Sunday, May 9, 2010


Florence Mabel Williamson (nee Haworth) 1908 -1987
How does one choose a piece of embroidery to represent oneself and the many years of enjoyment in stitching? I resently had to make that choice and when I did select a piece I realised how much my mother had given to me and how it reflected in my work.
We could all write lots about our mothers, but at this point, three things stand out for me, the books she introduced us to and her love of her garden and her skill with the needle. She never met Winnie the Pooh till she was a young adult and she made sure as children we had every oportunity to read great childrens books. These included Cecily Mary Barker's "Flower Fairies" These tiny books were real treasures and from them I learnt the names of many plants. and later introduced my daughter and later still my grand daughters to these book as they are still in print.
Mother's gardens firstly in the very south of NZ and later in Christchurch held many delightful small treasures  and both my sister and myself have the tiny Autumn snowdrops in our garden the bulbs first came from her garden and have mulitplied over the years, and I have taken some from garden to garden when ever we moved. Visits from the south to Christchurch always included a visit to the Rockery at the Christchurch Botanical gardens here I saw my first tiny rock cyclamen  which  I now enjoy in my own garden.
Granny Haworth her mother, was a fine embroiderer who had shared those skills with her daughter and this has continued down through the gererations. I have no memories of when I first stared stitching but it was before High School days but I remember learning from mother, smocking and Bullion Stitch roses.
And in later years although I shared my embroideery with her, sadly Mother did not live to see the piece I had chosen, but it does relect the flowers she loved .

Work box stitched on 32 count Belfast linen with 1 strand DMC threads lined with pink silk. This was not a kit, my husband patiently  worked out the measurements and cut the cardboard for me. Stitched 1992.

On this side Snowdrops, Gentians,  Heather, Common daisy, Violets, and  Buttercups.

Scillas, Aconite, Pasque Flowers, Hares foot clover and Lady's mantle.

Dandelions, Linum (flax flower), Dryas, Heartsease and  Red Campion.

Harebells, Daisies, Violets,  Crocus and Ivy.


Chris said...

Dear Lee, your work is so incredibly beautiful. What a wonderful tribute to your mother. Thank you for sharing your memories :-)

Anonymous said...

That is an exquisite piece of work and an incredible tribute to your Mum. It gave my heart the warm fuzzies :)

Carol said...

What a delightful tribute to your mom, Lee.

I'll have to say that the flower box is one of the most lovely pieces of stitching that I've ever seen--amazing :)