced to four months in March. She refused to
be bound over, saying; “Let me tell you what I have gone through lately on behalf of
this cause. I have given up my home, my husband & my child, & I shall not go back
until women get the vote”. She went on hunger strike & by the middle of May was
being forcibly fed through a nasal tube. She was eventually released at the end of
June. She was forty years of age.

J. L. Guthrie.
No information available.

Louise Hargeld.
No information available.

Mary Granley Hewitt.
Sentenced to four months.

Mary Hilliard.
She was sentenced to two months hard labour & would appear to have written
“Votes for Women” on the handkerchief. She may have organised the project & kept
the finished article.

Edith Hudson.
She was a forty-year old hospital nurse from Edinburgh & secretary of the
Edinburgh & East Scotland branch of the WSPU. She was imprisoned many times,
sometimes under her alias, Mary Brown. She was sentenced to two months but was
released in June, after joining the hunger strike & being forcibly fed, on payment of a
£3 fine by her family. She told the authorities that “it was just like her mother to be so
determined”. In April 1913 she attempted to set fire to a stand at Kelso race course &
also took part in an attack on the Wallace Monument in Stirling.

Olivia Jeffcott.
She was sentenced to two months hard labour.

Barbara S. Jocke.
No information available.

May R. Jones.
From Birmingham, she had been imprisoned in November 1911 but her sentence
in March is not known. She went on hunger strike in May & was forcibly fed with a
nasal tube. She seems to have been released at the end of May.

Alice J. Stewart Ker (1853-1943).
A fifty-eight year old doctor born in Banff in Scotland, Alice Ker studied
medicine in Dublin & Berne before working as a surgeon at the Children’s Hospital in
Birmingham. She moved to Birkenhead & became Honorary Medical Officer to the
Wirral Hospital for Sick Children; also becoming involved in the Temperance
Movement & the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In the 1890’s she
became active in the Birkenhead Women’s Suffrage Society. She was sentenced to
three months in prison for breaking windows in Harrods. At her trial she said that as a
doctor in practice, a lecturer in T.B., a mother of daughters & President of the
Women’s Society of Liverpool she felt that it was her duty to do all that she could to
bring about reform. She quoted cabinet ministers advising women to use force &
stated that because of the just reasons for her actions she was not, morally, guilty of
any offence.

C. L. & C. E. L.
The two sets of initials are a bit of a mystery. Lady Constance Lytton was well
known as a Suffragette & one of the leaders of the WSPU, but they cannot be her
initials as she was not in prison at this time. C. L. could be Catherine Lane, who was
arrested on March 1st & was eventually bound over & released in Early April.
C. E. L., in the bottom left –hand corner, may simply be the initials of the owner of
the handkerchief.

Jessie Laing.
She was sentenced to two months hard labour.

Kate Lilley & Louise Lilley.
They were sisters, members of the WSPU in Clacton-on-Sea & the daughters of
a “well- known Essex gentleman”. They were both sentenced to two months hard

Lillie Lindesay.
She was sentenced to two months.

Gertrude Lowy.
Sentenced to two months hard labour.

Margaret Macfarlane.
She was the Hon. Secretary of the WSPU in Dundee & East Fife. She had been
imprisoned in November & was sentenced to four months in March. At her trial she
said that all her life she had been a reformer & had found that the only argument
listened to by those in power was inconvenience. She refused to be bound over,
saying; “I prefer to agitate in a way that will be successful. If it means six months or
six years, I prefer to go on”. She went on hunger strike & by the middle of May she
was being forcibly fed by nasal tube. After her release at the end of June she described
being forcibly fed by mouth:
“I was lifted into a chair & tied with a strong sheet to the back
of the chair. As far as I can remember, my arms were held on
each side on the arms of the chair. There was a wardress with a
feeding cup & one behind my chair, making a gag for the mouth
with her fingers. Another held my knees. I told them that I
would not swallow a drop of the gruel voluntarily. When they
found that I did not retain any of the food, the one who was
gagging me egged the others on to tickle me, to hold my nose to
make me swallow, & to grip me on the throat, which to me is
the most cruel. The pressing of the throat to make one swallow
gives a fearful feeling of suffocation. When they got my feet up, my head
was hanging right over the back of the chair, which added to the choking

Helen MacRae.
She came from Edenbridge, in Kent. She was a member of the NUWSS but left
to join the WSPU & became a member of the East Grinstead Suffrage Society. On
July 8th 1911 she helped to organise the first WSPU meeting in the town at the
Queen’s Hall. Soon afterwards she was arrested for breaking windows in Whitehall &
was sentenced to four months in prison. In March she was sentenced to another four
months & was forcibly fed after going on hunger strike.

Lizzie McKenzie.
She was sentenced to two months. She said at her trial; “I do not wish to say
anything at all. I only wish to say that whatever I did, I did as a protest against the
Government’s action”.

Frances M. McPhun (1880-1940) & Margaret McPhun (1876-1960).
The McPhuns were sisters & the daughters of a Glasgow J. P., who both gained
M. A.’s at Glasgow University. Both were very active in the WSPU. Frances was the
Organising Secretary of the Glasgow & West Scotland branch & Margaret acted as

Press Secretary for Scotland. They were both sentenced to two
months imprisonment & took part in the April hunger strikes but
there is no mention of them in the reports of arrests & trials in
“Votes for Women” (the WSPU newspaper). This suggests that
they were arrested under false names, although they both received
the WSPU hunger strike medal.

Margaret McPhun
E. K. Marshall.
She had been arrested in November & was sentenced to three months in March.
Lillias Mitchell.
Aged twenty-seven, & described as “independent”, she came from Aberdeen &
was the organiser of the WSPU in Edinburgh & the East of Scotland. She was known
for replacing the flags on the greens of Balmoral Golf Course with new ones in
WSPU colours. Sentenced to four months in March, she went on hunger strike but
was released at the end of June without being forcibly fed. In 1913 she became WSPU
organiser of the Newcastle & District branch.

Anne Myer.
She came from Liverpool & was one of a group from the city who travelled to
London especially for the March demonstrations. She was sentenced to two months.
Cassie Nesbit.
She was sentenced to two months.

Fanny D. Palethorpe.
Although she was not a member of the WSPU, or any other suffrage society, she
was sentenced to four months in prison. She was thirty-nine years of age & came from
Ainsdale in Lancashire. At her trial she said that, although she had always worked on
constitutional lines, she had come to realise that peaceful protests would be of no avail
with the present Government.

Frances Parker (1875-1924).
A niece of Lord Kitchener, she was the WSPU organiser for Glasgow & the
West of Scotland. She said at her trial; “If I had thrown a stone as a striker, or even as
a man who is intoxicated, I suppose I should have received a very light sentence; for I
have noticed that men in Swansea, when they were held up for rioting, got a fortnights
imprisonment, & the ringleader of them got only six weeks imprisonment. Of course,
I admit that the whole difference is the difference of motive, but I think the long
sentences in our case prove that the motive is recognised, & I contend that if you
recognise the motive you should also recognise the provocation”. She was sentenced
to four months imprisonment. In 1914 she was arrested & imprisoned (under her alias,
Janet Arthur) for trying to blow up Burns Cottage in Alloway.

Fanny Pease.
Sentenced to two months imprisonment.

Isabella Potbury.
She was a student who had been imprisoned in November & was sentenced to
another six months in March. She was released early, at the end of June, after joining
the hunger strike & being forcibly fed.

Zoe Proctor.
Sentenced to two months imprisonment. Like many of the women she came
from an affluent background & initially had trouble adapting to prison routine. She
expected her bed to be made for her, much to the amusement of the other prisoners.

M. Renny.
Sentenced to two months imprisonment.

Helena de Reya.
Aged thirty-one, she was one of the group from Liverpool. At her trial she said
that she did not consider that she was morally or legally guilty. The Government, &
the Government alone, held it in their power to stop any further scenes of disorder.
She was sentenced to four months.

Gladys Roberts.
A former solicitor’s clerk, she was the joint organiser, with Nelly Crocker, of the
Nottingham branch of the WSPU. She had been imprisoned in 1909 & 1911 for
breaking Post Office windows. In March 1912 she was sentenced to four months.
Dorothea Herlet Rock & Madeleine Rock.
Both had been imprisoned in November & both were sentenced to two months
in March.
Margaret Rowlatt.
She had been imprisoned in November & was sentenced to six months in March.
She went on hunger strike & was released, without being forcibly fed, in June.
M. du Santay Newby.
She was the Hon. Secretary & Treasurer of the WSPU in Ilfracombe &
Barnstable. She was probably arrested under a false name as there is no record of her
being arrested or on trial in March 1912.

Alice Maud Shipley.
She had been imprisoned in November, but at her trial in March she said; “More
than half my life I have been doing what lies in me to help the poor & unfortunate. As
a member of a Vigilance Society, & as a worker in connection with other societies, I
know the condition of our women & girls, & the dangers that lie about them & that
they have no power to protect themselves; & that knowledge has made me take up the
attitude I have today. I feel our case is a most urgent one, & I feel that only a woman
can understand a woman’s needs, that women suffer for the want & care of men, &
that their salvation lies in looking after their own needs & in demanding the vote”.
She refused to be bound over & was given a four month sentence. She went on hunger
strike & was forcibly fed before being released at the end of June. She was forty-two
years old.

Victoria Simmons (1889-1992).
Born in Bristol in 1889 & one of twelve children, she left school at fourteen
because her father believed daughters should not receive the same education as sons
& spent many years campaigning for equality in education. She was sentenced to two
months imprisonment in 1912 for breaking a window at the War Office in Whitehall,
the police found eight more stones in her pockets.
Janie Terrero (1858-1944).
She was the Hon. Secretary of the Pinner WSPU & was sentenced to four
months. She later wrote an account of her prison experiences of 1912; “I was in close
confinement for twelve days, was in two hunger strikes & was forcibly fed in April &
again in June. To those who intend to be actively militant, I want to say this; you
cannot imagine how strong you feel in prison. The Government may take your liberty
from you & lock you up, but they cannot imprison your spirit. The only one thing the
Government really fears is the hunger strike. They fear it not because of our pain &
suffering, but because it damages their majorities. How strong that weapon made us
feel. If they had only dared, they would have put us in a lethal chamber. Some people
wonder at the courage of our women, but I believe physical courage is a common
human attribute, & I do not see why women should possess it in a lesser degree than

Grace Tollamache.
She joined the WSPU in 1910 & was, with her sister, the joint Hon. Secretary of
the Bath branch. In 1911 she took part in a Census boycott (on the night of the census
count a number of women stayed away from home to protest at their lack of political
rights). After the March demonstration she was sentenced to two months. In 1914 she
was arrested after smashing a window at Buckingham Palace in the middle of a
banquet but the King refused to prosecute.

Leanora Tyson.
She was sentenced to two months. She was the secretary of the
Streatham branch of the WSPU & had also been organising secretary
of the Lambeth Branch. In February 1912 she had been on a speaking
tour of Germany on behalf of the organisation. Her mother & sister
were also active WSPU members & were imprisoned in 1912.

Vera Wentworth.
Possibly one of the best known of the women named on the handkerchief, she
wrote plays for the Actresses Franchise League & took part in some of the suffrage
movements most militant actions; she was one of the protestors who interrupted the
holiday of Prime Minister Herbert Asquith by breaking windows, shouting at him in
church & decorating gardens with “Votes for Women” badges. At her trial in 1912
she said that smashing windows was very unpleasant. They would not have done it
without the incitement of Mr. Hobhouse (he was M. P. for Bristol & had unfavourably
compared the non-violent methods of the women with previous successful, but
violent, suffrage movements) & as long as the Liberal Government behaved like this
they would continue to do it. She would have done a great deal more, had she not
been restrained by the leaders, she would do the same thing again & possibly worse.
The prosecution pointed out that she had been convicted in 1909, 1910 & November
1911, & she was sentenced to six months. She went on hunger strike & was forcibly
fed by nasal tube before being released at the end of June.

Frances Williams.
She was sentenced to four months imprisonment. At her trial she said that it was
a political protest against injustice, made in her old age, & not with any malice. She
went on hunger strike & was released in June without being forcibly fed.

Eva Wilson.
Sentenced to two months imprisonment.

Alice Morgan Wright (1881-1975).
She was an American sculptress & member of the National Association of
Women Painters & Sculptors. She also campaigned against animal cruelty but little is
known of her involvement with women’s suffrage in this country.
Of the 66 women whose full names appear on the handkerchief, 61 are known to
have been arrested on the window-smashing demonstrations; 25 are known to have
received sentences of two months, 3 of three months, 18 of four months & 8 of six
months. Sixteen held positions in local branches of the WSPU in 1912 & 18 had
previously been in prison for activities linked to the suffrage movement; at least four
are known to have been arrested again in later years. Twenty-four took part in the
hunger strikes of 1912 & fifteen were forcibly fed.

Text transcribed from the original research & writings of Barbara Miller with additional research by Antony Smith.

The hanky that is pictured was found in a pile of fabrics to be burned in the 1970's after a jumble sale! can you imagine ..... We would have lost this very important piece of history of women, who fought for us to be equal.

Happy Stitching! XX