My weekend away was spent with my friend Kay at her holiday home in Caloundra. We have been friends for a long time, since about 1974 in fact. She married the best friend of my husband and we lived in North Queensland at the same time they did and then the year after we moved to Brisbane they moved here also. We had our children at about the same time and they are God Parents to our children as we are to theirs. We have a great deal of history together. Kay came to Australia from the USA but she grew up in Jamaica and still has that wonderful accent. Her ancestors came from Portugal and settled in Jamaica in the 1600's . I couldn't believe that she lived on a cattle station there.
She set the table for morning tea, scones with jam and cream, with place mats that her Aunt had sent her from Jamaica when she got married. I was interested because they were all embroidered and she said that they were from Kingston and embroidered by the local people.
All the edges are hand hemstitched as well.
I couldn't find any mention of them being available today but I did find a set on Etsy and 'vintage set' on EBay They are really charming and the human figures are a combination of applique and embroidery.
The man with the bunch of bananas got us all singing Harry Belafonte's 'Banana Boat' song and then Kay told us that she shared a room with his sister at boarding school!
The tropical flowers are all ones that we knew.
But I have never heard of Lignum vitae She said these are flowers from a tree the locals called "Wood of Life." It is also the national flower of Jamaica.
So it would appear that something that was readily available is now quite rare. I wonder if there is any other type of embroidery being done in Jamaica?