Of Interest:

Neat stitching tool:  
    I just spent a great weekend at the 2016 NY Talk Temari Stitchin.  As we were spending some time working on a new temari project, some of us took note of a neat tool that one of the stitchers had.  It is called an aficot.  None of us had ever seen such a tool.  It is rather like a laying tool, but is about the size of a latch hook rug tool.  We were told it was used for smoothing threads.
    Of course, since it was something different, everyone wanted to know where we could get one.  This one came from "a guy in Texas", and was a beautifully turned piece.  We were told it was available in different woods.  I went web surfing after the weekend and found what I thought was the site, M&H Handicrafts.  Customers write about his exotic woods, and this sounded just like the person we had been told about.  However, the site seemed to be under construction, not going past the homepage, and when I checked back a week later, it said, "This site has stepped out for a bit."  
    This does not sound good.  I could not find anyone else in the United States who had one, but found two places in the United Kingdom.  The Guild of Needle Laces,
http://www.guildofneedlelaces.org/sales.html​, has them.  The price of 10 pounds is not dire, depending on what the shipping comes to.           
    Our own Jane, of Chilly Hollow fame, refers to this tool and references Mary Corbett's blog as having a good history of the tool.  Mary says that such tools were originally made from lobster claws, and have therefore maintained that shape.   According to Mary  it is used in lace making.  It polishes raised threads, and smoothes down areas of tape or fabric between lines of stitching.  

   If you go to Mary's blog, http://www.needlenthread.com/2015/03/whats-an-aficot-embroidery-tool.html​, you can see photos, more information, and she also has a video.  Mary mentions M&H, the Guild of Needle Laces, and Needlepaws, also in the UK, as sources.  Needlepaws also lists a price of 10  pounds, but warns there is a limited availability and long delivery.
  In any case, all of us at the Stichin were fascinated by our friend's aficot.  It is definitely a unique and cool thing to add to your needlework tools!

From Angela: 
Fashion trends:

Here's an interesting article on how Japanese fashion impacted Victorian trends.

Fabric of India:

Here is one that Andreas actually found for us. Check out the information on embroidery and traditional techniques in India, with several videos.

Royal School of Needlework:

Here's a short video from CBS on the RSN; not an in depth picture of the school but interesting none the less.
The school is also offering an opportunity to view part of their collection over the next three months. I'd love to go; hope some of you are in the area and can take advantage of the opportunity.
https://royal-needlework.org.uk/ (scroll to the bottom of the page for info

Liturgical Embroidery:
Here is a project that started small and developed into a huge effort. Even if you aren't religious you can admire the dedication.


Starry Quilt:

What's the craziest place you've ever stitched? This needle worker has you all beaten. Check out this quilt square sewed on the international space station; it definitely puts a new spin on losing your needle. Make sure you check out the video on the right side of the page. I couldn't find a good photo of the finished quilt so if anyone locates one please share.

Gilded Pomegranate:

Don't forget the newest EGA online studio class is open for registration for a few more days. Check it out.


Here is an article I found at the Victoria and Albert Museum about the history of samplers and how they developed over the centuries.
What is a biscornu? Apparently there is no clear cut definition or even explanation of where it came from. But here is a short description of what they are and how they fit into the stitching world.

Note:  A number of years ago CS folks made a LOT of biscornus.  We were the chapter in charge of favors for one of the seminars.


ow many of us even think about signing or documenting our stitching? Most of what we do is for our personal enjoyment and a good deal of it ends up in a drawer until we find where we can gift it or we simply have to clear it out. Will our children, grandchildren and on have any idea who made something and why. Somehting to think about.

I received this newsletter from Needle in a Haystack earlier this week. Some of you may have already seen it, but it's a great article about lighting requirements and available lamps, etc.

Tracking Projects:
I ran across this website and it's really intriguing. It's just in the development phase right now, but if it lives up to its promises it could be a great tool


From Jeanine posting Feb. 13:

This weekend marks the 100th birthday of a Emma Vidal, a lacemaker on Burano, an island in the Venetian lagoon where they make needlelace in Italy. She has dedicated her whole life to lace. There is a celebratory function going on this weekend at the lacemaking school on Burano. This short YouTube video is part of an interview with Emma Vidal at the lacemaking school. Unfortunately there are no English subtitles but you can still see her work and the environment. She says that lacemaking is an art just the same as Michelangelo's art and that it is dying out because all the girls today have university degrees and other interests and there is no one to learn the lacemaking. Her specialty is the Burano lace netting, the most difficult of all the stitches. Watch to the end (after the credits).



Jeanine in BC