PieceWork July/August 2013 Preview

PieceWork July | August 2013

Derived from the French word embellir (“to beautify”), our word “embellish” dates to the mid-fourteenth century. Of course, people have been embellishing their clothing, their homes, and their bodies since time immemorial. In this issue of PieceWork, we explore all manner of embellishments, from buttons and knitted and embroidered socks to coronation cord and embroidered aprons.

Erica Patberg, in her article on the unfortunately named but exquisite silk thread Death Head buttons, explains that by 1250 in France, members of a powerful button guild were making miniature works of art from precious metals and gemstones. When, in the seventeenth century, French tailors began creating buttons with silk thread, button guild “members called for legislation to make buttons made with needle and thread illegal. The legislation proved unenforceable, and war, literally, ensued. The tailors won the first battle in la guerre des boutons (the War of the Buttons), but the powerful button guild struck back with searches of wardrobes, fines, and arrests. This unrest in the French button monopoly opened the door for the enterprising English to enter the lucrative button trade.”

When I was five or six, I had a collection of buttons that numbered in the hundreds. I spent countless hours sorting and arranging them. I vividly remember that time.

I hope you will discover several embellishments in this issue that strike your fancy!

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Features & Projects

A Cloth with Latvian Symbols to Embroider Catharina Forbes

Features & Projects
Volume XXI Number 4

EMBELLISHMENT at ALL COSTS Helen Bonney
Scilly Isle Socks to Knit and Embroider Carol Huebscher Rhoades

DEATH HEAD BUTTONS Erica Patberg
Death Head Buttons to Make Erica Patberg

Raised Filet Crochet Ava T. Coleman

CORONATION CORD: A TIME-SAVING EMBELLISHMENT Mary Polityka Bush
A Pillowcase to Embellish with Coronation Cord Mary Polityka Bush

Embellishments to Knit Nicky Epstein

Embellish with the Knit Stitch Nell Znamierowski

TRIMMED and ORNAMENTED: FIRST LADY IDA MCKINLEY’S DRESSES and GOWNS Betsy Butler

1896 Beaded Cuffs to Knit Carol Huebscher Rhoades

MY BUTTON BOX Christen Brown

Granny Flowers to Make Pearl Cole

MRS. EMBROIDERY: EDITE MOGENSEN Catharina Forbes

A CLOTH with LATVIAN SYMBOLS to EMBROIDER Catharina Forbes

SARAKATSANI APRONS: PLY-SPLIT DARNING, EMBROIDERY, and LIFE Bobbie Sumberg