People ask me when did I start doing embroidery – my polite reply would be ‘When I was in secondary school.’  (The Scouse reply would be ‘About 2 hours ago’ but as I’m only married to a Plastic Scouser I don’t say that.)

Recently hubbie and I went down to Suffolk where I did most of my growing up – well, where I went to Secondary School anyway.  We moved there from Potters Bar when I was 12 and I like to call it my home county.  (There’s a story there but I won’t bore you with it now.  I’ll save it for when I’ve got nothing else to say!)

As usual, whenever we go away in the caravan we have to find a site that is near to a coarse fishing site.  Not for me but for ‘is Nibs.  When he’s off playing at garden gnomes I can do my own thing and this time I drove round all my old haunts.  First stop was to go into Bury St. Edmunds and I was devastated to find that the Cattle Market is now a big, boring car park.  Crying inside, I made my way to the Cathedral – that had changed too by getting bigger!  It was beautiful – so peaceful despite workmen banging away overhead.  Why the cathedral?  Well, when I was at Secondary School (girls only it was) someone in the Bury world decided to have samplers of every parish in the diocese made for inside the cathedral.  I wasn’t into Domestic Science really, especially as the first thing we did was to learn how to make such basic things that I had been taught years before by Mum.  Anyway, the teacher, Mrs Pettit I think, asked if anyone would like to make a sampler tapestry.  I volunteered and got all the material, threads and pattern.  It was of a place that I had never heard of (and only found out roughly where it was on this visit!) but I duly sat many nights sewing away.  It took me ages – and I was chased for the finished article by Mrs. P because I was taking so long.  I handed it in and that was the last I saw it.  Until this visit when I went on the hunt.

I spoke to the gentleman in some sort of religious robe (I am not a church goer so please forgive my ignorance at the correct title for said gentleman) and told him what I was doing there.  He was surprised because he had been telling visitors that the samplers were all made by the ladies of the individual parishes, but he wished me luck in finding it.  Up and down each set of pews I went.  I did the left side, then the middle, then along the back – and finally found it in one of the last areas to look.  I gleefully picked it up and hurried back to said gentleman to show him and he let me take these photographs.  And yes, I know it’s mine because I did 90% of the design in tent stitch (I think that’s the correct name for half cross stitch?).  And here it is in all its glory :

My first embroidery
My first embroidery
A close up
A close up