EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Crafts
PieceWork

PieceWork July - August 2016

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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Long Thread Media LLC
Frequency:
Quarterly
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
notions

I seriously cannot imagine traversing the country in a covered wagon. That so many intrepid people did just that, particularly in nineteenth-century America, is simply amazing. What is even more amazing, however, is that so many of the women who embarked on these adventures did so with as much style as they could muster. One striking image that captures this determination is depicted in the opening photograph of Mary Bush’s article “Making a Home on the Range and Elsewhere along the Pioneer Trail.” Mary relates, “The burden of civilizing the new territory fell mostly to women, who fulfilled the responsibility one tablecloth at a time. A black-and-white photograph in the archives of the Kansas State Historical Society supports this assertion. . . . [a] wife setting the table in preparation for…

4 min.
tapestry

A Treasure Trove The Textiles at Muncaster Castle Perched between the west Cumbrian coast and the Lake District Fells in the northwest of England, Muncaster Castle is located in one of Europe’s most remote and dramatic landscapes, an untamed setting of ancient woodlands and soaring mountains that tumble into the Irish Sea. Home to the Pennington family since at least 1208, Muncaster is a genuine treasure trove of art and antiques. Its great hall, octagonal library, and elegant dining room are all windows on a grand past. Today, the castle is home to three generations of Penningtons: grandfather Patrick Gordon-Duff-Pennington, daughter Iona Frost-Pennington, her husband, Peter, and their three children. The multifaceted textile collection at Muncaster is among its best-kept secrets. Because of careful and intelligent collecting over many generations, the castle boasts…

1 min.
the last word

Pen to Thread: 750+ Hand-Drawn Embroidery Designs to Inspire Your Stitches Sarah Watson Blue Ash, Ohio: Interweave, 2015. Softbound, 160 pages; includes CD, $26.99. ISBN 978-1-62033-952-7. Visit www.interweavestore.com/pen-to-thread. Highland Knits: Knitwear Inspired by the Outlander Series Blue Ash, Ohio: Interweave, 2016. Softbound, 112 pages, $22.99. ISBN 978-1-63250-459-3. Visit www.interweavestore.com/highland-knits. Henry’s Hat Eric and Joanna Johnson Loveland, Colorado: Slate Falls Press, 2015. Hardbound, 46 pages, $19.95. ISBN 978-0-578-17224-8. Textiles of the Banjara: Cloth and Culture of a Wandering Tribe Charllotte Kwon and Tim McLaughlin New York: Thames & Hudson, 2016. Hardbound, 192 pages, $50. ISBN 978-0-500-51837-3. Vintage Details: A Fashion Sourcebook Jeffrey Mayer and Basia Szkutnicka San Francisco, California: Laurence King Publishing, 2016. Hardbound, 400 pages, $65. ISBN 978-1-78067-742-2.…

6 min.
a case of three patents women and the decorative arts

At one point in the early 1880s, three enterprising women in the developing field of decorative arts became entangled in patent disputes. Those disputes underscore the importance of decorative arts at the time, especially as women took a greater role in society and entered the business world. The most prominent of the three was Candace Wheeler (1827–1923), a powerhouse in this field in the late nineteenth century. Also involved were Mary Elizabeth Tillinghast (1845–1912), who later became known for her stained-glass designs, and Kate Tarbox (dates unknown). Candace Wheeler believed in the redemptive power of art and applied that belief to decorating homes and influencing people. Doing so, she was convinced, created better families and a culture with more character. She came into the full measure of her talents as a…

1 min.
text descriptions from the three patents

Let’s look at portions of the three patent applications, in the order of their filing, to discover the differences and similarities. Needle Woven Tapestry Mary Tillinghast The nature of this invention consists of weaving with a needle a pictured design into a suitable fabric by means of various colored silks or threads, in such a manner, that the design, when finished, shall present the appearance of being part of the original fabric. . . . It differs materially from all other work done by the needle in the fact that it causes the design to seem part of the material of the background. Art of Embroidering and Embroidery Candace Wheeler . . . the invention consists in passing the embroidering-threads under the warp and over the woof of the fabric, thereby covering the woof with the…

13 min.
making a home on the range and elsewhere along the pioneer trail

Decisions to uproot their families and cross the continent to settle in the American West were largely made by men. The burden of civilizing the new territory fell mostly to women, who fulfilled the responsibility one tablecloth at a time. A black-and-white photograph in the archives of the Kansas State Historical Society supports this assertion. The image (shown above) depicts a slice of everyday American life in the nineteenth century: a wife setting the table in preparation for serving her husband his “nooner,” a midday meal of cold breakfast leftovers. Although this intimate domestic vignette could have occurred anywhere, close examination reveals a setting as distinctive as its characters are anonymous. The small table stands, not on the freshly scrubbed floor of an Ohio kitchen, but in a tangle of tall…