Friday, November 19, 2010

CHS Needlework Exhibit Part #1

What a treat! For a birthday present Cy and I went to the Connecticut Historical Society's new needlework exhibit. It's about the amazing needlework done by CT women in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Those of you who know me know I JUST LOVE early needlework, especially 17th and 18th century embroidery. I have a bit in my house, I try to have some for sale on my website. Just love it!
The image above it in the entry of the show, a dramatic bed rug from the mid 18th C. CT. I have seen a few bed rugs, and they've all been hooked, kind of like hooked rugs. This one was embroidered, with darning and couching stitches, and probably others I don't know the name of.

Another unbelievable bed rug, again embroidered.
 On the detail pic you can see the darning stitches in the brown background. Above the large central flower was a name and date, about 1768 if I remember right.

Here's the third bed rug, this one is hooked with what looked like wool thread through a wool back.

A great calamanco in just mint condition. I wish you could see how crispy it still was. Yes, I peeked, the back was butternut linsey.

Just look at the detail!

One of few known 18th C. petticoats embroidered in crewel. Made here in CT! By a very persistent lady I'd say.
Here is a detail. So fine and delicate, the wood threads look like spiderweb. And its amazing the colors are still so strong.

I will finish today's edition with this man's wallet, John Storrs, 1754, in fact. It's quite rare to see a landscape on a wallet. Usually they are geometric designs, and rarely crewel flowers, so really really rarely landscapes.

I'll post the rest tomorrow.

If you are in Connecticut any time between now and March 26, 2011, I highly recommend this exhibit. Check out for more info, and there's a great book with pictures of all the exhibits you can buy also.


  1. Thank you for sharing these wonderful old pieces of early needlework,Judi.

    I LOVE early needlework and seeing these beautiful examples just makes my heart sing.

    What a wonderful day you must've had.

  2. What a wonderful birthday gift! Thank you for sharing photos of this incredible work. I can't wait to see the rest of the exhibit!