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& Illustrations

PieceWork Back Issue

May/June 2001


On the Cover:
A mat for a picture frame
decorated with Mountmellick
embroidery, designed and
stitched by Martha Skeen
Photograph by
Mary Staley Pridgen

Editor's letter
By Post
Letters from readers
Book Marks
Books of interest
Product News
Needlework supplies
Upcoming events

The new and noteworthy




Painted with Thread:
The Art of American Embroidery: Embroidered Dog Portrait
Pets were popular subjects for needlework in the nineteenth century. The threads on this pet portrait, stitched sometime between 1840 and 1860 by an unknown maker and now on display at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, were combed and then carefully trimmed to produce a textured surface.
Paula Bradstreet Richter

Mary Card in America and England
Mary Card’s career as a designer of fine crochet patterns led her to New York City in 1917, where her patterns were published in Needlecraft magazine. Tiring of city life, she relocated in the 1920s to a cottage outside London whose woodland setting inspired a series of nature motifs. Mary Card's early life in Australia is recounted in the January/February 2001 issue.
Barbara Ballantyne

Nålbinding—From the Iron Age to Today
The venerable craft of nålbinding or “needle stitching” has been used since as early as 500 make everything from mittens and stockings to milk strainers and pot scrubbers.
Nancy Bush

Two Tales from One Box of Needlework
A dresser scarf worked in Mountmellick embroidery by her great-grandmother led the author to discover the parallel histories of this whitework technique and her own family.
Martha Skeen Schmidt

Angelina’s Treasure Chest
Twenty-year-old Angelina Delli Venneri Santucci brought a trunkful of hand-stitched trousseau linens to New York City when she emigrated from Italy in 1913. Because Angelina had little use for such luxury in her new life, the linens remain in virtually new condition today. Angelina’s needlework skills provided income during the Great Depression and served her throughout her life.
Deborah Dwyer

The Embroidery of the Russian Old Believers
The distinctive costumes of Old Believers feature brightly colored embroidery on shirts, dresses, and aprons. Since the seventeenth century, communities of Old Believers fleeing religious persecution have migrated throughout Europe, Asia, and North and South America. Although the many groups lost contact with each other, they maintained the same religious beliefs, customs, and modes of dress.
Kathe Todd-Hooker


Things to Make

An Arabesque Tablecloth to Crochet
Mary Card first published this filet crochet pattern in 1917 in her Crochet Book No. 4: Filet Crochet.The project was adapted and crocheted by Barbara Ballantyne.

A Möbius Scarf to Nålbind
Nålbinding, a craft that is more than 2,000 years old, uses wool yarn and a single needle to form loops that produce a structure similar to knitting. This scarf pattern uses a single nålbinding stitch and is suitable for novice nålbinders.
Designed and nålbinded by Rudy Amman; nålbinding instructions by Nancy Bush.

Padded Mat in Mountmellick Embroidery
Martha Skeen Schmidt developed this grapevine motif worked in Mountmellick embroidery from a dresser scarf made by her great-grandmother in the late nineteenth century.

Wessex Stitchery: Tenth Wedding Anniversary Memory Pocket
Wessex Stitchery (Georgeson, 2000), by Gay Eaton, explores the history and techniques of this embroidery form developed in England in the early twentieth century. Dunstan stitch patterns are featured in this project developed exclusively for PieceWork readers.

A Floral Motif in Russian Punch-Needle Embroidery
Punch-needle embroidery, worked primarily from the back of the fabric to leave a raised motif on the front, comprises much of the decorative stitching on Old Believer clothing. Gail Bird adapted and stitched this project from a traditional Old Believer design.


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