Christmas Tree-O(!) and disappointment

I settled down last night with my sewing and a mug of cocoa to watch the final episode in the BBC’s series “Fabric of Britain” called “The Wonder of Embroidery.”  I was expecting great things,  but sadly was left feeling a bit disappointed.  The whole 1 hour programme was devoted to looking at Opus Angelicanum (medieval English embroidery).  

Whilst it was wonderful to see the breath-taking workmanship in the surviving pieces (we lost over 95% of this work in the Reformation) I felt too much time was devoted to watching the presenter dressing in eccelesiastical robes and telling us how he felt wearing them, as well as clambering in and out of display cases and wandering around Italian cities.  I would have much preferred to take the story of English embroidery forward through time – and hope there might be more programming at a later date – come on BBC!!

But I did wonder what those stitchers from a thousand years ago might have made of the project I was working on yesterday evening!  It’s an easy, colourful design – not technically challenging at all – but lots of fun to stitch – and will make a great talking point at Christmas I think.  Here’s part one ….

Christmas is coming ...

 You can’t tell from the photo, but this is a massive (for me anyway) 12″ hoop that forms the bottom of the tree-O (groan!).  I had great fun raiding my grandma’s old button box for the tree decorations – and even the bear’s nose.  I’m working on the second hoop now and hope to be able to show you the finished project by the end of the weekend.  The Christmas Tree-O will be in the November issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine which will be published on Thursday 31 October, together with Robert the Red Nose Reindeer

Robert the red nose reindeer!

 and the second part of my Nativity set – so it’s shaping up to be a very festive issue!   


Oh I am so glad I wasn’t the only one who was very disappointed with last nights programme. It was interesting in its own way, but I was hoping for the embroideries of the thirties and forties when embroidery was the in hobby. But it is nice to know ‘proper’ embroider started here in Britain!

Love your picture.


Oh wow, the tree-o sounds very exciting. I like it a lot. Too bad the show was disappointing – I think most TV is like that these days, especially over here across the pond. Robert is wonderful too – love the background fabric

Lesley Walker

I do do agree. I’d really been looking forward to the programme. The embroidery they did show was beautiful, and I was interested in the way the split stitch had been used. I know it’s impossible to tell the embroidery story in just 30 minutes, but I felt the programme was more about the presenter than the stitching. Would it be too much to ask for a full series of embroidery to the present day, especially as it is becoming more and more popular? BBC gets it wrong again? Blessings


Strange that they only showed the that kind of embroidery, your country is so talented, and sooo much historical facts then just that part.
I have been in Lodon for a month in your country when i was studying on the artacademy textile art. So i understand your disappointments very well.
But i like your new work, well done , thank you for the sharing;-D


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