I am a volunteer at a local National Trust PropertyMountstewart and if I am not volunteering there I am relaxing there with my dog Smudge, it being her favourite place. It's peaceful and inspirational and with my recent drawing abilities and my sewing I have been inspired to design and complete some blackwork to reflect what I see in the gardens there.
The piece aboveI gave to the house staff as a gift for their friendship and support as a volunteer helping make Mountstewart a place "for everyone forever". This is the sample design based on stonewaork in the garden which was put there by Lady Edith Londonderry and may have been in Westminster palace until the 1930's. however this piece of research is till to be confirmed by Westminster. I have altered the border slightly to make it mirror. I have lots more pieces I want to do time permitting and I have designed some basic x-stitches for them to use with visitors as sewing was a huge activity in the house in the days before television.
I have joined theNIEG and look forward to their programme this year. I purchased a piece made by one of their members, Janet Hackney, at the art cafe in Castleward another National Trust property nearby.
I raise funds for charity and in doing so I have ladies attend my home for craft of all sorts. I love to see other people be surprised and excited when they create or even realise they can. I hope to encourage those who visit the National Trustto do likewise asthereis so much to gain.
Just over a year ago I joined the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild and was their speaker
secretary for last year and now their treasurer. I gained so much from this group and it was through them I received an email from the textile curator of the Ulster folk and transport museum, Valerie Wilson, whom we had had as a speaker earlier in the year. It simply asked if anyone from the guild would be interested in a project that involved embroidery but was a secret and she could say no more. I jumped at the chance and within a few days I was in the gallery with other embroiderers. I was told we were to embroider a tapestry for Game of Thrones. The name rung a bell but I really didn't know what it was, as I spend my time sewing not watching tv, but it sounded exciting as it seems to be quite a craze for the rest of the world.
Valerie Wilson above checking out the brief for that particular season.