PieceWork 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
R 159,38
R 558,22
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min

I am a passionate and frequent traveler . . . usually. This year has altered so many aspects of our lives and limited the ways that we can experience textiles, culture, and the world. What to do? I have been exploring textile paths that are unfamiliar to me, guided by researchers and makers who have laid the groundwork I am only just discovering. There is always so much to learn, and this is a great opportunity to explore further afield. As usual, I head out to learn about a time or technique I have not explored, only to loop back into the glorious tangle of global textiles. I was excited to learn about the Tunisian chéchia, an iconic red cap, in Richard Stirba’s article in this issue. At the same time,…

1 min
by post

Buttoned Up In the last issue of PieceWork [Summer 2020], I read the article about buttonhole samplers by Susan J. Jerome [“Of Buttons, Buttonholes, and Samplers”]. I would love to share a buttonhole sampler from my collection. I bought it at least 20 years ago at a marketplace for antique textiles. Nobody was very interested in this piece, but I loved it the moment I saw it. Because the red embroidery is not visible on the back side, the girl must have done the stitching before she made the buttonholes, so she must have had a plan before she started. This is a small piece, about half an A4 page [8¼ × 11 7/10 inches (21 × 29.7 cm)], and with very, very fine stitching. Josefien Sjoerds Via email Meeting the Makers I loved the…

1 min

Thread Tamer Knots and snags are a drag! Keep your cotton floss tangle-free. Ponderosa Creative’s Thread Gloss lightly coats your strands to help reduce snarls and abrasion. It’s made in small batches from a blend of beeswax and essential oils and comes in unscented or your choice of 12 delightful scents. www.ponderosacreative.com Temporary Transfers Create patterns for embroidery projects and more using your computer and ink-jet printer. Just print your design on Sulky’s Stick ‘n Stitch, adhere to your chosen fabric, stitch, and then wash away. Plus, each sheet has a faint grid-like texture to help keep your stitches even. www.sulky.com Stylishly Secure The Sierra Leather Shawl Cuff from Birdie Parker Designs replaces sharp shawl pins, which can tug at delicate knit and crochet stitches and cause damage. Select from one of 10 leather colors…

4 min
the long thread

Laurann Gilbertson, Chief Curator, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum How did you become interested in textiles and their history? I’ve always been interested in many forms of history. My grandmother and mother collected antiques, and so, I grew up surrounded by objects of the past. We always visited museums, science centers, and zoos on family vacations. I volunteered or worked at several different types of museums, and it was the history museums that interested me most. While I worked on a degree in anthropology in college, I took a Cultural Perspective on Dress class and was then hooked on textiles. That class was followed by another—History of Costume—and then a minor in textiles and clothing. Eventually, I received a master’s degree in textiles and clothing from Iowa State University. Tell us about your duties and…

7 min
a stitch in time

The easy, square four-sided stitch (Figure 1a) is an old counted-thread stitch that first made its appearance on very early English samplers and still remains a popular sampler and pulled- and drawn-work stitch today. It’s a great stitch for items, such as cuffs and towels, where the fabric will be seen from both sides because the four-sided stitch reverses to a neat three-legged cross-stitch (Figure 1b). Its other appellations are the square, four-sided or square openwork, and infrequently the punch stitch, which is worked left to right and tightly pulled. It is only referred to in Rhodes work, a type of drawn-thread embroidery in which the entire ground fabric surrounding a stem-stitched-outlined design is worked in this stitch. Do not confuse the four-sided stitch with the single faggot stitch, sometimes…

4 min
time capsules

The first capsule sewing kit I ever bought was sold to me as a war relic. I’ve not been able to prove this is so and don’t much care. The dealer seemed to think that a military provenance would help me, a man, feel better about buying it. What attracted me was the incredible cleverness of the design, which I have since come to understand is classic among sewing capsules. The cap is a thimble; it unscrews or slides off. Inside are spools for thread, two or three, all mounted on a central rod. The rod is hollow, with a cap at one end. Pull off this inner cap, and you reveal a tiny compartment for the sewing needle. The whole caboodle is less than 2½ inches (6.4 cm) long, and no…