Saturday, February 24, 2024

A Short Course on An Important Woman UPDATED

You may never have heard of Martha Edlin, especially if you aren't a student of historical embroideries.   Her embroideries are housed in the UK's Victoria and Albert Musuem and because there are a lot of them and they are all signed and can be dated to the period of 1668 through 1673, she is the most cited embroiderer in the English language.  Now Tricia Nguyen has taken years of research into Martha's life and distilled it into a $15 course on Martha Edlin's life and her stitching.  

Why is this important?  $5 of the course fee will go to the Victoria and Albert Museum to do closeup photos of their embroidery.  Most of us will never be able to visit the museum to study their extensive collections but good quality, detailed photographs will enable us to look at important pieces from the comfort of our living room.

It's also important because the details of Martha's life in the last third of the 17th Century reveals a much richer, more nuanced portrait of what a stitcher's life back then was like.  If you've ever wanted to make your mark on history, even in just a little way, it's important to support research like this.  

Here's where you sign up but note that once you pay, you only have 31 days to watch the videos.  That's part of the deal Tricia made with the museum in order to get access to their Martha Edlin collection.

I often wonder what 21st Century stitchers will know about us.  I suspect not much.  Let's all pitch in and make Martha even more well-known, even if our own stitching history will vanish from the earth when we do.  We owe it to her, to all other stitchers like her, and to ourselves.


UPDATE:  The latest YouTube video talks a bit more about the life of Martha Edlin, shows some of her work as displayed in the V&A Museum, and you'll learn how one goes about trying to piece together the life of a 17th Century woman.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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