From occasion to name

It sounds like good common sense to make names descriptive, so that people know what they’re getting. And sometimes a descriptive name happens to be just right for a design, in which case I’m happy to use it. Even a partly descriptive name, like Midnight Stroll (which does have midnight colours and stars and a moon, but nothing to do with a walk) may seem better than one which appears to have no connection at all to the design.

Midnight Stroll

But sometimes designs are created for very specific occasions (they don’t always get used for the occasions that inspired them, but that’s another story); and in those cases, I like to somehow use the occasion in the name, even though it may not make much sense to anyone else. Will anyone who likes a particular design be put off by the fact that the name doesn’t sound very logical?

Some of my first designs were created for a course of beginners’ counted thread work that I taught at our local Adult Education centre, called the Percival Guildhouse. They were (you won’t be surprised by this), the Guildhouse needlebook and Percival. As it happens, by the time I had completed Percival to my satisfaction it had become far too complicated for the purpose, so I had to chart something simpler – this was Delft.

Guildhouse Percival

Another design that still shows its original purpose in its name but never got used for it is Lustrum. It’s not a very common word in English, but in Dutch it’s used for a celebration held every five years, especially to mark anniversaries; it’s usually universities or clubs, but it can be used for anything that has existed for five or a multiple of five years. As my husband and I celebrated five years of marriage in 2010, I wanted to design something to mark the occasion. This was Lustrum. It comes in two variations, one with shield-shaped bits of cutwork, and one with heart-shaped cutwork and room for initials and a date. I stitched the shield variation first, then chose the threads for the hearts-dates-and-initials version but never got round to stitching it … Perhaps in 2015?


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