Visit to Chawton House

The Stitch Off

The Stitch Off

You may recall that I’ve written several times about the Great Lady’s Magazine Stitch Off. A good many of us found our Twitter timelines more fun and more colourful for several months, while we played with the designs and watched each other play with them. Some of those pieces (including my pashmina) then went on display at Chawton House Library, as part of their exhibition “Emma At 200“.

And last week, I finally got to Chawton House to see the Exhibition!

Chawton House itself is interesting, but instead of being simply a respectable country residence, it now houses a library which is a genuine scholar’s resource, as well as containing displays about women writers and even one about Jane Austen’s publisher (a man she described, in a letter to her sister Cassandra, as “a rogue, but a civil one“).

And a wonderful, oak-panelled room, full of Stitch Off delights. I was particularly pleased to find that everyone’s pieces looked better than when I saw them on Twitter, accompanied by apologetic indicators of Where I Went Wrong. There were exquisite renditions in period-appropriate techniques and materials, and there were completely different pieces using modern techniques and materials, some even machine stitched using computer controlled sewing machines, some finished pieces, and some simply presented, either laced over card or even still in the hoops they may have been worked in. They all looked wonderful – a real treat!

Me with my pashmina, photographed by Darren Bevin

Me with my pashmina, photographed by Darren Bevin

And I found my pashmina, draped over a chair….

The photograph was taken by Darren Bevin, the librarian at Chawton House Library, and has already appeared on Twitter. We missed a trick, in fact – I should have picked it up and swept it around my shoulders, as I will when I get it back again!


  1. jenclair says:

    What a wonderful experience! The pic of you and your pashmina is great, and I’m glad the photo includes the signboard with the information about the event.

  2. Lady Fi says:

    How exciting! And such a lovely shot of you.

  3. Penny Baugh says:

    What a beautiful display. I loved seeing you with your pashmina. Stitchery like captures my heart — its filled with passion and perfection — great combination!

  4. Dima says:

    Beautiful display! I wish I could have seen it in person.

  5. Aaaargh – or some such exclamation of frustration!! When we were in Hampshire,although we went through Chawton twice, we didn’t visit Jane Austen’s house, as we went last time we were there. If I had only known about the exhibition!! Lovely to see your photo, now I can picture you when I read your blog (when I first met my Melbourne quilting chums, they were delighted to hear my accent, so they could “hear” me as they read my blog!!).

  6. Catherine says:

    How lovely! And what a wonderful place for the exhibition – I will try and get there to see it! So many beautiful things to marvel over. I agree – the photo of you and your pashmina is wonderful! I look forward to seeing it draped over your shoulders!

  7. Cynthia says:

    What fun! I can’t wait to see the pashmina on you.

  8. Carolyn says:

    OMG how fantastic. That pashmina looks wonderful and think of the memories it will now hold. All that history, wonderful.

  9. Terrie says:

    What a great exhibition and great shot of your pashmina. Lovely to see you charming lady.

  10. Lin says:

    How lovely to go to an exhibition to see a piece of your own work. Great photograph and lots of beautiful pieces of work to look at. xx

  11. Indeed a moment of pride!! Was that top worn by you also embroidered ?

  12. Anita says:

    It must have been a wonderful experience. Both the panels by Penny Gore and Mary Martin looks fabulous.

  13. Melissa says:

    Stunning pashmina! And lovely photo, too!

  14. Karen says:

    how wonderful to see your work placed in that setting. It looks as if it has always lived there, beautiful….

  15. Jillayne says:

    Oh, what a great thing to be a part of – it all looks quite wonderful, and you look very happy in the photo standing by your pashmina – would have loved to see one of you with it “swirled”, but perhaps another time.