Fine Wool and Metal Thread

Gobelin-stitch motif inspired by the purse from the Minerva Sêrbu Petrascu Collection.
Purse courtesy of Evelyn Jonescu, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Antique brass box and needlecase courtesy of Loene McIntyre, Fort Collins, Colorado.
Photograph by Joe Coca. 

Minerva Sêrbu Petrascu was a brave and talented woman. She was born in the Transylvania district of Romania in 1883 to parents who operated three abandoned  Roman gold mines, a general store, and a saloon for miners. After studying at a private school in Sibiu, Romania, where she was taught knitting, crocheting, macramé, embroidery, and other needlework, she and her family emigrated to Saskatchewan, Canada.

Laid-fillings ornament. Designed by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson.
Photograph by Mary Staly Pridgen

Minerva represents one of those plucky women from centuries past whose remarkable lives we’ve been able to share in the pages of PieceWork. (Her story was published in the May/June 2003 issue.) And one of the finest aspects of Minerva’s remarkable life is her needlework. She was highly skilled in several embroidery techniques, and her family proudly retains a stunning collection of her work. One of the most fetching items in the collection is a purse with a lovely design intricately worked in Gobelin stitch with fine wool and metal thread. We included the instructions and charts to stitch the same motif from Minerva’s purse in the May/June 2003 issue.

That’s just one of the marvelous stories and companion projects that you’ll discover in PieceWork’s newest CD, The Best of Needlework Collection. Along with Minerva, you’ll learn about housewifes (the sewing kit kind!), embroidered caskets, and find instructions for embroidering a Korean bojagi, a stunning laid-fillings ornament, and dozens more needlework projects. It truly is the best of needlework!

Happy stitching,