100 Hearts Project

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2018 marked the anniversary of 100 years since the end of WW1. To mark this occasion, the Embroiderers’ Guild joined with the Soldiers, Sailors and Air Force Association (SSAFA) to make Hearts, similar to the ‘Sweetheart Pincushions’ that the men on the front made for their ‘sweethearts’ back home. Members of our branch thought this to be a worthwhile project and have participated. They could choose whether to make 6″ or 12″ hearts and in red, blue or dark blue. The designs were up to them, whatever they felt inspired to make. Each heart tells a different story and is very personal – please read on…..



Click here for more information from the Embroiderers’ Guild website and here for information from the SSAFA website

Wendy says – ‘My inspiration came from the war artists and their interpretation of the war.’

Veronica says – ‘I was inspired to do a heart for my grandfather, Edward who was killed at Armentieres in France in January 1916.

I am not very good at ‘free’ embroidery so therefore, I decided that ‘my heart’ needed to be simple. I have used black cotton cross stitches on red 28tpi evenweave fabric for the lettering before stitching that fabric onto the red felt. A poppy label badge and his regimental lapel badge complete the front of my heart.

The reverse has his birth and death dates on it along with his regimental number.

The white beads round the front and back edge of the heart, represent the pins they used to use when they made ‘sweetheart’ pincushions.’

Dianne says – ‘This heart is in memory of Walter Francis Packer who sailed as a ship’s cook throughout the war, survived and died age 85.
Photos of merchant navy badge were combined. Stitched with Anchor Perlé 3, appliqué ribbon and purchased cord. Names of ships and dates served.’

Toni’s heart is for all the animals lost in conflict.
‘Using the red felt, I decided to create the silhouette of a horse and soldier and that then inspired me to write the poem which is all my own work. The poem can be read from ‘the soldier’ or ‘the horses’ point of view.’

‘We will remember them’

Jackie says – 
’My inspiration was ‘In Flanders Fields’, by John McCrae. The simple verses tell the story, and the cost of warfare to those who are left behind. My design is simple, intended to invoke memories, experience the loneliness of the burial place and give encouragement to those who continue to fight – in all wars since.’

Evelyn’s heart is called ‘First Use of Tanks – Somme 1916’ and is in memory of her grandfather – James Rennie Dawn, Gordon Highlanders.

I used beads to represent the rivets on the tank. The badge is the emblem of the Royal Tank Regiment. Their motto is “Fear Naught”. I used metal shells on the heart to represent the armament by the tank. I kept my stitches simple – blanket stitch and oversewing.

I printed the illustration of the tank on paper, which is fragile and easily damaged, as were the men who fought in tanks in WW1.

Kathleen says -
’The Royal Engineers Badge is in memory of my Grandfather who had a withering leg but was clerical staff in the Royal Engineers.’

Techniques used 
The Union flag – cross stitch, Royal Engineers badge printed on silk, back stitched in gold thread, aircraft used by the Royal Flying Corps – cross stitch on painted cloth, poppy field in remembrance – embroidered with chain stitch, French knots, back stitch and stem stitch. On the back are copies of pages in an old autograph book.

Karen says –  “I wanted to commemorate my grandparents who were married around the time of the end of WW1. I have a large number of old family photographs and chose to use one of my paternal grandparents on their wedding day in 1917, and one of each of my maternal grandparents as I don’t have any wedding photos of them, just a compliments slip with their names and the date of their wedding. Both grandfathers are in their army uniforms.
I transferred the images onto cotton poplin photo fabric and added the lettering in the shape of a heart. I felt this would be clearer than embroidering it on. 
I used organza ribbon, blue twist and lace made by my great aunt to add to the decoration and union flag being the heart. The little blue flowers stitched using lazy daisy stitch are meant to represent forget-me-nots. The lace trapped in the seam is a modern French cotton lace.
 Fortunately for me, all four grandparents survived both WW1 and WW2. They went on to have four sons and two daughters between them.”

Muriel has called her heart ‘Live Bait Squadron’.

It is in memory of her grandfather, James E. Horn who served on HMS Aboukir, along with HMS Hogue and HMS Cressy, torpedoed on 22 September 1914 with a loss of 1459 men and boys.

Dorothy’s heart is in memory of Alfred Frank Piper torpedoed aboard the hospital ship ‘Asturias’ on 20|3|1917.

Simple naval colours, knots for decoration.

Anita’s heart is in memory of all those who fought in WW1.

Sue says –
‘In memory of Edward Mullery – my husband’s great grandfather and Wilhelm Klingmann, an officer in the German army – my friend’s great grandfather. They both died in battle.

I wanted to dedicate the heart to someone on each side of the conflict – using a poppy theme, where drops of blood turn the poppy red. 
As I am a ‘new embroiderer’ I just used very simple blanket and running stitches and chain stitches, felt and beads.’

North Kent Embroiderers’ Guild is affiliated to the Embroiderers’ Guild