Winter 2020

PieceWork is the only magazine for those who love all things made by hand and the history behind them. Every issue explores the life and work of traditional needleworkers, takes an in-depth look at historical needlework techniques, and gives instructions for making heirloom-quality projects of your own.

United States
Long Thread Media LLC
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$15.33(Incl. tax)
$46.02(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
the search continues

While pursuing answers to my questions, I was given the name of quilt historian and artist Mary Bywater Cross as a person researching the Solar System quilt. Contacting her, I learned she will present new research in a paper on Ellen Harding Baker and her Solar System quilt at the American Quilt Study Group Seminar in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley on August 28–31, 2021. Her paper will be published in their journal, Uncoverings. As a Johnson County, Iowa, native, Mary described her connections to the region and the quilt donors. Her connections and discoveries of new evidence will contribute to this visual record of one Iowa woman’s life in late-nineteenth-century America. For more information about the American Quilt Study Group Seminar and Uncoverings, visit www.americanquiltstudygroup.org.…

7 min.
stitching together the history of the tunisian chéchia

Sometimes the warp of world history and the weft of personal avocation interweave to produce a unique life experience. In the same way, needles and yarn can create a fabric that’s more than the sum of its stitches. That’s how I look back on my multiyear quest to understand the origins of the chéchia (pronounced SHESH-ee-yah), an iconic crimson skullcap from Tunisia. In its eighteenth-century heyday, the demand for this woolen cap supported thousands of Tunisian artisans employed in the specialized techniques of spinning, knitting, fulling, carding, and dyeing. The same process is still employed by makers in Tunisian villages and the souks (bazaars) of Tunis today, but in ever-smaller numbers. My experience as a hatmaker and my fascination with Maghreb culture, having recently lived in Morocco for three years, spurred me…

1 min.
how to make a hat form

You can use any sturdy, cylindrical object with your desired circumference measurement as a hat form. Look for a straight-sided cylinder, flat at the ends, and strong enough to withstand the motion and pressure of ironing. This might be a mixing bowl, a vase with thick walls, or even a cooking pot. It’s best to choose something that does not taper. A hat form can also be made by wrapping a solid, cylindrical object with cloth until the desired circumference is achieved. I used a bottle wrapped in several lengths of cloth. Fold the first length of cloth to match the height of the object you are using for the solid core. Align the object with the folded cloth and carefully roll to create a neat, even edge that will become the…

7 min.
mademoiselle riego’s slip-stitch crochet gloves

As crocheters, we recognize the basic elements of Mademoiselle Eléonore Riego de la Branchardière’s 1854 Crochet Glove pattern, but subtle differences distinguish it from today’s patterns. As is typical for the nineteenth century, the gloves use laceweight yarn; are worked entirely in slip-stitch crochet, which was common then but is rarely used today; and come in only one size. Pattern sizing was still a developing art in 1854. The only gauge mentioned in the pattern was for the cuff: 44 stitches equals 8 inches, stretched. One assumes this is to assure that the glove can be slipped over the hand. The gloves are quite stretchy, so there is some leeway in fit. But the Victorian-era crocheter was expected to adjust the pattern to her needs by changing her gauge without changing…

1 min.
sixteenth-century garter heels

The stockings shown in this article with their handsome garter heels are held in the textile collection at the Museum of London. To learn more about the construction of these rare textiles, see Leslie O’Connell Edwards’ article “Knitted Wool Stockings in the Museum of London: A Study of 16th Century Construction” in Archaeological Textiles Review. The article appears in issue 60, which is now available to all at www.atnfriends.com. For a reproduction knitting pattern based on these stockings and others of the period, check out The Tudor Child: Clothing and Culture, 1485 to 1625 by Jane Huggett and Ninya Mikhaila (2013).…