Did you know that our much loved Harvest Mouse design started life off in white? Bridget Guest explains why…
“I wanted to learn more about the Mountmellick embroidery technique before visiting Ireland for our Quaker Tapestry Roadshow. I taught myself how to do the stitches after reading a stitch guide book, and came up with this Mountmellick work design. Adding the little harvest mouse in because I wanted an animal in the design. I also wanted to add the Quaker stitch in white work to see how it performed with the Mountmellick stitches and so a mouses tail was perfect for this.
After that I thought I would have a go at the same design but this time using our own Quaker Tapestry fabric and stitches and colourful Appletons wools. I took this design with me to embroider whilst in the exhibition in Ireland, it grew day by day into our popular embroidery kit and card designs.
Once the design was complete I thought I would add some more little creatures – the butterfly, a ladybird, a snail and a bee. You wouldn’t add these creatures in white work because you wouldn’t notice them – they would just look like blobs of white!
When I was in Ireland on the roadshow I then attended a workshop to learn the stitches. Well, it definitely confirmed to me that learning the stitches at the workshop was much, much easier than trying to learn them from the book – which is just what I say to our students who are thinking of coming on one of our workshops!
As a leaving gift from the Mountmellick Museum I was very honoured to receive an exquisite Mountmellick piece of work, which was beautifully framed. It had been worked by an experienced embroiderer. We exhibited this in the Quaker Tapestry Museum for a few years alongside a small exhibition about our adventures in Ireland. It now has pride of place on my office wall.”
Our workshops are the ideal place to learn new skills or perfect old ones, under the careful guidance of Bridget Guest and her ‘workshop angels’. See our workshop listings to book your place and start your creative journey.