Found in the Archive – a traycloth

Something Else In The Archive

Something Else In The Archive

My mother and I have been trying to make sense of the various boxes and bags that travelled from my grandparents’ attic to my parents’, and we’ve found all sorts of things.

This traycloth must be something that Grandmama began to work quite late in life, when her eyesight was no longer what it had been, because it’s worked in four strands, and the back would not pass Miss Hunter‘s scrutiny. Judging by the subject matter – maybe she began it in 1977 for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee?

I suspect she intended to alternate the colours of the blanket stitch edging to create the same effect as the coloured blocks of fringing on a ceremonial trumpet’s banner.

I rather like the idea of tackling the parade of guardsmen at the bottom, so I’m planning to add this to my list of projects at some point. It would be the only project of which I would be able to say I had finished what Grandmama started!

I daren’t wash the piece or iron it, because the tracing has already begun to break up in some places. The unstitched motif in the top row is a heraldic lion, and most of his outline has rubbed off. It’s really just as well that I was keen on heraldry as a teenager and still have my books on the subject. I should be able to recreate him without too much trouble.


  1. Lady Fi says:

    So many memories in those stitches!

  2. karen says:

    don’t iron it….finish it and then damp stretch it…but then you knew I would say that!!

  3. Anita says:

    Fifty years from now someone in your family will be writing about this tray cloth, your Grandma’s embroidery, how you’ve finished this piece ….Interesting!

  4. Elmsley Rose says:

    Finishing your Gran’s piece – lovely!

  5. Penny says:

    How very wonderful that you found this and that you’ll be able to honor your grandmother by finishing her work. Its in very good hands!

  6. There is something very special about finishing something started by an elderly person who has died. I have finished two embroideries for friends that were started by their mother’s but not finished. That was special but to do something started by your grandmother is extra special.

  7. A very special project!

  8. Penny B says:

    What a treasure!

  9. Janice says:

    I know it will be a very special project for you. Good luck with the lion rampant!

  10. Susan says:

    Oh how I covet this piece!!! I love the idea of adding the marching soldiers to something else…or if you choose to finish it, that’s cool too…but it’s so BRITISH! I adore it!

    How lucky you are to have all of these pieces from a stitching grandmother…It’s been fun looking at them all..but this one…I LOVE!