PieceWork Winter 2018

Welcome to the Winter 2018 issue of PieceWork! It’s filled with information on two of my favorite things—magazines and books. That each feature and project includes the historical needlework context is icing on the cake.


Cover of the August 1932 issue of Needlecraft. Collection of PieceWork magazine. Photo by George Boe.

As with every issue, I learned 4 things that I hadn’t known about:

1. The tale of Rumpelstiltskin is from Germany; he’s called Tom Tit Tot in English; see “Deep-Seated Associations: Textile Threads in Language, Myths, Fairy Tales, and Novels.”

2. Ray Bradbury’s short story “Embroidery” is hauntingly beautiful; it was published in 1951 and is available online; see Further Resources in “Deep-Seated Associations: Textile Threads in Language, Myths, Fairy Tales, and Novels.”

3. Four generations of Worth men ran the haute couture House of Worth in Paris; see the review of a new gorgeous coffeetable book about the family and fashion in The Last Word.

4. The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London have delightful embroidered rag books in their collections; see “Ann’s Rag Book: With a Brief History of These Fabric Books.”

From its inception, PieceWork has been a fan and supporter of England’s Royal School of Needlework (RSN), the gold standard for needlework education. While the school offered some courses at various locations in the United States, including a two-week summer school in August 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky, full access was only available at the school’s headquarters at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey. I am delighted to let you know that you now can learn from the best anytime—wherever there is an Internet connection—with the RSN’s recently launched online courses!


Take one of Royal School of Needlework’s online courses; shown here is the pomegranate from the crewelwork course. Photo by Jason Jenkins.

Two current courses are Introduction to Jacobean Crewelwork and Introduction to Goldwork. Deborah Wilding, RSN tutor, is your guide for the crewelwork course; she designed the lovely pomegranate shown above. Becky Hogg, another RSN tutor, is the goldwork instructor; she designed a stunning hellebore. A kit with the materials needed to complete the course project is mailed to each student.

For complete details, visit the Royal School of Needlework’s online course website. If you take a course, we’d love to hear about it; email us at [email protected].

And there’s so much more in this Winter issue! Here are just a few examples: Take a fresh look at Nathaniel Hawtohorne’s The Scarlet Letter and learn more about Hester Prynne’s needlework skills. Join Nancy Drew as she explores Bruges, Belgium, and its exquisite laces, and solves a mystery. Discover Ann’s Rag Book, a lovingly embroidered cloth book for a child.

Enjoy the Winter issue of PieceWork.

—Jeane Hutchins

Featured Image: Point de gaze nineteenth-century needle-lace cuff from Brussels, purchased by Kathi Rotella. This glorious example of Belgian needle lace served as the inspiration for her “Belgian Needle-Lace Hearts to Make” project featured in the Winter 2018 issue of PieceWork magazine. Photo by George Boe.

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