Saturday, October 22, 2016


Another example - no links as they were taken down.
So I don't normally write a blog post just for one person - but today is the day!

While at Winterthur last weekend, a stitcher came up to me very excited by a recent purchase and it was an extremely lovely cream huswif with gold threads and little mirrors.  After oohing and ahhing over the beautiful piece, I had to run to class to teach and somehow lost her name among my stuff.  And of course since most people at the conference have taken a class or two - a review of the seminar participants made everyone stick out as someone I had just talked to!

I promised to take a quick look and see what I could dig up - and I wanted to let her know I found several pieces that would help her in her quest to understand her new yummy piece.  So here they are, several pieces from auction and museum records!

This piece is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and is listed as being made in the Americas circa 1780.  Then there is another in the Art Institute of Chicago; this one is listed as being 19th century.  This next example is not listed as from any particular century nor where it was from.  Then this last one - which is very similar to hers.

They all share a few characteristics - the squished looped trim that is found on 17th century stumpwork is the most recognizable thread.  Then beads as well.  But uniformly the pieces are listed as huswifs/huswifes - which was the question raised.  None of us knew what the mirrors were for.  I suggested that they might be able to be oriented to help reflect light on a project.

Hope that helps!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Thanks for posting, Tricia! I know the stitcher who owns the piece you saw at Winterthur and sent her the link the post. I know she'll be thrilled!

  2. These are very interesting!

  3. This is also very reminiscent of the Sailor's Huswif that Merry Cox designed and taught years ago - she had one mirror on hers - perhaps she knows why there are mirrors there...