Mystery Finished

Remember this?

I found it on the blocking board and decided that it would be Finished And Done this year.

One of the reasons I didn’t persevere with it the last time I found it was that I was rather daunted by redrawing the bits of the transfer which had worn away while it was hidden – or maybe not transferred properly in the first place.

In particular, the bottom row was a procession of Horse Guards, and horses are rather tricky to draw. I was interested to find that the past few years of working on my painting and drawing had made me much more calm in the face of that particular challenge. I don’t say my horses are particularly good, but they don’t look like elephants, and I count that a win!

I also decided that, since there was no way I could reconstruct the way the design was intended to be done, I would do something different, so all my additions are line stitched.

Apart from the border, which as you see I have blanket stitched to create the effect of one of those striped borders some banners have. Another alteration was to make the faces of the troupers a variety of different shades. A few years ago I might have picked one shade and used it for all of them, more concerned with pattern than verisimilitude, but our Armed Forces have never been restricted to white Britons, and now I am more concerned not to obliterate that service in the name of Design.

And it was finished before the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. If, as I half-suspect, it was a magazine design for the Coronation, I managed to finish it within the 70 years of her reign.


  1. Sue Jones says:

    That has worked very well. The Horse Guards are particularly fine. I remember that my first piece of cross stitch, at school, aged 6, was a row of guardsmen in busbies, in wool on deep green Binca. They all had identical salmon pink faces, with bright red mouths. Even then, I thought it was a shame they weren’t a bit more varied. Assuming yours was for the coronation, 70 years waiting to be finished. That’s a very patient piece of linen!

  2. Lin says:

    The horses look very splendid! Lovely to have it finished after all the time and at an appropriate moment too. xx

  3. Your horses do certainly not look like elephants!
    Even if this is a simple design you have put a lot of thought into it, with the soldiers, the Blanket Stitch border, and by accident, the timing!
    many memories have been stitched here.

  4. I’m glad you managed to finish it within the Queen’s reign. I like the row of horses in particular.

  5. Carolyn Foley says:

    I love that horse guard, they will gallope right out of the embroidery. It was meant to be that your finished it when you did.

  6. How lovely to have finished this at such an emotive time. You have done a lovely job, and your horses look very fine indeed. Well done you!!

  7. Karen says:

    A very timely finish, and it looks marvellous