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Stitch or Starve

July 25, 2014

A group of 14 like minded spirits met at the Barn for our first Textile Appreciation Morning, laden with stitched textiles.  Each person including new acquaintances brought one or more textiles to show and  talk about. Don made us coffee, tea, bread and biscuitswith his homemade pate, dill shrimp spread and a luscious cheese ball. We looked at textiles from Guatemala, Panama, Spain, Central Asia, Turkey, India, Canary Islands, Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland and North America. Viewing  the textiles up close to better appreciate the beautiful colors, stitches and patterns enriched our understanding of HOW, WHEN and WHY these textiles were created. We looked at  satin stitch in silk threads gleaming on a silk shawl that had the longest fringe we have ever seen.  There were  beads and sequins encrusted on delicate silk crepe on  front panels of a jacket, as well as white threads on white cotton backgrounds revealing lively patterns of flowers dancing across a christening gown from the 1800s.  So many techniques and stitches: Whitework, Applique, Reverse Applique, Broderie Anglaise (English Eyelets), pieced Cigar band silks in brilliant yellows and oranges with powerful black Feather Stitch,  Filet Lacis ( Needle Darning), Cutwork, early machine lace from St. Gallen,  Switzerland, Maltese Bobbin Lace , Punch Work, Cross Stitch and Teneriffe Lace.  Did we miss any?

So many stories about Stitch or Starve  –   Needlelace that Armenian  massacre  survivors  created to sell to an export market helped them  to survive in the early 20th C.    In the 1800’s Ayreshire Embroiderers in Scotland made the most delicate and refined combinations of flowers worked in satin stitch and eyelets to sell to the outside world.  Many more stitched for the sheer satisfaction of creating a thing of beauty. 

 It was a pleasure to discover that there are others who share in our love and appreciation of Stitch.  Join us on Dec. 10th for the second Textile Appreciation morning.

Gail Harker and Penny Peters


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. pennypeters permalink
    July 25, 2014 3:34 pm

    It was a lovely morning, and such a treat to welcome newcomers to the Studio!

  2. November 4, 2014 3:03 am

    Oh, I so hope I might attend the next one! How delightful.

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