Sunday, 13 July 2014


bk karlsdotter

In the spring, I borrowed some books from Dereham Library about Scandinavian embroidery – and one of them inspired me to find out more about this lady - Brita Kajsa Karlsdotter. She lived a hard life where the struggle for bread and food was her most important task each day. She had eleven children, and was good and generous. Her strong religious beliefs gave her strength through the difficulties she met in her every day life.

Often, her embroideries are signed with the letters ÄRTHG which means All The Glory Belongs To God. Brita was very poor. The material she used for table cloths were pieces of used sheet - recycling - återvinning - gjenbruk - even in the 1800s! She picked the part of the sheet that was in the best condition. More, she picked out the red cotton threads of an old towel to use for embroidering. Her inspiration was from the nature in her surroundings.Pine trees, and Swedish summer wild flowers. In old age, she could stitch, but was unable to see to thread the needles- so visitors were asked to prepare needles with lengths of red thread, so she could stitch them up later! I mention this as a note to my family for future reference.

52-projects_thumb6 As part of my 52 Projects, I picked up a lovely old cream woollen blanket from the Sue Ryder Shop in Dereham for just £3, and I decided to embroider each corner with Swedish style designs.

It is traditional to put one’s maiden name on such work – but I’ve just put AMH – my initials before marriage. Sydd ar mig is Swedish for Stitched by Me - and because I acknowledge that all my stitching skills are a gift, I have put Brita’s ÄRTHG  motto as well. Much Scandinavian stitchery uses blue as well as red wools – so I have done that [many of the Cornerstones furnishings are red/white/blue]

swedish blanket

I finished the blanket on Thursday afternoon after my post –op doze, and on Friday, Bob whisked me off to Cornerstones for 24 hours [convalescing for me, grass cutting for him] The blanket is now draped on the sofa, ready for Country Living or Kirstie Allsopp to come and photograph it, in all its stylish beauty.

ÄRTHG  perfectly sums up my feelings about our little bungalow, so it seems quite appropriate that my blanket should live there!


  1. The embroidery on your blanket is beautiful.

  2. It's perfect, just right for Cornerstones. Kirstie would be thrilled!

  3. Just catching up in blogland! Love the story!

  4. I hope visitors ask about the meaning behind the embroidery.
    Jane x

  5. Pretty! You're such a good time manager, embroidering while recovering from your tooth surgery.

  6. It's beautiful and love the initials...what a legacy!

  7. Lovely! And I so love the idea of signing one's work ARTHG.



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