The Book of Fine Linen

August 26, 2010

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Françoise de Bonneville has put together a lovely book tracing the history of household linens for a bride’s trousseau. The photographs are beautiful and the content is quite interesting. There are only five chapters in the entire book beginning with the vanishing tradition of the trousseau  and ending with the ornamentation of these various textiles; where “fine linen becomes extraordinary”.  This coffee table style book would be a nice addition to your collection and can be obtained through the usual on-line sources. 

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Social Fabric

August 24, 2010

I am a visual learner which fits well with my love of needlework. It also serves me well since I spend a great deal of time in front of a computer. Very recently I found Social Fabric on the Textile Museum of Canada website. It’s an on-line community where visitors to the virtual and physical museum can share stories, information and ask questions related to textiles. Pieces from the museum’s permananet collection are used as prompts. It’s super easy to participate, fun and educational! Click here to get started.

More Molas

August 19, 2010

I found this video on YouTube that documents life on Kuna Yala. There are several shots of the Indian women sewing molas. I think you’ll really enjoy watching it. (Please note that in the video is a shot of the Kuna Yala flag which features a prominent swastika. I checked several websites and learned that this is an ancient Kuna cultural symbol. Over the years there have been attempts to “de-Nazify” it.)

 

Photo courtesy of Textile Museum of Canada

If someone says Panama someone else, undoubtedly, will say Canal. Without diminishing its’ importance, there is much more to Panama besides connecting the Atlantic and Pacific. Textile Museum of Canada is exhibiting 200 molas through February 13, 2011. The mola, or blouse, is made by Kuna Indians in Kuna Yala, Panama. The graphic panels done in reverse applique and embroidery represent everything the Kuna see around them “from ancient plant and animal spirits to reimagined television news and Disney characters.” Click Textile Museum of Canada to read more about the show and the really fascinating history of the Kuna.

My friend Lindy is an extraordinary needle artist. The first time I met her she was wearing a sweatshirt upon which she cross stitched a vintage Santa Claus (large enough to cover the front of the shirt). She used waste canvas to do this. I tried to channel Lindy’s skills as I struggled with my tiny flower. Waste canvas is not the easiest  material to use and, even with all of my years of stitching experience, I had not stitched with it before now. That’s one of the many things I really enjoy about this Basic Counted thread course. It’s forcing me to try things I normally wouldn’t try. I seriously doubt that I will ever stitch a large Santa Claus but a small flower, here or there, maybe so.

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I wasn’t sure I would like this book because I’m always a little apprehensive about price guides; especially one  published in 1999. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Elizabeth Kurella writes about a variety of textiles organized into three groups: vintage fashion, home furnishings and “fabrics of society” (e.g. flages, feed sacks and samplers). She even includes information on those unfinished items we’ve all found at flea markets and antique malls. This book is dedicated to the appreciation of vintage textiles and Kurella teaches the reader how to look at a textile, what to concentrate on and what each feature means. If you want to learn to “read” your vintage pieces this book is a good place to start. It is available from the usual on-line retailers.

Quaker Gone Tropic

August 9, 2010

Photo courtesy of Michelle Ink Designs

I saw the chart for this sampler the other day in my local needlework shop. The purist in me thought it bordered on sacrilege! The more I thought about it, though, I decided the essence of Ackworth combined with the colors and motifs of the tropics might be just the thing to help today’s youth embrace the needlearts.

Within the world of Facebook I am a wallflower. I have a total of 27 friends…seriously. Of course, I have a strict criteria that I follow when deciding if I want to be someone’s friend. I must know the person for a minimum of 30 years or be related by blood or marriage; all of which means I’m pretty tight with my 27 friends.

Since I don’t spend a lot of time keeping up with everyone’s activities of daily living I do have time to keep up with some of my favorite websites that also support Facebook pages. For example, I receive all the latest news about The Textile Museum and Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles. It’s a quick and easy way of keeping up with what’s going on which, afterall,  is the point of Facebook whether you have lots of friends or just 27!

A Homespun Life

August 3, 2010

Photo courtesy of The Museum of Russian Art

Here’s one for Tuesday Night Trivia. There is only one museum in North America devoted exclusively to the preservation and presentation of Russian art and artifacts. The Museum of Russian Art is located in Minneapolis, MN. On display until September 26 is A Homespun Life: Textiles of Old Russia. This show features everything from towels to garments produced by Russian peasant spinners, weavers and dressmakers. Click here for more details and to view a slide show of some of the featured items.

New Month New Beginnings

August 1, 2010

You’re probably expecting to see the usual “first of the month” post since it is the first of the month; but, I decided to shake things up a bit…to keep you (and me) on our respective toes. Today I début a slightly different version of This Needlework of Mine. It occurred to me that, while  I’ve spent the last 13 months bringing you information about antique and vintage needlework, I’ve never really connected it to the present or the future. Now it’s time to connect those dots. You will still see the book reviews and needlework exhibit posts but also look for more posts like the ones on Jennifer Cecere and World of Good and Liberty of London fabrics. And, of course I will post regularly on the projects I’m working on.

I will also post things I’ve found on Facebook and YouTube. You would be surprised what’s out there. I know I was! I’m still passionate about the history of needlework and how it has shaped us but it’s time I take that rich history, bring it to the present and move it towards the future.

Enjoy y’all!!