In Praise of the Needlewoman

Illuminated Capital

The Needlewoman

click to enlarge image

In medieval times the scribes of Europe copied books by hand. New writing styles were developed to celebrate the publication of a new translation of the Bible, the marriage of a king, or the election of the Pope. Especially in sacred manuscripts each page was begun with an elaborate capital letter, richly conceived and often picturing some scene appropriate to the text of that page.

The Needlewoman draws from that tradition but celebrates the embroiderer. Inside the capital N is a stitcher, busy at her frame. Around her float the tools of her trade. The remainder of the word is rendered in Italic calligraphy, and a scroll of delicate flowers frame the word both top and bottom.

The student will learn a bit of gold work, along with other traditional canvaswork and embroidery stitches. But the primary emphasis is on creating a beautiful composition.

This is the perfect piece to hang proudly in your studio or above your stitching chair. And its elegance truly celebrates our beloved artistic endeavor, and the woman who does it.

  • Time: 2 days
  • Proficiency Level:Intermediate
  • Kit cost: $110
  • Ground Fabric: Congress Cloth
  • Size of Piece: 8″ x 16″ on 12″ x 20″ stretcher bars