Thursday 31 October 2013

Embroidered Baskets & Samplers @ McCord Museum, Montreal, Canada

It is wonderful how many museums are making their collections available for on-line enjoyment and research. I guess it has taken volunteers and staff many hours to prepare and describe all the items and we can only appreciative of their efforts. The only downside is perhaps a lack of rigour or strategy in the naming of parts. Not all stitched items turn up under a search for embroidery and then again you might get a different set for a search of needlework. The trick to unearthing everything is to try as many search terms as you think may have been used to describe the items that interest you.
To find these lovely baskets on the McCord Museum web-site, I entered embroidered for one and needlework as the search term for the other. They are both Huran-Wendat work from the mid 1800s and are stitched with cotton thread and moose-hair on birch bark.

The McCord Museum in Montreal Canada has 14 samplers for you to enjoy on-line including the examples you can see here. You can find a baker's-dozen by entering sampler as a search term....

...however, can you find the other? Click here to start your search.

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Cora Ginsburg 2013 Catalogue Download

As a collector and dealer, the name Cora Ginsburg has been associated with fine and rare costume and antique textiles since the 1940s. The company itself, founded under the Ginsburg name, was created in 1971 and has specialized in museum quality embroideries, silks, and printed textiles of the 17th - 20th centuries.

Located in the center of Manhattan, on the upper east side, the gallery now owned and directed by Titi Halle is open on weekdays by appointment - 19 East 74th Street, New York, NY 10021. Tel: 212-744-1352

To visit the Cora Ginsburg web-site, click here.

To download the latest catalogue where you will be able to full descriptions of these items and more, click here.

Tuesday 29 October 2013

Bath Textile Summer School * 18 - 22 August 2014

If you are wanting to combine your visit next year to Oxford's Ashmolean Museum to see early needlework items from the Micheal and Elizabeth Feller Collection with workshops at the exciting Bath Textile Summer School, to be held at the fabulous textile-rich Holburne and American Museums, then you need to book a place soon or register your interest as places are filling up quickly. All the two day workshops are £175. This includes tea and coffee mid morning and afternoon, and entrance to the Museum collections at any time during the workshop duration. A 10% discount is available at the Holburne café. (Kits that each tutor may sell for their class are priced separately.) For more details of workshops and tutors click here.

Monday 28 October 2013

And The Winner Is....

Thank you so much to everyone who reads the Needleprint blog and for all your kind words and interesting news. There is just one winner this week and it is Anne Sigrid from Munich. However, don't despair too much, this beautifully produced chart for Josephine's sampler for €15 is available through Naald en Draad in Roermond

Sunday 27 October 2013

Free Jigsaw Download - Tullie House Quiilt

Many of you who entered the very popular draw for the catalogue of quilts at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle, said how much you loved the quilt on the front cover. So, by way of a small consolation, here is a jigsaw of that booklet cover. It is quite tricky - but rewarding! To download the jigsaw - Click here next Click Open, then click the .EXE file name and click Run, when you see the jigsaw puzzle, click Play Too many pieces? Try clicking on Trays on the top tool bar to create any number of resizeable trays to sort your pieces ........ you can also click the Cheat button and watch the puzzle solve itself! The software is by David Gray designer of Jigsaws Galore - the powerful jigsaw player and creator for Windows.

Saturday 26 October 2013

Quaker Medallion Sampler & More @ Auction * October / November 2013

I was totally intrigued by Lot 238 for sale at Campbell's Auctions on 29th October which comprises a simple sampler showing characteristic motifs from Quaker samplers. This sampler has 3 dates: 1780, 1787 and 1815 and includes a name, Sara or Sara H, which my or may not be the name of the main sampler maker. The medallion with the coronet resembles medallions found on mid 18th century Irish Quaker samplers and the two floral displays are more usually seen halved on Ackworth samplers. This piece measures 18 x 6in. and together with a printed map of Sussex, early 19th century, cartographer T. Kitchin comes with an estimate of £50 - £60 For more details, click here.

Lot 172 for sale on 30 October at Nesbits and Co is an alphabet sampler, with verse and house and is signed Harriet Prior and dated Mar 8 1842. It measures 33 x 25cm and has an estimate of £60 - £80 For more details, click here.

Lot 442 is for auction at John Nicholson on 6 November. It is a George III sampler signed Mary Ann Smith and and dated 1809. Worked in her 10th year it measures 19 x 13ins and has an estimate of £100 - £200 For more details, click here.

Lot 452 at Denham's on 30 October is also a George III sampler, probably Scottish, worked by Jane Andrew 1813, it presents a garden, house and motto. Measuring 22.5" x 15" it has an estimate of £75 - £120 For more details, click here.

Lot 627 for auction on 2 November at Roseberry's is an embroidered map of England and Wales by M. A. Steventon, probably worked early to mid 19th century. The linen ground is embroidered in coloured silks depicting the counties and has a floral embroidered border. It is in a gilt, glazed frame and measures approx 66cm x 58cm. It has an estimate of £200 - £300. For more details, click here.

Friday 25 October 2013

Sulafa Embroidery Centre * Gift Ideas For Christmas

The historical and cultural richness of Palestine is reflected in the vibrancy of Palestinian women’s embroidery.

Since 1950, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees has been promoting women’s embroidery as an income-generating activity in Gaza’s refugee camps. Today UNRWA’s Sulafa Embroidery Centre employs more than 300 women of all ages.

The eldest embroiderers, Khadra and Huryia, arrived at the camps following the events of 1948. Embroidery and sewing work became a means of survival. Now the children and grandchildren of Sulafa’s first embroiderers are carrying on this art. Some are engaged in training programs in the camps run by Sulafa’s trainers who ensure that embroidery skills and knowledge will endure.

To date its best customers are local women who come to Sulafa to order traditional dresses for wedding parties and other special occasions. At the same time, Sulafa is trying to reach across Gaza’s borders to the international market by developing a new range of home textiles and apparel.

Now through The Poverty Alleviation Fund, Cambridge, MA, USA you, your stitching groups, church organizations and other groups can access at wholesale prices beautifully embroidered items, the traditions of which are culturally rich and of internationally historic significance. Your order will be processed in dollars by Kristin Jones in Massachusetts. 

There are purses for cosmetics, iPads, Christmas tree ornaments, scarves, pillow covers and much more - some of which you can see on this page.

And to see more you can download the Sulafa Embroidery Catalogue by clicking here.

There is also an accompanying pdf - Voices and Hands published by The Poverty Alleviation Fund, Cambridge, MA, USA which has fabulous images and the personal stories of some of the embroiderers.

This little publication offers you an opportunity to meet Palestinian women, young and old, and to hear stories that are integral to their lives. Shared themes are childhood, homeland, the wedding party, marriage and family life, life in the refugee camps, and embroidery. It is clear that for all of the women, embroidery plays a central role in their lives, providing not only income but an opportunity to meet and share experiences and to perpetuate their Palestinian identity. To download a copy of Voices and Hands, just click here.

Thursday 24 October 2013

Assisi Work by Caravaggio & Being Textile Aware

At the risk of telling you something you already know very well, Assisi work is a type of embroidery that is characterized by a worked background against which the subject or motif is highlighted by virtue of its being void of stitching - rather like the old film negatives showed the reverse of the image taken. The background is often worked in long-armed cross (flechtstick). This type of embroidery certainly predates its revival in the 20th century in Assisi from which it has recently acquired its name, and was prevalent in the larger part of the Italian peninsula in medieval and renaissance times.

I was looking again the other day at the works of Caravaggio who painted at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries. Above is one of two known paintings he made of the Supper at Emmaus. In the distant past when I studied art I must have examined this many times but what took my eye for the first time was the design of the under cloth on the table. It now reminded me of something - Assisi embroidery - and so I made this larger image. It could possibly be a rug, but I think not. What do you think? 

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Prince George Wears Honiton Lace to His Big Event

For 172 years from 1841, 60 royal babies were baptized in a white Spitalfields silk-satin robe flourished with delicate Honiton cotton lace overlay designed to resemble the dress Queen Victoria wore for her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840. Astonishing that something so fine, so fragile could survive so long in use. The designer of the original gown was the daughter of a coal-miner from Falkirk - Janet Sutherland. For this special endeavour she received the title Embroider to the Queen.

Today Prince George wore a replica of the gown at his baptism at St James's Palace and people in Honiton must be thrilled! I have been unable to find out the names of the lace-makers (does anyone know them?) but the designer was the Queen's dresser, Angela Kelly and was put together by Angela and a team of dressmakers at Buckingham Palace. When I was young, the custom was that your wedding dress was cut down to make baptismal dresses for your babies and also the top tier of the wedding cake was saved for the baptism tea. Fortunately the cake was rich fruit and hermetically sealed in a crust of almost pure sugar icing - but even so it wouldn't wait too long.....

We wish much happiness to Prince George and his family and to  another special new arrival for the family of The Sampler Guild - Baby Noah.
Click here to see more about Honiton and the dress.

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Free Giveaway Draw - Josephine Lembrechts' Sampler Chart From The Museum for Heem- en Oudheidkunde in Kontich

You can see this stunning sampler worked by Josephine Lembrechts in the Kontich Museum, Belgium. Kontich lies on the southern outskirts of Antwerp - a fascinating and wonderful place to visit. A beautifully produced chart for Josephine's sampler for €15 is available through Naald en Draad in Roermond (for more details, click here) and one copy has very generously been sent to me for this week's giveaway.

Kontich Museum is looked after entirely by volunteers who often have a day job too! Though the museum is small, it has a collection of around 150 samplers and also many long samplers - souvenirs de ma jeunesse , of which some are about 8 or 10 meters in length, and are typical of convent schoolwork.

This year the samplers were given a room of their own with some samplers on the wall but a lot more in the drawers. Every sampler is on display. Visitors just have to ask the attendant to open the drawers. If you are planning on a visit - the Museum is only open on Sunday afternoons - then email Erica who will make sure there is a Lapzussen to show you the long samplers, too. (The Lapzussen is a group of about 30 women who are interested in samplers and work for and around the collection in Kontich. Dear Hilde Schollen, who is now no longer with us, was the founder in 2004. Some of you might remember her from the Ackworth events.)
If you would like to enter the draw, then simply click on the flying angel below to enter and I'll announce a winner next week, 28 October 2013. Good Luck!

Monday 21 October 2013

One Only * Rare Pat Albeck Montacute Sampler Tea Towel + The Goodhart Samplers + Delivery to Your Door * $95

I was so excited to find this very rare tea towel inspired by the Goodhart samplers at Montacute House! It just belonged with a copy of our book, The Goodhart Samplers, so I am giving it away to the next purchaser of the book. I am sorry our tea towels have now all gone.

Sunday 20 October 2013

The Longest Embroidery in the World * Grantham Museum, Lincs, UK * 19 October 2013 - 1 February 2014

Grantham Museum are hosting a national traveling exhibition featuring the world’s longest embroidery and highlights from the national collection of the Embroiderers' Guild alongside work of local branches and young embroiderers. Every visitor will have the chance to add stitches to the world’s longest embroidery while it is draped through the Museum. This is the first time these works have been seen in the region and a great chance to celebrate the talent of local embroiderers. The show also features 3200 postcard-sized hand stitched images produced for the 2012 Olympic Games that depict the life and times of all countries in the United Nations. To coincide with the exhibition, Grantham Museum are holding a craft fayre on Saturday 26 October featuring over 20 local craft and gift makers. There will also be demonstrations of lace making and wood turning as well as prizes to be won in the raffle. For more information about this exhibition and event, click here.

Where Can Peggy Find Kits for Fladsting, Kontursting, Kædesting, Langsting, Knuder?

Peggy ask us:
Years ago, when we were living in Denmark there was a Händarbejdets Fremme shop in Copenhagen where I used to buy embroidery kits that featured several types of stitching, fladsting, kontursting, kædesting. langsting, knuder, osv. I am looking for such kits now and find only cross-stitching. Less interesting to me, especially for someone just starting to embroider.
Is it possible to buy kits like this today ?
I have a granddaughter who is adept at sewing and knitting and I would like very much to get one for her, and a couple for me too.
Thank you for your assistance with my search.
If you can help Peggy in her search, please click on the flying angel below.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Needlelace and Pearl Panel @ Sotheby's New York * 23 October 2013

From the previous collection of Alistair Sampson comes Lot 268 for auction at Sotheby's of New York. It is a Charles II seed-pearl-embroidered lacework picture depicting Salome with the head of John the Baptist with Herod and Herodias. Made circa 1660 it is within a later ebonized frame and measures 5" x 3.25" (12.7 cm x 8.3 cm) and has an estimate of $6,000 — $8,000. It is so exciting to see this fabulous tour de force of needlelace so similar to panels in the Micheal and Elizabeth Feller Collection and T.317-1912 in the V&A collection, though only half the size.
Here you can see the stunning panel in the Micheal and Elizabeth Feller Collection.

And here are some close-up shots of the fine details - the tiny faces have eyebrows and eyelashes which are barely visible to the naked eye but can be enjoyed in detail in the book, click here to see the Micheal and Elizabeth Feller Collection.

Friday 18 October 2013

Finisht With Virgin Thought @ Sotheby's New York * 23 October 2013

Another very fascinating item for auction at Sotheby's in New York on 23 October is this English sampler of circa 1660, which is Lot 265 and has an estimate of $80,000 - $120,000. It is described as having: a large central panel worked with ladies bearing enormous flowerheads in pink and blue robes, their faces of white button-hole stitch with facial characteristics, flaps to each side similarly worked and enclosing boxer-like figures in pink and green, border bands of acorns and blooms worked in cross-stitch and outlined with raised silver thread chain-stich, other bands with gobelin stitch blooms, leaves in polychrome silks infilled with a variety of designs normally associated with blackwork, raisedwork negro hunter with raised bow, lions, stags, dragons, horses, insects, dogs, a highly detailed band with more button hole stitched boxers holding blooms, fierce lion, scarlet squirrel, spiders, minutely worked pots of blooms and acorn bands higlighted with silver thread, the verse at the base worked in polychrome cross-stitch. It is framed and measures 36.75" x 12.5" (93.35 cm x 31.75 cm).

Of course my eye goes straight to the ladies who are perhaps bearing fans, as opposed to flower heads - though they may be festival garlands or bouquets if we interpret by analogy with the young gentleman boxers - seen at the base of the sampler (see penultimate image below.)
It is exciting to see another trio of ladies on a sampler as others do exist, notably on this sampler (F440) in the Micheal and Elizabeth Feller Collection (Volume I). However, the ladies on the Sotheby's sampler you will have noticed, I'm sure, seems to be an interloper - spliced into a narrower sampler for some reason. Maybe you have some thoughts on this that you would like to share?
My eye was drawn next by this elaborate polychrome band with an number of animals and particulary marked by a hunter with a bow and arrow on the left hand side. This rare band does exist on just a few other samplers, most noticeably on a sampler in the Goodhart collection at Montacute House. And if we compare this Goodhart sampler with the Sotheby's example we can see many bands in common, such as the polychrome in-filled blackwork band below the hunter in the Sotheby's sampler and above in the Goodhart. In fact the Sotheby's sampler seems to have flipped the almost identical bands in the Goodhart one. It is so exciting that we are able to start linking samplers now!

Here you can see the inscription at the base of the Sotheby's sampler: These Are The Practis of MI/ Youth Entitled BY The Name Of Truth With Care and Cost I/ These Have I Wrought And ht/Finisht It With Virgin Thoug (having run out of space, the last two letters have been squeezed into the line above). Again it is fascinating to ponder this motivation and speculate how prevalent it was amongst schoolgirl stitchers of the 17th century.