Grandmama’s Embroidery – One

Grandmama embroidered this lovely lady on a nightdress case for my mother during the War, when they were evacuated to Westmorland. The colours have faded rather now, but it is still beautiful, and the long and short stitch puts me firmly in my place!

The Front of "The Lady in the Garden"
The Front of “The Lady in the Garden”

The reason it is all so neat is that Grandmama had an embroidery teacher at the time, called Miss Hunter (I mentioned her in an early post). I’m sure Miss Hunter must have been trained at the Royal School of Needlework, because her standards were ferociously high. Grandmama once told me that one of the other ladies in the class at the time was working a Willow Pattern design in single strands of stranded cotton.

The back shows how the colours once appeared, and also how neatly Grandmama worked it all. With the exception of the centres of the hollyhocks, you really can’t be sure you aren’t looking at the front!

The Back of "The Lady In the Garden"

The Back of "The Lady In the Garden"

Miss Hunter’s influence still prevails. A few years ago I taught an engineering friend of mine to do counted cross stitch, and he rapidly picked up our habit of checking that the back was as neat as the front!


  1. Janice says:

    It’s beautiful, Rachel. And yes, the back is equally as beautiful as the front, and I for one think that’s important – but I think the perfection of this is beyond me! You won’t be surprised to hear that my grandma had a few cushion covers very similar to this. I may even have seen the same design before! They were embroidered by my mum, either during the war or soon afterwards, and I don’t think they were kept after my grandma died.

  2. Action Ma'am says:

    “I love her ’till I die”

  3. Mam says:

    Pity I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but I disliked pink!

    I much preferred the blue birds darting through the bulrushes on my brother’s pyjama case.

    I too remember Miss Hunter (needless to say) because my Mam was in awe of her expertise, and was respectful of her advice, so she had to be a Very Important Person..

  4. Lady Fi says:

    Wow – such delicacy and lovely colours! This would be worth framing.

  5. karen says:

    oh my! what an amazing treasure, such an heirloom. I have lots of embroidered pieces and lace from my great grandmother and am constantly telling my kids where they came from so that if anything happens to me they know they are part of their heritage and don’t throw them in a skip or something!!

  6. […] Garden, again came from a transfer, and was stitched as a companion to the Peacock, and a homage to Grandmama’s Lady. Unlike Grandmama, I made no effort to provide the lady with lovely graduated ruffles – if I […]