Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Three Faves from the Diligent Needle Exhibit

The great thing about visiting museums is that I never know what will strike me when I go.  Yet invariably,  each time I visit there is always something that sets my heart racing and my mind spinning with new ideas and desire.

It's most definitely fodder for the creative soul and so I give you the three pieces that made an impression on me when I visited the Diligent Needle exhibit at Winterthur Museum this past weekend.


By far, this drawnwork and needlelace sampler was my absolute favorite and it hasn't left my mind since I've gotten home...


Note the drawnwork flower basket that overreaches the stitched sawtooth border.  

Worked by Jane Little in 1793, probably in Chester County, Pennsylvania...


It is stitched with silk thread on linen ground.


And the basket combines embroidery with drawnwork and silk ribbon accents...isn't it sweet?


As are the drawnwork and needlelace flowers that it contains...


The ruched silk ribbons that were used to border the needlelace flower medallions just add to the loveliness of this sampler.  


My second favorite is this wool and silk needlework picture on canvas most likely stitched in America or Britain between 1880-1910...


I was struck by the filament silk over a petit point-style tent stitch.  I'd never seen the two combined like that and it gave me pause...



But check out this close up of the butterfly in the upper right corner.  Though I imagine that the colors have faded over time, the shading gives movement to both the butterfly and the background.    And the way that the eye of the butterfly is stitched gives it an anthropomorphic appearance.


There were lots of artistic choices made by the stitcher in this piece that elevated the work beyond a mere embroidered representation of a picture.  

Lastly, there was this silk bedcover professionally embroidered in England or France in the 1800s.


The central medallion depicts an ancient emblem known as the "pelican in her piety"...



A symbol of self-sacrifice associated with motherhood.


The rest of the bedcover is floral vines beautifully rendered.  

The spiky sepal of this rose is wonderful...


The Diligent Needle exhibit runs through July 5, 2015.  I hope you get a chance to travel there yourselves.

Happy stitching everyone!

16 comments:

Janet said...

What beautiful photos and as always very thoughtful commentary.Thank you, thank you.
Janet

Gisela Suski said...

Wow, the quilts are amazing. You have to be a very talented person to stitch such delicate stitches. Esther's Blog from Australia is currently working on a quilt titled "Love Entwined" and the pieces are amazing also - I think it has taken her a year.

Rachel said...

The "pelican in her piety" is also a medieval symbol signifying Christ's sacrifice. It's in the heraldry of Corpus Christ college, Cambridge. There may very well be a religious dimension to the bedcover as well...

Boud said...

Thanks so much! our local chapter of EGA is visiting next weekend, and they are happy with this preview.

Cynthia Nicole said...

Thank you So much!
Again, your closeup photos add so much to my embroidery education.

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Those samplers are amazing! I love the first one, in particular. The colors, the textures, the different fibers - exquisite. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

cucki said...

Thank you so much :)

Allison Aller said...

What a thrill!

margaret said...

thank you Susan for sharing these wonderful photos and the close ups show how beautiful they are. To think they might have been done by children too and no electric light that we have to make life eaasier

lorenabr said...

Stunning post! These pieces are fabulous!
I am re branding! Stop by and say hi!
http://inkandlacedesigns.blogspot.com.au/

Judy S. said...

Thanks for being our eyes at this wonderful event! It always amazes me to see this kind of work, what patience and persistance under conditions that would challenge the most skillful seamstress. They would certainly marvel at the stitching aids of today's world!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow -- thank you so much for sharing your pictures -- what stunning needlework. And that bedcover is ... well... no words!

underatopazsky said...

Stunning - I'd love to see what the colours of the first two pieces would have looked like when they were first stitched.

Createology said...

The labor of love and time spent creating these amazing works of art are what we miss today with our rush rush hurry up lifestyle. Precious treasures and I am so grateful to you Susan for sharing your visit and photos. Creative Stitching Bliss...

Suztats said...

Beautiful! I have so enjoyed seeing these. Thank you.

Wilma said...

What a delicate stitchwork, thanks for showing us Susan!

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