Monday, 6 February 2017

An exhibition and slow stitching.

On Saturday John and I had tickets to the  'Opus Angelicanum' exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This was an exhibition of medieval English embroidery. As often happens with us we managed to visit the exhibition the day before it finished. We keep trying to be more organised but haven't managed it yet. The museum itself was crowded out with it's visitors inside at its capacity and so there was a long queue of people waiting to enter. As we had tickets we could go straight in (already accounted for in the numbers). The exhibition was hot and the lighting dim at times to protect the 12th and 13th century embroidery. Most of the work was ecclesiastical as that's what has survived over the years. No photography was allowed and there were only a couple of postcards, the museum having sold out of what they created for the exhibition, so I have used an image from the V and A website.

Syon Cope. From the V and A collection of Textiles and Fashion. England

The embroidered is worked with silver gilt and silver thread in underside couching  and using split, cross and plait stitches and laid and couched work. The brown background  was original red and green silk thread. I chose this image as it dates back to a Bridgettine convent at Syon in Middlesex and my Guide units meet in the church hall of the church opposite the gates to Syon Park, the site of the abbey church of the convent. You can read more about the history here The exhibition was extremely interesting and I'm very pleased I went to see it. The work is very intricate but using just the same stitches we use today without the aid of our magnifying daylight lights. I certainly haven't got the eyesight to do this quality of work.

After the exhibition we met up with older daughter Kathryn for afternoon teas. The cafe in the museum is beautiful and they do a delicious cream tea with enormous scones and clotted cream..mmmmmm. Looking up as you go into the main seating area this is what you see.

We sat in the Dutch room and the walls were decorated with panelling and tiles. This shows Autumn which was immediately opposite our table but all four seasons were represented and all twelve months

Beneath these panels were blue tiles showing different scenes to match the panel above them. This appears slightly blurry but is more about the amount of pattern detail.

As we left the cafe it was getting dark and so I turned and took a photo of the exterior of this part of the museum. I love the reflection in the shallow pool in front of the building. In the summer there are tables out in this square and children and some adults (me and my daughters) paddle in the pool.


We left the museum at closing time so the streets were very crowded and we didn't fancy the idea of getting onto a crowded tube so we walked to Vauxhall bridge and caught the tube there. It was a very pleasant evening and gave us the opportunity to catch up with the gossip.

Yesterday was about slow stitching. We are finally laying the flooring in the main areas downstairs and I can't currently access my sewing machines so I pulled out Charlotte, bag lady number 2. I haven't completed Ernestine but this is a stitch along so I'm going to start a new lady each month. If I finish the lady of the month then I'll go back and complete whatever's left to do on a lady from an earlier month ..simples. I've started the outline of her top but haven't got very far yet.


I also need to invest in some new embroidery floss as I'm out of quite a lot of colours including black. Oh shame I need a trip to a sewing store. 

I also did some stitching on the binding of the dog quilt. I've only gone round 1 corner so far but at least it's a start. I'm pleased I went with the white swirly fabric for the binding.

This morning I had to go for a scan with possible biopsy of the lymph nodes in my neck as they thought they looked a little enlarged but the scan showed they were perfectly normal and health, so no biopsy needed and I should be able to start treatment on Friday. This evening I am having my hair cut shorter, roughly jaw level, by one of Kathryn's friends from school who is a trained hairdresser and very good at her job. I'm taking wine and Olly is cooking so it will be a fun time but I do love my long hair. The rest of the day I have housework to do and I must do some grocery shopping as the cupboards and fridge are bare!

I'm linking with Kathy for Slow stitching Sunday Go and see the great slow stitching folks have been working on this week.



  1. What a fabulous exhibit! Glad to see Charlotte is getting some of your attention. I love the binding you chose for your quilt. Perfect.

  2. I'm glad your lymph nodes were normal, I'm sorry you have to cut your hair though. I love your bag lady.