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As I mentioned in my last post, we had our family Christmas celebration early as I was visiting Canberra last week. My family doesn’t go overboard at Christmas, and handmade gifts aren’t uncommon. This year I made a few – shawls for my mother and my sisters, socks for my Dad, and my brother-in-law got 1.5 socks! (He laughed when he opened the parcel 🙂 And I will have them finished by the time he and my sister call in here in a few days, on their way to Queensland.) My niece made beaded jewellry for several gifts, including a lovely red necklace for me.

My parents gave me a beautiful gift, which means a lot to me:

Embroidery by Martha Rudge

My maternal grandmother, Martha Rudge (1900-1963), like many women of her generation, sewed and knitted out of necessity, but also embroidered many items to decorate her home. She passed away not long after I was born, but my mother still used various tray cloths and aprons that Grandma had made. After fifty-plus years of use, they were getting well-worn, so, rather than just tossing them out, my mother ‘rescued’ the embroidery from several pieces and had them framed as gifts for various family members. Mine is from one end of a tray-cloth; I love it for many reasons – its simple beauty, the connection with my grandmother, and the reminder of seeing it and other pieces of handwork made by her and my mother while I was growing up.  I couldn’t carry a glass-framed item on the (small) planes I travelled home on, but my sister will be driving past here in a few days, and she will bring it with her. I’m not sure where I’ll hang it yet, but I’ll decide before she arrives!

For those interested in the stitches, here’s a close-up:

Embroidery detail (Martha Rudge 1900-1963)



May 2018
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