Needlework’s Pioneer Spirit Lives On!

Rosebud Fingerless Gloves to Knit by Eileen Lee. PieceWork July/August 2016. Photos by Joe Coca.

Rosebud Fingerless Gloves to Knit by Eileen Lee. PieceWork July/August 2016. Photos by Joe Coca.

A love of history was instilled in me at a young age. I grew up the daughter of a museum curator in Oklahoma. As a child I remember reenacting the Oklahoma Land Run and dressing up in calico dresses with bonnets to shade my eyes from the prairie sun. Fast forward a few decades—I get to indulge in my twin passions: needlework and history. I feel so lucky to be a part of the editorial team behind PieceWork. The July/August issue is particularly special to me given my background.

Go west and embark on an adventure! Mary Bush’s “Making a Home on the Range and Elsewhere along the Pioneer Trail” captures the trials of the women who traversed the Great Plains yet maintained a sense of civility along the trail. This and other stories devoted to “country living” illustrate the importance of needlework to those who settled the American West. Take a trip down memory lane with Diane Kennedy’s article on the hope chest. Meet Mary Ann Beinecke who was invested in passing on fine embroidery skills through the Nantucket Needlery. Discover the decorative art uproar behind three enterprising women and their patent disputes.

Mary Polityka Bush’s Pitcher Cover to Embroider.

Mary Polityka Bush’s Pitcher Cover to Embroider.

Re-create one or more of the seven knit, crochet, and embroidered projects inspired by this sense of adventure. Eileen Lee’s beautiful knitted Rosebud Fingerless Gloves have a hope chest connection. Stitch Mary Polityka Bush’s Pitcher Cover to Embroider and keep your table like the pioneer women of the nineteenth-century. Place Donna Druchunas’s Star Rag Rug to Knit in front of your hearth. All of this is calling you to undertake your own needlework venture.

Donna Druchunas’s Star Rag Rug to Knit.

Donna Druchunas’s Star Rag Rug to Knit.

The pioneering spirit of fine needlecraft comes to life! Wherever you may roam this summer, PieceWork is ready to go as a digital download from the Interweave Store. Download your copy of PieceWork July/August 2016 today!

Happy stitching!
Elizabeth