Thursday, December 4, 2014

Antique Needlepoint at the Musuem

Susan (you know her as Plays with Needles) have been to the "Diligant Needle" exhibit at Winterthur and came home with some great photographs of pieces that caught her fancy.  I am most interested at the second piece she admired, which is what with think of as Victorian needlepoint but with a difference.  The flowers and at least one butterfly are over stitched with filament silk in what we now call needle painting, giving emphasis and life to select areas of the design.

Actually, based on this overstitching I'd guess this is the work of a British stitcher as it appears to be heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement to my eyes.  Of course well traveled Americans would have see William Morris' work but somehow I think this is a domestic piece done by one of Morris' admirers in England.

There are several great ideas, like the chain and stem stitches that create the "eye" on the butterfly's wing and the stem and straight stitches that give detail to a leaf.  This indeed is one of the stitching ancestors of today's embellished needlepoint style!

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