Needlework for Weddings

I wrote the following in my editorial for the May/June 2004 issue of PieceWork, “Weddings, in one form or another, are part of every culture, have existed for eons, include all manner of traditions, have caused wars, have been of religious, military, and/or economic significance, and reflect the hopes and dreams of millions of people each year.”


An antique knitted lace edging threaded with silk ribbon used to tie a bridal bouquet. Photo by Joe Coca.

May/June 2004 is truly one of my all-time favorite issues of PieceWork. Readers, PieceWork staff, and Interweave colleagues shared their treasures with us. One colleague provided the instructions for her own gorgeous beaded bridal headpiece and let us photograph the headpiece and her veil before her wedding. In addition to projects to embroider, knit, bead, needlepoint, crochet, and sew, the issue is packed with wonderful ideas from adding textiles to a wedding to family traditions that deserve to be re-created.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Handkerchiefs from a Wedding Gown
    “Sarah Laura Bisping of Strawberry, Kansas, married Fred Meyer on April 16, 1914 at the German Evangelical Lutheran Church northwest of Palmer, Kansas. Years later, on their own wedding days, three of the couple’s granddaughters each carried a special memento of that occasion: a handkerchief Sarah had made from the embroidered trim of her wedding dress and edged with crochet.” Those three granddaughters—Anne Meyer Will, Dorothy Meyer Gerhardt, and Jean Meyer Barta—wrote about this charming tradition and shared the handkerchiefs and family photographs with us.
  • Knitted Lace Bridal Bouquet Tie
    We purchased a length of a knitted lace edging from an antique store, threaded silk ribbon through the upper edge of the lace, and tied it around the bride’s bouquet. This is easy and inexpensive but very effective. And you can “dress it up or down,” depending on the flower selection; calla lilies are beautiful.
  • Wedding Shoes and a Keepsake Envelope to Embroider
    Inspired by a pair of Italian ivory silk wedding boots in the collection of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, we included instructions for embroidering and sewing dainty silk shoes and an envelope to hold wedding mementos.

Embroidered and sewn wedding shoes and keepsake envelope. Photo by Joe Coca.

Wedding season is right around the corner. Download the digital edition of the May/June 2004 issue—A PieceWork Wedding Celebration. There are many other stories and projects within its pages. It also includes a brief account of my copious crying at my own wedding—they absolutely were tears of joy!

Needlework and traditions and weddings—it doesn’t get much better than this.

Happy embroidering, sewing, knitting, beading, needlepointing, crocheting, and wedding!

Featured Image: Three wedding handkerchiefs made by Sarah Bisping Meyer from her wedding gown. Three of Sarah’s granddaughters carried her handkerchief at her own wedding. Photo by Joe Coca.

PieceWork special Needlework for Weddings issue!


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