Victoria & Albert Museum,  Sampler (England), Jane Bostocke, 1598,

A Brief History of Band Samplers

LILY HOMER August, 2018 Samplers first appear in historical text in the early 1500s. A 1502 expense document of Queen Elizabeth of York states: “…for an elne of Iynnyn cloth for a sampler for the Quene’[1].” In 1530, John Palsgrave published an encyclopedia with the following entry under ‘sampler’: “exemplar for women to work by; example.”[2] These early textual references mark the approximate entry of samplers into common use. (Read the full article)

Tummings-Carousel

Carrousel, 1987, hand embroidery, appliqué, hand quilting, beading, needle punching.

Featured Artist: LaQuita Tummings

LILY HOMER August, 2018 “My mother encouraged me to learn traditional crafts. She taught me to sew and crochet before I was 12 years old. I credit my maternal grandmother for my love of quilting. Despite not knowing her. I started to make quilts after seeing quilts she had made. I have been quilting since 1976. In 2008 I took a class with Susan Else and realized that fabric can be used a medium for sculpture.” (Read the full article).

Feeling Artsy? Here’s How Making Art Helps Your Brain

By Malaka Gharib

A lot of my free time is spent doodling. I’m a journalist on NPR’s science desk by day. But all the time in between, I am an artist — specifically, a cartoonist.

I draw in between tasks. I sketch at the coffee shop before work. And I like challenging myself to complete a zine — a little magazine — on my 20-minute bus commute.

I do these things partly because it’s fun and entertaining. But I suspect there’s something deeper going on. Because when I create, I feel like it clears my head. It helps me make sense of my emotions. And it somehow, it makes me feel calmer and more relaxed.

That made me wonder: What is going on in my brain when I draw? (Read the full article)

Gillian Creelman, Fluer de lys, c. 1953.

Remembering the RSN in the 1950s

LILY HOMER July, 2018 “Gillian Creelman graduated from the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) in England in 1953. Her student portfolio contains a wealth of teaching aids and historical needlework examples, such as heraldry and ecclesiastic embroidery, and examples of needlepainting and crewelwork. She carried this body of work over to the US, where she has kept it well preserved for decades. This year, she generously bestowed this portfolio to our growing private collection. (Read the full article).

Lacis Museum of Berkeley Puts on a Stunning Show

LILY HOMER June, 2018 The Fringed Shawl: Transcending Generations and Cultures at the Lacis Museum in Berkeley is an enriching exhibition of dozens of breathtaking, hand-embroidered shawls used in Spanish Flamenco dancing. The exhibit is hung in one room of the Lacis building, in a wide, lofted space with shaded windows and brick walls. Large, colorful shawls throughout the room hang on temporary walls and mannequins and sit in glass cases. (Read the full article)

JUDY CHICAGO, SMOCKED FIGURE AND DETAILS, 1984, SMOCKING AND EMBROIDERY OVER DRAWING ON FABRIC, 61.5 X 22 IN. © JUDY CHICAGO

JUDY CHICAGO, SMOCKED FIGURE AND DETAILS, 1984, SMOCKING AND EMBROIDERY OVER DRAWING ON FABRIC, 61.5 X 22 IN. © JUDY CHICAGO

Judy Chicago Talks Needlework

LILY HOMER June, 2018 Judy Chicago’s work has long been associated with bringing needlework into the spotlight. As in her groundbreaking 1979 installation The Dinner Party, she uses embroidery to make a statement about women’s work versus artwork. (Read the full article).

Needles

Needles by John Saba (From left) Two deer leg needles, camel bone needle (fashioned from rectangle blank), thin copper needle and thick bronze needle (both hammered and shaped)

A Brief History of the Sewing Needle

LILY HOMER May, 2018 The needles we use here at SNAD are made of steel, copper, and a thin layer of gold or silver to avoid rust or corrosion. The modern embroidery needle, made of combinations of different metals, however, is just the most recent in a long (and we mean really long) history of needle development. (Read the full article).

Laura Tandesky, 2018

Hanging Thread

LILY HOMER April, 2018 If you haven’t been to SNAD in the last month, then you haven’t seen our current gallery show, featuring Bay Area artist Laura Tandeske. This show, up through the end of April, features six garments, embellished with colorful needlework. Some of these pieces have been worn for decades — both by Tandeske and her friends — and some (the army jackets, namely), are more recent undertakings. (Read the full article).

Thomas Webster, A Dame’s School [1845] Photo © Tate. CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0

‘Riting, ‘Reading, and ‘Rithmetic

LILY HOMER April, 2018Elementary schools in the 21st century rarely teach needlework as a basic educational tenant. However, between the 17th and 19th centuries, Dame Schools in the United States prioritized sewing and embroidery in their lesson plans. Boys and girls learned needle skills alongside arithmetic and spelling. (Read the full article).

Might Crafts Such As Knitting Offer Long-Term Health Benefits?

AMANDA MASCARELLI April 21, 2014 When I picked up knitting needles for the first time about two years ago, I couldn’t have imagined how vital the hobby would become to my well-being. Learning to knit was hard for me, but once I mastered it, the craft became addictive, in a good way: It calmed me and helped me to write and to deal with the frustrations of motherhood. Crafters have long recognized the therapeutic value of activities such as knitting and crocheting. … (Read the full article online.)

This Is Your Brain On Crafting

JACQUE WILSON 9:23 AM ET, Mon January 5, 2015 In the years that followed, Huerta couldn’t leave the house without suffering a panic attack. She hated getting in cars since her brother’s body was found in one. She couldn’t seem to hold down a job. Every time she stepped outside she felt disaster closing in. Her physician diagnosed her with post-traumatic stress disorder and extreme anxiety. Her husband gave her knitting needles…..  (Read the full article online)

Passing On Needlework Skills to Young People

MARJORIE M. BAKER, M.S. February 2005; revised July 2012 Why should we pass needlework skills on to young people? Don’t they have enough to do with school, sports, music lessons, TV, and video games? And besides, it’s so easy to buy needle crafted items at the store—the ones imported from overseas. Before you answer these questions, think about why you enjoy doing needlework yourself. We live in an age of technology and because of this, many parents have failed to see the importance of teaching handwork to their children. Family sociology has changed, families are spread out across the country, and the tradition of passing heritage skills from one generation to the next has almost been lost. Thankfully, the needle arts are experiencing a renewal, and many adults are learning the skills that were abandoned when they were growing up….  (Read the full article online)

Fine Cell Work: How Taking Up Needlework Is Helping High-Security Prisoners Find Self-Worth

RACHEL MOSS 22/10/2015 17:59 BST Around the country, men and women in high-security prisons are picking up a needle and thread and learning how to sew. Why? “It enables them to be calm, productive, creative and to mentally and spiritually get beyond prison,” Katy Emck, the founding director of Fine Cell Work tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle. Fine Cell Work is a social enterprise that trains prisoners in creative needlework – but it’s not your average crafts club. … (Read the full article online.)

WSJ

Why Embroidered Fashion is Stitch Perfect

By JESSICA BUMPUS Aug. 20, 201511:13 a.m. ET EVEN IF YOU were temporarily dumbstruck by the appearance of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson reprising their “Zoolander” roles at the fall Valentino show, there was something else you couldn’t fail to miss: the label’s persistently exquisite use of embroidery. After several collections marked by flora, fauna and abstract motifs rendered in a rainbow of thread, it’s fair to say that Valentino’s design duo, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, have cornered the market in embroidery since arriving at the label in 2008. While their opulently crafted gowns conjure a modern-day fairy tale, they’ve applied embroidery to more unlikely pieces, too, like the fisherman sweater. Floral-stitched, that sturdy staple looks fresh and newly luxe….  (Read the full article online)

Financial Times

Embroidery Enjoys a Fashion Renaissance

GRACE COOK June 19, 2015 4:41 pm Skilled needleworkers are increasingly rare. Grace Cook asks who sews for whom?  n a small, unassuming workshop off London’s Oxford Street, three embroiderers are hunched over wooden frames, feverishly hand-stitching designs on to silk. It’s solitary work that requires a great deal of patience and accuracy. Hand & Lock, established in 1767, is one of the few remaining embroidery companies in the UK and its young female embroiderers (all in their twenties) have stitched pieces for Tom Ford, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. For Chanel, they created a gold badge for a blazer; a beaded crest with interlocking Cs. Usually, they charge £40 an hour; the badge took 24 hours. Embroidering can be a costly enterprise. It’s perhaps surprising, then, to find this highly specialised skill flourishing in ready-to-wear. … (Read the full article online.)

Having Gone Largely Unnoticed In The ‘Game Of Thrones’ Series, It’s Now Impossible To Take Your Eyes Off It

MICHELE CARRAGHER AND LEAVESOFIVY November, 2015 You’re probably a big fan of Game of Thrones and you may have even watched the series at least a dozen times in anticipation of the new season. But through all those viewings, did you ever notice the attention to detail that goes into the show? For example, the costumes. Have you ever really looked at the intricate designs on all of them? You probably haven’t, but after seeing these, you won’t be able to ignore them. Check out the amazing embroidery by Michele Carragher with captions courtesy of LeavesofIvy….  (Read the full article online)

A Stitch in Time: The Very Modern World of the Instagram Sewing Circle

HANNAH MARRIOTT Thursday 20 August 2015 10.09 EDT It’s not often that hip-hop lyrics and octogenarian needle-and-thread experts are united by a fashion trend, but in the delightful world of modern embroidery such contrasts are celebrated. Embroidery is having quite a moment in fashion – and on Instagram – right now, with a growing number of artists and designers posting pictures of their delicate work on social media. The techniques they use tend to be traditional – with embroidery hoops and crewel needles a common feature – but the subject matter is often anything but. … (Read the full article online.)

https://nyti.ms/2FK015i
ART & DESIGN

Don’t Tell Ken Burns Quilts Are Quaint

By JUDITH H. DOBRZYNSKI JAN. 16, 2018
This week, the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Neb., will reveal a surprising side of the prolific filmmaker Ken Burns: He collects quilts. The exhibition “Uncovered: The Ken Burns Collection” will display 28 of them for the first time. Mr. Burns has been buying American quilts since the mid-1970s, often on prowls through antique stores on the back roads of New England; before too long, dealers began coming to him. (Read full article online)

Feeling Artsy? Here’s How Making Art Helps Your Brain

By Malaka Gharib

A lot of my free time is spent doodling. I’m a journalist on NPR’s science desk by day. But all the time in between, I am an artist — specifically, a cartoonist.

I draw in between tasks. I sketch at the coffee shop before work. And I like challenging myself to complete a zine — a little magazine — on my 20-minute bus commute.

I do these things partly because it’s fun and entertaining. But I suspect there’s something deeper going on. Because when I create, I feel like it clears my head. It helps me make sense of my emotions. And it somehow, it makes me feel calmer and more relaxed.

That made me wonder: What is going on in my brain when I draw? (Read the whole article)