Dyed and Gone to Heaven – An Online Magazine and Needlework Resource  


This Month in Our Gallery
Contemporary Crewel Embroidery

Patterns from an exquisite set of period bed hangings are given new life by two indomitable women; one possessing a vision - the other, transforming it into a reality

Anna Winter's dedication to restore her house, a tavern dating from 1750, to its historical splendor, became an odyssey which led to the replication of the original Hancock Bedhangings. She employed skilled craftsmen to get every period detail just right. In Elizabeth Creeden, she found a skilled craftswoman as well as a truly kindred spirit. In choosing the decor for the master bedroom, she came across an embroidered coverlet in a book. The bedhangings which Elizabeth was commissioned to make, were thought to have belonged to Thomas Hancock, a wealthy Boston merchant and were later inherited by his nephew, John Hancock, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Although the coverlet's maker is anonymous, it is thought to be one of the most sophisticated surviving examples of New England Crewelwork. As most colonists preferred coordinated interiors, Anna likewise followed suit. She commissioned Elizabeth to replicate the same pattern for the curtains and crib fittings, as she was expecting a child. Only a person of great talent, skill and dedication would be willing to embark on the years of toil necessary to complete such a monumental assignment. Elizabeth, together with a group of accomplished stitchers, was up to the task. Every inch of fabric she worked, was touched by both hand and heart. At the last, it became a race to the finish line - the final embroidered crib bumper was set in place just in time for the new baby's arrival. The results of Anna's vision and Elizabeth's labors, present a breathtakingly dramatic display of artistic virtuosity.


 Courtesy of the Historic Needlework Guild

Elizabeth's rendition of the Hancock Bedhangings on the cover of Fine Lines magazine provided courtesy The Historical Needlework Guild, Inc. For more information on the Guild and its publications, see their website at http://www.historicneedlework.com


Authentic New England Crewelwork finds its Way to the Tropics and Back Again


About two years ago, a nurse named Sarah Hacket, who spent many years working in Haiti, approached Cheryl Farley at the Old York Historical Society in York, ME, about whether the Society would be interested in setting up a program whereby local Haitian women could embroider reproduction designs on pillows to be sold through the Museum's shop. She suggested using the Mary Bulman Bedhangings as a basis for the designs. This venture would provide Haitian women with a means of support which would not otherwise be available to them. Likewise, the Museum would benefit since, as a non-profit organization, they could not afford the expense of having this type of work done locally and the retail cost would be too high for their customers, in any case. It has proven to be a win-win situation on both sides. Ms. Hacket, the Society's registrar and Ms. Farley selected the individual design elements to reproduce, which are stitched in wool on natural linen to embellish pillows, pin cushions, eyeglass cases and seat covers, depicting details from the hangings. These items are currently available for sale from the Museum Shop in York, ME, or by phone. For more information, call (207) 363-4974, email at oyhs@oldyork.org or visit their website http://www.oldyork.org

A Distinguished Crewel Teacher and Accomplished Designer is likewise an Avid Perpetual Student

Marjorie L. Jones of Chestertown, MD, a renowned needlework instructor, has taught at numerous EGA regional and national seminars, sharing her expertise and contagious enthusiasm. She also holds local classes in her hometown. In 1999 she was the recipient of the Mid-Atlantic Region's Educator of the Year Award and deservedly so. She has studied extensively at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and several others of note. Currently, Marjorie is enrolled in the EGA Master Craftsman programs in both canvas and crewel. Her original designs have been published in Creative Crewel Embroidery by Judy Jeroy, published by Lark Books. Her next Seminar commitment is for the EGA Mid-Atlantic Regional Seminar to be held at Virginia Beach, VA on February 19 -22, 2000. For further information on Marjorie's work and an itinerary of workshops offered, contact her at 24607 Chestertown Road, Chestertown, MD 21620 or e-mail her at marjoemb@dmv.com




A Distinguished Crewel Teacher, Designer, Lecturer and Judge

Mary Clubb who is a teacher, designer, lecturer and judge holds certification in Canvaswork from the Valentine Museum. She has been a national faculty member for ANG, EGA, The Greenbrier and Callaway Gardens, as well as EGA regional seminars and ANG and EGA chapters nationwide. She has completed Phase 1I in Japanese Embroidery and is author of an EGA correspondence course.* Her work has been shown nationally. Her "Log Cabin Tree," the winner of Needlepoint News Silk and Metal contest, 1981, was shown on the cover Nov. - Dec., 1981. She is co-author of several canvaswork books. Her latest publications are "Wild Geese Fly The Gray Scale, "Log Cabin Tree", "Lacquered Leaves" on cover of Needlepoint Now, May, June 1999. "Tapestry Tulips" on cover Needlepoint Retailer, Jan, Feb 1999.

For more information, contact Mary at mclubb@dmv.com

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