Keeping Needlework's Flame Alive

I was at the photo shoot week before last for PieceWork’s upcoming 2nd edition of The Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits, and the photostylist asked me about Piecework’s history. You know, I was off and running!

Here’s some of what I told her about PieceWork: We celebrated the magazine’s 20th anniversary with the September/October 2013 issue. Over the years, we’ve covered the prosaic (mending samplers in various issues) as well as the esoteric (the Pearly Kings and Queens of London; July/August 1997); the stories have been poignant (the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; September/October 1993), inspiring (a wedding dress from a World War II parachute; January/February 2014), and entertaining (Rattlesnake Kate; March/April 2000). We’ve featured all forms of needlework from knitting, needlepoint, embroidery, crochet, quilting, quillwork, sashiko, nålbinding, and horsehair hitching to Yap Lace.

September/October 1993 July/August 1996 September/October 2000

Linda Ligon, founder of Interweave and now creative director, started PieceWork in 1993 for those who care about handwork and value its past and present roles in the ongoing human story. This has been and is still PieceWork’s mission.

May/June 2012
January/February 2014

(Told you I was off and running—this may have been a tad more than our stylist wanted to hear!)

We’ll continue to bring you PieceWork’s distinctive treatment of the elements that make up a handwork tradition—who did it, how it was done, and why—in future issues, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I’d like to share some words from Anna Kuczma, then eighty-two and a master embroiderer from Ukraine who was profiled in the premier issue of PieceWork in 1993: “For me, embroidering is good. I forget many bad times and I look at the work and know from where I come, and I continue.”

Thank you for continuing and for the role you play in keeping needlework’s flame alive!