This N' That
Recently, I visited the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston Salem, North Carolina. On
display were samplers created by young women who attended the Salem Academy, the oldest girls school in the
South. Founded in 1772, this school attracted young women, or should I say, it attracted their parents -
parents who were focused on finding a good match for their daughters. Wealthy young women attended this
school and obtained a basic education while also learning to sew, play a musical instrument, or sing - accomplishments that would make the young woman a catch. If they learned everything else as well as they learned to sew,
these young ladies were indeed accomplished. Samplers sewn on high count linen with fine silk threads showed skills with a needle at age 12 that many of us do not accomplish in a lifetime. Acquired as a means to catch a man,
these skills would keep generations of women occupied without the benefit of radio, tv, telephone, or game console.
At the same time on another continent, generations of young European women were also learning needle arts. While many were young women of wealth, many more were young women who viewed needle work as a means to an end -employment. A young lady might create a sampler featuring many stitches or variations of a single stitch. The sampler was her resume. Women who stitched for a living plied their trade until they married, or their eyes gave out, or their hands became crippled with arthritis.
Today we stitch for different reasons. We stitch to remember; we stitch to forget; we stitch to mark the events of a lifetime; we stitch to fill empty hours; we stitch to relax in our too crowded days - we stitch. We stitch alone, in
small groups, in waiting rooms, on boats, trains, cars, and airplanes - we stitch. We learn from teachers, friends, magazines, the internet. Every day our skills grow and develop - we stitch. As our eyes weaken with age we
stitch with magnification, we stitch with added light, we stitch with lower thread counts, larger needles and thicker fibers - we stitch. Someday in the 22nd century a piece of ours may hang in a museum, but for now, we follow in
the footsteps of those who went before us and we stitch. We stitch in public, we stitch in private - we stitch. We are a community of stitchers and this month we welcome Anna Lynn Wagner into our stitching community. Our numbers grow larger - we stitch..
We currently have two library displays in progress: one at the Port Malabar Library and one at the Viera Library. Please stop by and take a look! They truly represent all our members. If you have a suggestion of a future location of a library exhibit, please contact Christine.
Plan ahead for the displays and give Christine a call. .
Go To Page Menu Go To Site Navigation