Monday, October 27, 2014

The Diligent Needle Conference at Winterthur Museum

Pic courtesy of Winterthur website
This is the second time I've attended the conference, the first was three years ago in 2011 which I blogged about here.

This conference, by far, is the best needlework event I have ever attended.  The speakers and attendees come from many different fields of needlework application and study and the conference content is diverse and deep.

The event spans two days with each day beginning with four morning lectures provided by historians, curators, and experts in the field of textiles and embroidery.  This year some of my favorites topics included embroidered maps and globes, 17th century embroidered caskets and the people who made them, needlework samplers of older women, and a biographical mystery of gownmaker and embroiderer, Rebecca Dickinson.

After the lectures, there is an opportunity for two afternoon workshops/intensives which range from project-type classes to behind-the-scenes opportunities to view needlework tools and embroideries at Winterthur to exploring the rare and antique embroidery books at the extensive Winterthur library (my personal favorite).

And if that's not enough to make you need oxygen, there was an embroidery exhibit titled The Diligent Needle and the Costumes of Downton Abbey Exhibit coinciding with the conference.

And here's a sneak peek of an 18th century whitework sampler, one of my personal faves from the Diligent Needle exhibit (more details to come)...

*Swoon*'s not over.  The bookstore stocks up on needlework books, kits and threads for the duration of the conference so there's is still more inspiration to knock you off your feet.

The environment and grounds of Winterthur are absolutely lovely in the Fall and the food and hospitality of the lunches and wine reception are top notch.

Pic courtesy of Winterthur website
So if you missed the conference this year, here's the good news.  The Diligent Needle exhibit runs through July 5, 2015 and the Costumes of Downton Abby runs through January 4, 2015 (you do need tickets for the Downton exhibit so plan ahead).

The other good news?  Instead of having the needlework conference once every three years, they have decided to hold the conference every other year.  That means I'll see you all there in Fall 2016!

More details and pics to come in future posts but I've got to get stitching...


Bekah said...

Oh my! Those dresses are stunning! I wish people still wore beautifully adorned clothes like that!

Lisa Boni said...

Looks like it was an amazing time! So wonderful to be able to observe such amazing needlework up close and personal!

Rachel said...

It sounds like a really fabulous conference!

Karen said...

I'll bet that was a terrific experience! I love the embroidery book...beautiful!

Createology said...

Susan you do have the most magical journey when it comes to needle and thread. What a lovely setting for such an amazing conference. I am so happy you are sharing this. Creative Conference Bliss...

lorenabr said...

Stunning dresses!

margaret said...

certainly sounds an interesting place to see the sampler is stunning, yes the costumes are too

Judy S. said...

Sounds like a wonderful conference, Susan! I used to get their catalogue and loved it, but had no idea they sponsored a conference. Lucky you to live fairly close!

Mary Addison said...

Thank you for this post -
the exhibition looks stunning -
I even love the embroidery on the poster!
I admire your own sewing work immensely.
It is also delightful to see your family in a starring role.
Thank you for sharing these things with us.
I too blog about embroidery
(and also about life in rural England).
If you have time, I'd love you to look at

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