There is a cushion at Hardwick Hall, detailed in Santina Levey’s “The Embroideries at Hardwick Hall“, which I have drooled over many times before (pictured here). Now that the Nordmark Kneeling Pads are finished, I thought I might make myself a cushion for use at events, and I want it to be unequivocally mine, so somehow incorporating my arms in the design.
My thought was to use the same materials, that is to say a very coarse hemp ground cloth and wool yarn (Nm 8/2), that I used on the kneeling pads. It would be quick, easy, practical and all things wooly and warm. Instead I read the details on the cushion in the book, rummaged through my stash of linen and pulled out a cut much much finer than the hemp, and my silk floss which I acquired last summer. The red is a luscious, scrumtious, deliciously deep red, which is basically what the original has. Done with long-armed cross stitch going up and down to cover the background. Sprinkled on the background on the original is oak leaves, on my cushion there will be seeblätter and laurel leaves. I was going to put my coat of arms in the centre, on top of all those seeblätter and leaves, but again the cushion at Hardwick has only the leaves in regimental lines.
So, there will be a cushion for me to sit on, worked with crimson silk, with green leaves and white seeblätter all over it, you know, eventually.
Working with the silk I need a much smaller needle than I have been using for the wool, but I only had sharps for this size – so I had to use the little needle-sharpening stone I bought at Cudgel War two years ago. It worked just as well to take the point off the needle, which will help me keep from splitting the thread while I’m working the long-armed cross stitch.
I might also just do one in wool, on the hemp, with my arms in the middle as well. You know. Eventually.