Have Your Say

27th November 2020

Tapestries and Fairy Godmothers

Thank you to everyone who joined our recent conversations by emailing in – so great to hear from you all! We were pleased everyone enjoyed our article on tapestries from All Stitched Up! issue #258, and it was great to read about your own memories as well as receive some of your knowledge on the subject.

Jackie Williams empathised with the tapestry/canvaswork confusion and said that when she worked in retail, she would always try to convert a customer when they came in asking for a ‘tapestry’, lest the confusion in any way takes away from the majesty of the original woven tapestries.

Lynn Healy informed us that an entire set of some tapestries on display at Hampton Court Palace in the UK could cost as much as a ‘half a battleship’.

Lynn lives close to both Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace where she has been privileged enough to view some of the original tapestries from the time of Henry VIII, discover their history and marvel at their restoration.

Hampton Court Palace (Source)

Christina also rightly brought our attention to the fact that tapestries aren’t simply the preserve of the royal European houses. She highlighted the Tapestry Workshop in Melbourne, Australia and encouraged readers to explore the wonderful tapestries in Australia’s Parliament House, woven in Melbourne and based on the designs of Arthur Boyd (which we briefly featured back in All Stitched Up! issue #33).

Also in All Stitched Up! issue #258 we wondered what you would ask your fairy godmother to do for you if you were lucky enough to have one.

It turns out almost everyone was very much in favour of having their own personal fairy godmother and were not afraid of putting her to good use!

Your responses were numerous and highly entertaining with your fairy godmothers being gainfully employed throughout all stages within the stitching process.

Rose Broady wanted her fairy godmother to start by deciding for her which project to do next. She then wanted her busy helper to cut out the patterns and gather all the necessary materials so Rose could just get on with the stitching. Lalah would also like all of the threads, hoops, needles and materials magically gathered into a neat project bag so she could just start, and Marie Montalbano was also keen for a bit of help putting materials together.

Marie and Marjorie Collins also wished fervently that their studious godmothers would transfer their patterns onto the fabric – a task which many were eager to avoid as it seems rather unpopular!

Once everything has been magically prepared, our fairy godmothers are being recruited into the stitching process too. Sharon loves learning new techniques, but some are too time consuming. She has some stunning cross stitch patterns which she would love to have completed, hanging on her wall, but they take such a long time and are her least favourite pieces to work, so she’d like her fairies to get them done so she can sit back and enjoy the results.

Bette Kelley has more practical tasks for her fairy godmother, namely cooking, cleaning, shopping and doing housework while Bette happily gets on with stitching.

But it wasn’t just home help that was required of our magical companions. They need to be nursing assistants too, especially for Roberta Kenney who is suffering from a form of carpel tunnel syndrome which slows her right down. She’d like her fairy godmother to wave her magic wand and fix that up. Diane Bishop, who sadly lost sight in her right eye, actually had her wish come true. Rather than an imaginary fairy godmother, she has real fairy godmothers in the form of her EGA friends who help her to keep stitching despite her difficulties.

Although they’re already pretty busy, it seems there is great demand for our magical helpers at the end of our stitching process too. Dora Edwardes, Amy Haffling and Kathy Scioneuax would all like someone to do the finishing. Whether sewing things together, constructing, binding or mounting, as Kathy says, she’d like to wave that magic wand and have all of her beautifully stitched projects ready to adorn her home.

Then, of course, comes the tidying up. Maureen Giuffre wants her helper to put all of her threads away once the project is complete, preferably organised and ready for the next project. Perhaps, while she’s at it, she could organise all of the rest of our stashes too?

It is such a lovely thought and we don’t see anything wrong with dreaming about it. Perhaps we might be lucky and one evening that wonderful fairy godmother might just decide to drop in and see us. But while we’re waiting, we wanted to leave you with an experience from Susan Sammour. 

Susan was sitting, stitching, with her 10-year-old granddaughter.

Suddenly, her granddaughter looked at her and said, ‘Grammy, you are my fairy godmother.’

When Susan asked her how that could be so, the response was, ‘You make all my dreams come true, and your magic wands are your needles and pins.

Perhaps the fairy godmother isn’t as far away as we might think!

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