A guest blog by Ame Verso
Daughter of the late best-selling stitching and craft book author, Jo Verso
I count myself fortunate to have craft in my blood. My mother, Jo Verso, was a legend of the craft world, the queen of stitching. She was a bestselling author of craft books throughout the 1980s and 90s. She was killed tragically in a car accident ten years ago, but her legacy remains not only in print, but also in her daughter’s love of all things handmade.
When my beautiful, talented mother died, I was living in Exeter, recently graduated from a drama degree and cutting my editorial teeth by self-publishing a local ‘what’s on’ magazine. At that point, I had not discovered my love of craft – it was something frankly uncool that my mum did, and I almost actively rejected it on those grounds. Oh how that would change as I gained in years! Scattered across different parts of the country, myself in Devon, my sister in the North West, my step-siblings in various forgotten parts, we gave ourselves just 48 hours to clear my mother’s house when it was sold. Her workroom – a treasure trove of haberdashery – was cleared in one sorry afternoon. With no interest whatsoever in stitching or crafting, a lifetime’s collection of buttons, beads, ribbons, threads, yarns and fabrics were tossed into the skip of the local recycling centre, a deed that today has become one of my greatest regrets in life and sends a shudder through my whole body at the thought – a crime against craft of the highest degree.
By some miracle, probably because my husband (then boyfriend) loves antiques, I saved this beauty – a vintage Dewhurt’s Sylko thread carousel, presumably once used in an old-fashioned haberdashers for stitching threads. It has become one of my most treasured possessions and houses a rainbow of sewing threads that I now covet more than any of the trash I was into when The Crime was committed. So, thank you mum, for this, for the Memory Craft 7500 sewing machine, and for everything you ever did for me. I only wish you were here to show you what I have created with them.