I thought I'd share with you this selection of bits and bobs on our Play Room wall.
The cross stitched pictures are my completed work from when I was a wannabee quilter before I had the bottle, the tuition and the equipment to start the real thing.
Going back to the spring of '91, I visited long-standing family friends in West Lafayette, Indiana. I had been widowed just over a year before so they very kindly offered me the opportunity to go over to visit and just chill out with them taking in a bit of the US whilst there.
On a visit to a framing shop in their locality I spotted a completed version of 'The Quilting' and fell in love with it. They were so kind and indulged in my infatuation by taking me to every craft shop in the vicinity to track it down.
We finally discovered it was a 'Told in the Garden' design but the shop was out of stock. A little disappointed I bought 'The Barnraising' plus all the threads and some aida to make a start on it on my return to England.
Unbeknown to me, these friends then ordered a copy of the pattern for The Quilting and posted it to me later.
I have since found a stockist of these designs in the UK and completed probably about 15 more of them but so far these are the only two I've been able to afford to have framed as it is an expensive exercise over here, and of course having graduated to being a fully fledged quilter now the money is channelled into buying fabric instead :o) The Quilting is still my favourite.
The boat wall hanging was a gift to me from a very dear friend in Gloucester for whom I made my first ever baby quilt when her little boy was born. I didn't even know that she stitched and she presented it to us as a 'Bon Voyage' present before we moved to northern France in December 2001. If you look closely at the bottom of it you might be able to spot a what looks like a long darker brown tube which she said made her think of the Channel Tunnel (our mode of crossing when we went).
It is all hand stitched from furnishing fabrics which can't have been easy to sew and you can see lots and lots of stitches and some unfinished edges on closer inspection. I feel this all gives it a naive charm and I'm sure it must have taken some time to put together - especially as her little boy was only just over a year old at the time and she had a four year old daughter keeping her on her toes too. A really precious gift.
Of course the sophisticated hanging arrangement adds it's own charm :o)