RSS Feed for New Blog

If you used to have a RSS feed for this blog, The Embroiderer’s Story, and would like to have one for the new blog there is a way to do that now on the page.  So sign up for the new blog and don’t miss the posts such as today’s one on my favorite textile stop in Paris.



A New Blog

Well, the audience has spoken and everyone has agreed that the new format for The Embrodierer’s Story using Blogger is a winner.  I like it too as I have total control over the interface, WordPress is difficult and I needed an expert to help me with the design and replacement of bits.  That is why it is a bit stale, I keep going through consultants and haven’t had a reliable one for over a year.

That said, I am going to leave this blog here and active to act as an archive.  I will change the routing from my site to the new blog and if you have an RSS feed, please visit the new blog and set it for the new blog (at the bottom of the page) so you don’t miss anything!  I will eventually build out the new blog to have some additional pages with reference material that archives some of the goodies on this blog.  I’ll put a button on the new blog so you can still find this site and look for older posts.

The New Home of the Embroiderer’s Story is located at:

It also has new posts and some loaded to go as well!


Close Up on Beaded Basket

For those who are working on the beaded baskets for the contest, here are some pictures of the original basket close up to get a sense on how our reproductions are stacking up to the techniques of the past.

I also want to get everyone’s opinion on the blogger option.  I really like the newer/fresh design and the size of pictures.  So go to  and see what you think.  This isn’t written in stone yet – just a test!


A Tiny 17th Century Beaded Basket

This is one of the four original beaded baskets that form the basis of the beaded basket design competition.  It is made from three sizes of beads, a large and small white bead and a medium sized transparent green bead.  The two

oval wire forms used for the base and rim are made from 1 mm diameter wire that is bent to shape with the two ends being made like hooks and fastened in that way to close the oval.  The sides and bottom are worked by threading beads on wire while the wire is twisted around the form or previous intertwined work.  It’s tiny size is really sweet!



A Contest – 17th Century Beaded Baskets

Would you like a wooden casket form?  Or maybe a fancy mirror frame? Well, maybe you should enter my design contest based around 17th century beaded baskets.  This contest was inspired by two separate events that seem symbiotic and maybe destined to be!  The first was the acquisition through a friend of a set of tiny beaded baskets from the 17th century.  The baskets are almost identical as a pair and the same as two others known.  All the baskets were reported to have been found in embroidered caskets.  Due to their small size, this is believable as they barely hold a business card.  The baskets use the same basic construction techniques as the large (approximately 18″ x 14″) beaded baskets, sometimes called christening baskets, found in the second half of the 17th century.  Could these small pieces be a first school girl project, designed to teach them the basics of construction?  With that thought in mind, and knowing how we all love these but are scared to make a full sized on, I devised a contest using the small basket.  I rescaled the basket to be about 50% larger so I could have the frame pieces made and so small beads could be used to form decorative flowers and fruits for the pieces.  Then I made a kit up as a Needlework Nibble with instructions on how to make it as a base for the contest.

Well, it was during this process that I became aware of the campaign at the Holburne Museum to raise funds to purchase a fantastic example of this art.  They needed to raise 6000 pounds from the public to qualify for an art fund grant for the rest.  Their time frame was tight and a bit too tight for all the beads to get here.  But in anticipation of launching the contest and Needlework Nibble to raise the funds – I made a donation of the last $3000 they needed by their deadline.

So if you are interested in finding out more – click here to download the contest information and then here to see the Needlework Nibble.  If you just like looking at wonderful pictures, the Needlework Nibble page also has weblinks for many of the beautiful baskets that are in public collections.


P.S.  I haven’t been blogging as the application has been having issues and I can’t get the WordPress expert to work on the blog for months.  Now I can’t upload photos.  Hopefully I will find a way to fix this and get back to blogging – plus showing you pictures of these baskets!

P.S.S.  Just got some imaging capability back!  But am considering moving to Blogger – but it would eliminate all the former blog posts.  Thoughts?

Tudor Rose Online Course Open for Registration

The Tudor Rose Online University course is now open for registration.  The reservations have gone fast and I am down already to 87 spots from 128.  This course is a project to explore the use of composite gold and silk detached stitches.  Many students are familiar with the Stuart and Tudor plaited braid, but there are several dozen other gold stitches where the metal thread goes through the fabric.  The Tudor and Stuart Gold Master Class teaches 26 of these stitches and if you have considered taking this course but haven’t been sure that you would like it – this class is for you.  It teaches (with animations) six of the stitches and adds a twist, using silk to interweave the stitches to add color to the glitter.

If you have already taken the Gold Master Class, this project teaches the compositing of the stitches with silk and gives you another project to practice what you have learned.


Extra Large Sweet Bag – Anyone?

Thomaston Place Auctions has a 18th century (George II) Burse for sale in their upcoming auction.  Originally made to hold the ceremonial Great Seal, the Lord Chancelor would have had this made for his office.  The bag is about 18″ x 17″ and is worked in high relief with cherub heads in silver and gold metal threads.  So if you have a few extra sheckles to spend, mosey over to the site and have a closer look.


Les Arts Decoratifs

There is a new exhibit that opened yesterday at Les Arts Decoratifs, a separate museum of the Louvre.  La Mecanique des Dessous is a facinating look at the structures developed to change the human siluette from the 14th century to today.  The largest number of examples are from the 14th to the 18th century and cover everything from ruffs to cod-pieces and the supports for all types of female fashion.  Having worked on the Plimoth Jacket and learning about many of these items for the early 17th century, I was thrilled to see the large number of reproductions, cutaways and even motor operated metal supports showing how they hinged and allowed a woman to sit or dress.

Even more fun was a room where you could try on these items!  The ladies were having too much fun here.  And unforturnately my family was done with their activity and were texting me “are you done yet?” every few minutes so I couldn’t try on a ruff for a pic!

For those who can’t see the exhibition and want to struggle through the French, there is a very beautiful catalog.  The web site is slanted to the modern; whereas I found the exhibit slanted to the historical.  But you will see lovely things online.


Trinket Box

I don’t think I have ever had a busier May and June in my life.  Moving into a new home and renovating most of it at the same time – what a huge amount of work.  You would think I am swinging the hammer myself!  But it is the decision making that is taking so much time up.  That and working ahead.

So as if my life wasn’t busy enough, planned since last year is a sabbatical that my husband was to be on in Europe for the summer.  So I had to get all my kits packed for classes in May and early June, ship them out and then work on any ‘stuff’ I needed to do that I couldn’t take with me to prepare for the summer lessons for Cabinet of Curiosities.  That and buy or make every decision that the This Old House guys would need while I am gone.  So appliances, tiles, paint colors, stain on the floor, you name it!  What to do about the trim around that window… all of that was written down or drawn into a master booklet for them.  I went crazy with my to-do list.  Oh – and ship out 350 large kits too!

So of course, the blog was the thing that had to slide on my to-do list.  But now after a week of travel and settling into our apartment and sleeping off the sleep debt/jet lag, I finally feel like I could do a few posts.

The good thing about being abroad for an extended period is the opportunity to do a bit of research and some work with the manufacturers over here.  There have already been some very yummy discoveries on both fronts that will result in fun stuff in about 6 months-a year.

But to start my blogging again – here are pictures of the Trinket Box that was finished for the Cabinet of Curiosities class before I left.  This box is the fifth and final project in the class – it allows all the students to practice the box finishing techniques as well as produce something really wonderful.  There were many small embroidery covered boxes in the 17th century as well.  This style of box is modeled after one.  The box is 3″ x 5″ x about 3″ high.


Floral Glove Open for Registration

I was able to find enough of the difficult to find gold threads to open 60 spots for registration in Floral Glove Needlecase for September 1, 2013.  We already have 20 people in the class from the wait list so if you are interested in taking this course, there are 40 spots available for the fall.

The course is taught in six months with an extensive history section with licensed close photos of 17th century embroidered gloves from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.  The project itself sits flat on the table looking like a glove, the gauntlet opens to reveal places for scissors and needlework tools to fit in.  The class is $40/month for 6 months and can be registered at the Thistle Threads website.