29 January 2012

Elizabeth II : diamond jubilee (VI) : more designs

With the year begun, more diamond jubilee designs for stitchers to make are emerging.

Riverdrift House has added Windsor Castle to its charming, bright range of jubilee samplers (Happy and Glorious and Buckingham Palace have featured in earlier entries on this blog.  Sandringham and Balmoral to come).

Description from the eBay.co.uk listing:

Brand new modern square sampler design for Windsor Castle, to celebrate our Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 by Riverdrift House.  Quick and fun to stitch, our design includes the castle flying the Royal Standard - with St George's Chapel, the Order of the Garter with motto 'Honi Soi Qui Mal Y Pense' and Garter Stars, a Royal gondola with the queen's swans upon the Thames, deer from the Great Park, arms of Eton College, a Union Jack, the Royal Standard, Castle Guards, crowns, 'all the Queen's horses' (Windsor Greys) ...and some Royal Corgis..

  Being sold as a brand new kit and shown in a border to give the look when framed as a picture (or made up into a cushion).  

Best quality materials include white 14 count Zweigart Aida fabric, Anchor 6-stranded embroidery threads, clear chart, instructions and a gold-plated needle.

Size of finished embroidery approx 25 cm / 10 inches square.

Free postage to UK addresses - kits are send in a board envelope by Royal Mail, First Class Large Letter post, either same or next day (following payment).  £3.00 to post via Air Mail abroad

Riverdrift House website is here, Riverdrift House on ebay.co.uk is here

British designer Emma Bridgewater whose designs have featured on crockery and textiles and Agas-with-dots has a design coming out in Cross Stitcher magazine.

It will be in issue no 250, due to be published in the UK on 22nd February 2012.  I rather like this one.  It feels vintage and fresh.  I read this magazine via Zinio as a digital magazine, so it will land on my device on that day in February.  You can buy single issues or subscriptions via Zinio; or if you're not in the UK, wait a couple of months till it lands in the newsagencies.

Tempest Tapestry, designs by Catherine Gedny, have a small and a large diamond jubilee tapestry cushion in their range.

Both are available as kits or charts: the tapestry is not printed with the design, so it's like counted cross stitch to do (ie you have to concentrate rather than relax and colour in as you can with printed tapestries/needlepoint!). It's an interesting use of the Union Jack, with subtle diamonds/stars on it.   I've seen that curlywurly font overused in school projects (it's a girls' fave) so I must say that for me, it's not one I especially like.  I think my taste in patriotic samplers leans a bit more towards the classic, at least in font styles.  But this may well hit the mark with younger stitchers.

Description of the smaller cushion:

JUBILEE 2012 Mini Cushion
* Finished size approx 7.00" x 7.00" (18 x 18cm)
* White Zweigart Canvas 12 hpi
* Anchor Tapisserie Wools (5 colours)
* Black and white symbol chart (canvas is not printed)
* Tapestry needle and full instructions
This project is a delightful way to celebrate Her Majesty's
Diamond Jubilee.  Wools include a shimmering silver yarn for working the highlights.
This pattern is worked in half-cross stitch.
KIT                                                                       CHART ONLY
£18.00  (+ p & p)                                                  £9.00

Description of the larger cushion:

* Finished size approx 14.1" x 10.8" (35.8 x 27.4cm)
* White Zweigart Canvas 10 hpi
* Anchor Tapisserie Wools (7 colours)
* Black and white symbol chart (canvas is not printed)
* Tapestry needle and full instructions
This project is a delightful way to celebrate Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.  Wools include a shimmering silver yarn for working the highlights.
This pattern is worked in half-cross stitch.
KIT                                                                       CHART ONLY
£35.00  (+ p & p)                                                  £15.00

If you want something hand-embroidered without doing it yourself, in the British patriotic sphere, Jan Constantine will usually offer something.  She has a number of items for the Diamond Jubilee including cushions, lavender bags, a banner/bunting and tea/coffee cosies:

Find all Jan Constantine Diamond Jubilee items here.

Cushions, found here.  Prices range from  £66.50 up to £108.00 .

This is the next (and not the last, I suspect) of my blog entries about diamond jubilee designs.  You can use the jubilee tag below to find the other entries.

If you come across other diamond jubilee designs not yet blogged here, please let me know (eg. via the comments - just sign up to Blogger, it's free and I've had no  hassles, and then you can comment).

28 January 2012

Coronation gowns

Plays With Needles set herself a needlework challenge she inspired by Elizabeth II's coronation gown.  Her blog entries about it include historical photos as well as photos of the work she stitched.

Welcome your Majesty : the start of the project
Becoming a Queen: Part I has general photos, royal orders etc
Becoming a Queen: Part II has some fabulous close-up photos of  Elizabeth II's coronation gown.

22 January 2012

World War I commemorative stitched piece

This odd little cross-stitched piece was on eBay several times in 2011 with a starting price of 75GBP (not selling and thus being relisted - it's a high price, in my opinion) with the simple title of "Needle Work".  By the dates, a best guess would be it commemorates the end of World War I, although it's 1914 and 1919, not 1914 and 1918.  It's a curious mix of flags - if the one at top left in red/yellow/black is intended as the German flag, it's not just the flags of one side or the other, but both (Italy and Japan both joined the war on the side of Britain/France/Russia, unlike WW2). All of Ireland was still part of the UK then (partition came after the war).  The size (of counted cloth and space allocated to each flag) made the Union Jack a tad tricky to do.  More than one country with a flag there had a monarch, so it's not clear if the crown in the centre is a generic crown or meant for one country's monarch in particular (German Kaiser? English King?). 

My best guess is that it's an individual stitcher's piece rather than a pattern.  It's a very simple grid layout, and I find it difficult to imagine that a pattern including the German flag would have had wide appeal.  Peace samplers from the end of World War II that I've come across that are of British origin have focused entirely on the Allies, with no reference (beyond VE/VJ day dates) to the enemy side.  I have seen another piece worked on the same type of background, a squarish rectangle of fabric with  a ?handmade woollen fringe.  Possibly intended as a table centre?  or cushion cover?  The eBay listing gave no information beyond "Nice quality work".  It was located in the UK, but that's no guarantee that it was made there.

So, a curious piece, documented here.  If you know more, please do leave a comment.

Link to seller 229fraste.

19 January 2012

Elizabeth II : diamond jubilee : classes at the RSN, jubilee design

RSN Diamond Jubilee design: Goldwork version

RSN Diamond Jubilee design: Stumpwork version

The Royal School of Needlework has several classes in 2012 to make a jubilee design, and to make a fabric casket to feature the design.  Here's a quote from their website:

During Diamond Jubilee year 2012 we introduce a celebratory Jubilee design which can be worked in three techniques – stumpwork, goldwork or blackwork. All designs are suitable for beginners onward. Come and work your goldwork design and in August there’s the option to mount your embroidery onto an heirloom Jubilee Casket. Material costs are not included in class fees. Costs range from £20.00 to £45.00 depending on the complexity of design and materials used.

More details can be found on the Royal School of Needlework courses page - click here.   Most of the classes are being offered in the UK, but the goldwork one also has a San Francisco date listed.  So far I can't find a blackwork image or an image of the casket to share/document here.  With embroidery being the focus of the RSN, it's unsurprising that these are using embroidery techniques, rather than the cross-stitch more commonly found in commercial kits and wide-circulation craft magazines; an embroidered commemorative needlework is likely to be rarer, in future, than a cross-stitched one.

Unlike other designs, these are provided in the context of a class, a group activity.  Partly because they are about learning a specific embroidery technique; but I wonder how few (very few, I'd guess) British patriotic samplers were stitched in a communal context, whether a class or an embroidery group?  It may well be that one in a craft/stitching group might be stitching a commemorative piece while others were doing their own individual choices; but how often would you find a group where all were simultaneously engaged on the same British patriotic sampler at the same time?  I'd imagine that would to be very very rare.  The imprimatur of the Royal School of Needlework, and the focus of learning a new technique both skew the acceptability and audience of this class, I suspect.  I've added "classes" as a tag to this blog, but doubt it will get much of a workout...

Although via social media you can see individuals congregating to share common stitching projects, the internet making light of distance.  Via blogs or Facebook or photos uploaded to Flickr, you could see during the royal wedding 'season' that people were sharing their work in the context of being part of a group making a particular design (eg. Jacqui Pearce's Will and Kate sampler from Cross-Stitcher magazine).  You don't have to be physically together to be part of a group, as the internet and social media demonstrate.  It will be interesting to see if these show people in a collective way making the same diamond jubilee designs. 

Outside the narrow field of British patriotic samplers, there are plenty of online examples of people distant from each other collectively working on the same project.  When popular craft bloggers such as Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy release a new design, the blog comments are full of chat as people make their own version; she even offers an online desination for people to share their versions (through a series of Flickr groups).

Please let me know of any links/images I can share specifically related to people working on the same British patriotic design as a group - whether it's everyone working to produce a single final work, or each person working on their own version separately.

18 January 2012

Elizabeth II : diamond jubilee : Girl Guide challenge

Further to the last blog post, I was interested to find that the UK Girl Guides have a Diamond  Jubilee challenge, which includes this:

Cross stitch a sampler or book mark to celebrate the jubilee
(This could count towards your Brownie or Guide Craft Badge).

I wonder what will be made?  Let me know if you discover any, or anywhere online that photos are being shared.

The knowledgeable Sylvia at Linens and Royals tells me that this  coronation design may well have been promoted through the Girl Guides:

See more examples by clicking here.  I wonder if that's why this one is often found signed (unusual for British patriotic samplers).  And the workmanship on examples of this design is often less fine than you generally find.  We agreed that it seems likely to have been distributed as a transfer already printed on fabric - the examples we've seen have just enough fabric, but only just.

Elizabeth II : Diamond Jubilee (V) : cross-stitch

Some more cross-stitch designs and samplers with Diamond Jubilee themes have come to my attention.

After their Happy and Glorious design (which I've already blogged about) Riverdrift House have released the first of a Diamond Jubilee foursome, each one with a Royal building as its design focus.  This one is Buckingham Palace.  To come are Windsor Castle, Balmoral and Sandringham.  I'm guessing this is the foursome mentioned on the website, four individual designs on 14 count (on which the designs measure 10in square) and then later issued as a single sampler on 18 count. Find this on eBay or through the Riverdrift House site.

Florashell did at least one royal wedding design last year, and they have three designs available as kits to celebrate the Golden Jubilee.  One of which uses what looks like the same royal coat of arms design, but with different wording (and a font I'm not especially fond of, it's a tad ditsy for my taste).

They also have a little quickie design, and a detailed portrait of the Queen.    Probably available in shops, but you can also find them at the Florashell eBay shop.

15 January 2012

Elizabeth II: Greenwich Golden Jubilee embroidery

In the year of Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee, you might like to take a moment to view and learn more about the golden jubilee embroidery made in Greenwich.

Explore the image in greater detail here:

Read about its genesis here:
and its contents here:

Read about the embroiderers and who sewed which element/s here:

09 January 2012

Elizabeth II : Diamond Jubilee : emblems and logos

A couple of Commonwealth countries have released Diamond Jubilee emblems/logos.  Very traditional in style, nothing like the charming originality of the official UK logo design.  Here's the UK one, in English and Welsh (read more about it and past logos here):

Here's the NZ emblem for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, released at the end of November:

More information: click here.  From that link (the New Zealand Governor-General's site) comes this description:
"The emblem has been officially approved by Queen Elizabeth II.  Its diamond shape represents the 60 years of her reign.  Other features of the emblem include a gold koru, manuka flowers and the Royal Cypher, the Queen’s personal emblem.  The emblem was designed by Phillip O’Shea CNZM, LVO, New Zealand Herald of Arms."

And here is the Canadian choice for their emblem on this occasion:

More information - click here and here.  From the second source, some more about the design:

"The Diamond Jubilee emblem design was inspired by the 2002 Golden Jubilee emblem. It is a symbolic statement of the enduring relationship between Canada and The Crown, as personified by Her Majesty The Queen, Canada's Head of State. 
The Royal Cypher is The Queen's monogram below St. Edward's crown. It is used in the insignia of orders, decorations and medals, and on various badges. Beneath the Royal Cypher, a red maple leaf is positioned on one stem and disposed on a diamond. The numeral "60" denotes the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty's reign as Queen of Canada.
Rising up on either side in a wreath formation are a series of maple leaves in graduated tones-from crimson red to brilliant gold to forest green-representing our provinces and territories, as well as the seasonal beauty of Canada."

Wikipedia has a page about the Queen's Diamond Jubilee here.

I still like Katherine Dewar's UK design best.

08 January 2012

Elizabeth: golden jubilee roses sampler, 2002

This is a magazine chart, with the magazine buyer free to make it as a cross stitch or as a needlepoint/tapestry, depending on their preference.  It commemorates the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II.

I find it boring, myself.  OK, roses represent England, but these look more derivative of that Old Country Roses china that is insistently yellow and stridently red than the more subtle or Tudor-style roses found on other royal embroideries.  Still and all, that's apparently a hugely popular china pattern so maybe this design found its aficionadoes. I get that it's got the golden thing happening, but it doesn't do anything for me.  My second gripe is that it looks kinda pastiche - you could take out the words and it's just another cushion design. Compared to other jubilee designs from the 20th century - Georges V and VI, and earlier Elizabeth ones - this has a lot less royal symbolism or interest in the design, for me anyway.  Maybe you disagree.  That's your privilege.

There's a certain harmony, when you put a bunch of British patriotic/royal samplers together on a wall - design echoes, colour repetition.  This one wouldn't fit in at all, in my opinion.  Not that I mind something different (see the next picture): but I think this design lacks appeal.

2012 marks the Diamond Jubilee for Elizabeth II, so it will be interesting to see what sorts of commemorative designs are published in magazines and produced as kits this year.  I just LOVE the Diamond Jubilee logo:

Read more about it(and other QEII  jubilee logos) in an earlier blog entry here.
As you spot any Diamond Jubilee designs (online, in magazines, in kits etc) do leave a comment here so I can add them to the array.  Thanks!

02 January 2012

Elizabeth II: Diamond Jubilee (IV) : Happy and Glorious Riverdrift House sampler

I rather like this Happy and Glorious sampler for the Queen's diamond jubilee (probably because it's the kind of one you can do in bits - a crown here, a word there, some bunting... reminds me a bit of antique spot samplers). 

It's from Riverdrift House in Suffolk, designed by Amanda Stevenson. It is described thus: "Best quality materials include white 14 count Zweigart Aida fabric, Anchor 6-stranded embroidery threads, clear chart, instructions and a gold-plated needle.Size of finished embroidery approx 25 cm / 10 inches square."

As yet I haven't seen a stitched example: this looks to be based on a computer-generated chart.

This one isn't on their website when I last checked [see update below] - it turned up on eBay.  Maybe they're testing the market?  It's very much 'in style' with their other samplers.  They have some rather nice souvenir ones for various British towns eg. Felixstowe, Cumbria, Aldeburgh, Cotswolds and (unsurprisingly) Suffolk.  They use nice colours - some muted, some brighter -  and attractive modern/vintage fonts.  Here is their eBay user page: http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/riverdrifthouse/ which will link you to their current sale items.  As of today they are offering it in both a bidding scenario and a buy-it-now scenario.  They do post outside the UK (you can also buy direct from their website).

On their new design page they indicate their plans for other jubilee samplers: "Next on the board are the new designs for the DIAMOND JUBILEE, still to be finalised - but you can expect a set of FOUR square, each featuring one of the Royal Residences, lots of crowns and corgis - on 14 count. Then we will put the four together to make a more substantial Sampler to stitch on 18 count, for a lovely piece of heirloom stitching... "

None of which sounds like this one, as I can't see a royal residence... still, I think this is my favourite so far of the commercial cross stitch sampler designs for the diamond jubilee.  Maybe the category killer?

It has a feel of Jacqui Pearce's very popular Will and Kate wedding sampler that was in Cross Stitcher magazine.  Nodding to vintage and traditions, while being unashamedly modern.

Read all about that design, with links as to where you can buy it in my blog entry about 2011 wedding samplers.  They seem to be out of kits now, but seem to still have the sampler pattern available for download.  The magazine, Cross Stitcher issue 238 Spring 2011, turns up from time to time on eBay; so does the pattern as pages taken from the magazine.  You can also buy the full issue on Zinio as a digital download full colour copy to read on your computer or tablet/iPad (Zinio has a website at zinio.com or you can download the app to your tablet/iPad and buy from within the app.  That single issue is $AU5.49 for the digital download as of December 2011).

I'm documenting diamond jubilee designs as I find them.  If you know of others, please do let me know by leaving a comment.  All these entries are tagged with jubilee so you can find them via the tags as well as the search button (top left of the screen).

If you're a shop or designer with a design I haven't documented here as yet, please do get in touch.  I'd like this to be as comprehensive a record as possible.

Happy New (Diamond Jubilee) Year!


3 January 2012 UPDATE:
The Riverdrift design is now listed on their website:
Diamond Jubilee Square Sampler Kit
Counted Cross Stitch Square Sampler Kit

Riverdrift House New Designs information:
Riverdrift House News page:

01 January 2012

Anne: birth sampler, 1950

From 1950, and featuring a verse by Patience Strong, this sampler commemorates the birth of Princess Anne.

I've also seen verse by Patience Strong featured on a wedding sampler for Elizabeth and Phillip, and a birth sampler of similar design for Prince Charles.  I know that the Charles one was a transfer, so no doubt this one was too - embroiderer's choice of evenweave fabric and final thread colours, level of skill depending on the embroiderer.

Who was Patience Strong? According to Wikipedia, Winifred Emma May (4 June 1907 – 28 August 1990) was a poet from the United Kingdom, best known for her work under the pen name Patience Strong. Her poems were usually short, simple and imbued with sentimentality, the beauty of nature and inner strength.

Hmmm, 'imbued with sentimentality' is being rather polite, really.  She's got the rhyme thing happening...

Isn't it nice that Clarence House gets a run, instead of Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace?!!

I've never seen a birth sampler for Andrew or Edward, in this style or any other.  Or wedding samplers for either, come to that.  Although I'm guessing that checking the popular British cross stitch magazines at those date would have been likely to have had some kind of charted design.  (Topic for future research - unless you have the mags and could look them up and tell me...). 

There is a picture of another version of this sampler here, from the end of this blog entry here.

And another version of this sampler:

And another:

If you know any more about this design - where it was published/available from etc and so forth - please do leave a comment.

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