Useful and Beautiful: Needlework in the Home

1. A Huck Towel to Embroider by Mary Polityka Bush. 2. A Book Cover in Crewl Embroidery to Stitch by Kathy Augustine. 3. Mama Waller’s Edging to Crochet by S. Melissa Winders. All photos by Joe Coca.

1. A Huck Towel to Embroider by Mary Polityka Bush. 2. A Book Cover in Crewl Embroidery to Stitch by Kathy Augustine. 3. Mama Waller’s Edging to Crochet by S. Melissa Winders. All photos by Joe Coca.

Two of the greatest ways we can preserve and honor our collective needlework traditions are to use the projects we make and hand down our needlecraft knowledge to future generations. William Morris is famous for stating, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” In the March/April 2016 issue of PieceWork we take this sentiment to heart as we shift our gaze to the domestic, the textile treasures found within our homes.

Delight in Elizabeth Terry’s embroidered coverlet. Discover how influential furniture designer Gustav Stickley welcomed needlework and textiles into the fold of his iconic brand. Reminisce with Mary Polityka Bush about her mother’s lovingly embroidered huck “show towels” with tatted lace edgings. Admire the whimsy of Susie Whitehead Waller’s playful embroidered dresser cloths and pillowcases with crochet edgings. Uncover the true identities behind some of the most well-known nineteenth-century needlework authors. Bond with a beloved child, and pass down not only a skill, but instill a lifelong appreciation for making.

Connect with needleworkers past by stitching your own huck show towel. Embroider a book cover for a vintage copy of Thérèse de Dillmont’s Encyclopedia of Needlework. Add a fanciful lace edging to a guest’s pillowcase. All this and more are in the March/April 2016 issue. Find a favorite cozy chair and dive in.

Happy stitching!
Elizabeth