Thursday, February 23, 2012

Janet honors her family with her Ackworth Friendship Book

I recently received these Ackworth Friendship Book photos from Janet, who lives in a little village in the center of England in the Peak District. She describes her village as having stone cottages and lots of sheep. Her home is called Rose Cottage. This certainly sounds very picturesque, doesn't it?

Janet used 4 close shades of Anchor embroidery thread to stitch her book. I'm not sure what linen she used. She chose to honor her female ancestors through her book. (Knowing how much I have been researching my own family's genealogy, you can probably guess how excited I was with Janet's idea...more about that later.)

Janet wrote, My accordion book, "My Female Ancestors", features nine of my female relatives from my Dad's side (plus me as the one on the cover) - going back as far as several of my great great great grandmothers. One, called Lydia Watson, was born in 1801 in Frome, Somerset - she's the earliest one featured on this book, although I've traced relatives back as far as 1588! I've tracked down details for over 900 people, altogether - but the women are often hard to find, as they change their names on marriage, and often don't have as many 'official' details of their lives recorded.

I found it really interesting, as I was researching, how many of them had jobs to do with crafts - dressmakers, milliners, embroiderers, carpet-makers - because I design embroidery for a living, as you do, although what I do is very different in style from yours. It does make me wonder if the tendency to want to do crafts is something we can inherit, just as we do with something like eye colour?

In corresponding with Janet, I discovered that she too is a designer. Her main focus is designing doll house miniatures. Most of her designs are for use on silk gauze but depending upon the finished size you want, you could probably use linen instead.  I'm particularly enamored with her miniature needlework frames. Like me, Janet finds stitching other people's designing relaxing because she can just do the stitching without having to do much thinking.

Janet, thank you for sharing the photos of your work. I really have enjoyed getting to know you and seeing your beautiful work.

You have also given me some ideas regarding the Ackworth Friendship Book. Maybe I need to stitch another one to honor my female ancestors. I could stitch their names and birth and death dates over one linen thread on the pages. How much fun it would be to put information about each of them in the pockets! I even have some very old photos I could include. Hmm--another idea... If I have a granddaughter one day, I could make her a book and stitch the names of her female ancestors on the book pages.  Another idea would to stitch your grandchildren's names on the pages and then put some of their photos in the pockets.  That would certainly make a very nice Grandmother's Book, wouldn't it? Still another idea would be to make the book for one person to commemorate special things in her life (birth, school actitivites, graduation, marriage, etc.)  As you can see, the ideas are limitless!!  Perhaps you have some other ideas.

Janet is now in the process of gathering her supplies for Mrs. Waddelow's Huswif, so perhaps we'll see some more photos from her soon.


Vickie Niggemann said...

Wow! Really cool. :) I started a blog 2 days ago if you'd like to take a look.

Laurie in Iowa said...

Love how Janet chose to honor her female ancestors... just makes the finished book all that much more special.

Stitching Princess said...

I just checked out Janet's page and I wish I had a dollhouse, or daughters. Those items are so adorable!

Krista said...

Really beautiful design!

LynnO said...

Fantastic! I love this idea!

Barb said...

What a great idea. I put family initials in your "Emblem of Love" when I stitched it. We just had my husband's grandparent's wedding certificate framed and put on a wall with their wedding pictures and a sampler I stitched with their names, wedding date, and place.

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

What a wonderful keepsake!!!
Thanks for sharing!
Prim Blessings

Poussy Stitches My Love said...

oh very lovely ....
bisous de France