PieceWork Spring 2019

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



Elisabeth Jenkins Baty’s entry in the PieceWork Miniatures Contest 2016—Miss Elisabeth’s Finery: An 18th-Century Lady’s Accoutrements—won an award and led to conversations with Elisabeth about the wonderful world of the fashion doll, a popular portrayer of style in the eighteenth century and the predecessor of fashion plates and then fashion magazines. The conversations, in turn, led to Elisabeth’s article and two projects (exquisite fashion accessories to embroider and sew), which begin on page 28. The fashion doll from the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam that is shown in Elisabeth’s article wears a robe à la Française (gown in the French style). I can’t explain why, but I have become somewhat obsessed with this particular style of dress. Most of the gowns are drop-dead gorgeous, the embroidery is exquisite, and the…

by post

From Our Readers’ Hands Virpi Tarvo made a version of Anu Pink’s Muhu Gloves to Knit project. Virpi commented: The yarn used was Hea Wool 12/2 from Saara Publishing House. The gloves were knitted quite tight on 1.25 mm (US 0000) dpns. Three fingertips on each hand were left open to be able to fiddle with gadgets, buttons, and pocket zippers without removing the gloves. Via email Virpi Tarvo Thank you Virpi; your gloves are lovely. The instructions for Anu Pink’s Muhu Gloves to Knit and Nancy Bush’s companion article, “The Fine Knitting of Estonia,” are available in the Fall 2018 issue of PieceWork. Inspiration In March 2016, Dee Weaver wrote to us asking for permission to use the quote by Veronica Patterson, PieceWork’s first editor, that was incorporated on the cover of the first issue of…


Socially Conscious Meet a fair-trade carryall constructed with economic and environmental sustainability in mind. Each Fibres of Life wool tote bag is felted by hand and colored with dyes free of heavy metals and other carcinogens. Personalize your bag with removable, water-based, screen-printed art. Tote shown in Emerald and Turmeric with the yarn ball and knitting needles design. www.fibresoflife.com. Michigan Made With a patented hexagonal shape, Indian Lake Artisans’ circular knitting needles help you keep an even tension while working on your knitting project. Each circular features a flexible cable and smooth join so that even your most delicate yarns won’t snag. Available in walnut, cherry (shown), and maple. www.indianlakeartisans.com. Rare Wools Marry the wool from two unique sheep breeds, Manx Loaghtan and Punta Arenas, and you have a special yarn perfect for projects to…


Exhibitions Phoenix, Arizona: Through March 24. Ultracontemporary, at the Phoenix Art Museum. (602) 457-5814; www.phxart.org. Kansas City, Missouri: Through June 16. Revealing, Reversible and Resplendent: 15th–17th Century Italian and Spanish Textiles, at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. (816) 751-1278; www.nelson-atkins.org. Newark, New Jersey: Through February. Dramatic Threads: Textiles of Asia, at the Newark Museum. (973) 596-6550; www.newarkmuseum.org. New York, New York: Through May 4. Fabric In Fashion, at The Museum at FIT, Fashion & Textile History Gallery. (212) 217-4558; www.fitnyc.edu/museum. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Through March 3. Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now and Little Ladies: Victorian Fashion Dolls and the Feminine Ideal, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (215) 763-8100; www.philamuseum.org. Alexandria, Virginia: April 16–May 19. East Meets West, at the Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery. (703) 548-0935; www.potomacfiberartsgallery.com. Toronto, Canada: Through May 26. Beads, They’re Sewn…

the last word

Once again, the dynamic mother-daughter duo of Alice and Jade Starmore brings you a knitting book like no other. In Glamourie (a Scottish word meaning “a charmed condition in which everything is invested with magical properties and possibilities”), an oversized, beautifully illustrated book, both Alice’s and Jade’s flights of fancy soar. (But, yes, there are earthly patterns as well.) Here’s an excerpt from Alice’s introduction that explains the book: My original concepts are often quite fanciful, but at the end of the day I have to provide designs that can be knitted in several sizes and have instructions that can be fitted into a reasonable page length. But in Glamourie I would break free of this. Jade would write seven new tales rooted in our Gaelic culture, which has a powerful tradition…


Isabel Ibarra sent us these displays that she made for the 125th Comal County Fair in September 2017 in New Braunfels, Texas. “A Brief History of the Paper Pattern Industry in the United States” incorporates patterns from Isabel’s collection and the collection of Helen Janicek. Isabel, who served as the chair of the Handworks and Sewing Division for the 2017 fair, teaches a youth sewing program each summer. The 2019 Comal County Fair will run from September 25 through September 29. For more information, visit www.comalcountyfair.org. Proceeds from the annual fair fund scholarships for local graduating seniors.…