sewing

When Worlds Collide

I listed this book in the Etsy shop the other day. It’s a book of needlepoint patterns based on quilt designs. I always think it’s interesting when needle arts collide like this. The fact that needle arts are adaptable like that is only one of the many creative genius veins that run through our history. Needle arts are so ingrained in our nation’s (and world’s) history, but they are so often overlooked.

This particular book is interesting, because it not only shows the quilt pattern and how to needlepoint it, but it gives background on the individual patterns, and quilting history. For example, did you know that a girl needed to have twelve quilt tops completed in her hope chest? This was, of course, on top of the other items, like pillow cases, etc. But twelve quilt tops! They were not completed quilts, because a girl who completed her quilts before she was engaged was destined to spinsterhood. Instead, the twelve quilt tops were finished after her engagement, as precursors to today’s engagement parties. What a great way to bring women together in celebration!

I’ve come across books like this before. I had one that recreated crochet patterns for bedspreads from the colonial era, and let’s not discount the “Make and Mend” books, that show how to adapt clothing, especially during the World War II era. Our grandmothers would probably think we were nuts for enjoying these “old” things that they lived in real time, but it’s a vital part of enjoying the history of needle arts, don’t you think?

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