Treasured gifts and memories

The weather was kind as we made our way over the Clisham yesterday for a textiles session at Harris House with Chris Hammacott.  Chris’s amazing husband Andrew made us some tea and left us a picnic of Bakewell tart and energy bars (in case we broke down in the snow), so we were well prepared for an afternoon of stitching and painting silks.

We passed around some silk painted cushions, some of the cushion and worry doll kits, a fantastically colourful quilt front made from scraps of much loved dresses from Chris’s Gran and Mother, a doll, plus some tweed cushions.

Chris worked on a silk painted cushion front in a bright poppy design, with a gentleman who was enjoying painting the bright colours. Another lady made a worry doll (and immediately tucked it away proudly to show her relative, who would be visiting later) and then shared her beautiful wedding photo with us, I remembered her story about buying a bale of Harris Tweed for her wedding dress and sitting for three hours, a labour of love, to pick out the black flecks to make it perfectly white. Maggie has recorded this beautiful story earlier in the blog. The fur trim on the incredible wedding dress is actually goose down!

I worked with a lady to outline a cockerel cushion – we made our way around about half of it before the session was over and it was time for tea. The lady explained to me that her eyesight had deteriorated, giving her a problem with depth perception, which affected her sewing but she was very interested to watch and enjoyed touching the design as it puffed up with the stitching.

Chris has taken the two cushions home to complete, and we booked another session for next Monday to return the cushions and work on a little more. I think that the cushions are going to be Christmas presents for much loved family members, which will no doubt be treasured.

One gentleman had a visitor while we were there and they left him a wonderful dog muff, which lent itself to some playful flirtation with Chris. ‘Give him a kiss’ and ‘would you like to warm your hands?’ followed by peals of laughter were heard from the ‘naughty’ corner.

The gentleman next to me was talking about the old Harris House and how the builders had done a fantastic job on this new one, and how he had survived the Western front in the 51st Highlanders but he didn’t think he would survive much longer without a cup of tea! That had to be the best request for tea that I have ever heard!

More images next Monday, when we deliver the completed cushions and make some duff.


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