During the last few weeks Mathilda, (my netbook) has been battling a malware attack. I am glad to report that she is back to her usual helpful self.
During the time that I was resolving my computer problems, I enjoyed the opportunity of judging the needlework at the Monterey County Fair. This was a full day of going nose to magnifier with other people’s work, looking for problems all the while hoping not to find any.
In a way that is kind of depressing – looking for other people’s mistakes, but that was the job. The flip side is that by finding the areas where the work was not quite perfect, I hope to be able to help the stitchers make progress. This is the two edged sword of critique . . . it may hurt, but it may also help.
Embroidery can be considered an anonymous art, in that much of the time it is not signed or dated, especially work done before the 17th century. The samplers and other embroideries that have survived the ravages of time allow us a peek into the lives and attitudes of the girls and women who created them – from their perspective. This is one of the main things that samplers do – communicate. Early samplers shared patterns and helped their creators retain the information they had gathered. Later samplers became a way to communicate ownership and information about the world. They helped teach young girls about their place within society. Just as women of the past used their samplers to retain and share information, we continue to do so today. Modern samplers ask us to consider our roles as creators who use embroidery to communicate a message through our work.
In the Bible it says that by our fruits ye shall know us. Our samplers are the fruits of our hands. We have worked into them a message for those around us. We may not have done this intentionally, but the message cannot help but come forth. The women and girls that plied their needles in the past had no intention of sending a message down through the ages to us, yet we take meaning from their surviving works. It will be the same for us. So the question really is: what does our stitchery tell about us? Steven Wang said, “History belongs to those who dare to write it.” I say our stitchery is our history. It is what we leave behind for future generations. We created it and it reflects our reality. Let’s send a clear message to help future generations understand our times – from our perspective.
Hi – I am Dawn Peschke and I would like to Thank You for stopping by DP Stitchin’. I love to stitch and hope to share my excitement with you.
I started this blog so that I could share some of the cool things I have learned about embroidery and connect with others who share my love for this work – no matter where in the world they are. I know I am not the only one out there who is crazy about stitchin’, so introduce yourselves – I would love to get to know you.
I took a degree in Studio Art with most of my work being done in the areas of Teaching & Textiles, but I also have a strong interest in Art History. I think it is important to understand the role that embroidery in all its various forms, has played throughout history. The work of our sister stitchers* becomes a resource for our own work and connects us to our stitchin’ roots while acting as a window into their worlds.
So, join me on my journey . . . the adventure begins!
*yes, I know there have been guys involved at times, but we both know that stitchin’ is still mostly a gal thing, which is too bad. Gonna have to do somethin’ about that!