Last details..

The birch besom leaning up against the fence rather caught my attention, because we had one when I was a little girl, and I’ve not seen another for years. Like all these low-tech looking things, it takes more to make one than you’d think, but they are good at what they’re good at.

They’re harder to make in stitches than you’d think, as well. I’ve used some fine unmercerised cotton, and some of that accursed stranded linen that DMC used to produce. Honestly, I’m all in favour of experimentation, but what one earth were they thinking? It’s ridiculously fragile, even on a fabric with huge holes, it’s uneven without being pretty, and it doesn’t even produce texture. But it was the colours I needed, and I didn’t want any shine…

At this point, I frolicked gently – it’s finished! – and took it off the frame.

Only to discover that, in fact, it wasn’t finished!

One colour of the chimney and a bit of one of the clouds remained unstitched. This wouldn’t have happened if I’d been working on it from the start, but as it was passed on by someone else, and I think, looking at the stitching, that at least two someones before me were involved, I’m not surprised to find bits missing. Fortunately, they weren’t hard to fix!

And now it really is finished! It’s turned out much better than it might have done, and it wants blocking and mounting in some way, but I think our local charity shop stands a chance of selling it once that’s done..

Update: my cousin is looking to furnish her office and has asked for it in return for a donation to my pet charity!


  1. Andy Lloyd Williams says:

    So pleased it is going to a good home after all that dedicated work. Not too many offices have hand embroidered items !

  2. It is looking fabulous. I didn’t know those brooms were called besoms, not too old to learn something new.

  3. Sue Jones says:

    Besoms are wonderful things. The have more uses than supporting witches on their jaunts. Yours is a very fine specimen.
    I am glad all your hard work will go somewhere to be seen and appreciated. You have made something very special of a mass-produced kit, given it’s people and animals character and stories. I wonder what future adventures they will have in it’s new home?

  4. Carolyn Foley says:

    You have turned this piece around. Congratulations.

  5. Lin says:

    You have done a great job on finishing that off and I am glad it is going to a good home. xx

  6. It has turned out much better than you thought because of all the clever solutions you’ve made and the hard work you have put into it.
    The mixture of stitches really makes it interesting and viewers will double-take to see what technique you have used.
    I love the twiggy broom, this kind is still very common in Japan.

  7. Amanda says:

    Well that turned out a bit good! So glad it has a home too.

  8. Penny Berens says:

    Hi Rachel
    Thank you so much for your sympathy.

    Ever since Blogger became so difficult to use, I have missed our chats! It is all my fault I suppose…just too old to adapt!

    But let me congratulate you on your Constable! My grand I loved canvas work as a child. My mother and I used to always have one on the go. In fact in later life she made many kneelers for the church. Her house too was full of cushions and stools covered in it. Lovely memories! And that is a particularly beautiful Constable. My grandparents used to have the ford crossing in the shade of a huge tree one (well a print!) over their walk in fireplace (coal of course!) in their thatched Kentish home. Lovely memories your canvas has brought up!

    Hope it’s not too hot for you. We saw the horrific fires on the news…my goodness.

  9. What a triumph, and so much better than it would have been if finished by others. You have really brought this to life.
    The besom is a thing of the past isn’t it, though I saw many still in use on my Uzbekistan trip, sweeping up the desert sands that blow in over the towns. I found myself wanting to bring one home, then imagined the airline baggage complications!