Talking textiles with a friend recently, I was reminded of this little bag which has been in my collection for many years. My friend is interested in historic embroidery and had attended a course where they had examined an antique sweet bag. This was the essential item for the fashionable young woman in Elizabethan England.
My bag is made up of smaller pieces stitched on to a lining of quite open weave linen. The main design is almost certainly meant to represent strawberries. Where there are grey patches, that is in fact metallic threads. The base fabric is yellowed with age - but could it be as old as it looks?
This has been an unusual year for us in terms of weather. In a normal year we would be able to eat supper out on our patio only a few times through the whole summer. The rarity made it a great treat. This year we have eaten out there almost constantly for several months, leaving our table and chairs in position ready for use. Enjoy it now, as it will never happen again, we feel.
Many years ago - it must be at least ten, or possibly fifteen - we bought a clematis from the village market and planted it to grow up through our pear tree. It was called Madame Grange, a lovely deep maroon. It flowered for a couple of years before failing to appear. For several years now,shoots have grown at the base of the pear, but have always come to nothing, certainly not flowers.
This year, I noticed a spray of buds. And now these flowers are opening, a wonderful, almost luminous maroon. Could it be the hot, dry conditions?