Sunday, 29 March 2015

A Tale of Two Trips

This blogging gig has become quite a challenge. My absence, if anyone has missed me over the past weeks, has been motivated by the apt advice of one Tom Lehrer, a piano-playing polymath if there ever was one. He advised:

”If a (you) can’t communicate, the very least (you) can do is to shut up.” 

In my case it was more that I had nothing about stitching to communicate. This blog, after all, is about role of stitching in the modern world.  Now,  the thoughtfulness of friends has enabled me to break my silence. 

Thanks to the ubiquity of internet, this week two couples in my circle sent photos of embroideries that they happened upon in their travels. Touring Canterbury Cathedral in the UK, ahead of a visit by Queen Elizabeth II, my friends snapped two newly commissioned cushions intended for the royal couple's use. The pillows are, of course, regal, right down to the gold work and crests.

Canterbury Cathedral Cushions .

Try as I might, I found no mention of them online. So, dear reader, your patronage of this blog has been rewarded with an “exclusive!” You saw it here first.

Meanwhile other friends, holidaying halfway around the globe in Vietnam, dispatched pictures from an embroidery enterprise their group was visiting.  They were particularly taken by a forest scene.

XQ Embroidery from Vietnam

Close up  of forest scene

Via the link to the website, I see  the portraits, my particular passion, that Vietnamese masters create too.  I wish I could be transported by email to look at these things in person, but, sadly, technology is not that advanced.  I must be content to study images courtesy of internet and my friends.

What these two electronic postcards have in common the intersection of embroidery, friendship, and a new experience.  Over the years, my boundless enthusiasm for stitchery has, it seems, sensitized these friends to embroidery’s beauty and artistry.  (Yes, I do a little tap dance of joy. Mission accomplished.) Not-embroiderers themselves, my friends now notice this art form and valued it. I suspect many in their group probably just walked by pieces or hardly understood the time, skill, and artistry that must meld to create beautiful objects like these.    

I am chuffed because once my friends noticed the stitchery, they  remembered me. They took the time and effort to send me pictures to enjoy. Now they are educating me about things I don’t know little about or never will see.  How genuinely kind of them.

So, once again, my conviction that the point of a needle (and thread) in the 21st century is to communicate -- be it beauty, love or friendship -- has been borne out and even reinforced.  Surely, this is something to write home about…or at least blog on.