Review: Threads of Life

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Art? Handicraft? Women’s work? What is needlework to you? To Clare Hunter, needlework is not just a decorative frivolity but true skilled labour and a means of telling the stories of the individuals, countries and historical periods. To her, the act of sewing is to secure and trap out personal memories in thread and fabric. ‘Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle’ is Clare Hunter’s exploration of the oft-forgotten tales of the accomplished hands that created many different textile pieces, lost and preserved, and the political and social environments surrounding their work.

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Review: Uwagake and Shitagake-Chidori Kagari Temari (手まり上掛け千鳥かがりと下掛け千鳥かがり)

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links meaning if you purchase the book through these links, I receive a small commission to help keep running the blog. However, any recommendations and opinions in this review are my own. For more information, please click here. I received a copy of this book as a gift. All images featured are from the book and are the work of the author, Ai Mizuta.

I’ve moved recently and one of the things that this always forces you to confront is quite how much I love books. This isn’t a particularly new realisation to me, I’ve always been a huge fan of novels, short stories or any form of literature, but I have really managed to amass quite a craft book collection over the last few years.

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Museum of Fine Arts and Futuristic Textiles

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston boasts a collection that covers every continent, spanning over nearly three thousand years. It’s an impressive feat for a museum that only covers three floors yet still manages to cover every discipline in the fine arts.

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The MFA also do free entry on some Fridays as part of the ‘Free Fun Friday’ program, which means you have no excuse for not popping in for a quick visit. Whereas the Victoria and Albert museum might take you several lifetimes to see all of it, you can see all of the MFA in a few hours so it really is a breakneck speed tour through civilisation.

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Lowell and the New England Quilting Museum

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Lowell is a city to the north west of Boston which birthed the American Industrial Revolution. As you walk around, you can still see the mills and textile factories that housed the first ‘power looms’ in America that automated large parts of the weaving process and manufactured the coarse cottons that take their name from the city.

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After the Great Depression and decline of the textile industry, Lowell became something of an economic wasteland. However, now, Lowell has been transformed a National Historical Park, which is a slightly confusing name because the Park part refers to part of the city itself. A huge amount of effort has been made to preserve the history and make for an interesting and informative visit.

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