Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Blog #18 - A Needlework Journey

Friday,  31 October 2014  -

This blog is not about myself but about a very special
needlework customer who has become a lovely friend.
This is her needlework journey -
its healing balm and its legacy for herself and her family
and for generations to come.
Linda and her husband, Campbell, have granted me permission
to share their story and Linda’s needlework journey with you. 
When they sent me the photos of Linda’s needlework piece they wrote,
“Very happy for you to use this however you would like. 
Hope people get some enjoyment out of viewing it”.

Linda’s story began with the devastating earthquake
that destroyed so many homes and shattered so many lives
in Christchurch in 2010.
As a reminder of this time Linda decided to stitch a sampler
and the design she chose when visiting the Needlework Gallery was -
Margreet Beemsterboer’s Sampler of Motifs From Marken
published by Jacqueline Holdsworth of Needleprint in the UK.
I no longer have any patterns available for sale,
but you can purchase them directly from Needleprint.
Their contact details are below and so too, their interesting blog address -
Website:     /     Email:
A little history of the sampler bands -
Vernaaide linten, embroidered in cross stitches with black yarn,
were an important feature of the large caps women wore on Marken.
(Marken is no longer the island in the Zuiderzee it once was.
It is a peninsula, joined to the mainland of Holland
by a narrow causeway). 
Each family, in fact, each woman had her own pattern -
it was part of her dowry - and the pattern was guarded
and handed down as if it were the family jewels. 
Mothers taught embroidery to their daughters, and when a girl
reached the age of around 15 years old she started
to embroider vernaaide linten of her own.
The Markers still value their family vernaaide linten,
but the costume is not commonly worn every day on Marken any more.
Instead it is worn for tourists and on high days and holidays
such as the Queen’s birthday.
The bands often bear the owner’s initials and are sometimes
dated and the initial letters are framed by
“Spaanse Oogjes”  (Spanish eyelets).
Lengths vary but measure approximately 50 - 60cm.
The width changed over the years. 
Earlier ribbons are only 1.5cm wide, later the ribbons became wider.
Here is a pic of stitched bands
decorating a set of beautiful nesting boxes.
Please Note: 
Marken content
and images
used with permission
Jacqueline Holdsworth
of Needleprint
Thank you, Jacqueline.
This is what Linda wrote when she sent her sampler images
to me on the 4th of September 2014 -
“Today is the day I picked up my sampler.
I’m so pleased, can’t believe that I have stitched it and finished it.
But to get to this stage has been great therapy. 
It is hard to believe that this journey started four years ago. 
Tonight we will have a hanging ceremony. 
We are just starting to feel that recovery is in sight”. 
Linda also wrote -
“I feel very honoured that you want to show my sampler.
I changed the colours to represent liquefaction grey
and the other colour was for the golden river,
as all the sewerage ended up in it.
It has certainly been a journey, lots of life challenges on the way.
The pattern was a perfect choice as all the bands are broken
and the backstitch pattern reminds me of the Richter Scale”.
A few of the special features Linda has added to the original design -
1. Replaced the words, vernaaide linten van Marken with ‘Christchurch’
2. Added a personal note -
     This sampler was stitched to record the events of 2010 and 2011
     that changed the lives of the good people of Christchurch forever. 
     In April 2012 this family joined the migration
     after more than 10,000 earthquakes.
     We moved to a new life in Nelson.
     November 2013 we sold our small slice of Christchurch.
3. She also added the dates, times and magnitude
     of the most significant earthquakes -
     4 September 2010  :  6.35am  :  7.1
     22 February 2011  :  12.51pm  :  6.3
     13 June 2011  :  2.20pm  :  6.3
     23 December 2011  :  1.58pm  :  5.8
Linda - your sampler is wonderful, and the vision you had to create it
truly awesome and inspiring.

Thank you for allowing me to share your story.
Love to you, Campbell and Lauren.
May the wounds of your experience continue to heal and your lives
be filled with blessings from above.
Sherelyn  xx