The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 1
The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 2
The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 3
The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 4
The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 5


RSN Silk Shading Assessment

Yesterday morning I got an email that made me VERY HAPPY! Kelley Aldridge, my RSN teacher, sent me the assessment of my silk shading piece. The subject line read “Assessments Marks!” and the message was short “Well done you…”

I passed with Merit earning a 78% on my piece! Whew! The silk shading piece was by far the most difficult, so I wasn’t confident of how well I’d done.

The comments are absolutely accurate and will help me do a higher quality silk shading piece in the future.

The comment I agreed with 100% is that the color of silk I chose for the background was too near in color to the flower itself. “A more contrasting color would have shown the embroidery off more – this does not have to be a strong color, just slightly more different to the embroidery shades themselves.”

Another point was that the stitch length in the largest petal was sometimes too long. The advice “take care when working in a large area that you do not increase the length of your stitches too much.” is good.

As for the color of the flower – something I got a lot of comments about here – “White is notoriously difficult to shade – you have made a very good attempt!” Hooray!

Completely finished!

The final comment by the two assessors:

“This is a very pretty piece, well worked and a lovely first attempt at silk shading. Well done!”

A very happy lady is sitting in Berlin right now!


Ecclesiastical Embroidery at Halberstadt Cathedral

A few weeks ago we had a long weekend and decided to take a trip into the Harz region. The Harz mountains are about two and a half hours by car southwest of Berlin. We specifically went for two reasons: to enjoy riding on the Harz Schmalspurbahn and to see the amazing ecclesiastical embroidery in Halberstadt at the cathedral.

I had a wonderful time riding on the train up the mountain. Until we got to the very top and it got too cold, I stood outside on the platform between the cars. Riding through the forest and watching the world go by while listening to the sound of the steam engine was simply magical! If you want to read more about that part of our trip, please click here.


The highlight of the trip for me was, of course, our visit to Halberstadt Cathedral to see the ecclesiastical embroidery. Halberstadt was a very rich episcopal see of the Bishopric of Halberstadt, established by the Emperor Charlemagne in 804.

The cathedral is notable among those in northern European towns in having retained its medieval treasury in virtually complete condition. Among its treasures are the oldest surviving tapestries in Europe, dating from the 12th century.

The collection has grown over a period of 1000 years, specifically for liturgical use. The current inventory numbers about 600 different objects, of which approximately 300 are textiles. The objects range in period from the 5th through to the 18th century and it is one of the most important collection of medieval vestments. In addition to a nearly 1000 year old Cope, the collection
includes Romanesque tapestries that are the oldest and best preserved in Europe.



Above is a photo of the Halberstadt Cathedral. If you click on the photo you will be taken to my Flickr album and see all of the photos I took of the embroidery. It was dimly lit inside the exhibition to keep the textiles in good condition and, naturally, using a flash was not permitted.The photos were all taken with my iPhone 5 using an app called Camera+. This app allows you to adjust the exposure as you’re taking the photo which is how I got such good images in dim light. Sometimes technology really amazes me!

While we were in the Harz, we stayed in Wernigrode where there is a beautiful castle high, high up on the hill. The castle was built and occupied by the Earls of Stolberg and date from the 12th century.


It’s quite an imposing building and seems to grow out of the rocks. The views from the courtyard are breathtaking, looking down over the town and the mountains beyond.


If you ever have the chance to visit this part of Germany, I highly recommend it!


Pausing to play with my needle

Sometimes I just need to stitch. Needing to stitch is different from wanting to stitch. And this kind of needing isn’t about having to finish a project for a deadline.


This kind of needing is about putting myself into a calm, focused, peaceful place.  Sometimes the color of the thread helps: blue is a calm color; add green and it becomes peaceful.


There’s a lot going on in our lives right now, almost all of it positive. The excitement of my upcoming online class, the end of the school year