Good morning, my friends, and Happy Friday before Christmas! Are you ready for the final installment of A Stitcher’s Christmas, 2017? I hope so, because it’s a doozy!
A huge, huge thanks to all the needlework businesses who joined me this year in putting together A Stitcher’s Christmas! They really went above and beyond in putting together terrific prizes to help give back to the needlework community with some really special gifts! When you’re looking for embroidery supplies, kits, tools, books and the like, please keep them in mind and support these small businesses.
Today, then, is the final installment of this year’s series. The prize? Delicate hand-crafted, heirloom quality scissors in their own wooden case, created by Jean Marie Roulot in Nogent, France, and offered to one happy winner by The French Needle. They are certainly the scissor enthusiast’s dream!
We’ll also discover the winners of A Stitcher’s Christmas #7 from Monday – a lovely collection of embroidery books from Search Press North America.
As usual, let’s take care of business first!
Stitcher’s Christmas #7 Winners
A Stitcher’s Christmas #7 announced on Monday involves two winners, who each get a nice selection of instructional and inspirational needlework books from Search Press to add to their needlework libraries!
The randomly drawn winners for A Stitcher’s Christmas #7 are Nancy Cook and Wendy in MN. Congratulations to both! I’ll drop you a line later today!
A Stitcher’s Christmas #9: The 2017 Final Installment!
My love of beautiful embroidery tools was slow developing. Once upon a time, to me, a tool was just that – a tool – and if it worked well and did what I wanted, I liked it. During this period of somewhat dull practicality in my life, I never really concerned myself with the decorative aspect of embroidery tools.
But as my love of needlework grew deeper, so did the understanding that useful things can also be beautiful. Sure, there is beauty in any well-made thing, just by virtue of its being well-made. And scissors are no exception to this. I have scissors that are so well made, with such precision in engineering and construction, that they really are beautiful, even if they aren’t particularly decorative.
But scissors can go beyond just the beauty of their good construction and engineered perfection for cutting. Scissors, throughout history, have been an excellent “medium” for artistic expression on the part of the one who uses the scissors, but especially on the part of the maker of the scissors.
Imagine a pair of scissors precisely engineered for cutting perfection and made in such a decorative way that they’re a work of art – and there you have the idea behind the scissors in today’s giveaway!
M. Jean-Marie Roulot of Nogent, France, is one of the few artisans still making hand-crafted and exquisite embroidery scissors. You can read a little bit about M. Roulot in this article about The Scissor Man.
The French Needle stocks an ever-changing variety of these scissors from M. Roulot.
These are the types of scissors that you’d give as a very special gift, to someone very dear to you who loves needlework, or perhaps as a gift for yourself to celebrate some Milestone of Life.
Today’s give-away, then, is the gorgeous pair of hand-crafted embroidery scissors pictured above, small works of art and cutting perfection! Specifically, they are scissor #40, which you can see here, and they come with their own specially crafted wooden case.
There will be one blissfully fortunate winner randomly drawn for this give-away, which ends on December 26th and will be announced that day.
If you would like to join in on today’s give-away, please follow these guidelines:
This give-away is now ended – thanks to all who participated!
1. Leave a comment on this article on Needle ‘n Thread. You can follow this link directly to the comment form, if you’re unsure of where to go.
Please do not leave your comment as a reply to someone else’s comment. Comments submitted via email or left on any other page or social media page are not eligible. The comment must be left on Needle ‘n Thread, at the end of this article.
2. Please fill out the comment form correctly. Here’s what you need to know about filling out the comment form:
Use a recognizable name in the “name” line (this can be first and last name, first name with last initial, a nickname, your first name and where you’re from, etc.); use a valid email address; leave the website line blank if you do not own and operate your own website; do not put any personal contact information in the comment area itself.
3. Answer the following in your comment:
Describe the most beautiful piece of needlework you’ve ever seen, that impressed itself on you so much that you can still recall it! Tough question, I know, but I think this one’s worth working for!
4. Leave your comment before 5:00 am Central Time (that’s Kansas, USA time), Tuesday, December 26th. The winners will be randomly drawn that morning and announced here on Needle ‘n Thread, along with the winners of A Stitcher’s Christmas #8.
5. Only one comment per person, please. The give-away is open to everyone.
And that, my friends, is that. Go forth and comment! And for those who are thinking “I never win anything,” I’d just like to mention that several winners from this year’s series have said the same thing…
Enjoy your weekend! I’ll see you on Christmas Eve!
If your comment does not appear on the website immediately (it will read “awaiting moderation” or something to that effect), don’t panic and please don’t resubmit it. The comments are queued until I approve them. This prevents spam on my website. It will show up eventually. Thanks!
The most beautiful embroidery I’ve ever seen was the 17th century reproduction embroidered jacket done by a group of volunteers lead by Trisha Nguyen of Thistle Threads. I especially love the exquisite handmade gold lace edging.
Great question, Mary!
The most beautiful piece I have ever seen was a Russian Orthodox liturgical vestment embroidered with Christ, the Theotokos (Virgin Mary), and the saints in gold and silk, and embellished with real pearls. It represented the communion of saints in Heaven.
Despite all the lovely needlework I’ve seen, the one piece I can recall with clarity even decades later is one of Kaffe Fassett’s original wall hangings, displayed at Woodlawn Plantation. It shows a variety Chinese porcelain vases and teapots clustered on a blue and white throw or tablecloth with tall embroidered poppies in warm reds, golds and pinks across the background. The use of pastels is masterful in this piece. It is beautiful beyond my ability to describe it. The stitching isn’t going to blow your socks off but the colors are astounding. I would give anything to own this beautiful piece so I could spend hours studying it. Made by a master, it is worthy of a great museum and I hope the V&A owns it now so that our stitching descendants can see it and wonder at what a real color genius can do.
The most beautiful embroidery work I’ve ever seen was at Buckingham Palace last year, when Queen Elizabeth’s wedding and coronation dresses were on display. We had an after hours tour, and I stared as long as I could before the guides moved us along. The RSN (Royal School of Needlework) truly out did themselves.
Gorgeous scissors! My first embroidery inspiration was a sampler my Mom found at a thrift store. It was counted cross stitch which I almost never do anymore but I remember the tie to something made before I was born.
Of course it gets harder! But these scissors are glorious! Look at the fine point on them! The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve seen would not be conventional- but to me they are inspirational and perfect, they are hanging in my bedroom. They are the first pieces my daughter and granddaughter did. A beginning of learning with tiny hands that worked so hard to understand and create. The beauty of a gift made from the heart to gift to me cannot be underestimated. These are treasures to my needle loving heart!
I have not seen it in person (bucket list item) but the Butler-Bowdon Cope is the most stunning piece of needlework I’ve ever seen.
I think probably the most beautiful needlework I have seen would have to be some Easter Vestments made in goldwork by the local Carmelite nuns. Beautiful intricate stitches.
I have to say that there has not been a specific, one piece, of needlework that I can say has stuck with me. About ten years ago, for my daughters 16th birthday, we made a two week trip to France and England. We had been to England previously so we made certain to go to as many museums as possible. The works of art, of course, included gorgeous tapestries that you could examine for hours and never see all the amazing detail. The overwhelming beauty of those pieces will always stay with me.
BTW… I did look at the scissors. Now that is artistry! Each one, even the simplest design, is incredible! I am so excited to have a chance to win! Thank you
I’ve never seen it in person, but Sharon Boggon’s I dropped the button box quilt is something I marvel at. Also never seen in person but drooled over in pictures are the underwater seascapes of Judith Baker Montano.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve ever seen is a Torah curtain displayed at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, Ohio. The stitching is exquisite and the colors beautiful. The gold work is amazing.
Art. Not really a pair of scissors
I think the most stunning piece of needlework that left an impression on me is the Celtic Sampler by the Needle’s Prayse.
These are exquisite! I would love to gift them to my daughter who teaches embroidery.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve ever seen was a silk evening purse. It was hand embroidered with silk thread-painted botanicals. Weaving between the flowers and berries was what looked like tambour work done in gold threads. Beadwork embroidery and a few sequins finished the piece. It was over the top and understated all at the same time. One had to look closely at the detail to really appreciate it.
Thanks for all the wonderful gifts this year! Hope the holidays are special; and you get some snow.
IT here are so many beautiful pieces of handiwork in our world, but the one that I remember the most is the beautifully beaded wedding dress my aunt handmade for her daughter. Every motif on the whole dress was beaded. It was a true labor of love.
The delicately stitched floral bouquet of forget-me-nots and other alpine wildflowers adorning a dresser scarf is the needlework example most beautiful to me.
The artisan was my grandmother and the occasion was my high school graduation almost 50 years ago. I promised her I’d always keep and treasure it and I still do.
Well, I have seen many beautiful pieces of embroidery. Made by many incredibly talented artisans. From large Tapestrys to miniature boxes! But the most beautiful piece to me was a muslin based Jacobean floral pillow top made by my mother. She made it around 1960, when our family was going thru some very hard times financially. It was made on muslin, with a mixture of cotton floss. The design was very ornate, her satin stitches were so smooth and well defined. There was not very much shading, I suspect because a lack of properly shaded colors.
I used to think, if only she had better materials, it would be amazing!
Now she is gone, and I think this pillow top is the most beautiful embroidery I have ever seen!
Difficult for me to choose between viewing a collection of antique Baltimore style quilts shown at the Houston Quilt Market in around 1998. Those quilts were huge in size and in pristine condition, the colours breathtaking and the workmanship impeccable, all hand appliquéd. It brought tears to my eyes.
Also, in 2008, I was privileged to be attending l’Aiguille en Fete in Paris and this needlework festival featured the country of Japan. A wonderful display of quilts from Reiko Kato were showcased and you could spend hours examining all the details and workmanship. Those two were experiences you never forget.
Being a needlework enthusiast I naturally love to visit museums and historical locations that have needlework exhibits. My Mom shared my enthusiasm so when we vacationed together we had a wonderful time looking at samplers and other embroidery projects at places like Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Deerfield and the Shelburne Museum. One piece that particularly impressed both of us was a sampler completed by Stata Hawks (b. 1792) that was in an exhibit in Historic Deerfield. Ms. Hawks was 8 years old when she worked the sampler and it is a wonderful example of cross-stitch. It is beautiful in its simplicity.
What comes to mind is an embroidered quilt my aunt (who I loved dearly) made. She used simple stitches (stem, satin, French knots) but every stitch was perfect and beautiful. I’ve seen wonderful needlework in museums and on line but I believe the love that my aunt put in every stitch of her quilt is the most beautiful of all.
The most beautiful needlework I have ever seen is actually a series of artwork done by Esther Nisenthal Krinitz. Mary Corbet did a story about her work a few years ago, and I have been fascinated by her embroidery ever since.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve seen was earlier this year at the American Needlepoint Guild seminar in Anaheim, CA. They have an exhibit at this time where stitchers submit there work to be judged and hopefully find a ribbon or two awarded to their piece. There was a piece done on silk gauze that I had seen develop along on Facebook and here it was in its entirety! Absolutely amazing and worked with a royal blue background. All the other entries paled in comparison and I can only aspire to be able to stitch a piece like this someday.
The most beautiful piece of needlework that I’ve seen was a tatted item that my grandmother was making. It was so delicate and the shuttle was just flying.
It isn’t so much one piece of work but my favorites are the needlework caskets of the 17th century. So intricate and made by girls. So young.
My most favorite embroidery piece was a seascape by Judith Montano Baker.
This most beautiful piece of needlework I think I’ve ever seen was a embroidered, reversible tiger stitched in Vietnam. My husband and I were traveling in Vietnam and made a point of going to the embroidery center in Danag and saw some of the most beautiful and exquisite pieces of embroidery I have ever seen.
Describe the most beautiful piece of needlework you’ve ever seen!! It was the needlepoint my mother and grandmother worked on of the Last Supper! I was young and it seemed like it took them forever to complete, in reality it was a little over a year. Most amazing piece I have ever seen, it was then framed by my grandpa and hung over the dinning room fireplace. When my mom passed it went to my oldest sister. To this day I can see them sitting at the floor frame working on it.
A lady in my EGA guild did a full size cross stitch replica of “Girl with a pearl earring “. It was so delicate and gorgeous!!
The most beautiful piece of embroidery work I have ever seen would be one that my mom did!! She embroidered a quilt of flower baskets. She passed away October 2016 and I will cherish that quilt forever!
The most memorable piece of embroidery is one that inspired me to start stitching again. It was a rose with satin stitch leaves that caught my imagination, and looked exquisite.
Recently, a friend of mine completed a gift for her father: a Fremason’s apron done in Silverwork. It is stunning and I hope to be able to learn that technique soon.
I would love to be that blissfully fortunate person!
I was at a holiday pot luck at the beginning of December and on the wall in the dining room was a framed piece of needlework. When I got up close, you could see from the few spots on it that it was quite old. It was a beautifully done piece of what I call painted thread work. The flowers and leaves were exquisite! Wish I had the patience to do something like that.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have encountered was a full stitched tapestry done in kloister stitch – I think you’ve actually posted about it on your blog before! It was based on a medieval tapestry and I had the privilege to see it up close and personal . It was exquisitely designed and stitched.
Embroidered army tents in the Army Museum in Stockholm. Very beautiful, and at the same time such a weird thing, the combination of war and embroidery in that way.
That’s very interesting and not so difficult question. Only that I do not have one object. One thing would be all the treasures from opus anglicanum exhibition. Another name would be Martha Edlin. I saw her embroidery for the first time more than 10 years ago. After my visit to the museum I understood that it is time to start learning, because embroidery is not only much more than just cross stitching, but also if that child was able to stitch such beauties, I could learn this too. So now I am still learning. And every year I find more and more new things to learn 😀
The most beautiful needlework I have seen was a landscape worked during WWII by a Japanese embroiderer. It was brought back by a GI, and it is hanging on my living room wall so I see it daily.
The most amazing embroidery I have ever seen was phoebe traquer at the museum in Edinburgh , four large panels done in arts and crafts style unbelievable !
On a trip to France I was able to view the Bayeux Tapestry. While maybe not the most beautiful it is certainly the most memorable piece of embroidery I’ve ever seen. Could have stayed for hours studying it but you get moved along pretty smartly.
The Unicorn Tapestries that reside at the Cloisters in New York City are the most beautiful needlework art I have ever seen. It was an experience, both in their size and intricacy, that I will never forget. Thanks Mary and Merry Christmas!
The most beautiful embroidery is a tough one. The most recent one is one I that I want to recreate in my own way. For unknown reasons, I started getting Cosmo, something I hadn’t read in ages. It takes me minutes to flip through, because the articles are no longer relevant to me. But, one day I flipped through and a jacket caught my eye. Duster length, white, covered in embroidered flowers, sequins, and beads. I searched for more information until I discovered it’s the Rylie jacket. My version will be covered with Jacobean designs, if I can just decide a color scheme for them!
It is hard to answer this question as so many have impressed in different ways, color, technique, etc. I think, however, that the Opus Anglicanum in the V. And A wins on all counts. It is hard to believe that it could be worked at that time. There is also some exquisite gold work in Spanish churches that I have stood in front of in complete awe.
Absolutely beautiful craftsmanship! They would make a lovely addition to my handwork essentials.
$470 scissors?! Holy moly!! How very generous!!
The most beautiful needlework piece I’ve ever seen…hmm. I cannot really say I’ve seen many needlework pieces. I love your Autumn Harvest piece, actually. It gave me a new appreciation for brown threads, of which I had many because of a clearance sale I hit at the beginning of my needlework venture.
I wish I could say it was one of my own stitched pieces but, alas, it is not. The piece I remember most, although I don’t remember the theme since it was so long ago, , is a very, very long bell pull on display at a stitchery shop. It had to be four feet long and very detailed-simply gorgeous! It isn’t anything I would attempt to stitch but I marveled at the intricacy of the design and the stitcher’s beautiful handiwork.
Most reticella/reticello work catches my eye. One of our sampler guild members did Sharon Cohen’s Millennium Sampler that was featured on the cover of Samplers & Antique Needlework Quarterly at one time (vols. 19-23). It was a knock-out in person! Another one, being stitched by a fellow guild member, is the Frances Cheyney Sampler of 1664 from The Essamplaire. She is about 90% finished. It, too, is a sight to behold. Both are on my stitching bucket list. Both are exquisite.
When I first saw a piece of Chinese silk embroidery on an Imperial Robe I could not believe it was worked by hand. It was a glorious electric blue background with flowers, birds & mythical creatures but the thing that has stayed with me over the years were the waves on the bottom . Funny how when you recall it´s the less obvios that you remember.
The needlework piece that left a lasting impression on me was done by my grandmother. It was a garden scene into which she had stitched the members of our family – playing with the dog, weeding the garden, etc.
Oh, to be the “one blissfully fortunate winner” of these exquisite scissors would be a wonderful Christmas gift! I was amazed at the intricate embroidery and beadwork on some of the clothes worn on the Downtown Abbey series. I visited the Downtown exhibition in Chicago. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to embroidery. Merry Christmas and best wishes for a 2018 filled with happiness and good health.
The Marion medallion is so beautiful. It inspired me to sign up for a goldwork class. I may never create anything so beautiful but I want to learn to work with gold and silk threads. My goal is to create ecclesiastical embroidery. The scissors in today’s giveaway are also something I never thought about owning but dreams can come true.
That is a really difficult question as there is so much beautiful embroidery but as I presently do cross stitch to relax I will stick to that and say Dutch Beauty which is a sampler I saw on holiday several years ago. Later on the holiday I found the chart and then spent an enjoyable six months stitching it. It now hangs above my fireplace and admire it every day. I would love a pair of those exquisite scissors to treasure and use.
The most beautiful works of the needle were done by my Grandmother, her stitches were tiny and so neat. She had an artist eye for color. Yet she could work quickly and blessed all family members and friends with her creative artistry. She was my inspiration at a very young age to begin my needlework journey and remains my standard of excellent needle craft.
The most beautiful piece I have ever seen hangs right next to my desk and was made for me by my very talented needle working friend Roxann cox. It is a beautiful needle painted bird.
Les costumes ” the games of throne” en particulier celui de la reine des dragons. L ‘ingéniosité de l artiste. Wow. J’aurais aimé faire ce travail dans la vie. C’est difficile d’en choisir un seul,il y a tellement de merveilleux artistes.
Merci pour ces cadeaux.
Merry chrismast and haapy new year.
This is an extremely hard question since it has to be just one item but, I’d pick some hand embroidered silk voile material I saw in Italy. On the white silk were beautifully detailed flowers and vines-it looked to be handpainted the flowers were so detailed. In addition to the silk embroidery floss there small seed pearls in the pistil of the flowers. The flowers were reds, pinks and purple and vivid varied greens. The material was over $300 a yard and that was over 5 years ago.
Incredible scissors! I’ve seen a gorgeous set of hand embroidered vestments that inspire me to hope to do the same…one day! Merry Christmas!
The scissors are lovely. I remember the first crazy quilt I saw, probably 30 years ago, the embroidery was amazing. The different stitches were fascinating. That started my years of making and admiring crazy quilts.
I have to say the permanent collection at Stellenbosch Textile Museum, which included a stunning array of pulled work, drawn thread and lace. It’s open weekday mornings only, and I could spend hour upon hours metaphorically drooling over the skill displayed 🙂
Thank you for another Christmas giveaway series, and thank you to all the sponsors!
I have a large square, the beginning of a crazy quilt, stitched by my great-grandmother in the late nineteenth century. The embroidery is simple but I am left wondering when this lady had time to make this piece while caring for home and many children without the benefit of modern appliances and tools!
One of the most impressive needlework pieces I have seen is the Embroiderers’ Guild of America National Tapestry. I had seen pictures of it and a member of our chapter worked on one of the birds but in person all put together it is absolutely stunning! It is amazing how so many different stitchers across the nation contributed and it all flows together seamlessly into a gorgeous representation of the United States.
The most beautiful needlework I remember is a silk and gold icon of the Virgin Mary and Christ child by Olga Fishchuk.
Several years ago I went to an exhibit at The Bard Museum in NY. I was blown away by the 16th century caskets (plus more). So much so that when Tricia Wilson Nguyen offered her Cabinet of Curiosoties course, I signed up and am now immersed in my own cabinet design. Funny how one exhibit can change your direction and focus.
Mary in NC
The Chicago Institute of Art had a “Memories” Quilt Exhibit when we visited in November. Several of the quilts had extensive embroidery work on them. The one that I loved was a crazy quilt that had enumerable stitches around each piece. But the piece de resistance was the embroidery on the border. It was exquisite. I can’t imagine how many hours it took that stitcher to do that quilt. Very inspirational!
The most exquisite needlework I have ever seen was stitched by Tricia Wilson Nguyen. Her pieces are so inspiring. They rekindled my love of stitching
Thank you for this opportunity and sharing your love of needlework.
I recently started learning embroidery and find your site invaluable. I finished and framed one of your free patterns yesterday and plan to start Birthday Bash in the next few days. Thank you for sharing your expertise and all the well-organized info.
That is a incredibly difficult question, there are just so many! I’m lucky to be surrounded by beautiful embroidery, but the piece that called to me the strongest was a piece stitched by one of my guild members. She had done one of Martina Rosenberg’s (RIP) mysteries, the one with the peacocks. I loved it so much that I had to do it too.
The most beautiful embroidery I have ever seen was the Casket of Curiosity at Windsor Castle, when Casketeers visited on the Thistle Threads tour. Such fine detail And stumpwork! Exquisite, like today’s handcrafted scissors!
Merry Christmas! Thank you and the industry for sharing inspiration!
Thanks for the chance to win these beautiful scissors!
One of the most amazing pieces I’ve seen was a Chinese koi fish pond scene done in silks. The stitches were so fine, that they didn’t even go through the back of the ground fabric.
I love any embroidery imbued with the needle workers heart and soul; a little girls first sampler from colonial times, Jacobean crewel work, T. Burr’s birds, a simple blanket stitch on a loved ones quilt. Warmest holiday wishes to all and cheers to the love of handicrafts
Although it might not be the most beautiful to others, the most beautiful to me is a pillow case that my Grandmother McConahay made for me. It is (41 years later I still have it) to me the most beautiful because of the love that went into it. She not only inspired me to create items myself, but to give from my heart. Grandma passed away many years ago, but I have a gift that I will always cherish. Thank you Grandma, I love you.
I’ve seen many really beautiful pieces of embroidery, but the one that stands out was in Beijing, China. It was a large picture of a Phoenix, done in gold and other metallics and silk. The stitching was perfect and glorious.
Mary, those scissors are over the top! This will be a “blissfully fortunate winner” indeed, thanks to you and The French Needle.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve ever seen. That’s a tall order. I’ve seen many impressive pieces, in all different categories. Some of the most beautiful were double-sided needle painting imported from Vietnam — seemed to float in the air. And many impressive pieces at the annual needlework exhibit at Woodlawn, Alexandria, VA. I think it was from the 2016 exhibit, one piece ‘hit me over the head’ for its scale, and perfection in execution — a large needlepointed rug (5′ x 8′, if not larger) in white, black, and charcoal in what I’ll describe as a Navajo pattern (I’m not an expert) was hanging on the wall — I almost missed it while looking at the ‘smalls’ in the cases in the center of the room. The stitches seemed to be perfectly even, the colors looked to be consistent, and the design was gorgeous in its simplicity. I imagine there were many, many hours of effort over a long span of time to create it.
These scissors are exquisite!
We toured the Melk Abbey in Melk Austria many years ago and they had rooms in their museum of hand embroidered vestments. The robes were breathtaking! There were some that were entirely covered with amazing needle work. The stitching was perfection and the designs jaw dropping. I just stood there with my mouth open. I could have spent hours just admiring.
This link takes you to one of their web pages and there is a tiny picture of an embroidered robe and miter (? I’m not Catholic so please forgive me for not using the proper vestment names.) under Room 6 – look to the left corner. Incredible!
What a joy to be able to share this!
The most beautiful piece I saw was The Tree of Life crazy patch completed in hand dyed velvet with lots of stitches and embellishments. It was a completed quilt from the piecemakers patterns.
It was ecclesiastical embroidery. I had an opportunity to visit a local seminary and was shown old vestments in storage. The embroidery was beautiful.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I ever saw was a Chinese double-sided piece at the High Museum in Atlanta, GA. The stitching was done so that an image was complete on both sides. The colors were amazing and the images were Oriental in design.
The most beautiful needlework that leaves a lasting impression on me is the Plimouth Jacket at the Winterthur. Although I’ve not seen it in person (yet!), the recreation of this 1620s textile piece is a story in itself. If you have not checked it out, everyone, google Plimouth Jacket…it’s amazing!!!
So many choices—But on one of my three trips to Paris, the Musée de Cluny had a small exhibition of ecclesiastical needlework. The one that blew me away was a Biblical scene rendered
in or nué. I can’t recall exactly which scene it depicted. What I remember most vividly was the way the colors seemed to glow, thanks to the underlying gold threads. Someday, I hope to give it a try—on a smaller scale.
The most beautiful stitched piece I’ve seen was a book created from charts that I believe were an Advent calendar. The scenes depicted were different bible verses, stitched over 1 as I recall, and bound like a small bible. It was stitched by a priest’s mother and I was fortunate enough to see it at a Stitchers Hideaway retreat last October. Truly exquisite.
A few years ago I attended the Houston Quilt Show. One of the vendors had a display of several Chinese embroidered pieces. They were all on translucent silk and looked the same from both sides – the back of the embroidery was the same as the front. The pictures were all different, but the colors were exquisite, the detail was precise and the silk threads were about as fine as frog hair! I learned that this was from the Suzhou region of China and the technique is about 2000 years old. Absolutely stunning!
I think some of the most beautiful work I’ve seen are the pictures on the Goldwork Guild’s Facebook page. There is a lady in Russia that takes printed Orthodox icons and embellishes them with goldwork and a variety of gems, pearls etc. and makes exquisite icons. I’ve never seen them personally but I would love to.
A few years ago I was lucky enough to see Jan Messent’s Celtic, Viking and Anglo Saxon Embroidery exhibition and it has stayed with me ever since. I love anything Celtic and Jan had really caught the art of these amazing peoples. Each piece was a lixurious piece of art finished in gold thread. Just beautiful and really inspiring.
Many years ago I was visiting the Smithsonian Institute and they were restoring, by hand, an American flag that had been on display. You were able to watch the technicians working on the restoration through large glass windows. I stood and watched with fascination how the work was being done and the care taken as they worked on this piece of history. I found it fascinating and still think if it often.
I think that old Chinese embroideries are some of the most beautiful pieces of art I have ever seen. They combine the elements of fine textiles with Asian design. The
exquisite scissors you are giving away are a close match in beauty! Thank you for this chance to win.
I too collect antique needlework tools and have for years!!!! I LOVE beautiful scissors too and these are beautiful!!!!
The most amazing embroidery I have seen is the Tapestry that the Embroiderers Guild of America stitched of the United States. Each region stitched a section of the map. These sections usually traveled around the area and were stitched by many of the members. It consists of four or five panels. This hangs in the National Headquarters in Louisville, KY.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen, and I am stretching the point here, is the 17th century beaded basket done by Rachael Kinnison for a contest. The composition is amazing.
Any men or woman fashion in Eighteenth-Century France its impressive
Oh, this one is easy to answer!
The most beautiful embroidery work I have ever seen was one I marveled at as a child. A magnificent silk crazy quilt wmade of fine silk scraps, with soft and smooth silk velvet backing, embellished with the widest array of different embroidery sampler stitches along each seam done in tiny silk cording,and often the plain patches decorated. Decorated with charming silk appliques.
It was stiched by my great aunt who raised my mother, an extraordinary woman who taught at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of ghe 20th, who toured Europe as a soloist with both major and smaller more intimate orchestras, who took a rail journey from Morroco to Egypt – alone – when younger…whose work was amazing regardless of medium.
I never knew her, but my mother would bring out the small lap quilt when I was a child and sick in hed, and point to different scraps and tell me all about what dress it came from, or the names of many of the stitches.
I was in awe, and knew even as a young child how special the work was….that I was touching the work of a beloved ancestor thst lived on long past her (she died of cancer in her 50s) and was a testamony of the beauty she could create from nothing otherwise special!
I have admired these scissors for a long time, so wishing I might have a special pair. Oh, I hope I might be blessed enough to receive them! Thank you for the opportunity to have a chance!
A piece of embroidery that my darling Mum made for me which she had framed. It’s such a beautiful reminder of her.
The most impressive piece of needlework for me was an angel worked in Hardanger embroidery. It was part of a special exhibit at Winterthur at least 10 years ago. I was a fledgling stitcher (mostly cross stitch then) but that angel was so beautiful and delicate it inspired me to learn and practice Hardanger. I have done several pieces for gifts (still no angel, though) and will devote next year’s stitching to “me presents” in my stash. I would loooove to have gorgeous scissors to cut the threads for needleweaving!
Thank you for the chance to win these beautiful scissors. I have two pieces of needlework that blew me away. One is the Overlord Embroidery in the D Day Museum in Portsmouth that I remember seeing new when I was in university there. The other is a tablecloth embroidered by a friend of the family where you can’t tell back from front without close inspection, and which was what finally inspired me to try embroidery for myself.
I hope you have a lovely Christmas and thanks for all your tips and inspiration over the last year.
The most impressive needlework I have ever seen was done by my Sister for my Mother. It was a needlepoint canvas of a cottage scene measuring approximately 3 feet x 5 feet. It truly was a labour of love taking over 2 years to complete. It hung in a place of honour in my Mother’s home and she never failed to point it put to visitors. My Sister is very talented and although I will never match her skill she always inspires me.
Thanks for your blog Mary. Happy Christmas.
Amazing works of art to help make amazing works of art! I love the theme.
My favorite hand embroidery was seen on a friend’s Sari for her wedding. She and her grandmother worked on it for almost a year and it was exquisite. I have always told her she should frame the garment for a large, dramatic wall hanging. Happy holidays and thank you for sharing your beautiful works, tips and tricks. You’re a delight and one reason I’m happy the Internet exists!
the most beautiful to me was a birth announcement my grandmother did for my son.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve ever seen is still with me. I don’t know who was the original owner; probably my mother-in-law, but I can’t know for sure. I found it folded into a bag of old clothes from my grandma and my mother-in-law that would go to charity. It’s a little white cotton handkerchief, a very fine cotton batiste, almost a voile, embroidered in very light blue thread in tiny tiny stitches. I don’t know the names of all these stitches in English; in Portuguese, they are crivo, ponto cheio, bordado Richelieu. The wrong side is beautifully finished. The embroiderer was really an artist, and she/he had very good eyes (or used very strong lenses), because the stitches are very, very delicate and regular.
Woud love a chance to win ,also enjoyed your blog very much since i am new to needlework.Merry Christmas ,Margie
I saw an old ragged crazy quilt from the 1800s that started my passion for decorative needle art. I didn’t have the resources to buy it at the time but it lives with me in my handiwork
I didn’t see in person, but I can never forget the “Hunt of the Unicorn” tapestries, I think they are so impressive and I love that they have so much detail!
The most beautiful embroidery work I have ever seen was at the Musée des Ursulines in Québec City. It’s difficult for me to describe the beauty of the pieces on display. No pictures were allowed, and I can’t recall specific pieces because there were so many breathtaking pieces. These nuns had amazing talent. Their use of colors and textures left a lasting impression on me. See some of their work here:
Oh my, so many beautiful pieces of artful needlework. I suppose in the end it would be a piece with sentimental attachment, my mother did a piece of hardanger with combination of bargello, special threads, lots of beautiful weaving, and I am the fortunate person who gets to look at it everyday and remember her sitting there in her stitching place working on this beautiful piece.
Thank you all for the opportunity for such wonderful gifts!
Too many to count and all of them inspiring!
Perhaps a piece of gold and silk embroidery in opulent colors in the Maharaja of Jaipur’s Textile collection…. still working towards identifying and understanding the techniques used in that piece.
Back in the 1980’s I went to an embroidery party where they were selling all different kinds of kits for u to embroider. I debated over one kit that was kinda pricey but decided to purchase anyway. It was a Christmas winter scene that was 36 x 24. It had decorated houses, children making snowman, skating, n just playing in the snow. It was awesome. I finished it in only 8 years! Lol. After several moves I have misplaced it n am so sad. It was beautiful.
The most beautiful needlework I have ever seen is by a friend of my mother’s! She has traveled all over the world and studied – spending several years in Japan (as one example). The gold work was so beautiful, and her stitches are exquisite! She did a mini show where she and my mother live, and seeing her work has truly inspired me to work harder to learn more!
Winning these beautiful scissors would be such a wonderful honor!! They are soooo pretty!
Thank you, Ms. Corbet, for helping me grow in my embroidery knowledge and skills. I am so glad I found you, and I look forward to getting your emails!! I love your videos and have learned so much! Thank you for sharing your beautiful work and expertise! Merry Christmas!
The most beautiful needlework I have seen is the EGA National Tapestry (USA).
It is a 5 panel tapestry detailing the flora and fauna and landscapes of the USA.
It shows many different and beautifully executed techniques.
Thank you for the chance for this very generous giveaway
The most fabulous piece of needlework that I have seen, I think would have to be this child sampler from the 1700 or 1800’s. It was a drawn thread sampler, and it was only shown in a private viewing, which I was privileged to be invited to. The stitches were so precise and tiny. It was hard to believe anyone stitched it, let a lone a child. I believe she was 12 years old. It was incredible and the group of us studied it for quite a while that evening.
The scissors are fabulous, I would absolutely love to win them. You are very generous with your gift giving. I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and most Happy New Year.
I went to look at these scissors when you mentioned them yesterday and I am totally agog at their style and delicacy.
They are almost too beautiful to be believed.
I have always loved the tapestries and embroideries at the Cloisters in New York City. One of my first crewel kits was “the unicorn in captivity”- at the time I didn’t realize the meaning of it and am vaguely aghast at the story. But they are truly beautiful.
I also love the tapestry at Fort Anne in Annapolis Royal, NS. The entire town worked on this piece, and it describes the history of the Fort. Queen Elizabeth has sewn part of it – of course in gold embroidery. I love it for its design, it’s history, and the story of its creation.
The most beautiful pieces of embroidery I have seen are without a doubt the flowers and birds embroidered by Trish Burr. I have attempted to make a few but it will take me a lifetime before I can be satisfied with my work. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Mary and to all our embroidery fans.
The most beautiful piece of embroidery I have seen made by the French Nuns during the war.
I saw The Hunt of the Unicorn at The Cloisters in New York. These tapestries are magnificent. They were recreated and I saw the work on one tapestry being done at Stirling Castle sometime in the early 2000’s. Watching them recreate the original was fun.
A large rose stitched onto the back of a work shirt back in the late 70’s. It was the size of a bread plate and was worked in shades of red and the stitches has all been worked in the direction of each petal separately, so it looked more like a needle painting than anything else. When I asked the fellow about it he said that his late girlfriend had worked it for him. It was really too pretty to be on clothing.
The most beautiful pieces of needlework that I have ever seen are the caskets that Tricia has taken some of us to see. I cannot pick out my favorite. They are all beautiful and so much fun to explore. Thanks for the giveaway!! Merry Christmas
What beautiful scissors.
Such a difficult question to answer as I have seen many beautiful pieces. I think my answer would be this: a few years ago a friend asked me to look over a chest of linens left to her by her Mother-in-law, who at one time lived next to a convent of French nuns.
To raise money for their charitable work, the nuns embroidered linens and sold them. My friend’s relative took pity on the nuns and bought quite a few of their pieces.
Well, no pity necessary! Most of the work was gorgeous, but I kept coming upon pieces that were extraordinary in their delicacy and beauty. It was apparent that these pieces were all stitched by the same nun. And what a treat to behold them!
Merry Christmas, Mary
The embroidery that I could not stop looking at, and thinking of, with such admiration is on the costumes from Game of Thrones.
Those are simply the most beautiful pair of scissors that i have ever seen!
I think the most beautiful piece of needlework that I have ever seen was when I had the privilege to go to National Quilt Week in Paducah, KY with my sister in 2016. The Best of Show winner was Marilyn Badger. The hand worked detail in her quilt was absolutely amazing. I spent the week spell bound as I wandered through the quilts displayed. I never realized that some quilts had so much hand work in them. It inspired me to get back into embroidery (but not on quilts!).
The Victoria and Albert Museum have beautiful pieces of embroidery!
One of my favorite pieces is a gown – I also have a postcard of it – the flowers on the front panel are beautiful.
I think the scissor box is beautiful.
As are the scissor
Without a doubt, The Forest, designed by William Morris is the work I think of when I think “most beautiful.” The “forest” so green and inviting, is home to the fox and rabbit, the peacock and the raven, and strangely, the mighty lion. I am sure the image is full of secondary meanings, like “living peacefully” among us all, but I just look at the scene as Beautiful.
Dear Mary, are you like me and have drooled over pictures of these scissors for years? Imagine, having them in your hands. I might end up clipping everything in sight! Watch out! Seriously, they are amazing … what craftsmanship. Enough blabbering … getting to the question. And answer … At a special exhibit at the musee des beaux arts in Quebec City years ago, there was a dress made by Christian Dior with hand embroidery and sequins. It was amazing. I forget how many woman-hours went into its construction but it was A LOT! In addition to its spectacular-ness, I was also struck by the quality of the work … it was not perfect. There were spots where threads showed and where sequins were a bit wonky. And, you know … it did not really matter. The overall effect was not compromised at all. I think there is a lesson there.
And a reminder to wear our embroidery whenever possible!
Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a healthy 2018!
When shopping with my daughter for her wedding gown, we saw a hand embroidered gown. It took my breath away. The intricate design of the flowers and all in white, was stunning. The work covered every bit of the bodice and much of the skirt. I couldn’t believe that someone could do that in a lifetime, nevermind for a living. The image of that gown will be in my memory as long as I live.
Oh, such exquisite scissors! The most beautiful piece of embroidery I saw was an embroidered stole, made to match a no longer existent chasuble in a small church in Northern Michigan. It was hand embroidered with motifs to fit the area for Autumn, with leaves, acorns, pine cones, etc. It was beautifully done and well suited to that area.
The most memorable piece of needlework i have ever seen was created by my daughter when she was shut 5 years old.
It was a tangled mess of brightly colored thread with crooked running stitches and lopsided cross stitches, but she had created it all on her own. The joy in her face when she showed it to me is what I remember most. Since that day she has gone on to earn a degree in textile design and now teaches quilting and sewing classes.
Wow those scissors are beautiful. As a surgical nurse I appreciate beautifully made tools. I would love to own another pair of lovely scissors. It is hard to choose only one great piece of needlework. The Bayeaux Tapestry is beautiful and tells a part of French-English history. But the tapestries at Versailles are also exquisite. Especially when I consider the stitchers did not have the choices of threads, needles and other tools we have.
Please pick me!!! I love scissors! I also like all the sewing “toys”. Please please please!
Merry Christmas to you and yours
Such beautifully crafted scissors! I’d love a chance to win.
Have thoroughly enjoyed your blog this year!
30+ years ago, I recall seeing a framed embroidered piece in my husband’s aunt’s old ranch house. The embroidered scene was a cottage with a profusion of flowers growing around it. I wanted to stop and study the piece. Actually I wanted to walk into the scene and smell the flowers! More recently I have had the pleasure of seeing similar embroidered scenes of cottages done in crazy quilted style by Gerry Krueger. One year she did one per month, and each one was a treasure.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve ever seen was a tapestry of the coronation of the Virgin Mary in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. It was from the front of an altar piece in a church. I looked at it in amazement and wondered how many hours it took to do this piece. The stitching was so beautiful and fine that it looked like a painting. It amazed me that something so old (dated 1336) could survive that long. Every fold in Mary’s gown was an exquisite flow of beautiful colorful threads, including silver and gold threads. Stunning!
The most beautiful piece of needlework I recall is from my early elementary school years. My mom used to do free hand embroidery, mostly pillow cases. She drew the designs by hand and then filled them in with a variety of stitches. She did one with kittens and flowers, and so my love for kittens and flowers started early. My love for needlework didn’t start until I was in my early 20’s.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I ever saw was an Elizabethan angel done in counted thread. She was done in shades of rich burgundy and emerald greens. Gold threads and beads worked their way throughout her dress. The wings shimmered with iridescent colors. This angel was a true work of art showcasing the skills of its designer and stitcher.
I have a hard time choosing the most beautiful…. I am so attracted to colors and textures… it’s all a wonderland. I think this year, there was a piece of embroidery on black cloth, that had beautiful flowers, a bejeweled dragonfly, and a silvery spider web. The bright colors of the flowers and insect, and the delicate web were amazing when contrasted against the black. Helps add inspiration to my creative juices.
I absolutely love these scissors. They remind me of the time I went into an embroidery store. The saleswoman brought out a project she had made. Knowing that I am a knitter she brought out a meadow scene with sheep! The sheep were done in a French knot. Some of the knots looked like they had fur too. The work was so intricate that I could not believe how real it looked. I could not take my eyes off all the beautiful stitches. Her work inspired me to learn how to embroider.
I have a handkerchief made in Swatow china. It still has the pencil lines visible as the guide to stitching it. The design is small and delicate and perfectly embroidered.
This is probably a cop-out because it’s more than one piece of embroidery as it is everything you can see in the cases at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The work, in all techniques, is spectacular as is the spinning and then weaving of the ground fabrics.
The most beautiful works of art I have had the pleasure to see are at the Cloisters in New York City. Those tapestries are magnificent.
Hands down the most wonderful piece of embroidery I’ve ever seen and the most memorable is a Chinese embroidery of a tiger that was on display at the National Geographic Museum in DC just about the time that the US and Chna opened relations. Seems like I was still in college so maybe 1971. The ground fabric was almost invisible–so not quilte like a windowpane but not frosty looking either. Both sides were perfect, which was obvious to everyone who saw it as the piece was framed so both sides were visible. ? I don’t remember how they displayed it–in a case, on a stand, suspended or how.
Sine, I’ve occasionally tried to find how it was done, and possibly learn to do this fabuoous type of embroidery myself, to no avail. I’ve never seen a photo of the piece in a book. Don’t know if it went back to China or staed with Nat’l Geog, or some other home. But wow. That tiger was alive! And the 2-sided embroidery was masterful, beautiful. And memorable beyond words, Mine here do not do it justice. But I am glad to have the opportunity to share the memory of it with anyone who hasn’t seen it, or that type of embroidery. Or that same tiger.
The type of embroidery you fell in love with is Suzhou embroidery from China. There are some Chinese embroidery books out there that focus on that type of work, but here’s an article to get your started:
Not sure how to write to Kat M so I hope this reaches you! A great big thank you for identifying what I should look for–and sending an article! I’ve spent time in a few libraries looking without success but now that I have a good search term, I will take a trip to the Library of Congress and see what they have. Thank yo!
I’ve seen so much beautiful embroidery that inspires and touches me, but the floral pieces by my grandmother (currently hanging above my bed) rise to the top. She is suffering from Alzheimer’s now so they remind me of the artistic, patient, lovely person she was, impress me because of how well-done they are, and inspire me because she’s a person I actually know – so if she can do it, I can!
I was traveling in Norway when I came upon a small artist colony in Moss….about an hour south of Oslo. It was there that I saw a hardanger piece that took my breath away. I vowed that I would learn how to do that kind of stitchery. I did make a few pieces ….one for my mom and one for my mother-in-law. But I have since kept trying all sorts of stitchery, not just hardanger. I love blackwork, cross stitch.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had much opportunity to travel to see many needlework exhibits in person. The one that I was able to view & was most impressive & memorable was the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry. Thanks to this blog, I learned that the exhibit was coming to a small town near where I live last year & I was able to go visit it. The number, variety, & workmanship of all those panels was incredible!
I am so excited to have a chance to win a pair of M. Roulot scissors. I have a friend who received a pair recently that I saw, & they truly are exquisite! Thanks to Mary & the French Needle for such a wonderful blog & opportunity.
Love miniatures. This scissors is beautiful. That would be a most grateful addition to my scissors collection. Thank you Mary for all you stitching advise. It is helpful to actually see the way a stitch should be formed. I have followed you for years.
The flour sack kitchen towels that my mother and grandmother made and enhanced with embroidery in the 1940s and 50s(still in use to cover my bread loaves while rising).
Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noel! Wishes for a happy healthy new year!
Merry Christmas Mary
In answer to your question it was an easy one for me, my nanny was an incredible seamstress she would stitch wee roses and vines on all of my Peter Pan collars. There was never a day when someone would not say how beautiful my blouses were. I was at a private school whereby we all wore uniforms those little loved stitches always connected me to home. Ohhhh and every blouse had different Color roses. I had one for every school day – blue, pink, yellow, red and lilac.
The scissors would be such an heirloom for anyone who loves embroidery. Blessings ms Claudette
Difficult…I think it was a nativity scene done with cottons and metallics and it was stitched over 7 panels. The angels were particularly lovely.
Although there are many to choose from, I think my most memorable is the five piece banner created by the members of the EGA showing America in embroidery. It’s one display at EGA HQ.
O … M … G …! I have been drooling over the scissors offered by the French Needle for EVER!! Oh, how I would love to own a pair.
Anyway, the most beautiful piece of embroidery I’ve ever seen is a piece of “Society Silk” made by my Great Grandmother. I’ve never seen anything like it since, and certainly remember it because it came to me through her daughter (my Grandmother). I treasure it and will give it to my daughter.
Oh, I love scissors. I like just looking at them. Although, I love using them as well. My favorite piece was my first crewel piece. It was an Asian scene for my mother who loved all things Asian. It turned out just perfect. My boss at that time asked if he could buy it. My mother has died and I am now the owner of this piece. As soon as I get it cleaned I’ll be finding the perfect place for it.
As you said, this one is difficult to answer. Joining Embroidery Guild of America, exposed so many talented artists. Probably the most outstanding piece was a cross stitch. The artist finds pictures he likes, gets permission to copy it, has a pattern made of it, and tweeks the pattern to suit his tastes. He works on his pieces for about eight hours a day. The ones I’ve seen are about 18 x 20. They are done 1 thread over 1 thread on a high thread count linen and take about four or five years to complete. His last piece was entered in the Western Washington State Fair about two years ago. It was surrounded by ribbons. Wish I had a picture of it to attach.
I am a beginning stitcher. I have purchased table cloths to stitch for my daughters, a friend and one for myself. It is a bit daunting to me. I am collecting tools and yarn to stitch the gifts for next Christmas. I love these scissors and it would greatly add to all the things to begin stitching.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen must be the amazing embroideries visible on the costumes of the series “Game of Thrones”. However, when I was young I would find art work on record albums and interpreate them in embroidery on our clothing. Those days allowed my creativity and love of needlework to flourish.
The most beautiful embroidery piece I’ve seen was metalwork done in silver and showcased in Inspirations magazine a number of years ago. It inspired me to try my hand at metalwork someday and my first project is in the planning stages now.
Back in the good old days when the V&A in London had their impressive sampler collection on display and available to all to view and photograph (!), I got to see many gorgeous pieces. It’s hard to pick just one: but a piece I particularly love is a stunning 18thC English whitework band sampler – it turned me onto this style of embroidery and became my favourite needlework technique.
The scissors in today’s giveaway are truly heirloom quality. They will be handed down from generation to generation of needleworkers. It would be a honor to have them in my needle basket.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve seen is one completed by me when I was a young child. It’s simple embroidery of a giraffe. My grandmother sat in her rocking chair and I sat in mine and she patiently taught me how to do every stitch. And how to undo many stitches too.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen was the Dorcas Haynes sampler done in the original colors next to one stitched in the faded colors. So impressed me that I have started it.
The most beautiful needlework I have seen is in Colonial Williamsburg. The beauty for me lies in a couple reasons, first it is so very old, the oldest I have seen in person, and the fact that is is round. It has a precognition quality to it as well. The piece is done in fine quality long and short stitches, named The Emblem of America. It has a woman dressed Grecian, nearly light the Lady Liberty. Amazing. It has native American Indians and other special items like a family tree in cameos alongside. It is just amazing. Thank you for this opportunity to TRY to win those scissors. They would go into my embroidery cabinet to show off and probably really be used. Kathi M
Gosh, this is a difficult question to answer. Over the years, I have seen numerous pieces of needlework from quilt shows and pieces that some of my students have accomplished. I think the most memorable piece was from Scotland at Hollyrood Palace in Edinburgh. The tapestries there are amazing. When standing in front of them, the eyes on the people seem to follow you when you move, and to think they were made hundreds of years ago and they are still in amazing shape. Thank you for this wonderful challenge!
The prettiest piece of needlework I have ever seen was an antique crazy quilt that I saw as a young girl. The quilt itself was made of fancy fabrics – velvets and silks. The embroidery was amazing – each small patch was outlined and there was free hand embroidered motifs on almost every square inch of the quilt. I do wish I had a picture of that amazing treasure. It definitely inspired my passion for embroidery and quilts.
When I retire, I plan to devote full time to all the projects I have been accumulating over the years 🙂
It is very simple but beautiful. It is tablecloth stitched by an Italian relative with lots of cut work. I recall my Nonnie using it on special occasions. I would sit at the table as a young girl fascinated by the stitches holding the edges together. No colors, just white on white.
Oh my that is a tough one. At this point in my life I will go Sue Spargo and a lot of Mary’s works. I have been to a lot of museums and seen a lot of work but this is what I am most aware of at this point in my life.
The most memorable piece I’ve seen is a sampler from 1830. According to description attached to it, a young girl of only 11 years old had stitched this piece. It left me wondering how girls so young stitched so beautifully and perfectly without patterns to guide them. It has inspired me to stitch as perfectly as I can…even if I do need to be guided by a pattern 🙂
About 60 years ago, I saw this beautiful antique white embroidered quilt at a textile exhibition. While I was admiring the quilt, a woman told me I should join EGA where I could learn how to stitch it. I joined EGA and never stitched the quilt, but I have enjoyed the knowledge and friendships I have gained thru the years. I still remember the lovely embroidery on that quilt.
I was around 15 years old and helping an aunt who did estate sales. We opened a trunk and there were some amazing linens in it. I fell in love with a set of pillowcases with cut work, exquisite monograms, and antique lace like nothing I’ve seen to this day. I wanted them so bad but the family was keeping them. I was told they were made by a relative who was a nun. They are burned in my brain forever and I started stitching a lot more seriously after seeing the linens in that estate.
The most beautiful embroidery I have seen are all on-line. The one I really want to stitch is Kay Montclare’s Moroccan sampler.
Thank you for the giveaway. The scissors are beautiful. My most beautiful embroidery is the Mary Edlin casket stumpwork casket in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
My aunt cross-stitched a gorgeous Christmas ornament for me that still hangs in prominent glory on my tree every year. It has multiple complex stitches I don’t even know the name of in rich jewel tones of metallic garnet, sapphire, emerald, ivory and gold. It’s beautiful for its craftsmanship and the love she included in every stitch.
The most beautiful embroidery I have ever seen was at a museum in London. It was a clerical tapestry dating from the 17th century and I could just see the ladies skillfully and lovingly plying their skills. A beautiful treasure.
I find all of Trish Burr’s work breath-taking. One of her “colored” white work pieces (the cat) still sticks in my mind.
I always enjoy Mary’s posts! And, my most memorable impression was being able to take a thread painting class with Susan O’Connor through SAGA last Fall.
I was stunned by the Bayeux Tapestry in Normandy. To see the extensive work of unknown female embroiderers from the Middle Ages, commenting on the great invasion of England (1066) took my breath away. The work goes on and on, and the embroidered detail is like reading a picture book from the past.
About 20 years ago I was in DC for work and had part of a day free to visit museums. As I was leaving one, I asked a staff person to suggest where I should go next. They steered me to a fiber exhibit where I saw very old and absolutely beautiful items. I got as close as I could to see the detailed and colorful embroidery on clothing from the Middle East. Some was from people of great wealth on little worn items and some was more modest and showed some wear. People of all economic means and all over the world find ways to add beauty to their lives, including the tools. A toss up is the pillowcase my grandmother embellished with an edging of flowers. I no longer use it but when I look at it I remember her hands showing me and her voice telling me how to make the stitches.
Thank you for an opportunity to own such an incredible pair of scissors.
The embroidery that impressed me is small but I love it. It was found at a resale shop for an unbelievable price of $0.49, yes 49 cents, it is dimensional pansies in a shadowbox frame. Beautiful handwork, I just couldn’t believe my eyes, knowing how much time it takes to make such a pretty piece. It sits on my curio cabinet for all to see. The scissors are so fragile looking, just gorgeous. I know it is not the most impressive piece that is out there but to me it’s priceless. Thank you for the chance to win.
The Bayeux Tapestry must be the most impressive piece ever made. Although I have never seen it with my own eyes, a friend did and brought back a full size picture of the original. No other work I know of has such meaning for recounting history, literature inspiration, and needlework elegance. I have studied pictures of it for years. Would love to win a trip to Bayeux, France to see it in person.
The Bayeux Tapestry is my most memorable and beautiful piece of needlework.
I cannot remember the most beautiful piece of needlework I have seen becaus I have seen so many. 4 years ago when I first visited the exhibition of the Lakeshore Creative Stitchery Guild and saw Nancy Tozer Japanese lady done in Japanese embroidery I was fascinated and voted for it as best in show and decided to join the guild.
Last year, when visiting Romania, in the city of Sibiu, I had the chance to visit an embroidery exhibition. And there where very old pieces of traditional Romanian embroidery dating from centuries ago. Those very well done and well preserved pieces impressed me.
I try, when I travel, to see traditional embroidery from the country I visit. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to find it.
The most beautiful needlework I have ever seen was in a Greek Orthodox
Church commemorating Christ lying in the tomb. Perfect in every way, even to the
tiniest last gold stitch.
The most beautiful and memorable work of embroidery was a quilt my Aunt Gloria made, it was totally embroidered in redwork and I just loved it as a small child and wanted to make one of my own! Just the memory of my Aunt and being by her side and she stitched gives me the most warm, wonderful feeling….
A number of years ago, I was walking through an embroidery guild market and stumbled upon the “French Needle” I fell in love with a lovely pin cushion which I thought my grandchildren would love to see in my sewing room, a squirrel on top of a two tone green round ball, pin cushion. I purchased it and they do indeed come in to visit La Petite Squirrel . I then moved on to some other beautiful French Needle items, least of which were the breath taking M Jean-Marie Roulot scissors! I quickly found my girlfriend who even more quickly purchased a pair of these exquisit scissors! My mistake was in not purchasing a pair for myself!
I should very much like to have a pair Roulot scissors as they are art in themselves and I am grateful to even beable to see them. Thank you for this opportunity. erna g.fuchel- fenchel
Mary, thank you and the companies for their wonderful gifts.
As for the piece of needlework that most impressed me is, and I’m not trying to brown nose you Mary, but it’s your Secret Garden Hummingbirds project. While I love the colors you used, it’s where you got our inspiration from – a coloring book! And of course – why not! Inspiration can come from anywhere. As someone who does machine embroidery in addition to hand work, I could see me going either direction with something like that piece. And the colors – maybe that is why I was inspired so many years ago to start learning this craft. I still play with the colors, even on the machine.
For me, it was a Stumpwork piece of Noah’s ark and all the animals that I viewed at the Holcolm museum in Bath, UK. The three-dimensional elephants and lions were special.
I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas.
My most memorable piece of embroidery is the Bayeau Tapestry. I am in awe of the work that it entailed and the enormity of it. Winning these scissors, which are a work of art themselves, would make me feel like a princess!
Happy Friday before Christmas to you as well! No one can ever have enough pairs of scissors, and, I, for one would love to win these!
One of the most beautiful needlework pieces that left an impression on me was a sampler my Grandma was working on in the last month of her life. This was in 1967. I was lucky enough to live just a few doors away from her. She was an accomplished seamstress, never needing a pattern. She loved creating with thread and fabric. She taught me how to use needle and thread and the joy and peace that goes along with it.
I’m not sure where that sampler is today but, I have a vivid image of her stitching as her heart grew weaker. How wonderful she could enjoy her passion to the end.
Another beautiful prize give-away! At a local exhibition two years ago I saw a stitched piece on display that was done at a workshop put on by Hazel Blomcamp. I had never seen anything like it – all of the beading and stitching done together on one piece. I decided to join the Needlearts guild to learn more about this technique and have been a member for two years now.
Hi Mary, I have always loved the scissors by M Roulot! Oh my how lovely it would be to have my own!
I have to the most beautiful stitching was the gold work done by the 19 year old girl that took over for someone else to complete a church piece. You taught her the basics and she did a superb job! That story has always stayed with me.
The piece of embroidery that impressed me the most was the Quilt of Belonging. It is made up of 263 blocks and measures 120 feet long. The blocks were stitched by Canada’s First Nation peoples and every nation in the world as of 2000.
The most amazing piece I saw was in a tiny Chinese fishing village near Shanghai. It is about 500 years old and had been made by a wife during her husband’s fishing expeditions. It is circular on a black background, with a pair of fish in the centre, with flowers and butterflies around, and the most amazing colours and incredible stitching. It is not like usual Chinese work, so it remains a photo I look at and enjoy. (Let me know if you would like a look and I will send you a copy!)
I have to mention one other – in Suzhou – where on one piece of silk there was a Persian cat, bout 5 inches in diameter and on the opposite side a Pekinese. It was one piece of almost transparent fabric and I have no idea how they did it. I wasn’t allowed to photograph it, and when I asked how it was done, they only giggled and told me it was a trade secret!
Thanks for the competition fun, and hope you have a wonderful holiday!
I would love to see a copy!
years ago I worked as a voluntary sacristan at my Church. A chasuble was donated to the church by a woman who had been a long time communicant at the Church. The work in that vestment was incomparable. An incredibly intricately designed chalice was done in silk and gold work and was surrounded by gold work wheat sheaves and silk embroidered grapes. The colors were amazing. Every time I looked at that vestment, I saw another detailed I had not noticed before. I can’t imagine how long it must have taken to create it.
The most memorable pieces of embroidery I have seen are the caskets created by schoolgirls several centuries ago. The details and imagination are astonishing and the caskets themselves with all the secret drawers are fascinating!
These scissors are truly lovely. Happy stitching to all!
The most beautiful embroidery I have experienced lately, was the collection of trees, recently profiled on your website, Truly, artistry and technique mixed.
I love using beautiful sewing tools! They are a work of art in themselves and give me delight that I am able to use them. There is no one piece of embroidery that I can zero in on. I have seen so many different pieces that have been awe inspiring both in their beauty and in the creativity of the people who have created them! Whatever I have seen last that has been creative and beautiful is my favorite of the moment. There is so much out in the world, in so many different needlework mediums, how can I pick just one?
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen is a crewel purse that my great aunt made when I was a child. The colors were so vivid, and the floral stitchery seemed to be done to perfection. She was such a master of needlework, and taught me all that I know today. I was delighted when, as an adult, I was able to visit her in England and take some of my needlework to show her. It was a joyous moment for me, but I believe for her, too, in seeing the legacy that she was leaving. A legacy I hope to pass on to my three granddaughters as well.
Absolutely stunning scissors. The most beautiful needlework I have seen is anything done by my Mother, now in her 80’s. I have 2 small stockings stitched by her in the 1980’s for my first 2 children – one needlepoint, one cross stitch. She is still stitching away and I would love to gift these to her. (I hope she’s not reading these comments, I introduced her to you last summer) Justine H.
The most impressive cross stitch that I have ever seen was an Ink Circles pattern that was converted to a birth sampler and stitched all in beads. Beautiful. I was gifted the pattern this Christmas and hope to start it soon for my two month old daughter. Just cross stitched, though, beading would overwhelm me.
Sandy in VA
The most beautiful needlework I have ever seen was in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It was 1987 and I was living in Great Britain. I was a young mother and had a rare afternoon to myself. I went to the V&A and spent the afternoon in the textile studies room. It had cabinets filled with horizontal glass panels that you could slide out to see beautiful examples of embroidery and lace. It was truly heaven to have quiet time to appreciate all that beautiful work. I remember sketching some of the designs and thinking of the many hours that had been spent by generations before ours creating these beautiful treasures. A magical afternoon with the most inspiring embroidery!
I saw a small piece of silk shading embroidery done by Tracy Franklin. It was of a Labrador dog and for me it was so lifelike and I fell in love with it. That sparked my interest to start embroidery with the Royal School of Needlework and learn as much as I could. I have never forgotten that piece.
I have long admired M. Roulot’s exquisite craftsmanship and artistry. His work manages to combine beauty and function in a perfect union.
As for the most beautiful piece of needlework that I have ever seen, it was in a museum in an exhibition of Japanese needlework. The colours were so lovely and the workmanship so extraordinarily and artistically fine that I have often thought of it over the years.
My arrière-grand-mère used to do the most beautiful Appenzell or certainly Appenzeel style embroidery. Unfortunately I do not have any of her Appenzell pieces but I remember her doing the tiniest and most even stitches on a train when I was young and marveling over it. I think that is when my love of stitching began. I too, wanted to create such beauty. I adore stitching and cannot go a day without it (like chocolate), but I have never come close to the skill that she had. I think few these days do.
Thank you very much for the chance to enter this drawing and also for having such a wonderful website.
I would love to win these lovely scissors!
The most memorable Needlework I’ve seen was not my Grandmother ‘s quilts as a young girl, or my friends Mother ‘s embroidery but the tapestries hanging in castles when we visited Ireland. I was stunned and amazed at the size. When I tackle a ‘large’ project I am humbled that I gave really only scratched the surface of the talent that lies within.
The most impressive needlework I saw was a model stitch of Chatelaine’s Egypt. It inspired me to try some of her mandalas, and I love them.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen was stitched by my uncle after his retirement as a career Army Chaplin. He served in Korea and two tours in Vietnam. He saved lives in Vietnam during a battle and earned the Silver Star and Purple Heart. He cross stitched Isaiah 40:31.
My grandmother brought from her home village in Croatia an old beautiful traditional holiday outfit that had embroidered flowers on the full length apron, around the skirt bottom, jacket front and little bum holder. The work was nearly as beautiful on the back and the front. I marveled at its intricate design. I wore the apron over a dress I made for my wedding which was held in an outdoor flower garden in 1972. I still have that original outfit.
Oh my I haven’t been to museums much but did see Ann Wragg in the Charleston museum and loved it immediately! It is a long Sampler and very beautiful. Seeing an antique is so inspiring just knowing it was stitched with hands from the past!
One of the most beautiful stitched pieces I remember was of my Mother in Laws cat. She had a favorite photo of her transferred to fabric and then embroidered it. My “Mom” is no longer with us and neither is her beloved Tish but I’ll never forget how happy that piece made her in her last days.
The most beautiful piece is so hard to decide. We have an auction company, and see some beautiful works, but the best is probably a tapestry a friend gave my mother that his mother has made in Iran. It’s enormous, about 4’x4’, and paisley embroidered with just French knots. It is all wool, and exquisite.
I work for an estate sale company and often see wonderful needlework pieces from long ago. Sometimes I purchase them because they are so beautiful. The one I like the most is done as a square tablecloth with embroidered cutwork around the edges. I get to see it everyday as it hangs on the door of my craft room.
I visited England several years ago and went to see Princess Diana’s wedding dress. It was bejeweled with antique lace in the bodice, hand embroidery, sequins and many thousands of pearls. It brought joy to me to see it as I had read that she really loved this dress. It was also very sad to know that her life was cut short. Her wedding dress truly exemplified her inner beauty.
The most intriguing piece I have ever seen is an 18th century white silk waistcoat, fully pre-embroidered, complete to the buttons, but never cut. It is property of the Museum Rotterdam in the Netherlands. What intrigues me so is: why would you put so much work and material in such a piece if it is never used?
The most memorable needlework I ever saw was a casket done in silk on linen with every panel and the interior done as well. It was from the reign of Charles the first and featured heraldic animals on an estate with what was thought to be members of the family awaiting a royal visit. The colors were still vibrant and the box had been carefully handled so it was almost like new.
While volunteering in the textile department of the Charleston museum under the curator, Jan Hiester, I was able to see the most beautiful sampler! It was stitched by an eight year old in 1698. The stitches were so fine and well constructed. You should see how careful the back was! Not a knot or jump stitch to be found! Due to its fragile state, it cannot be displayed to the general public. But I not only got to see it, I got to touch it and study it! Jan has a book on the samplers of the museum if you care to see it.
If you ever travel to Charleston, please stop by the museum. The whole history of Charleston is there in such beautiful display. AND it’s America’s oldest museum!
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve seen at the moment was probably the wonderful quilt, The Holy Roman Empire Intarsia quilt, from the exhibit War and Pieced at the American Folk Art Museum. It was made from pieces of military uniforms, by a man. The whole exhibit was amazing and beautiful, but that one — wow. Thanks for your wonderful giveaway. I’ve drooled over M. Roulet’s scissors for years!
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen is a reproduction of the Bayeaux Tapestry which was created by a gentleman who worked the project as a means of dealing with the loss of his child. It was on display at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte, Ontario, Canada. It was so touching to see this beautiful recreation and know the reason behind it.
It is very difficult to choose a single piece of embroidery. Perhaps one of the most outstanding was a blue and gold embroidered Quing dynasty Chinese robe with dragons at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Those are beautiful scissors!
The most impressive needlework I’ve seen in person was the traveling exhibit from national EGA of the USA —
several years ago. Could have looked at it forever.
The most beautiful stitchwork I’ve ever seen is the Bayeux tapestry. I’ve only ever seen it in a book. Someday, I hope to see the actual thing!
A friend has two pictures in her living room of two old people of Asian origin. On the little old man you can see
each whisker and streak of gray in his hair. Even the coloring is rather sallow and he has a “rag” arrangement on his head. He reminds me of a wonderful photograph. The little old ladies hair is whispie, thin, and streaked with gray and up in a little topknot. She is quite wrinkled and is of the same sallow pallor as the man. From a distance these two pictures are so perfect that they look like photographs. “Every time I visit, I have to go iinto the living room and gaze at these magnificent pictures. It is a constant reminder that in stitching as in life, less can be so much better.
Several years ago I read an article in a needlework magazine about the collection of Embroidery from Mexico. This museum was in San Antonio, Texas. I was intrigued and told my husband about it and off we went. I made arrangements with the curator of the museum and for a small donation I was able to see, touch, and photograph the pieces. It was absolutely amazing. That was the only time I’ve ever done that. The piece of Embroidery that keeps coming back to me is the intricate beaded embroidery sampler. This piece of embroidery had several different motifs all beaded with the tiniest beads I have ever seen. It was beautiful, and colorful with amazing detail in the designs. That is the piece of embroidery that I recall time after time. I’ll never for that particular piece of artwork nor the trip.
While touring in China, we were taken to a silk factory which was fascinating in itself, but I looked through a side door, across an alley and saw a gallery of amazing silk embroideries – some as large as 3-4 feet big! One was of a path going into the woods and was so realistic, you felt you could walk right into the trees. There were dozens of the most glorious silk embroideries I have ever seen.
It is impossible for me to pick just one. I have seen so many beautiful examples of needlework on the internet that inspires me to try and do embroidery. I love them all from Luzine Happel, to Trish Burr, to Tanja Berlin and even you Mary. The many styles and colors, the textures, the depths… all of it an inspiration. An now a pair of exquisite scissors to match the beauty of the work. Thank you for your website and a very Merry Christmas to you. = )
I’m a big fan of monograms and love the monogramming done by Elisabetta Ricami a mano. Her work is so beautiful and elegant.
I saw the tapestry in Australia’s Parliament years ago. It was amazing. https://www.aph.gov.au/Visit_Parliament/Art/Top_5_Treasures/Great_Hall_Tapestry
The scissors are a form of art and Functional art is a gift twice given.
I always look at each pair. The most beautiful embroidery that I have ever seen was an exhibit at the Folk Art Center near Asheville on the Blueridge Parkway. These artists had transferred designs from natural leaves to fabrics which were then embroidered. It was amazing.
I am not certain this is the most beautiful stitching I have ever seen but it is the most impressive. It is not just one item but a collection. In appreciation for the food Herbert Hoover arranged to have sent to Belgian and French civilians during WWI, recipients of the food embroidered the flour sacks and sent them back to the U.S. A collection of them is on display at the Hoover Library in West Branch, Iowa. The needlework on the flour bags is magnificent; the backstory of the embroidered flour bags is overwhelming. I feel privileged to have seen a display of them.
I am intrigued by the various beautiful and colorful scissors now available. I would love to add this pair to my collection.
The scope and detail of the Bayeux Tapestries made a lasting impression.
It is hard for me to pick one item as the most beautiful and inspiring. I go to the Woodlawn Needlework exhibit most years. When I walk through the the exhibit I see one gorgeous piece after another. I pick out my favorite and then I see the next one, and it becomes my favorite. However, the most awe inspiring pieces are those in the museum in Colonial Williamsburg. What very young girls were able to do without magnification and great electric lights is mind boggling for me.
My most memorable piece of needlework is of a religious subject, stitched by a monk in a monastery way up a mountain in Meteora, Greece. After a decade, I can still picture it in my mind’s eye. Wishing all avid stitchers could have the same experience.
I would love to be the recipient of these gorgeous scissors. Thanks for the opportunity to win this prize.
I was lucky enough to needlepoint one of the stockings for the White House Christmas tree when the theme was “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. This gave me opportunity to visit the White House and see all of the trees including this one. This tree and all of the needlework stockings that hung from the tree are still an amazement and inspiration for me to this day. I’m afraid that I can’t pick just one of the stockings as the whole display of all these lovingly made stockings hung together were the more impressing needlework I’ve ever seen.
My favourite piece was a piece that my grandmother did. I remember seeing it when I was quite small I am now fortunate to own the lovely piece
I think every piece of needle work is beautiful. From the first piece a little girl does on a scrap of fabric to the most intricate embroidery that took years to complete. I still remember walking into a new shop close to my home and seeing a little bonnet on a stand. I did not know what the stitching was called but I did know that I wanted to learn to do it. It was English Smocking. I love all embroidery but smocking and shadow work are my favorites. There is nothing like fine fabric, good threads, good needles and scissors used to create something beautiful.
I’ve seen reproductions of the Bayoux Tapestry and it’s exquisite, would love to see it in person.
Although this type of needlework is not in my wheelhouse, quilting is an art I can truly appreciate. A friend of mine made a quilt representing her sons playing their music, and it is a stunning piece of art. They are adult professional musicians, and the quilt is unbelievably true to life.
About 5 years ago I visited a museum in Maine. The most beautiful samplers done by school girls from the 1800s is
What got me started to be interested in needlework of all sorts. I’ll never forget how impressed I was to see such great work these students did.
I collect old scissors and this would be a great addition.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen belonged to a friend who travelled the world with her husband in their retirement. One trip took them to Russia, where my friend found a beautiful piece of hand-made lace. It is very large and was mounted in a frame above their bed. It is a mandala design. I am usually drawn to things that are both beautiful and useful, but this piece sits outside of time and the daily round. I could stare at it all day, so intricate and beautiful, and yet calming to look at.
The lady and the Unicorn tapestries displayed at the Musee de Cluny, in Paris, were a joy to behold. They truly enchanted me with their subtle colours, whimsy and charm . I spent a full four hours just sitting appreciating their beauty and palpable presence. Tapestries are normally not a form of embroidery that I have any interest in, but the memory of the Lady and the Unicorn still gives me much delight. A return visit is a must.
Although I haven’t seen this in person, the pictures of the handmade lace for Kate Middleton’s wedding dress awed me with the amount of time and precision it took to make it.
I think the most beautiful embroidery that I remember was one that my mother made. I remember my grandmother showing it to me when I was a little girl and telling me that my mother had made it. I was awestruck and amazed by the beauty of it and knowing that my mother made it ,made it even more special. That sweet memory of my grandmother proudly showing off my mother’s needlework to me ,her only granddaughter is something I treasure. My grandmother was my first teacher and it was she that started my love for all things needlework.
Most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve ever seen… sure hope you don’t require that it be seen in person, as I’ve seen very few in person! The most beautiful I’ve ever seen is your own Secret Garden project. The vibrant colors, exquisite needle painting, and delicate details are stunning. I aspire to a large project like that someday. Of course, mine will have sheep in it 🙂
As a wrap-up to your giveaways, it would be nice to have a summary list of the donors, with links to their websites. That would make it easier for us to support them!
Wow, the most beautiful piece I have ever seen? It probably has to be Coeur de Touraine by Sylvie Lezziero. I would love to try to make it but I am sure mine will ale in comparison. There are just too many pieces of embroidery to name!
I collect antique and just plain beautiful needlework tools…..I have some scissors that would not cut even threads and leave rust marks too, but, I love them anyway and don’t use them…..just look at them. If I were to win these, I think I would even USE them, at home!!!!! Not on the road!!!! Ann
Such beautiful scizzors. Would love to own them.
Merry Christmas to you from Texas USA! I love reading your blog and admiring all your lovelies. This pair scissors is just simply gorgeous and would love to own such an exquisite pair for my own.
I love whitework embroidery! The piece that stays with me and would love to make is Hidden Delights by Deborah Love. It is a beautiful, delicate piece with the center design a heart with a bird sitting inside it. Branching out from the heart at the top and bottom, are long vines ending in a tulip. The stitches are of Schwalm embroidery. Delicate and Delightful!
The most memorable piece was a sampler created in 1814. The workmanship was unbelievable. It was simple but the work was perfect. It was done by a seven year old (recorded on sampler)
The most beautiful needlework I have ever seen was the Eleanor Parr sampler stitch on 45 count linen by Bethany Gallant using real hair for the 2 girls depicted in the sampler.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve seen was made by my mother, who creates photographic art quilt wall hangings. She made one that is a wild beach scene, using fabrics and thread in shades of seafoam green and sandy tan. It also includes a number of teeny tiny shells my mother collected while beach combing. The shells spill out of the foreground and onto the mat board. You can practically hear the waves!
I love so many embroideries that this is really difficult. How to choose? Probably the most significant one, for me, was one I saw when I was about ten, (50 years ago!) when I was living in the Marshall Islands. It was a beautiful blue butterfly, with bright sky colored wings,edged in navy and gold. That was when I decided I wanted to embroider. I still can’t create anything like that Marshallese woman did, but I keep trying!
Years ago at a vintage clothing sale, I saw an exquisite Edwardian whitework petticoat that still sticks in my mind.
It was pure white linen that I suspect was hand-woven, exquisitely embroidered, entirely hand-stitched, and in excellent condition.
As well as being breathakingly beautifully-executed, the emboidery told a story: each tier was embroidered with garlands of strawberries and strawberry leaves, which suggested it might have originally been made for a duchess – strawberry leaves are symbolic of an English duchy. Sadly, the vendor had no idea of its provenance, and it was way beyond my budget, so, as this was before the era of cellphone cameras (or cellphones, for that matter), all I have of it is the memory.
While I have seen many beautiful examples of embroidery since getting my first computer; including many by Ms. Corbet, the person who really inspired my love of embroidery was the late Erica Wilson. One of the first pieces I saw was a Jacobean styled, crewel worked Tree of Life in the late 70’s. That is when I decided I had to learn how to embroider. Everyone should know how to create such beauty.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve ever seen ? That changes constantly! In The de young museum, upstairs, in the corner is a little room. It sits outside the Textile Arts Council library. You enter through a glass door. There are little shallow drawers along the left wall. Inside each drawer are textile treasures. There are little knitted scull caps from Peru. Tiny stitches knitted with needles made from the spokes of bicycle wheels. There are woven fragments and embroideries on linen and cotton. Rather then choose one piece as my favorite I choose this ever changing selection of beauty as my favorite .
Oh, where do I begin, there are so many! I would have to say that the most beautiful embroidery that I’ve ever seen is the Japanese Silk Embroidery of Margaret Lee. Her work is simply stunning, her artistic embroidery is beyond beautiful.
I grew up with embroidery and smocking but the pieces were functional and the work fairly basic. Years later I joined a stitchery guild to meet more people when I moved to a new town . I was dumbstruck when a lady shared her completed goldwork fan and elephant pieces. I had no idea that people could make such exquisite things with their own hands. Sadly I cannot remember her last name but Mary made a huge impact on me. I haven’t tried goldwork yet but it is on my embroidery bucket list now that I’ve retired . Thank you for your continued encouragement and inspiration .
The most beautiful pieces of embroidery that I can still recall are the costumes of the Game of Thrones TV series. I recently read an article about them, and some of the pieces have extremely detailed, intricate, and beautiful embroidery. It gives the clothes this air of “realness” and authenticity, and they look stunning.
As I was going through some of my families things, many years ago, on my fathers side…I noticed a babies bonnet My grandmother had stitched a glorious open work piece with buttonhole stitch around the openings. She made this for a little girl but ended up having boys only! There is even a matching diaper cover. Now for the date, it was made almost 100 years ago! I am so thankful I am able to see this piece of exquisite work every time I am in my sewing area.
The Rose of Sharon from Mirabila. The color in the flowers and dress were seamlessly blended.
When looking directly at it I wasn’t sure if the pergola columns were at a slight angle or not.
I loved the delicacy of her features.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve ever seen was the cloth used to cover the communion elements in a tiny church in Cosby,Leicester, England. It was pristine white on white – exquisite yet uncomplicated – and I’m sure I stared at it during the whole of the service. I did ask about it afterwards— to learn it had been in faithful use for at least 80 years.
Also —- I have stared and stared at this particular pair of scissors on the French Needle website for several years! So absolutely beautiful — and so way out of my price consideration. I would be so honored and thrilled to win them!
And — thank you so much for the trees!!
Wishing you the merriest Christmas and healthy 2018. Christie
The piece of needlework that I have found most impressive was gifted to my parents when my father was working in Korea in the 1980’s. It is a spray of roses with two bees over top. This amazing piece is silk thread painting on silk. I am never able to just glance at it because it is so detailed and beautiful. It always requires a bit of study, in my opinion. It now hangs in my home.
Thank you for the opportunity to Post for these wonderful scissors.
The most beautiful needlework I have ever seen was in a Greek Orthodox Church in
Greece commemorating Christ lying in the tomb. Exquisite to the last tiniest gold
For some reason my entry posted twice. Please delete one as I would not want to be disqualified for this error.
Every day I see beautiful work by so many people . I can’t just pick one. I am just so happy that needle art as I call it ,is alive and doing well ! So many people think it is a waste of time but I beg to differ. If they would just pick up a needle, floss and fabric and give it a try, they just may findicate there creative soul 🙂
White Work…ALL WHITE WORK. It is so crisp n delicate looking. It is also something I have never been able to accomplish.
THE BUTTON BOOK by Sherri Jones of patrickwoods. When I viewed this teaching piece on line I knew I had to take the class and so I did at the Attic Needlework in AZ. It was a joy to stitch, finish and find just the right buttons to put in my book.
I collect scissors…new, vintage, antique and have a nice collection that I admire in my sewing room. I would love to be the owner of these scissors. They will be used with great pride and have a good home. Good luck to me!!!!!
The most beautiful needlework I ever saw was a needlepoint purse a friend made with all kinds of cute shoes. You see my friend worked many years for US Shoe company and this project brought back many fond memories for her.
The most beautiful piece that I have seen was stitched by a member of our guild, Tudor Rose Sampler Guild. It is Celtic Sampler designed by Darlene O’Steen stitched by member, Jennifer M., and featured in the Tudor Rose Sampler Blog in August of 2015. This piece is incredible. Its only about 11 x 14, but here are so many different types of stitches, gold work, bargello and a multitude of colors. It is solidly stitched and it is definitely the first thing that popped in my mind. When I photographed it for our blog, I wish I could have put even more pictures up.
Merry Christmas and thank you for the opportunity to win a pair of Monsieur Roulot’s scissors. When or lose, someday, I hope to own a pair.
Years ago, when I was a hairdresser, we all would do needlework in the back room to fill time between our customers. There was one very talented woman who was a talented and friendly person. I started asking about her needlework until all I did on my breaks was watching her work. She put a needle in my hands and showed me what to do. Her project was beautiful and even 40 years later, I still remember how stunning and exciting it was to see and start my own project. To this day, I still think of that first project and thank her in my heart for setting me on the road to “busy hands, happy heart.” Thank you to Phyllis! And… Thank you to all the needlework shops who feed our addictions!
I think my favorite pieces of embroidery, right now, are the Trish Burr birds. She makes them so realistic that I feel that I have seen them in real life.
A number of years ago I had the privilege of visiting Bath, England. At the time there was a special exhibition of hand made pockets that ladies tied at their waist to carry all their necessities. I was overwhelmed with the intricate designs women had stitched both embroidery and crewel. There was white work and hand made lace. Truly breathtaking to the extent I purchased the catalogue. Some were simple and primitive others elaborate beyond my imagination. Above all was the creativity that wove itself into every day life.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have seen, unfortunately only in pictures, is the quilt by Sieglinde Schoen-Smith. I love the detail of it and it inspires me in so many ways.
One of the most beautiful piece of embroidery I have ever seen is a simple wedding gown from the 18th? Century in Connecticut. The bride had stitched beautiful floral motifs in silk as part of her trousseau. I still think about it at times.
Years and years ago I watched a woman making a very beautiful and intricate lace doily. She had pins in a complicated pattern on the board in front of her and what seemed like a hundred bobbins dangling down. Her hands moved so fast I couldn’t follow them with my eyes! The lace was just so delicate and gorgeous.
My mother always dis some form of needlework, instead of watching TV. Her largest piece was a floral crewel kit that hung over our upright piano for more than 30 years. After she died, I fixed a few of the wool threads that had deteriorated — with crewel thread from a friend’s mother’s stash — and had it reframed. It has hung in my dining room ever since.
The most beautiful piece of needlework that I’ve ever seen was a miniature needlepoint carpet, stitched by Mrs Thorne, who was an American heiress in the 1930s in the USA. She created a large collection of dollhouse scale roomboxes to illustrate different eras of US and European history, displaying all the miniatures that she commissioned from around the world (now in the Art Institute of Chicago). I came across a book when I was in my twenties which described the rooms, and which featured the needlework in particular. The rooms are fantastic, and if you didn’t know, you’d think they were full size (‘real’)! There was one carpet, stitched in shades of rust and green, with an intricate medallion in the centre and a complicated border. The carpet was quite large, and filled most of the dollhouse-scale room. It just amazed me, that someone could stitch such a detailed thing, and make it look so realistic. I think it was stitched on silk gauze, in silk. It lay very flat, and just looked so realistic and gorgeous. It was the spark of inspiration which led me to start my dollhouse needlepoint kit business over 20 years ago….and I’m still doing it, all these years later!
The beautiful needlepoint done for the kneeling pads at The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry. I saw this in Paris and it was the first image to come to mind. Absolutely beautiful.
I love this site – I have learned so much – I would love to have these scissors.. they are so delicate and well made. They remind me of my mothers embroidery scissors. It would make a nice addition to my embroidery tools.
Ones I have seen personally were done by a neighbor – as a child I loved going to her home and looking at her hand work done on pillow cases – table clothes – napkins – these impressed and inspired me to want to do pieces for my home – as I grew up and have my own home – I still do hand work – I still marvel at her work – I was given several pieces when she died. Everyday items enjoyed daily
I am always taken away by what I see on Needle n thread by Mary -they are some of the most elaborate master pieces I have every seen – but only on the web pages – it would be a dream to see these in person
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve ever seen was a Crazy quilt with all the fancy stitches and embroidery on it at a Road to Calimesa show in Ontario.
I read n get Inspirations, there’s some exquisite needlework there, but crazy quilts are It for me.
Thank you for yr help with stitches I’ve not seen before.
Thank you for these Christmas gifts. (I read the article on The Scissorman.)
Merry Christmas to you from Texas!
The most exquisite needlework I’ve ever seen was years ago when I saw “The Nativity”. It was a 5 panel stitched piece that I just couldn’t get out of my mind. So much so, that I ended up buying all the supplies and the charted pattern and stitching it for myself! It took me almost 10 years to complete it (life got in the way and it hung in my closet for years and 2 moves till I decided to complete it and get it framed).
I love reading your blog and admiring all your lovelies. This pair of scissors is just simply gorgeous and would love to own such an amazing pair for my own.
The most impressive needlework I saw was Margery Dean sampler from Scarlet Letter.
The background is completely stitched.
Merry Christmas, Mary! These scissors are delightful! I hope I win them – then I can use them re-creating the most beautiful needlework I’ve ever seen, which is Rosalie Wakefield’s Millefiori “WELCOME”, a piece with three inch letters made of tiny Brazilian Embroidery flowers, bees, butterflies, birds, a cat, a snail, spiders… It’s like a huge 3D floral bouquet on your wall.
I wasn’t very close to my mother but she did pass along her love of embroideryto me. Her embroidered tablecloths (which I still have) were equally beautiful front and back…something I try to achieve but not nearly as successful.
Merry Christmas all.
The piece of needlework I remember most clearly and made the greatest impression on me at the time, was an embroidered fire screen, on display in a fabric shop in Gorseinon, West Wales, in the 1970’s. I had gone in with my mother, who needed some haberdashery item and it was standing in the corner of the shop. It was embroidered in wool, and was a scene of a British bluebells growing in a woodland of silver birch trees. The scene was so detailed, with the texture of the silver birch bark and fungi growing beneath some of the trees. Small birds and woodland animals could be picked out when you looked closely at the detail, and I remember thinking that I would give anything to be able to own such a gorgeous piece of work. It wasn’t for sale of course, and even if it were I couldn’t have afforded it out of my pocket money, but the memory of that bluebell wood has stayed with me for over 40 years.
Two years ago I went with Thistle Threads on a tour of England and Scotland. We saw beautiful embroidered caskets and marvelous casket toys, but my memory jumps to a pair of 17th century gloves in Bath with incredible embroidered cuffs.
I have seen so many stunningly beautiful stitched pieces that it is hard to pick one. Probably the first that really caught my eye were several Chatelaine finishes at my LNS. I haven’t gotten the courage to attempt one yet, but probably will do so.
These scissors are truly a work of art, as is the case!
I still am in awe of the Bayeux tapestry. I don’t know if it is the history, the stitching or the story, but it is a piece I keep looking at. Thank you for your days of Christmas presents. These scissors are just so very very beautiful they would have pride of place in my home, would be used and loved.
The piece that stands out for me is the tapestry recreation that members of my EGA Chapter (Skyllkill) did for the Friends of Mills Mansion (Staatsburgh Historic Site/Park, Staatsburg, NY). They recreated it from scratch using historical records. After 20-some years and multiple talented stitchers, it was presented back to the Friends) this year, and hangs in the main stairway. That’s tied with the Plimoth Jacket, an historically accurate recreation of a ladies’ waistcoat of the early 1600’s, done by Plimoth Plantation, MA.
The most beautiful Needlework I have ever seen was done by a current artist, Larissa Borodich. She uses a Russian Icon and embellishes it with goldwork and pearls. All of her work is spectacular, but I prefer the Icons.
The most inspiring piece of needlework I have been close to is an altar frontal done by the Royal School of Needlework 150 years ago for a church in Toronto, Canada. The centre medallion is about 2 feet wide and a non-stitcher would recognize the work is a special piece. Knowing what I know now, I am awed by the work: the economy of silk threads that provide coverage and colour exquisitely, the precision of the needlework, the strategic use of the gold (sadly, now losing it’s foil). I think of this piece and commit to higher standards as I pick up my needle.
The most beautiful work I’ve ever seen, was not the most impressive in technique or in the materials that were used. It was the apron that my grandmother wore that she embroidered herself. She did a lot of hand work but the flowers on that apron inspired me to pick up a needle. For 58 years I have stitched and many times thanked my grandmother for wearing that apron and teaching me the joy of creating something with my hands. It was the greatest gift she ever gave me.
Several years ago I saw a stag head at the NC State Fair that was done in what I now know is needle painting. I had never seen anything so intricate and gorgeous. Not surprisingly it took 1st place. I’ve done several pieces of my own since then, but none will ever approach that one.
Having the right tools helps to get a wonderful creation with precision and efficiency.
Mary, many thanks to you and the businesses for this fun series of giveaways.
I think the most beautiful embroidery piece that I have seen was the WWI Altar Frontal displayed in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Thanks to your blog post I knew to visit St.Paul’s to see this piece while I was in London. Besides the lovely embroidery, the back story made it extra special.
Wishing you health and much happiness in the New Year!!
What a beautiful pair of scissors! I would love to work with those! The most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen is a creek piece completed by my mother. She is not with me any longer, but every time I look at her needlework, I think of wonderful memories with her. Merry Christmas to all!
I can’t say I’ve seen any stitching pieces that are world shaking memorable, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen one that touches my soul. And lucky me, it sits in my bedroom. It is a doll, made by my mother from a pillowcase stitches and crocheted for me by my aunt for my wedding years ago. My aunt passed many years ago now and mom is afflicted with multiple strokes so like she has alzheimers. That doll is so meaningful to me it is worth more than the Bayeau Tapestry in my world.
The scissors are beyond beautiful. Gosh, what a lovely gift and someone will be mighty lucky to win them. Thanks Mary.
This is a tricky one!
I think it would be an early 19th century sampler, worked by a 9 year old girl. It was quite simple, but beautifully worked, and the colours were still so vibrant.
Giveaway Scissors. My fingers felt a tingle as soon as I saw the give away of these artfully designed and engineered #40 scissors. I would adore using them while embroidering. I cannot pick out just beautiful embroidery piece I ever saw. There are so many. However I simply love the Inspirations Magazine “Cauliflower Pincushion “ and seeing in the magazine motivated me to order the threads and start making one for myself. And so I did. I would love to win these scissors.
Because I have lived in a very rural area in the US, and when I do travel it is for work with little time to explore, I have not had the luxury of seeing beautiful historic embroidery works in person. I do, however, stalk them on the Internet! I love the detail of the old ecclesiastical works, and was struck by one in particular – the Pluvial (Cope of the Virgin Mary) unknown 1425-1440. For some reason, it grabbed my heart. The detail that I can discern is exquisite. I love to embroider; if only I cold have the time to work on a piece like the Cope.
Eye on the Sparrow by Heartstrings
Love this s Sampler and love it’s
Sentiment!! Jeanie Guhl
Most memorable needlework piece? The bayeaux tapestry ..
I love this fascinating historical piece for the size.story telling , skill and style . I have not seen it in person but a girl can dream …
Wonderful question Mary!
Can not leave this unanswered….I am collecting this wonderful scissors….And OMG! how much I would love to have this piece…
What if I am impressed and inspired and cannot forget not one but few different works? Different techniques too?
1. Yours one and only Hummingbirds….This piece is I carefully stored in my heart and still come back once in a while to look at the pictures and admire it again and again; Maybe, one day I will create something like that? 🙂 There is no words to describe it really.
2. Norfolk Darning Samplres…almost all of them, but one in particular – Elizabeth Brittain 1841; I like them for what they are stitched using cross, satin, lon-and-short, French Knots, stem and running stitch…They simply gorgeous!
3. Lorna Bateman wonderful pincushions – so beautiful, that once I completed few of her pieces, I start collection of my own…
Honestly I can continue, but then my list will get too long 🙂
Thank you Mary, for this wonderful opportunity! Happy Holidays! With love, Elena
Love your posts, Mary. Thanks so much! I absolutely love Trish Burr’s embroidery. Would love to be that skilled someday!
Hi Santa Mary! I got to see the Bayeaux Tapestry a couple of years ago and it is so memorable! The sweeping story, amazing colors after so many centuries and the unique stitch used really impressed me beyond measure. I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!
This is a very tough question as I have seen breathtaking embroidery all over the world. If I had to choose, I would say my most favorite is Lady Evelyn’s Needlework at Blair Castle, particularly “The British Arms”. My story about her pieces is an interesting one. I have been to Blair Castle 3 times. Her pieces are kept a small room (displaying dishes!) on the way from the house to the store and are maintained in wooden cases covered up with velvet. The first time I was there was on a tour (not a needlework tour) and I walked right past them not knowing what was hidden in the cases under the velvet (so close yet so far!). The second time I was on a needlework tour and was just taken aback by the beauty of her needlework. The third time I took some needlework friends to view them and was so happy to visit them again and share this joy with friends.
The British Arms took her 7 years to complete and is stitched on a cambric background, using sizes 250-700 cotton thread. I cannot find the years of her work (she was born in 1868) but The British Arms is considered a masterpiece and I can see why. I can’t wait to visit Lady Evelyn’s needlework again, especially The British Arms.
Ok the most beautiful? The needlework my mama did-she would be 105. It was a beautifully stitched basket of flowers, of all kinds and shapes, botanically identifiable.
The most beautiful needlework I saw was when I visited China. We saw an exhibit of pieces that were representative of Chinese garments. Some were small, about 8×10 inches, Graduating up to the actual size of a piece of clothing. And the stitches were so tiny!
I think one of my favorite pieces is a design by Emmy Bishop that has 85 different stitches in it. I must say that I loved it soooo much that I have stitched it as a bell pull and look at it every day. It is still love as much as ever!
I don’t mean to be cheezy, but as someone new to embroidery I haven’t seen much in person, and the project I recall the most that inspired me was your peacock project on needle n thread. I adored the colors and the techniques and it really helped drive me to trying out more embroidery, as well as buying the secret garden book ;).
The most beautiful piece of embroidery I’ve seen is a Hardanger cloth the size of a bridge table cover. It was done by my great aunt and attached to it is a blue ribbon she won in 1917. Not only have I seen it but it is one of my most prized possessions. I have tried Hardanger and know the work and love that was put into this cloth.
Thank you so much for this fabulous opportunity! I think the most beautiful piece of needlework was a very old cross stitch sampler that a friend owns by a young girl and her name was actually upside down on the sampler itself! It was so lovely and framed perfectly in a simple old wooden frame. I love vintage samplers and any kind of handwork actually. It’s amazing to see them and be able to enjoy them whether old or new pieces. Thanks so much. Merry Christmas to you all.
The Needlework price that left a lasting impact was a tapestry that lined a hallway in one of the Newport mansions. It was grande both in size and craftsmanship. Made me fall deeper in love with the needle.
The most memorable piece of embroidery I have seen is the Bayeux Tapestry in France which is truly an amazing piece to see.
There have been so many needlework things that I have loved. I think, however, that ones that have stayed with me for a very long time are the pieces that Mary, Queen of Scots, embroidered while she was imprisoned. Tiny stitches, lovely work.
There are so many but I think what really inspired me to start crazy quilting was a unicorn block by Sharon Boggon
I have seen many beautiful pieces of needlework. A favorite is the casket in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts!
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen is one that my mom did. She worked on it endlessly but it was always rolled up so I could never see the whole piece. When she was done, she had it framed. One day when I came home from school, it was hanging in the living room. It was a needlepoint called “Poppies”. It was the most beautiful needlework I have seen and it is still hanging in the living room.
Eye on the Sparrow by Heartstrings is one of my favorites !! Love the Sampler and love it’s sentiment!! Jeanie Guhl
In 2012 I was visiting Ireland on an organized needlework related tour. One stop was a Mountmellick School & Museum. Someone from there had stitched all in whitework a large beautiful scene to honor the U.S. in remembrance of our horrific September 11 attack. To think that a person from another country would take the time to design and stitch such a huge project to express her thoughts gives me goose bumps to this day.
A monogram that my aunt did years ago! 🙂
The one piece of stitchers that has stuck with me over the years is a piece designed by Erica Wilson…the piece is done in crewelwork and shows the traditional tree of life along with animals and plants. I would love to find that piece to stitch.
The most amazing needlework I have ever seen is on a vintage kimono given to me by a very special Japanese friend. That gift inspired an addition to my bucket list, studying Japanese embroidery in Japan!
The Embroidery Guild of America has a traveling show of needle works and multi media work called Through the Needles Eye. This summer this show was in Brevard, North Carolina near where I live. There was one piece of work that spoke to me. It was made up of all straight stitches of a landscape scene with trees. Simple but elegant. The blue Spruce tree had the most perfect color of blue green. All the trees and landscape were so well done.
The most beautiful needle art that I will always remember is a griffen stitched by Jane Zimmerman. It’s based on a Persian painting of a winged lion and stitched in gold and silver thread. You can see it on her web site on the Needlework Profile page. The picture is stunning. The day I saw it hanging on her wall I realized how stunning it really is. A perfection of technique, a perfect choice of threads and background. Nothing I have seen before or since has had the same sense of perfection and completion. You could not add or take away anything.
Our church office has a wall hanging depicting a small town. It has a market with fresh produce. There are people walking down the street going to various shops or talking with friends. There are orchards outside of the town and rolling hills. It is a combination of 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional needlework. The larger areas, like the rolling hills are hand appliqués. The colors are bright and happy, inviting people to stop and look. Every time I look at it I notice a new minute detail. Our church secretary especially loves to show it to small children who are in awe of the tiny applecarts and animals.
Absolutely stunning scissors and hand crafted box! A big Wow!
I remember a road trip a friend and I took, we visited a stitching store. The store samples and displays were breath taking. I had never seen such fine and beautiful work, not only pictures but items made in to boxes or stuffed toys.
I fell in love when I saw the wedding dress that Mary Bull Price of Boston embroidered on silk damask. It is exquisite.
I’m a little prejudiced on this one but.. my mother made me a belt buckle years ago and it’s crazy quilt style. It is beautiful with lots of embroidery. Even more beautiful since it was made with love by my mother.
I will have to pick the one sampler on display at the Dayton Museum of Art (Jane Ann Benjamin, born 1801 in Amenia, NY) as the most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen because it was the first one I had ever seen in a museum. Visually, the overall look was not striking because the colors were faded and the design was simple but the verse was about Education and I liked that, because several members of my family are teachers. Also when I got home, I was able to find a lot of information online about the stitcher, and even an image of her from a portrait! It was thrilling to imagine her life from the bits and pieces of information that was out there, and it gave me a lot to think about.
The Jane Bostocke sampler is most impressive to me. I’ve seen it twice in person and the skill required for the stitching and how the thread colors have stayed vivid over the centuries is striking.
Some years ago I was in Norway, in Bergen. As I walked through the streets I came across a store that was totally dedicated to selling Hardanger supplies, kits and completed pieces. As I walked in I was awestruck by the beautiful work artistically displayed throughout the store. It was like an art gallery, pieces suspended in the middle of the room , on the walls and draped over furniture, etc. I will never forget the volume of work and the beauty of the different pieces. When I do white work I always am reminded of that day standing in the middle of the store totally surrounded by large Hardanger work suspended all around me.
The english blackwork cushion cover, from the XVI century showed at the textile collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. The linen fabric is well preserved and the embroidery sparks with silk and metallic thread. The random mix of counted and free-stitched stitches makes the piece mesmerazing. There are perfectly distinguishable stitches such as chain, double running, overcast, plaited braid, and square open work stitches.
I first saw my favorite piece at Chilcomb House in Winchester UK in 2005. It was a casket from the 1600’s. It was absolutely amazing! I was able to see it again a few years later at the same place! I must thank Susan Blomley for giving us the opportunity to see this and many others at her Pilgrim Stitchers course.
The most memorable piece of needlework that I can recall seeing is the Bayeaux Tapestry in France. It’s not so much for he quality, but more the age and scope of this piece. I actually have a 1/7 scale copy of it hung in my sewing studio!
What an exquisite pair of scissors! I’ve seen so many wonderful pieces of needlework at museums, EGA meetings and stitch ins. The most recent one I remember capturing my heart is at Winterthur, Mary Partridge sampler from 1717. The colors, design and skill are magnificent.
Merry Christmas Mary!
Mary in Billerica
I wish that I was in an area with the potential for seeing beautiful needlework or that I had had the opportunity for traveling places where one can view examples…..I have only seen examples on-line or in magazines! I think that currently some of Trish Burr’s needlepainting is what I am most impressed with at this time….simple images but beautifully done!
Elizabeth Almond’s “Blackwork Journey”.
The most beautiful needlework piece that I have ever seen was the Lord’s Supper that my younger sister stitched. Both my older and younger sisters stitch. The three of us swap out our work since we each specialize in different areas. My older sister does embroidery, my younger sister does cross stitch, and I do Brazilian embroidery.
I think that every stitcher
truly appreciates the best in fiber,
tools, fabric because when you have
a love a craft you put your best
into it and appreciate
the time it took….
The sissor is truly the best and a
work of art!!!!!
I have always admired the scissors from the French Needle and wondered who was lucky enough to get a pair as a gift or purchase! It is impossible for me to pick just one piece of needlework as “the best!” I think my favorite is always the one I am currently admiring.
The most beautiful piece of needlework my eyes ever beheld was in Vienna, Austria at the Schoenbrunn Castle. It was goldwork exquisitely laboured over. I couldn’t stop gazing at it. It was so magnificent it made me cry.
The most beautiful embroidery I saw was at a fair in Italy named Bergamo Creativa
I do not remember the name of the artist
It was a portrait of a man about one square foot in size, made entirely of bits of eggshells
They were connected alone with delicate embroidery
Thank you very much for the chance to win!
Merry Christmas and hugs from Israel!
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen was done by a friend of mine who is no longer with us. It was of tiny fish with the most beautiful very small stitches. She did all types of needlework and I am so fortunate to have some of the.
Hi Mary, What a beautiful pair of scissors for someone’s Christmas gift. I have dreamed of those after seeing them on the French Needle’s web site. My most beautiful pieces of needlework are two identical table scarves from a friend who is now back in Cypress. You covered the type of embroidery in an earlier post and I was so happy to learn about the origin of the work. Fingers crossed in Ohio.
While in Paris years ago, there was a showing of the work of Lesage and the work he did for Schiaparelli. I fell in love with the embroidered jackets with designs created by well known artists. The Circus jacket is one of my favorites. So many spectacular images. That was when I wanted to move beyond needlepoint and
Learn surface embroidery.
The most beautiful embroidery I have seen are the Windsor Panels by Beryl Dean. Her unique design style and exquisite threads and stitches bring such beauty to the depiction of the Virgin Mary and the early life of Christ. Rutland Chantry, St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle .
I have been doing needlepoint since I was a youngster and have loved the products I’ve created and the satisfaction it brings. Loving anything with mother and child I did a piece in petit pointe of a mother holding her young baby. This was a work of love enjoyed by my friends and family as well as myself. I have been collecting needlepoint books to learn new stitches and improve my technique. So glad I found your site. I’m
Lovely, exquisite scissors! They would be a delight to use. Wwhat a generous giveaway!!
Love these scissors…hope I win!
Even though I have seen many beautiful pieces of hand stitching I was so impressed with my best friends daughter’s ability. Her daughter was handicapped but her love of stitching and giving made her work so much more beautiful. She is no longer with us but her stitched art makes her mother feel her love every time she looks at her pieces.
The most beautiful needlework that first impressed me is actually a class of needlework – crazy quilts. Not having grown up with quilts of any sort but with an appreciation of embroidery, when I discovered crazy quilts with all of their personal embellishments and stories to tell, I immediately knew that one day, I would aspire to try my hand at them. That day has not yet arrived, but I often embellish my quilts with embroidery or beading and have started to play with 3D quilting.
A pair of these beautiful scissors would undoubtedly make my hand work better.
A member in my parish created a most angelic banner/icon of Archangel Michael with such exquisite detail, it takes my breath away. It “lives” in our cathedral of St. Seraphim of Sarov
to be enjoyed by all.
The Devonshire hunting tapestries at the Victoria & Albert Museum were the most amazing I have ever seen ….they are huge and cover a hall. Having been created around 1425 makes them even more incredible ..the tapestries are considered to be one of the V&A’s most valued treasures.
Dana, I was amazed by the V & A Museum pieces as well and just stood in awe of them. The one’s on display at Hampton Court Palace were from King Henry VIII and fabulous not only to see, but to discover how much work it takesto maintain them, all done at the Royal School of Needlework by master artisans. How fortunate we are to have witnessed such beauty in person!
I have seen several “Favorites” the one that I found most amazing for the work and time it must have taken I saw in a museum in Boston, early American embroidery on a long full linen skirt. Such vivid colors, beautiful stitching and I could not take my eyes off it!! Another one I have that my hubby’s great aunt did, a cross-stitch done years ago. I had never seen this at my mother-in-law’s home, when she passed away, it was found a dresser. Soon it will be framed by a preservation specialist for our home. Thanks so much for your inspirations with your skills.
While taking a monogramming class at SFSNAD, a woman brought in a silk blanket to show us. She’d found at a thrift store. It was covered in the most ornate monograms I’ve ever seen- it was like a museum, a story, a comprehensive look into someone’s hand work. Every stitch was perfect, no puckering anywhere, no design repeated. It’s a totally magical piece. lmk if you’d like to see some photos 🙂
What I remember the most is my wedding dress in 1968 that my mother made. The distributor in NY went bankrupt and my mother had two weeks to make my dress and a dress for a junior bridesmaid. The dress was a simple white velvet with long sleeves on the bodice and a long A-line skirt and a train. All was trimmed in white lace sewn by hand and it was perfect for me! Thanks for refreshing that memory.
The most beautiful and skilful embroidery I have ever seen was in China and stitched in Random Stitch Embroidery (anything but random). The subject was an elephant and it looked as if when you touched it it would be rough against your hand next to one of a lion which looked as though you could run your fingers through it’s fur also done in Random Stitch Embroidery. Amazing!!
Many years ago, I saw the medieval unicorn tapestries in New York. I am fascinated by them still. My favorite piece of needlework, however, is the hand-embroidered pillowcase stitched by my grandmother, in a style which is now thought of as quaint. While I hold it, I remember sitting at her side when I was 10 while she taught me to do “silk” embroidery. That was the moment I began my lifelong love of all kinds of needlework.
The most beautiful needlework I’ve seen was completed by my daughter at around age 10. She cross stitched an adorable little Santa face and had my mom help her make it into a pillow. I love it!
The most beautiful embroidery I have seen was in London. It was Queen Elizabeth’s cloak on display at a museum. It was so intricate that it almost seemed to be impossible to design and to stitch.
A visit this year to the V&A to see the Opus Anglicanum exhibition left a lasting impression on me. The needlework pieces on display were old, exquisite, and when you realise, as a needlewoman yourself, the hours of work that went into them and the conditions in which they were made (the only artificial light being that of a candle!) you look at them with admiration and awe. How many pieces of our work will become treasured heirloom pieces I wonder! Happy holidays Mary and thank you for all you do for the needlework community.
I took a tour of ,the Shelbourne Museum and fell in love with the embroidered samplers. I like how quaint they were and all the work and learning that took place in creating them. I also loved the tour of the original house which had very interesting hand made rugs and textile art.
When I was in high school, I bought a crewel work pillow kit. I had never done any hand stitching, but taught myself all the stitches using the kit instructions. I gave the finished pillow to my grandmother, but I’m not sure what happened to it after she passed away. I still have the remnants of the kit in the original package!
I should add that I made the pillow 45 years ago!
The most beautiful piece of needlework to me is the large embroidered picture of flowers in a wicker basket that my mother stitched probably 30 years ago. It’s a summer bouquet and all the flowers are so cheerful that you always smile when you see it. My niece is slated to receive it some day, she loves it also.
Oh my! Those are lovely scissors! One of the most beautiful pieces of embroidery I have ever seen was done by the Sisters of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. They used many colors of thread including real gold. It was a piece of art as well as an act of love and an offering of prayer.
I vividly remember the most beautiful piece of embroidery I have ever seen. I only wish I remembered the artist’s name so I could give well deserved credit to that person. It is a seal embroidered on black, and it is SO realistic you feel the seal will bark at you at any moment. I saw it in the office of the Embroidery Guild of America in Louisville when I went to the national seminar there about ten years ago. It is beyond exquisite…it is truly a masterpiece.
Almost 70 years ago, my Aunt Frances crocheted a crib cover for me with bears, balls and my name on it. I have kept it all my life and currently have it framed. I enjoy looking at it every day
For me the most complex does not mean it is beautiful. I like simplicity. With that said; I have a set of doilies that two of my great aunts stitched. I know they would not win any awards but to me they are the most beautiful stitching I have seen.
I have a piece that my mother gave me after an overseas vacation – it’s oriental design embroidered on silk. I didn’t appreciate it’s beauty until I began embroidery in the last year or so.
I would have to say “my first piece of embroidery”, a Shwalm piece. As a basket weaver who weaves “branches” I did not think that I would be one to create such delicate work. I quickly became passionate about stitching and was and still am amazed by all that I have done since. I’m an embroiderer, how about that, and that first piece is still to this day “Wow”!
My first visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum’s needlework collection opened my eyes to the beautiful world of handwork. One memorable piece was Martha Edlin’s Casket. The materials and the skill of the 11 year old girl truly humbled and inspired me.
Many years ago, there was a needlework exhibit in LA called the Golden Thimble. It was held every other year. One of the exhibitors was an artist named Jan Jellins. She did oils and pen and inks but then she started thread painting. Her designs came right off the fabric. One of my favorites was her Abraham Lincoln. The detail and workmanship was fabulous. Very memorable.
Regarding the scissors that are being given away. A friend of mine just treated herself to a pair which she shared when they arrived. There are no words to truly describe just how beautiful they are. Whoever is the winner, cherish them.
Thank you Mary for your newsletter and the sharing of your knowledge. You bring some much to the world of needlework. I can understand why your donors are so willing to share.
Merry Christmas and many Blessings in the New Year.
Love your blog and would l0ve to have these scissors!
We can, of course, embroider using the old kitchen drawer scissors, but how much more satisfying working with elegant tools and I bet the outcome is better. How could we not try to live up to such elegance as those beautiful scissors.
One very special piece of embroidery I saw was a Hardangar doilie almost all was wrapped threads. It must have been a real challenge.
This one is hard to answer! I think that my best answer is Sharon B’s “I dropped a button box” crazy quilt because when I first got into sewing, I found her site right away. And it was such eye candy I looked at it over and over month after month hoping I could some day make my own. Since, I’ve seen so many wonderful things that I cannot claim a single most beautiful peice but I know I am not alone in that!
I also want to thank all your vendors, and you, for such amazing giveaways. Congrats to all the lucky winners!!
The most beautiful piece I’ve ever seen was at a quilt show. It was a beautifully pieced quilt, with each square adorned with the most intricate Brazillian embroidery in gorgeous floral motifs, all done in a range of soft, pretty pastels. It was incredible. I cannot imagine the hours and hours of hand work that went into it.
Back in 2013 there was a special exhibition at Buckingham Palace of the Queen’s Coronation and I vividly remember being in awe of her coronation dress and robe. The embroidery was exquisite!
What cute sissors. I wonder how old are sissors, does some one know?
Don’t know the name of it
but the Nativity Scene cross stitched in panels…
It was popular during the ’80’s…..
First things first, I must tell you how much I enjoy reading your articles. This year I joined an embroidery club at a local quilt shop and have told them all about your beautiful work. As to the most beautiful needlework I have seen: a couple of years ago a traveling antique quilt show came to town. A crazy quilt with the most delicate and detailed embroidery was among the collection. I was floored! We could not take photos and the book of all the quilts was no longer available, so this was a special opportunity to see these works of art. My lucky day!
I am not a traveler, so have a small pool of needlework that I have seen in person to choose from, but recall the most impressive easily. The historic but still operating Sr. Mary’s in the Mountains has a stunning piece of needlepoint hidden in a stairwell. A stunning depiction of St. Patrick if I recall right. The subject wasn’t as important as the massive amount of tiny stitches and colors. The church has had an unusual history with art. Monks in the who felt that the existing art in the gorgeous church was too “wordly” were in charge for a time and almost destroyed the church while cleansing it of everything beautiful. They are called the mad monks by the locals. After they left, many of the lovely pieces were returned by parishioners who kept them safe in their homes. The building is still being restored, and the stunning needlepoint may not be in it’s rightful spot yet. The tiny stitches are mind boggling to me. The piece is now under glass and the work is touching it, and I was told that they believe it is too fragile to repair the missing stitches. But even given the years of neglect, the skill of the needle workers is still amazing. It is about 150 years old, if I remember correctly. I searched for a picture and only found one that doesn’t give you a feel for the fantastic workmanship on their Facebook page.
There are many exquisite pieces available to see on the internet, and many of my favorites were showcased by Nordic Needle in their weekly newsletter. I will really miss the fabulous features showcasing extraordinary projects finished by fans and customers of their wonderful store. I look forward to their emails just as I do Mary Corbet’s! Craftsmenship and perfectionism is evident in all of her pieces and she inspires me to improve and experiment in my own pieces. The internet is a wonderful place to find needlework and history.
Monks in the who??? I have no idea how in the who was inserted there. Just Monks was adequate LOL
These scissors are beautiful & the box is perfect. I am not a collector of beautiful scissors, but with these I could start.
My favorite piece of needlework is an antique that I was fortunate to receive. It is a Scottish Sampler. It is a bit out of the ordinary as it has thread painted Tudor roses on an
embroidered arch. It does have the house and Scottish letters all in counted 5read stitches. I loved it at first sight because it was different. Later I realized it reflected my stitching, I started as a surface stitcher and have added counted. We are a pair of undecided stitchers. I love her.
I had to find that piece of embroidery from Judith Montano’s book – Elegant Stitches. The piece is called Just Over That Hill is My Home. It is a vast mixture of embroidery stitches, ribbon embroidery, applique, findings, beads – and just overall beauty!! I check back on it every so often – because it is an artist’s rendering of what’s in her heart. Thank you for the chance.
About 20 years ago we went to visit my brother in Alaska. While traveling through that gorgeous state we stopped at many points of interest. I happened to wander into a shop that had a wall hanging behind the register. The owner shared that it was made by her grandmother. It depicted all the spectacular animals of Alaska in a mountain setting. It was exquisite in the different type of stitches and colors used to bring it to life. It was not for sale but I stared at it for a very long time. Wish I had taken a picture.
The unicorn tapestries at Stirling Castle in Scotland. Even though I know they are reproductions, they still amazed me.
All stitchers stitch each project with love. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so they say. I have to agree that the reproduction 17th century jacket done by the group with Trisha Nguyen of Thistle Threads, is just amazing. The detail, the colors, the amount of work is incomparable with any thing I have seen (and remembered).
The most beautiful piece is the crewel Jacobean Tree of Life by my Mother. She worked hard & long on it, making comments in her letters to me about how it was coming or not coming along. As I stitch, I try to stitch as well as she did.
The most memorable piece of needlework I remember is the Fannie B. Shaw Prosperity Quilt. It is such a simple design, but it says a lot. I grew up hearing stories of the depression era. I also inherited quilts from that time. Many of them display well-worn shirts, dresses, etc. in the designs. I well remember it and was pleased a few years ago to be able to find it on the internet.
I don’t know if it’s the most beautiful piece of needlework ever – but I stitched a Lanarte alphabet that was an old German alphabet with little cherubs entwined in each letter. Each letter was on a separate piece of paper, and I had to figure out how to put them together in a sampler form. I stitched on this piece for 10 years – drug it to every basketball tournament and event my kids had through their junior high and high school years. Lots of memories stitched into that piece – it’s hanging on my living room wall. It’s about 4 feet by 2.5 feet. Every day when I see it, I’m reminded by why needlework is so important in my life – documenting our memories and remaining for generations to come.
This is a very difficult question to answer Mary but after reflection I think I have my answer!
This fall I was in St Petersburg Russia and whilst we were touring one of the incredible palaces I was fortunate enough to come across a display of Russian Textiles.
The work was incredible and I do not think I have ever seen gold work and stump work as beautiful as the work on some of the ball gowns. Many of the gowns and other pieces of work were very old but so beautiful and each must have taken hundreds of hours to stitch.
These scissors are exquisite.
I love living in California and am less than a two hour drive from the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles in Berkeley, California. While they have many wonderful exhibits the pina embroidery shawls do take my breath away as they are so delicate looking and vary. I loved one that was embroidered with black threads almost like black work.
I’m lucky enough to volunteer with the Royal School of Needlework, maintaining their supporter database, which means I get to see the commissions and conservation work being done by the fabulously talented studio staff. It’s no trouble at all to bring to mind an amazing set of liturgical vestments they have produced this year, which are set to make their debut appearance at Midnight Mass. I am sure there will be photos around on the internet for people to admire when they have had their first outing. The silk shading work is just magnificent.
The most beautiful piece of needlework is an impossible choice. A favorite, partly because of the inspiration, was a child’s christening dress I saw in a museum. It was done on fine linen with care. I imagined the love that went each stitch!
When I was a teenager (many, many years ago) my mother made a wedding gown for a friend of the family. She then hand embroidered and beaded the bodice, and I thought then, and still think, it was one of the most beautiful pieces of stitching I’d ever seen. I think that was what sparked my passion for needlework.
I have seen many lovely cross stitched pieces but I was at Jill Rensel’s framing shop in Ogden, Utah in Oct. 2016 and saw an amazing piece that had just been framed. It was titled Green Fairy from the Absinthe. It was designed by Maxine Gadd and stitched by Marlene Permar. I don’t know these ladies but I am envious of their work.
In one of the museums in Williamsburg, there is a section of (mostly) clothing from the 18th century. There is an apron – but not anything you would put on to fry the bacon for breakfast! It’s on fine silk gauze and embroidered all over in white silk. It’s a bit more than a yard square (I think). I have stood at that display and tried to imagine what it would have been like to embroider something that fine and who would have worn it for what special occasion. Surely it went over a beautiful silk petticoat (skirt) and was worn by a fine lady (or someone who wanted to be one).
The Quaker Tapestry, Kendal Cumbria. The 77 vibrant embroidered panels were made by 4,000 men, women and children from 15 countries between 1981 and 1996 (over 40 panels are on display at Kendal).
The most eye-catching work of art I’ve seen was a gold-worked pomegranate, a stunning beauty.
These scissors are lovely. Thank you for the contest! Have a Merry Christmas!
The first piece that amazed and impressed me was an antique sampler in a museum in Aviano Italy in 1993. To see that work from so long ago still with us today is a blessing and inspiration.
very beautiful scissors
There are so many gorgeous pieces to choose from!
I think I’ll have to go with a particular pair of gloves which set me on a path I never expected, involving so much gold work and needle painting.
The second pair from this wonderful post, specificallyhttp://isiswardrobe.blogspot.dk/2013/09/17th-century-embroidery-at-royal.html (and the other items in that post aren’t bad, either!)
Thank you for your many amazing giveaways, and your fantastic blog in general.
The most beautiful piece was at an exhibition of 17th Century embroidery. I saw a cabinet of curiosities. I was also amazed at Jenny adin Christie ‘ 3D Wren
Signed up to attemp both!
The most beautiful embroidery I have ever seen goes back when I was ten (I am 72 now). There were two butterflies hand embroidered on the square collar of my dress. I loved wearing the dress and as I walked, I would hold onto the butterflies, making sure they were still there and not have flown away. The butterflies were hand embroidered in light yellow and light blue. Right then I promised myself to learn how to embroider beautifully!
The most beautiful needlework I’ve seen is the Bayeux Tapestry. Seeing it was the highlight of a trip to France. I love the story and the details below the main part that add dimension to the story above it. It amazes me that it has survived in such good shape with great color and an intact ground cloth. The story just drew me along. What a treasure! I wish I could have spent hours examining it more carefully.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I remember is the crazy quilt my grandmother gave us when I was a small child. It had been made of various fabrics, some velvet, and stitched with beautiful colors of threads. I loved curling up in it and feeling all the textures, studying the different stitches. It might not have been the work of art that I remember, and I recall that my mother didn’t value it because the fabrics were all such dark colors, but to my memory, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
I have seen many gorgeous embroideries but two stand out:
One is a embroidered and shisha tent door from 18th century India.
The other a blue silk Chinese imperial robe covered in couched gold work.
The most beautiful needlework that I recall is a scenery done entirely in French knots. The realism and texture was truly impressive.
The embroidery I remember well is by Jane Nicholas. This is a large example of Jane’s work showing many techniques for Stumpwork. I am delighted to say that I have been a student of Jane’s from her first class. She is a most delightful person and a very special teacher and friend.
All good wishes.
I am still in awe of a hand-quilt show I saw at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway several years ago. The imagination and skill of the presenters was enough to silence me as I wandered through the displays.
A friend of mine lives in Boston on Beacon Hill. In her home she has a stunning, framed Japanese kimono. It is truly a work of art. My attempt for a photograph, in order to admire the piece, at will, does not do it justice. I suppose I will either need to visit more often, or just recall my feelings upon my first glance.
I recently visited Filoli, an estate in Northern CA. This is a beautiful landmark filled with history and exquisite gardens. As I toured the home, I was stunned by the paneled needlepoint in one of the rooms. It had been stitched by the Tuesday Stitchers from the Assistance League of San Mateo County, taking four years to stitch. It was presented in 1983. The two panels are easily 10 feet tall and depict the beautiful gardens of Filoli. The detail of the flowers and buildings on the grounds is magnificent. I believe there were 26 stitchers involved in this beautiful work of art. This was a highlight for me to see on my visit to Filoli. Thank you to Dale, the owner of Luv 2 Stitch for recommending I visit this beautiful historic place!
The piece of needlework that left the biggest impression was the 1st embroidery project my grandaughter did this sumer. She’s 4 and it was fun to watch her work quietly and then to see the finished piece: uneven stitches, weird color choices, but she got all the stitches going in the right direction.
Most beautiful piece I have witnessed was a cope made in the 1600’s on display in London. It was originally made for the Arch Bishop and done in real gold thread on linen. That whole exhibit was amazing and even my husband enjoyed seeing the emboridery work placed on the face coverings for the horses that matched the colors of the family and rider. It was a small remnant from the 1500’s. Who knows when someone will discover our work some day. Make sure you label it with your name and date!
It was a kit I ordered from Sweden. The piece was difficult, but so worth the effort. It is a beautiful sampler with the most exquisite detail. The whole alphabet, both upper and lower case letters, done with entwining flowers, butterflies, and bees. The border is an arbor of flowers that encases the whole piece. It took almost two years to complete. I did it in honor of our 25th wedding anniversary. A true remembrance in so many ways.
Unfortunately, I have been unable to travel much to view beautiful embroideries in person. However, I would have to say that the embroidery on Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown of the shamrocks, thistles, etc. was most amazingly beautiful and symbolic.
I was taking part in a re-enactment of a 17th Century Household at Moseley Old Hall in Staffordshire, England, they have a day cap worn by Charles 11 exquisiteley embroidered in silks and precious metals. It is a sight to behold.
First of all, this is a totally unrealistic and impractical question! But secondly, it will be awe-inspiring to see some of the responses! There are SO MANY beautiful pieces of needlework, I couldn’t possibly chose one. But MAYBE, the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries in France? Or some lacework done by my friends in the bobbin-lace world? Or some stump work? Goodness, an impossibility Mary!!
Hoping so much to win the scissors to continue my adventures in gorgeous needle work! Thanks Mary!!
I have been fortunate to see many pieces of beautiful needlework, but there is one I will never forget. I was at a lacemaking conference, and one of the attendees brought a framed piece of stumpwork from her collection. It was probably close to two hundred years old and the goldwork was mostly tarnished. The stitching was utterly exquisite. She didn’t let it out of her hands, but I was close enough to touch it (not that I did.) There was an area she thought was a stain, but I’m betting it was a mark for a missing caterpiller, which would mean it was technically unfinished. Sigh.
The most beautiful needle work I have ever seen is the amazing embroidered narratives by Susan Boardman of Nantucket, MA. I am so lucky to be the owner of one that is from Moby Dick. I treasure this lovely work of art.
It is hard to say the most beautiful piece that I have seen, but probably the most memorable was a vintage silk embroidered linen that was eventually quilted by Kellyclinequilting. Red roses and gold on ivory, it made my heart beat fast! These scissors make me feel like that too!
I have been fortunate to have seen the Unicorn Tapestries located in The Cloisters in New York City. The shear scale, not to mention the thousands of hours they must have taken are beyond description.
I saw this sampler’s verse in a library book in the 1980s. The verse refers to a devout mother who has died, which reminded me of my mom. I decided to make a sampler with my version of the verse. It took over two decades to finish that because I was very new to counted cross stitch then and didn’t know what I was doing.
At some point in my readings I discovered the original sampler with the verse on it was in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I wanted to see it and go garden touring in England, so I went with my husband and my cousin Sue. It was strange to find it in the museum and touch the glass panel on top of this piece that had meant so much to me. I don’t know that I can say the stitching itself is beautiful, but the verse it contained was beautiful to me and makes me recall my dear mother.
The most beautiful piece of needlework to me is the petite point autumn scene done for me by my Mother-In-Law many years ago. She worked from a chart created by Babs Furhmann who had a wonderful shop on Mount Pleasant Road in Toronto. Lovely ladies both.
Merry Christmas to you Mary – I’m one of your many, many fans!
The piece of needlework which has stayed with me was at the DeWitt Wallace – the Ann Holewll sampler. At the time I was working the kit by the Examplarery. When I saw the original, it took my breath away. The original is much smaller (6 inches wide) than the reproduction. The tiny stitches are exquisite. One day I shall try to stitch it on 50 count linen to achieve the effect of the original – which the reproduction can not match.
Thank you for the fun!
I think the most beautiful needlework I have seen in person is the Martha Edlin display at the V&A. Her casket, mirror frame and other small pieces were incredible and woke in me a desire to learn about her time and replicate some of the work 17th century stitchers had accomplished. It was a lovely lovely moment when I saw them in person.
20 years ago, at a Boston museum, there was an exhibition from China. A woman (a national treasure) was embroidering on sheer silk with gossamer thread, so fine, that when she raised her needle, the AC blew the thread. The piece she is as working on was two-sided and different pictures on both sides. And she was doing this with one thread! I watched her for almost an hour, fascinated at her technique. I can still see her work today
I really love Scandinavian design ( being Finnish and Swedish) and love the work of Kirsti Rantanen – modern and contemporary but so lovely! I love the textures. Thank you !
One of the most beautiful pieces of needlework I’ve ever seen is a pair of Mock Tudor sleeves at Wightwick Manor in England that are attributed to May Morris. She created a lot of lovely needlework in her lifetime.
A beautiful embroidered box at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was the most beautiful piece I have seen.
I once was given access to the Royal School of Needlework’s whitework collection. There was this bonnet in it that was so delicate and had the most intricate and fine stitches. I could hardly believe my eyes. I wanted to do something like that when i grow up.
I have a small apron, embroidered by my mother over half a century ago. She traced my infant drawings – “our house”, “mummy and me and a cat”, “a man driving a train” and so on, then she transferred them to the apron and embroidered them. It became her “ best” apron, and she wore it when we had “afternoon tea”. I still have it, and it’s more precious to me than any far grander piece of embroidery. When I look at it I remember watching her stitching and the comfortable feeling that went with it.
The embroidery that is most impressed upon my mind is the Imperial court wear of the Holy Roman Empire in the history museum in Vienna, Austria. It is truly spectacularly embroidered with gold and silver threads, and jewels. The other embroidery that sticks in my mind is the Hungarian lace embroidery for sale in Budapest – it is beautiful handmade work. I asked a lady that was making a piece how long it took to make a piece about 24″ diameter, and she said about a month. And you could buy it for less than $100. Needless to say, a piece came home with me.
The most beautiful pieces of needle work I treasure are a “Welcome” cross stitched piece done by my mother and an afghan with cross stitched birds done by my mother, until her eyes got too bad, and then finished by me. I also have several other family pieces which are beautiful because of the memories of the stitcher they bring back. Thanks for the give-away. The scissors are beautiful.
For me, the Margaret Layton jacket at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London is the piece that has had the biggest effect on me. I can still see it as if I were standing in front of it. It’s design, execution, age and provenance still fascinate me!
The most lovely and breathtaking piece I’ve seen….was made by the EGA nationwide Guilds. It is a four section piece of the US, showing all the main points of interest with the animals, birds, sea creatures, and such found in each area. Our Guild here in New England did a part of the seashore and a bit inside the land. The section was sent to all Guilds in the US, and we didn’t see it until our quarter of it was done. The final, all parts together , was shown at a Seminar, and we were all amazed at how great it was. Loved seeing our portion in retrospect to the entire thing.
Would love a pair of such beautiful scissors. At 85, I think I’m due for such a pair.
This website has the best information and instruction for needlework. Absolutely love each news letter . Thank you for the opportunity to enter the contest. The scissors are “out of this world” gorgeous !.
Elizabethan and Victorian dresses in a National Trust Exhibition in Great Britain
Just recently an 80 year old friend of mine shared with our quilt guild her completed Dear Jane quilt. It had taken her many years to finish, so it was beautiful for all of us to see and to share her pride in her accomplishment.
Ooh Mary this is a tricky question … there are just so many beautiful pieces of needlework that have stopped me in my tracks, but I’m just remembering a beauty from an early issue of Inspirations magazine. I think it might have been around issue #34 (which was when I discovered it) … a beautiful lilac embroidered footstool cover in so many different shades and weights of lilac silk it made me feel slightly dizzy just looking at the thread list! I will probably never work the pattern but I love to get it out and look at it every now and then … and then go work something quite a bit easier, but still feeling very inspired by the greatness before me! 🙂
I would love to win this pair of scissors, I turned 60 last week, a pretty big milestone. The most memorable piece of embroidery was the most exquisite piece of whitework my eyes have ever seen by one of the students at the Royal School Needlework. Since then I’ve been slowly teaching myself different whitework techniques, but have a way to go to meet this young ladies standard. Regards Mandy
A nice pair of scissors is an essential tool, but I know I have a pair of no brand scissor that have been with me for a long time. I just can’t replace them. I just imagine all the things I have cut with them and the projects that I used them for.
I can’t think of anything I’ve seen in person that has specifically stuck with me, but overall ribbon embroidery has probably been the thing that I have most seen and gone, “Wish I could do that.”
Those are all some amazing scissors. That’s probably the tool I underspend on the most, which is really silly because I am primarily a sewer (sewist, person who sews, whatever), and I really should have something that can cut the precise bits of felt and teddy-bear mohair and such that I use.
As you said, this is very difficult. The piece I remember most was not the most beautiful. My daughter and I were on a road trip, with a stop at the Shelbourne Museum. Among the pieces on display, was a white wholecloth quilt. It was intricately covered with machine quilting, from a time just after the invention of the simple sewing machine. It took my breath away. As always when looking at work of past centuries, I am in awe of what they accomplished with the tools they had.
I am fortunate enough to belong to a ladies guild filled with talented women. These women showed me the art of needle work. One of these women, Marian, generously gave me one of her pieces after she had entered and won in the county fair. The amazing detail, color combination, beauty and realizing the number of hours it took to stitch this work, I am just honored to be the recipient. It inspires me, a beginner, to improve my skills to be able to accomplish something as beautiful. I’ve also been growing a love for the tools to be able to accomplish the work. I think it’s all part of the needlework experience. A beautiful pattern, beautiful thread and beautiful scissors I never realized existed. This is my idea of an exciting, fulfilling and meaningful craft. I walk by her piece every day, several times a day, always stopping to admire it, appreciate the skill and can’t believe my great fortune in receiving it.
The most beautiful piece of needlework that I ever saw was a dress made for Queen Elizabeth II, on the occasion of a visit to Canada. It was embroidered with dozens of green maple leaves in various sizes, encrusted with beads and gold thread. I saw this in a display of clothing through the ages, in Ottawa, Ontario when I was 16, and the marvellous stitching took my breath away. The other pieces in the exhibit were lovely, but this piece was actually worn by someone and there was an accompanying photograph of her wearing it at the ball. It was the first time that I saw embroidery as something so glorious! I have seen it again in the intervening 45 years of my life, but my first sight was most memorable.
The scissors look so beautiful, I’d just want to hold and look at them. To me the most beautiful piece of embroidery is a piece of work completed by my mother over 50 years ago. Mum didn’t have money to spare but was given an oddment of printed fabric that had flowers and exotic birds on. With oddments of wool and thread obtained from various garments she embroidered the picture using ideas from a book on crewel work then made it into a cushion. After her death I had the cushion cleaned and the panel framed which now has pride of place in my home. It is thanks to my parents, (Dad also did needlework) that I have found so much pleasure in embroidery. Thank you Mary for yet another year of beautiful Stitcher’s giveaways.
The most memorable piece I have done is a kit I ordered from Sweden. It has the most exquisite alphabet, both upper and lower case letters, all entwined with flowers, butterflies and bees. The border is an arbor of flowers and twinning vines. It took me almost two years to complete. It was so worth the effort. I celebrated our 25th weddding anniversary and the completion of the piece. A beautiful remembrance.
I have seen a lot of really nice needlework, but the most impressive is the Peacock Dress at Kedleston Hall. An amazing all gold and silver embroidered dress by Worth
Oddly, the loveliest piece I’ve seen was several decades ago, long before I began my own needlework journey. My brother’s mother in law (she passed away 2 weeks ago) was an amazing crafts woman. Once we were both visiting at the same time and there was a work in progress that took my breath away! It was an exquisite little rabbit in a field of flowers & grasses. The lovely, subtle colors and textures were so lifelike and detailed. Now, I know that she was using thread or needle painting to create this piece. But it literally took my breath away as I’d never seen anything like it.
Wow! Tough one. I’d have to say it was a mirror that was completed by Amy Wilson and the design was by Amy Mitten.
I was most impressed with a piece of work in the National Art Gallery in Ottawa… although this was quite long ago and I can’t remember any information about it but it has since inspired me to use more colour variety in my own pieces.
Stitcher’s Christmas Giveaway #9
Finalment! La pièce de résistance! What needlework practitioner would not want a pair of exquisite scissors from M. Roulot?
In our family travels, we have seen many magnificent works of embroidery, cross stitch, crewel and tapestry. We lived a short while in Europe when our daughters were small and every outing and adventure typically included a visit to a folkart museum of some sort. One of our trips was to the Normandy region in France, where we had the delight of seeing the Bayeux Tapestry in person. What a marvel! Through the years since then, I have studied the history of the tapestry as well as its craftsmanship. This work of art has influenced and inspired my own interest in needlework.
Wish me luck!!
(And thank you for a very fun Stitcher’s Christmas! Brilliant! Merry Christmas, Mary!)
Not the fanciest, but I’m going to say the tapestry at Bayeaux, France. It’s kind of like the Vietnam Memorial. At first it looks too simple, and not impressive enough, but as you begin to walk it’s length, you stop l, pause, look at a detail, continue walking – and after a while, you realize that you’re still walking. That you’ve seen quite a bit, but that you’re not even halfway through…and the sheer size of the project starts to overwhelm you. You start to visualize the women, working on huge masterpiece, day after day…apparently undaunted by the scope of their project. Imagine how they felt when they were finished…where they happy? Or a little sad?
That’s my favorite piece, and because of what it represents: the telling of an important story – including the death of a King – and the combined efforts of a devoted group of needleworkers – The Bayeaux Tapestry wins my vote for most beautiful.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have seen (and will soon be doing) is the Hanabatake utility clutch from Inspirations magazine. I got the kit last month and can’t wait to start. I will finish my current project first so I can give it all my attention.
The most beautiful embroidery I have ever seen is the Hummingbird project that a lot of you finished. I could not finish it at that time but maybe someday.
This one is not hard for me to answer. My daughter-in-law gave me the most magnificent piece of counted cross stitch I have ever seen. It is a sewing room with a very old Singer sewing machine, a cat and hundreds of lace, buttons, and miscellaneous sewing implements in the background. She spent so many hours working on it and I truly love it. She is a true treasure too.
My sensae (teacher ) of Japanese embroidery Kasano san, did the most exquisite work on kimono and obis. I remember a cart of flowers most in a show only because she spoke to me of the design just days before in the planning process. It was not one of her masterpieces but truly a example of the master’s hand flawless done. I was in awe of her efforts. Now some 20 + years later she is a national treasure of Japan.
An embroidery in dilapidated hallway in a stately home in England showing two tigers. The big cats were so detailed and really ‘painted’ that you could see each individual hair and hear them breathe – simply breath taking.
I was at Callaway Gardens for the exhibit and market during their school and saw an antique piece of stitching, I think it was the Virgin Mary. I so wish I had snapped a picture of it because it was one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever seen.
The most memorable piece of Needlework was one of the items on display at the Kent State University museum a number of years ago. It was a cope with gold work including teeny tiny bees. It was astounding and I wondered how this beautiful work could be done without modern lighting.
I have a pair of his sissors. Not only beautiful but beautifully functional. I’m VERY careful if I take them somewhere. I’d hate to lose them. A true artist, my work doesn’t come close to his work.
I think the most beautiful piece of embroidery work I’ve seen is the Plimoth Jacket. It is a recreation of a jacket from the Victoria and Albert Museum. I would love to see the original, but the repro is magnificent. I am humbled that I was chosen to work on this project.
Many years ago I visited the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Walking up a flight of stairs there was a large glass case filled with beautiful artifacts. Among them was a small fragment of linen from Egypt. Sitting delicately, on that small fragment of 4000 year old linen was a small, exquisitely embroidered bird. I stood transfixed in front of that little bird – tiny, wondrous stitching on fragile linen. I thought of the individual sitting patiently working the design, never imagining people 4000 years later would witness their artwork – patience, expertise. I thought of the empires, wars, human pathos of all that time, gone, forgotten, returned to dust. And here sat this little fragment of linen as fragile as human flesh itself, still incredibly beautiful and inspiring, tangible, visible. It survived! I was awed. This little embroidered bird still carried the song of some unknown Egyptian artisan. All the folly of power and wealth had not overshadowed the voice of an artisan working embroidery on linen, 4000 years ago. That beautiful little bird’s song seemed an incredible gift! A small fragment of linen and thread. It was breathtaking!
I have been admiring those scissors for years. Totally out of my budget but fabulous to look at and I’m sure they cut like a dream.
Hello, I’ve been very lucky in life to have seen many tapestries and it would be hard to pick just one. On a trip to France to see many of the castles I also went to Normandy. I wanted to learn more about the Americans that went over to help the French. On this visit I also went to a museum and I am unsure of the name although I do remember one of the tapestries. It was the Bayeux Tapestry. It was the largest one I had ever seen. It was measured in feet, not inches it was so large. The detail was amazing and I believe that it was stitched with wool thread. I stitched a piece 30 years ago with all wool thread and when I took it out it was destroyed by moths. I wondered how this one had survived. It was not the most beautiful tapestry I had seen. I guess, in this case it was the size that had amazed me and it left an impression on me. Also, it had been an emotional trip because of my visit to Normandy. I will never forget it and now that I am older I would love to go back and take more time there. I have bought beautiful scissors as gifts for others. If I win one of these scissors I will be a bit selfish and keep it for me. Thanks for this opportunity to enter your contest and to bring back the memory of this tapestry.
The most beautiful needlework I have seen was in Inspirations magazine recently. I think it was called Strawberry Fayre and shows a heart shaped needlework case containing everything you would need in beautifully embroidered cases and pockets. I can sit and drool over it for hours and one day I might even start stitching. I also sit and drool over Monsieur Roulet’s scissors but I know that, realistically, I could never afford to buy a pair. Fingers crossed for your Christmas giveaway as that is probably my only chance of ever owning a pair of these exquisite scissors.
Quality at one time was standard.
Today it is not. Sadly, most can not afford to by quality products. I could not pass in getting a chance to obtain these fine, precise and artistic scissors. Than you for the opportunity.
Mary Corbet, you make it so difficult to choose just one memorable piece of needlework because I just love all of your work and those of my fellow stitchers!
However, for this time of year my most memorable needlework piece was stitched by a lovely woman in her eighties. Edith stitched a beautiful triptych of the nativity scene. She stitched by hand without a hoop and her stitching was flawless!
Merry Christmas Mary!
First of all, thank you so much for arranging these wonderful Christmas gifts for someone in the community. And the many retailers and crafts people who have given of their time and skill. I have always found the crafting and particularly the stitching world to be very generous. At any event I have attended informal lessons spring up all around. If someone had forgotten an essential tool, many hands start digging through bags to offer replacements. When a charity needs items in my town, stickers give from the abundance of their heart. I finally splurged on a fine pair is scissors last spring as a stitching convention and I have lost them. In my own house. From my own chair!!! My grandson has all but climbed inside it and my brother and brother-in-law and shook it – still no scissors. So I would love to win these. But even if I don’t, I’m sure they will find a good home. The most memorable piece of stitching I ever saw doesn’t even seem possible, but I saw it and so did my friend. I wish I could see it again. A group of Chinese artisans from various disciplines come to a college near me. An elderly woman was
Doing a silk embroidery of a scene. The silk was so fine you could almost not see it. Every inch of the large piece was covered. That was special enough. But when you walked around and looked over her shoulder, an entirely different scene was appearing on the back of the fabric. I stood and watched almost an hour, moving back and forth. On the front was a lovely garden and koi pond. On the back was a distant view of a mountain range. I have never seen anything like it again. I so wish I could. So everyone have a very merry Christmas.
Starry starry night with all the Beautiful swirls.
In the Ouray County Historical Museum in Ouray, CO is a crazy quilt that was pieced and embroidered by a local woman sometime in the late 1800s. The embellishment on it is exquisite; this lady knew what she was doing. It’s not displayed as well as I would like; it’s high on the wall, in a stairwell. The lighting is iffy, and there is no way to either stand back far enough to take in the whole piece nor to get close enough to thoroughly inspect more than the lowest section. However, that lowest section…!!!! I have stood in that stairwell multiple times, in awe of the level of skill displayed in this work of art. I think crazy quilting sometimes gets a bad rap from the needlework community, and this is the piece I would point to in defense of that art. If ever you visit the San Juan Mountains and are anywhere close to Ouray, this little museum is well worth the stop.
I was incredibly impressed by the Plimouth Jacket. It is a reproduction 17th century jacket that has beautiful silk and gold embroidery. It is beautiful and a remarkable piece of work, some threads and metals had to be recreated. I am particularly fond of silk and goldwork and this piece takes the cake!
I wouldn’t say it is the most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve ever seen but it is certainly the most moving for me. It is a small piece worked by Mary, Queen of Scots while she was being held in captivity by Elizabeth I. It is in the Victoria and Albert Museum along with two or three other pieces. Every time I visit the museum I walk through the English galleries and marvel at all the needlework on display. History and embroidery, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Hello Mary, and Merry Christmas! I look forward to your posts in 2018! Gosh, the most beautiful piece of embroidery I recall was a Brazilian embroidery floral design someone entered in the state fair. The first time I looked upon the brilliant colors and the flowers with petals sitting off the base, I was enamored! I went home and did a web search to learn about Brazilian embroidery! However, back then, there was little information on the web about it and tutorial kits were over $100 each, making it too expensive for me to learn. Fast forward about 20 years and I saw a beginning class offered at the annual quilt show in Portland, OR, and I had to take it! The rest, they say, is history!
You have got to be kidding…just 1 beautiful piece? Ok, my friend, Gerry Kruger of the olderrose blog, has done some amazing crazy quilt embroidery. Her cottage series has inspired me the most. As far as the scissors, if I should win,would be gifted to Sherrie, who loves and collects scissors. She does amazing needlework and shares her talents with moi. Merry Christmas.
Not too dramatic or in a museum, but the piece that had the most affect on me was Scarlet Ribands by Long Dog Samplers. It was in a shop in Topeka, KS displayed on an easel. I immediately bought all the same supplies used and have it in progress. Lucky for me, I eventually met the stitcher (we’re now in a FB group together!) and was able to tell her how much I loved her piece.
Ohhh I have seen many beautiful pieces but the one I remember from when I was a young girl is seeing Elsa Williams embroidered chair – I was in awe!!!
One of the most exquisite pieces of needlework that comes to mind was done by two beautiful ladies. It was a triptych at least six feet wide and four feet tall of a Japanese garden with beautiful women in kimonos. The stitchery, the subject matter and framing were stunning. Beauty stays forever in ones mind, heart and memory.
I have been searching now for that special piece to embroider next and I have chosen candle wicking a bedspread. I have done my research and am choosing good quality components to get started. Am really motivated and excited about my next piece as it’s very special amd relates to my childhood and a very special lady my nana god bless her. In her memory.
Being a lover of museums I have seen many beautiful sewn pieces but one has stayed in my mind. Several years ago while visiting Fredericksburg, TX, I wandered into a building and on the wall in the stairwell was a huge embroidered piece. It was a depiction of the town. I loved it so much that I stood there carefully looking at each item on it until my husband reminded me that it was time to meet our friends.
The most beautiful embroidery work I have seen is my grandmother sampler from her school is so small and well done. It is from the early 30s
Hmmm…I haven’t seen it in person, but I’d probably have to go with the Syon Cope. It is beyond gorgeous in photos and video…and I can only imagine what it must look like close-up.
The Bayeux Tapisserie is the most beautiful needlework to me bécause it is an original, beautifully stitched and a signifiant historical pièce. When i walked along the wall, studying the tapisserie, I could feel the “soul” — women stitching, recreating a major event that affected so many peoples’ lives.
Wow, talk about a tough question to answer, so I thought about my interest in gold work, especially Medieval ecclesiastical embroideries, and Nue, or shaded gold embroidery, and a great example is the Mantle of the Golden Fleece. Enjoy!
The most beautiful piece of embroidery I’ve ever seen was a baby quilt that my grandmother made me as a little girl. The blocks are 4×4 squares and little animals on them. It is amazing the tiny work that has survived for it to be passed onto the third generation in our family. She used DMC floss which had fade very little over the years.
My friend has a beautiful needlework picture hanging above her fireplace that her grandmother made years ago. It is of two girls showing their long hair and is rather big. It is eye catching!
I love the tutorials on this website. I have recommended this site to many of my stitching friends for tutorials.
I do slot with wool and fancy stitches.
The scissors are exquisite.
Cross stitch is another love of mine.
One of the most stunning pieces of stitchery I’ve seen was a butterfly made by a friend. It was appliquéd with silk fabrics, and elaborately embroidered with silk threads. There were so many details that one could look for hours and find something new to discover. It was absolutely breathtaking and inspiring!
The most beautiful piece of embroidery I have seen is “Miuraya Agemaki” From Sukeroku, The Flower of Edo. It is a Uchikake (ceremonial robe) with New Year’s motifs. It has a black silk background and is covered in embroidery including pine branches, bamboo, temari balls, shuttlecocks, seasonal flowers, persimmons, fern branches, and a giant red shrimp adorns the back. The obi sash is a giant carp swimming up a waterfall of long golden threads. It was seen in the Seattle Asian Garden. I have a photo of it also if you would like to see it.
You are right— that is a most difficult choice to make! There are so many exquisite embroidery I cannot choose that! However, I am a quilter and one year at the Houston Quilt Show, I saw a quilt made by a Japanese quilter– the pieces were tiny– unbelievably tiny. But as I stood before the quilt , something very emotional came over me . Tears came to my eyes. I wondered if I might be feeling something the quilter may have been experiencing as she made this masterpiece…Is that possible? I wonder if others may have experienced similar emotions……
Thank you for these wonderful “gifts” you are offering us!
I am most amazed by pieces of needle painting. So many stitches and such an eye for color!
Wow these are beautiful so much so I have to enter and thanks for these beautiful give-away scissors. A piece of embroidery which really stands out and impressed itself on me and that I can still recall is a Eggsembroidery and Annie Garcin French artists who embroiders on eggs. Her designs are so beautiful and inspiring they are a piece of art especially the painted victorian shoe filled with embroidered flowers using both ribbon and thread it is exceptional. She drills holes in the eggs and then embroiders through the holes. Here on Needle n’ Thread Mary has embroidered on eggs and has written about the process. I have tried eggsembroidery and believe me it is very difficult you need a lot of patience and time to accomplish a completed embroidered egg.
Regards Anita Simmance
I’ve seen many beautiful needlework pieces, but my favorites are seeing in person the Bayeux Tapestry in Bayeeux, France and the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries in the Cluny museum in Paris. Awe inspiring and stunning! Thanks for the chance and Merry Christmas!
Today sitting enjoying my cup of tea before a busy day ahead I recall the most beautiful needlework piece I have seen was a large table cloth done in hardanger stitching with intricate crosstitch Embroidery, Nothing I can write could describe the beauty of this piece. Years of loving work went into it ,a true heirloom! Thanks again Mary for all you do for us stitchers! Happy Holidays! Cheers from Pat
That’s a hard question to answer. I’ve seen so many beautiful pieces of needlework and to have to pick just one …. I don’t think I can do it. However the piece most special to me is one my daughter stitched when she was 10 – a simple circle of pink cross stitched hearts on Aida with the words ‘Of All Gifts Love is the Best” . It hangs in my bedroom and I look at it every morning
This question is such an easy one for me – back in 2006 I enrolled in a class that worked, throughout the year, on a piece of embroidery from Sarah’s Sampler. The piece encompassed so many different embroidery techniques, from pulled work, drawn thread, and weaving of those threads, hardanger, blackwork, Assisi work, and the list goes on. It is the one piece that I had the most fun working on, as well as learning from and has been prominently hanging on my wall in my home since that time.
Thank you, Mary, for your wonderful give-away – the scissors are just exquisite and it will make some lucky person a lovely Christmas gift.
Merry Christmas to you and your family, and happy stitching in 2018.
I think the most beautiful Embroidery I have ever seen is a pair of cranes done in Japanese Embroidery. They look like they could fly off the silk. It is as though both the sun and moon light are reflecting from them. Most definitely something to aspire to, someday in the distant future.
My second most beautiful piece is the Loretta embroderies at the Royal School of Needlework. The teeny tiny French knots are perfect! All of them!
Trish Burr’s needle painted lilac breasted roller and bee eater. Just magnificent! The colour blending is incredible !
I had always cross stitched, then I went to an event. For the first time I saw Hardanger. I was in love! Now that’s all I stitch. I was hooked. All the pieces were beautiful.
The first needlework project that impressed me was a 5 foot by 3 foot Maggie Lane dragon done in basketweave by a guy.. Not a female.
Simplicity still created true beaury.
I just got to see part of the Quaker Tapestry this summer. A group effort stitched about conflict in the world and triumphs as well. It was very inspiring!
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen was a tiny, perfectly executed metal thread, silk embroidery, spangle, and bead piece depicting a curtail. Exquisite beyond belief!
The most incredible work of needlework I have ever seen was in a museum in Finland. The Hardanger piece had goldwork birds woven into the open spaces. It was so detailed and perfect that it inspired me to take up gold work.
The most beautiful piece of needlework for me is a pair of crewel work curtains worked by May Morris and her friend for her friends house on the Scottish Isle of Orkney. It features the Tree of Life with birds and animals. The linen and wools were hand woven. May and her friend were known to hand dye and spin their own wool from local sheep. The design, colours and the thought of two friends working together inspires me. The curtains were kept in the family until 2014 when they became known as being in existence and purchased by the National Museums of Scotland
Probably the most beautiful piece of embroidery is one in my possession, luckily, made by a dear friend here in the UK who at the age of 85 is many more years older than I. She made (and not just for me) beaded and gold work scissor keeps (mine is I n shades of gold and blackberry). Her work is absolutely exquisite and she makes many pieces of delight every year for lots of people – I only wish I could show you a photo. The advantage of owning it as opposed to a piece in a museum is that I can use it and look at it whenever I like, so I would like to give this a mention as opposed to something I’ve seen elsewhere.
If I could win these scissors I would love to give them to my friend, Gwenda. Thank you.
I love Alison Coles “Little Red Riding Hood” so much so I have booked a class with her for next year.
Mine is a piece by Marilyn Pappas, “Nike of Samothrace with golden wing”. Cotton and gold on linen. Seen in the Boston Museum of Fine arts. It is so amazing, one of the largest modern works I’ve ever seen. The texture and shading makes the work flow as if it is moving on its own.
I think the most beautiful piece I’ve seen is a Southwest needlepoint Design by Sylvia Porter
I am new at cross stitch, so I really haven’t had the opportunity to see all of the magnificent pieces that have been mentioned. I wasn’t going to enter this for that reason, but decided to enter anyway.
So the piece I saw that is memorable to me because I love birds, was a piece I saw on Facebook, it was thread painting, it was a Parakeet, it was magnificent!
Oh Mary, what a question!! How to decide which is the most beautiful piece of embroidery I’ve ever seen…… I want to say one of Trish Burr’s sumptuous needle painted pictures, but that would be too obvious. I think I’m going to opt for a historic piece – the Bayeux Tapestry, it’s not only beautiful but awe inspiring too. Considering it’s age, most of the colours are still vibrant and clear. I was a 12 year old child when I saw this magnificent piece of work and it instilled in me a love of textiles and, particularly, stitching, that has stayed with me all my life. How I would love to create something that would still be admired hundreds of years later!
Thanks for the chance of winning the exquisite scissors, and for the inspiration that your blog gives all year round. Wishing you and those you love a very Merry Christmas and a very healthy and stitchy 2018!
The most beautiful piece of embroidery I ever saw and I can see it in my mind today was a turn of the century Christening gown. It had lovely white on white embroidery all over it and little white pearls worked into the design. It inspired me to try my hand at making Christening gowns and I made quite a few over the years after seeing that gown.
On tour, I saw a set of medieval Irish liturgical vestments that were made of gold thread. So old and yet so well executed. Timeless beauty,
Trying to decide on one memorable, beautiful stitched piece is almost impossible. Something that does come to mind is actually a series of four canvas work pieces by Linda Lachance of Northern Pine Designs. The series of stained glass windows represent the four seasons Spring, Summer, Fall (my favorite) and Winter. They are counted works that use a series of specialty stitches and fibers on mono canvas. The colors are vibrant and eye catching and the finished pieces really brighten a room.
The most beautiful (and amazing) piece of needlework I’ve ever seen was an embroidered tent in a museum exhibition. I didn’t get to see it in person, only in photos, but I almost envied the persons who had the fun of stitching on it. It might have been very hard to do however so I’m probably better off stitching small items while sitting comfortably in my easy chair.
I have a new friend who does a lot of embroidery on felted wool. She showed me her “Cuppa” wall quilt…..pattern by Sue Spargo….and I found it to be truly amazing work. It so inspired me that I have purchased another of Sue Spargo’s pattern books and have begun a wool embroidered quilt of my own. I love learning all the new stitches.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen would have to be a delicate handkerchief crafted from french lace. I have several antique lace hankies in my collection and when I take the time to study them, I am amazed at the intricacy and the overall theme of each one. They are extraordinary!
The most beautiful , exciting, unbelieable piece of needlework is the Berlin Sampler in the
The most beautiful, exciting, and wonderful piece of needlework I have seen is the Berlin Sampler at the Victoria and Albert museum. It is dated 1596!!!! Has glass beads and gold thread on it, even then. A man found it in his attic in 1963 and now shares it with the world. I still think about this. I have a reproduction that I hope to finish one day….
It would have to be a pic of The Last Supper done by a friend!
Whoa! What a Christmas Gift!! Could I be lucky THIS time?!!!
My best piece seen — that is actually an easy one, I was able to go to Blair Castle last summer and see Lady Evelyn’s Needlework collection — ALL of it. There are about 9-10 pieces that can be seen on the regular castle tour, and you can arrange to see more, if you plan ahead. Any ONE of her pieces were the Absolute Best things I have ever seen embroidered. (And she is somewhat contemporary – died in 1939.) I can only aspire to be a fraction as good as she was.
Most beautiful needlework? Certainly one that I remember most clearly. It’s a quilt at Mt. Vernon. I think it ws done by Martha. The stitches were so tiny, so fine; the workmanship was incredible. How could they do that with only seasonable daylight and candlelight?
One of the prettiest pieces I’ve seen is Spring Splendor, a silk and metal design by Kay Stanis. Even better, I will be enrolling in Kay’s EGA Group Correspondence Course this year. I hope I am able to do this piece justice, but how lovely it would be to use these scissors while working on it. Thank you for the opportunity.
Japanese gift cloths at the Chicago Institute of Art. Exquisite silk embroidery.
One of the most beautiful pieces of needlepoint I’ve ever seen was the Bayeux Tapestry in Bayeux France. The piece is done using one stitch, was stitched in the 1070’s, is 230 feet long and tells the story of events leading up to and including the Battle of Hastings. An amazing piece and even more amazing that it is still around to enjoy.
Thousands of images flipping through my mind as I attempt to nail down my favorite… museum pieces, classmate work, jaw-dropping work from my mother, teacher examples, magazine showcasers, on-line delights…
The one that keeps jumping in line is a piece my then 6 or 7 year old daughter did totally without my knowledge – from a scrap of fabric she found and threads “borrowed” from my stash. It’s a simple design of her name – crudely stitched, but full of pride. I was so delighted that my sweet daughter got a piece of the creative gene from my momma’s side of the family. Clearly I need to go find it and have it framed!
The most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen was a 100 year old crazy quilt on display at a church bazaar in Minneapolis. The embroidery outlining the patches was absolutely beautiful and unique. The fabric in the patches was a stunning variety of satins, velvets and silks. There were very exquisite motifs in many of the patches and despite its age, the quilt looked brand new. I can only imagine the love and skill that went into the making of this treasure.
Ann in Wrightstown. The most beautiful needlework I’ve seen was done by my Grandma Hattie. It was a bedspread done in mourning glories and edged in intricate crochet. It’s very old,Grandma died in the early 70’s at the age of 991/2, probably done in the 40’s or earlier, some of the stitches are missing from numerous washings with Fels Naptha,her laundry soap, but I love it and I am lucky enough to own it and treasure it.
The scissors are very beautiful. If I don’t win perhaps I will buy a pair. What a thrill every time I would pick them up to snip a thread.
I was so lucky to get to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I spent the whole day there. The exhibition was English Medieval Embroidery. While not the oldest piece there, the one that I remember best was a coffin vestment for fishermen. Covered with all the beauty of the sea. The whimsy of it! I loved the the mermaid holding a mirror as a symbol of her vanity, in which her reflection is delicately embroidered. So clever, sweet and creative.
I saw so many pieces of particularly exquisite Chinese embroidery, but the piece that lingers in my mind is a delicately embroidered bird on a sheer fabric, stretched taught and secured in a delicate black lacquer round frame with a handle, meant to be a hand-held fan.
The beauty of the M. Jean-Marie Roulot scissors take my breath away.
Thank you for the opportunity, and for the education.
Wishing you a blessed and joyful Christmas, and a successful New Year.
One of my stitching sisters was wearing a georgeous cross stitched Santa brooch recently. The background was black with Santa’s face. His beard curved half way around the brooch. There were gold stars around Santa
The most memorable needlework for me was on a man’s vest that was part of a colonial fashion exhibit I saw at the Dewitt-Wallace museum at Colonial Williamsburg some years ago. The embroidery and cut work were exquisite. I went back to it several times before leaving the exhibit.
Exquisite! I would treasure these scissors.
Embroidery in my family began with me, at the age of 7. Years later, when my daughter and her friends were young women, they expressed an interest in learning, and we spent many happy hours together as I was privileged to teach them the basics. My favourite piece of needlework is a cute little Christmas “Noel” sampler that my daughter completed, framed and hung in her own home. Each year, as she brings out her decorations and I see the sampler again, I am warmed anew by the memories of teaching and learning together.
These scissors are so gorgeous. Being left-handed, I have always had a sort of love/hate relationship with scissors, going all the way back to my paper dolls. I tried left-handed scissors but found them equally difficult. I learned eventually to use right-handed scissors competently by bringing the work in the left hand towards the blade, rather than the other way around.
What a wonderful gift! Embroiders are so choosy about their tools. Fine scissors are high on the list. I do a lot of hardanger and feel these scissors would be very useful as well as wonderful to own.Rosein Canada
My Mother’s simple embroidery on dish towels that I still use today even though she died years ago—an ongoing legacy!
The most beautiful and inspiring piece of needlework was a painted canvas stitched by a friend showing a variety of needlepoint stitches and threads. This piece so inspired me that I joined EAC and started attending classes and seminars wanting to learn as many new embroidery techniques as I could as soon as I could. It became a passion opening up a whole new world for me which included not just beautiful pieces of embroidery, but beautiful friendships with like-minded people throughout the world. Thank you MJ.
The Lovers purse by Tanya Bentham at the WordPress blog Opusanglicanum. It is just brilliant and has a sense of humour too.
When I was in Germany, I saw a Hunting Theme tapestry. It took my breath away. Unfortunately, we were on a tour and I couldn’t look at it as long as I wanted to.
Some of the best stitching I have seen is on some needle work that my secret santa did for me.
I visited Vienna when my husband was stationed in Germany in the 90s. I was blown away when I saw the Golden Fleece treasure- and in particular the Virgin Mary Cope. That was the first real exposure to goldwork that I had, until then I thought of embroidery as cotton or silk floss. Now that I’ve done goldwork and or nue myself, I appreciate the cope even more. Truly beautiful and astounding.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve seen (that I’d also like to do) is called Diagonal Ribbons by Ilse Altherr. It’s pulled thread work. I love pulled and drawn work!
These scissors are beautiful!
A friend of mine did several of the Lavender and Lace Angels and they were exquisite! Merry Christmas. Hugs,
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve ever seen was a few years ago at the State Fair of Texas. I’ve wanted to win a blue ribbon for my needlework since I was a little girl (I still haven’t…but I have a few red and white ribbons). The Best in Show winner a few years ago was a lovely little piece of needlework that was truly amazing. I couldn’t get my nose close enough to the glass to see it. Her stitches were so perfect and flat. I even tried to find her on Facebook to send her a message about it. I was so impressed…I still look for her name in the winner’s lists every year. 🙂
I had ever seen a cross stitch sampler in person, I thought I might see on on a day I took my young children to the Margret Strong Museum in Rochester NY, but to my surprise they did not hve any samplers on dispaly. Reguardless we had a wonderful time.. at the end of the afternoon we were about to leave but desided to go through the gift shop, to my surpise they had two reproduction sampler kits by the Exanplarery for sale. One was Joanna Ellenwood and the second the Shepherdess. I purchased the shepherdes, determined I could stitch it because the package said it was done by a young girl…so why cannot a adult do it? This was stitched on 36 count white linen with dmc floss. I found a 4in hoop and read the instructions. Taking my time I stitched away and read the instuctions almost daily. .Witin four months I saw the most impressive needle work piece I had ever laid my eyes upon! This came out neet, professional looking,I feel I had really done something here! This was the early 1980’s and I have been stitching ever since.
About 10 years ago, I was fortunate to be in England and went to Portabello Road to browse antiques and looking for inexpensive sewing tools. In one of the stalls, high up in the corner, I saw a striking antique sampler with a pinkish red floral border. It was out of my budget, and I wish I had asked the vendor if he would have allowed me take a picture of it. We had a lovely conversation about needlework and travel. While I don’t remember all the details of the embroidery, the time spent admiring it and talking about it and other things made for a wonderful memory.
I LOVE scissors. They have always fascinated me. As a small child I thought that having my own was the greatest.
I have several pairs. Rabbit. Eiffel Tower. . I love them all. It would be wonderful to have such a fine pair as the ones that you are giving away. It would make this holiday season so memorable.
Grand Rapids Michigan, has an annual art show in early October. Viewers get to vote on their favorite project, they are placed all over town. During the 2017 show a friend took a picture of an EMBROIDERED OWL and posted it on her Facebook wall. It was fabulous, absolutely gorgeous, too realistic for mere words. That photograph made me begin to look more closely at long and short stitching projects.
I so agree with you . I enjoy using tools that are beautiful as well as very well made. Of all the tools used in sewing & needlework of all kinds, I believe scissors are among the most important. Without good tools,needlework is just a job & not a pleasure.I
A college girl contacted me last year after she heard I did handwork. She saw a small purse w a red bicycle on it w flowers. In fact I bought the linen from the French Needle. I found all the supplies plus the purse frame, helped her trace the pattern on. She came to my house in May to put it together. A lot of people thought it has been done on a machine. She did silk flowers in the basket and around the wheels. Her embroidery was just perfect.
One of my favourite pieces of embroidery is Ruth O’Leary’s goldwork dragon.
It’s simply magnificent!
I think the most beautiful piece I’ve ever seen and still recall it is a geometric piece from Ink Circles stitched by a beautiful stitcher I’ve known for 20 years that passed away just recently at the young age of 52. She used a very fine silk such as Gloriana Tudor on 52/60 count linen and it is such a comforting color of overdye she used and the thread is so delicate, it just left an impression of delicacy on me. It was on display with several other of her pieces at her funeral this last Monday and I hope one of her family members will keep it as a true remembrance of her and her beautiful stitching skills.
The most beautiful piece of enbroidery, that I will remember forever, is a sampler my Mother made while she was carrying me. It had my name, she had already decided on, and a background of flowers and hills. I wish I still had it, but after 80 years it has gotten misplacd.
I’ve always been a “tool nut” myself and, like Mary, it was always just the “right” tool to get the job done. It wasn’t until my daughter in law gave me a needle minder that I sort of, turned the corner on tools. Now I’m not just a tool nut but a “beautiful” tool nut! I want my tools to be both beautiful AND useful. These scissors have the benefit of history on their side to make them beautiful, useful and historical!! I sure hope I win them.
It would have to be The Lord’s Supper, done by a friend.
I’d love to see the Bayeux tapestry “in person” but have only seen very many photos of this beautiful piece online. The reason it is memorable is the images it depicts and the history it shows. One day I will travel and see this beautiful work. For now I can look and wonder at it’s beauty.
I love embroidery of any kind, Brazilian, stumpwork, it is usually so beautiful and delicate. I was at a quilt show a few years ago and saw stumpwork, it was amazing, I don’t exactly remember the project but the stitching was awesome!! Am still interested in learning it.
It’s hard to pick the most beautiful piece of needlework ever seen!! I remember some antiques owned by Gigi Ries where young girls did exquisite work showing what they had learned in school!! I especially love the old samplers and the white work!!
I saw so many breathtaking needlework pieces at Winterthur but I am always captivated by the crewel canopy bed coverings. They do take me back to another century when wealthy estate owners, lords and ladies employed “guilds” to make these gorgeous household items. I can’t remember the exact details (where it came from or who it belonged to) of the bed chamber recreation at Winterthur but it was gorgeous, traditional. I appreciate the opportunity to win these lovely scissors from France – I have dreamed of owning a pair but they are just too extravagant for my pocketbook. Merry Christmas Mary – blessings to you – you bring so much to so many. See you in 2018! Melody Bryan
Without a doubt, the Unicorn Tapestries at the Cloisters Museum in New York city.
Such an exquisite pair of scissors! Would love those. I have to say I am partial to the needle works that have been passed down to me that my great grandmother stitched. My great aunt has given me several pieces including dresser scarves (which no one uses any more but me! ha) and a quilt that has the 49 states embroidered on it. I am always amazed with the detailed stitching, whether it is the pulled thread technique or the tedious finished edges. They still inspire me. They did so much with so little.
When I saw Long dog samplers I was absolutely mesmerized m the celtic ones I completely fell in love.
The piece of Needlework that has the biggest impact on me was a school girl mourning sampler I saw as part of an exhibit in CT. The sampler was of a weeping woman crying over a gravesite urn with a weeping willow overhead. The stitcher used the hair of the deceased to stitch the hair of the cry woman. To me it exemplified the passion and intense emotion stitchers often being to their work.
The small circle wasn’t more than two to three inches across but the small space was filled with gold work and silk thread. There were minutely couched gold threads and delicate gold Perle. The long and short stitches were placed with precision and the shimmer from the silk sparkled. This small circle was a joy to behold as the floral centerpiece was revealed with the beautiful shades of pinks and purples. The edges were worked with gold work that radiated sunshine. A one of a kind masterpiece.
A white work sampler hanging in a friends house. Wish I had taken a picture. Just remember it was intricate, detailed and exquisite!
The most beautiful needlework that I had the opportunity to see was the Ross Tapestry in Ireland. The pieces were not only spectacular but the workmanship, the threads everything about these undertaking by volunteers was well worth the price of the tour that I was fortunate enough to be on.
Yes, they are beautiful scissors! One of the most impressive beautiful embroideries was something I came across browsing the web. It was a very detailed wedding dress that the bride had done herself. It depicted the relationship of the bride and groom in pictures all the way around the hem of the dress. It was so breathtaking.
Merry Christmas, Mary!!
I still recall the Bayeux Tapestry I was privileged to view during a college trip many, many years ago. Amazing!
The most beautiful piece of needlework that I have seen is a Jacobian sampler created by my sister Alecia which hung in the entryway of her home in Atlanta!
The most beautiful sampler I have seen personally is Ann Holewll. I saw her when she first was purchased by Colonial Willimasburg.
The piece of work that I consider the purest example of perfection would have to be, “the British Arms” by Lady Evelyn Murray. The piece took her 7 years to complete and in my eyes all 7 years were worth it. This piece shows a complete understanding of form with extraordinary detail and the skill she used to execute it takes my breath away. I am honestly humbled by the sheer beauty of it.
What a difficult question to answer, but I think it has to be a stunning tudor stumpwork piece embroidered onto a covered box I saw in a museum. The work was exquisite and the little animals and figures so charming!
Another amazing giveaway Mary – thank you to you and to all the wonderful businesses who have taken part! To answer the question of the day….I would have to say the most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve seen has to be anything created by AnneMieke Mein or Michele Carragher (who creates the costumes for Game of Thrones). Their work is absolutely stunning and I can but dream that I could ever be even a fraction as good as either one of them. I know that’s not picking ONE favourite, but I simply can’t choose just one.
I’ve seen a lot of exquisite needlework through the years, including many of your items that you display on Needle ‘n Thread. However, the one that always comes back to me is an antique wool quilt one of my relatives owned when I was a little girl. It was wool applique, but it was embellished with the most beautiful embroidery. I will always remember it and it is what inspired my interest in needle crafts. Thanks again for another awesome giveaway. Have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New.
I have to say, my grandmother’s hardanger embroidery on the table runner I have is my most memorable piece of stitchery. The design and every stitch is perfectly finished. The close second, is her crochet trivet of bottle caps to create a cluster of grapes. I still have the first but, sadly, not the second. I aspire to her skill with the needle and treasure her three very fine gauge crochet hooks (which I use) and her tatting bobbin (which some day I will learn how to use.) Thank you for asking these questions.
The most inspirational piece of embroidery I have ever see was crafted by Mylène Bélanger and was published in the Australien Magazine Inspirations. She perfectly embroidered the most beautiful and colorful peacock I have ever seen.
Japanese kimonos – on delicate silk, with floral or geometric designs, perfectly stitched by hand – continue to dazzle my eyes just as they did when I was a youngster and saw my first one. Of course, my mother’s love of everything Japanese helped my passion grow. And still, I imagine myself in a bamboo room, sitting quietly and stitching, surrounded by a bounty of silks, colored thread and stork scissors.
I have a friend who does the most exquisite blackwork you’ve ever seen. She did a piece that turned into a Chemise on handkerchief linen with embroidered sleeves and embroidery on the body that took five years. It’s such a stunning piece and truly amazing in it’s detail.
Every time I think about the 100’s of hours she has put into that shift it just stuns me by it’s beauty.
The most beautiful needlework piece I’ve seen is a small altar hanging woven by a local artist. It shows the Madonna and child with a background of lilies. There is a companion piece featuring Joseph, but the details and colors of Mary and baby are truly radiant.
The Overlord Embroidery in Portsmouth England is my choice. An amazing 34 panel (272 feet long) embroidery commemorating the D-Day invasion during World War II, it tells the story of Operation Overlord prior to and through the invasion. Truly breathtaking.
Oh my. This is SO hard. Guess the most beautiful piece of needlework I have seen hand stitched quilt blocks my great grandnother stitched and were given to me by my grandmother. Priceless gems.
Most beautiful design and work………more times than I care to mention, I have thought awesome, there cannot be a more beautiful piece, then I will look into another book or someones designs from long ago or also from now time and find another that I think is the perfect example. So, I say to you, the most beautiful is yet to come! There is no limit to the piece(s) that would be considered the most beautiful; I would not be a competent judge.
The most beautiful needlework I have seen is imprinted on my heart — life-sized bunches of carrots and celery embroidered by my grandmother that hung in her kitchen. As a little girl I was fascinated by the french knot celery seeds; I can still see them vividly in my mind’s eye.
The most beautiful embroidery I have ever seen was the coronation robes for the emperor of Austria ‘s coronation in 1108. The robes were in perfect condition and stunning. Sell worth a trip to the museum to see them.
Years ago my university’s museum of art had an exhibit of Middle-Eastern artifacts. There was one particular textile that I’ll never forget. It was a circle of black velvet, about 6 feet across, completely encrusted in goldwork swirls and spirals and gold sequins and beads. I camped myself down next to it with my laptop so I could keep looking at it for hours while I did some homework. I didn’t know who had stitched it or the details of when or where–though it was certainly old–and the plaque said they weren’t sure of its purpose, if it was simply a wall hanging or something more specific. But there was just something so magical about the intricacy and care with which it had been crafted.
The most beautiful piece of embroidery I have seen is in the Embroiderers’ Guild U.K. collection, an Elizabethan coif. I made arrangements to see it several days before I visited them (still at Hampton Court at that time), and was absolutely awed when the box holding the coif along with a pair of white gloves were laid on the table in front of me. I had seen photos of this coif in stitch books for years, but to see it in person was to understand the piece in all its parts. The small dots that I had assumed were French Knots were actually tiny silver sequins that were no longer bright and shiny. I spent several hours drafting aspects of it in my sketchbook, making notes as to color and stitch, and left it most reluctantly.
This IS a hard question, not because it’s hard to choose, but because it’s so difficult to describe. Years ago I saw a beautiful Crazy Quilt. It was all neutral, almost-solid fabrics, elegantly stitched with threads of pale, pale colors. Every stitch was so perfect, every seam so flat, and every stitch by hand. The effect was so perfect and so unusual. Embellishments seemed almost to be invisible. Translucent. It was colorful, though not at all like the traditional Crazy Quilts I’ve loved to examine. No photography allowed, of course. It was awesome. As for those scissors! I’ve never seen anything like them. In fact, I had no idea there existed scissors like these. I do not own expensive sewing tools. Is that what I’ve been missing? I loved the website and look forward to regular visits. Thank you for a chance to own them.
I think the most beautiful piece I can remember is a needlepainted piece of a small sleeping fawn surrounded by flowers (https://chloe-giordano.squarespace.com/fawn). I wish I could see it in person, but I have a feeling I’d just want to touch it and that would just get it dirty 🙂
The piece that always sticks in my mind is a piece that hung on my Grandma’s dining wall. It was a crochet piece. A vase and flowers, framed. It was rather large. The colors of the flowers were beautiful and glowed with the combination used. The beads sparkled. And this was before beading was common with crochet. The vase used a gold sparkly thread running through. As a child, I would just stand and admire. I know it was one of my ancestors that made this fine art but I don’t know who. My Grandma died when I was ten so I don’t know what happened to it but have often wondered. I have never forgotten this piece . And in my mind I don’t think anything could equal the beauty.
The most beautiful needlework I’ve seen is the sampler Ann Dale by Shakespeare’s Peddler. It’s gorgeous in it’s symmetry, color palatte, and silk threads. This one is in my start list for 2018. Those scissors, *gasp*, thank you for such a lovely gift.
When I was young, my elderly neighbor gave me a beautiful old crazy quilt to thank me for helping her. She had been given the quilt by another neighbor that she had helped when she was young. It is tattered and frayed but the stitching is exquisite. Clearly many people worked on it including a very young child. Beautifully embroidered motifs cover the quilt , birds, baskets, spider webs and even a painted flower. I still see something new whenever I look at it as my awareness of embroidery grows with my own efforts. Someday this lovely old quilt will go on to the next generation, but for now it’s enjoying it’s place on top of my grandmother’s treadle sewing machine where it is much admired and loved.
Beautiful scissors, case, and an informative article.
Those are the most beautiful scissors I have ever seen! So very, very generous! The piece of needlework that stopped me in my tracks is the Beatrice Potter Quaker Sampler–a cross stitch. My friend actually was able to see it in person in the Potter Hilltop Home in England. There is a pattern by Needleprint that I have and I’ve bundled all the supplies together to do in the upcoming new year, 2018.
Merry Christmas, Mary and all!
The scissors truly are exquisite! Wow! It’s hard to pick the most beautiful piece of needlework but one that has stayed in my mind for years is a needlepoint design I saw at a store in Arizona. It was a southwestern version of Noah’s ark with all the animals that are native to the southwest in the designs, along with Saguaro cactus, mountains, etc. I have never forgotten that piece.
About 18 years ago we went to an exhibit of ancient Chinese Artifacts in the Smithsonian. There was a fragment of embroidery that was around 4,000 years old. The colors were still amazing and you could see that it was very small chain stitch. I had never imagined that the fabric and embroidery could last that long. It has made me realize how important it is to keep textiles that you want to save out of the sun and in hopefully dry places.
I have recently taken up embroidery after a 27-year break and joined the Ecclesiastical Needlework Committee of the Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Anglican diocese and am currently learning how to make altar linens. I am privileged to have the opportunity to work with and learn from the dedicated and very talented and experienced members of the Committee and hope to one day be able to make altar linens for my church and, if I am able to develop the skills, to assist in restoring aging vestments in need of repair. There are two pieces of needlework that “tie” for the most beautiful work that I have seen. One is a set of vestments at my church, known as the “wedding set” (the fabric came from a wedding dress) that was made by the Royal School of Needlework over a hundred years ago. The work is highly detailed and beautiful and I find something new in it every time I look at it. The other piece is a cope that was also made by the Royal School of Needlework and is being lovingly restored by the Toronto Ecclesiastical Needlework Committee. A new cope has been made as the original fabric had deteriorated over time and the original goldwork embroidery – which is truly breathtaking – has been transferred to it and new trim has been added. It has been a 2 ½ year labour of love for members of the Committee and it is astonishingly beautiful.
A very good friend of mine made a lot of quilts, but the one that was a true masterpiece was from a pattern called CInco de Mayo by Karen Keystone Quilts. It was made up of hundreds of very small triangles pieced in circular design in lovely. vibrant colored fabric. Reminds me of your color palette. Perhaps not a true “Needlework” but beautiful, none the less.
In recent years the most beautiful embroidery I have seen is Sylvia Murariu”s Windy October I saw on Pinterest. It so intrigued me that I finally got in contact with her niece about the project. Unfortunately, Sylvia had just recently passed away. Her niece, Laura helped me to piece together the materials I would need to stitch the Brazilian embroidery project. It is next on my list to do!
A beautiful piece of embroidery I recall clearly was the altar front in a tiny chapel in Yorkshire, it was beautifully embroidered with hedgerow flowers.
The most beautiful embroidery I have seen in person was Helen Richmond’s work for Ely Cathedral in England. She was commissioned to replicate one of the knot designs found on a garment (cope) from the 14th century. Her gold work is exquisite. I was lucky enough to take a class with her some years ago when the RSN came to Williamsburg for a class.
The most beautiful embroidery I’ve ever seen was the gold work in an exhibition of early Jewish handwork that I saw at a temple in my home town.
Magnificent scissors!!!! Hands down Bayeux Tapestry for its historical significance and when needlework was the great art of the day (as it should be now!).
The piece of Needlework I remember was a screen of three crewel work panels. It is an amazing piece of beautiful stitching , design and colours. A piece of Needlework I’ll not forget.
Beautiful scissors, sure to be treasured by the lucky winner
I was at a local quilt show years ago and saw Brazilian Dimensional embroidery for the first time and had to learn how to do it. Since then, I discovered your website. Your work and tutorials are so inspirational. I have learned so much since following you. I have also almost completed my first piece of goldwork.
although i’ve seen so many exquisite embroideries, my favorite has to be the crazy quilt that my grandmother made. she taught me to embroider and she was a very talented stitcher. i cherish having stitched with her and now having her quilt. she probably made it in the ‘30’s.
thanks for sharing your knowledge too!
Ohhhhh I love those scissors. I have a serious weakness for small sharp scissors but have never seen any this beautiful.
The most beautiful price of textile work I’ve ever seen was a boundweave hanging made by a now deceased friend of mine. The quality was just outstanding, and the actual design and pattern was exquisite.
I think the most impressive piece I have seen is one a co-stitcher stitched of Blackwork Journey by Elizabeth Almond. It is a great piece and I commend Elizabeth for making it available for free!! I have printed the pattern because it is a great resource for blackwork designs.
The Jane Bostock Sampler at the Victoria and Albert Museum is the piece of needlework that impressed me the most. It was a joy to see such an historic piece of needlework.
If you’re talking about needlework seen in person, then I’m very limited on that (mostly just cross stitch I and an acquaintance have done). If things seen online can count, then I easily know my answer….the Marian Medallion project! Now, I realize that could possibly seem like flattery, but it is truly the most amazing needlework I’ve seen; and not only that, finding that (thanks Google search) a few years ago is what connected me to Needlenthread and all the lovely needlework ideas and links and connected resources that I’ve found since then. I actually bought myself a very simple pair of embroidery scissors that were pretty (after years of using utilitarian fold-up first aid scissors) because of Mary’s scissors posts and have enjoyed the added bit of beauty in my daily stitching life. I’ve never dared even drool over scissors as nice as posted in today’s give-away!
Well, I’m going to throw my hat in- – what a gorgeous scissors! Thanks to you and The French Needle, Mary.
The most gorgeous piece of needlework I’ve seen was in a castle in England- it was something of a bed valance and had exquisite embroidery and really impressive beading. This was as a little girl that I saw it and I have wanted to create something similar my whole life; I’ve been collecting silks and beads for that very purpose. Merry Christmas to all!
What immediately comes to mind is the beautiful Plymouth jacket. This was a reproduction of a jacket in the V&A museum. The jacket project was the brain-child of Tricia Wilson Nguyen. The jacket resides at Plimouth Plantation.
The most beautiful needlework that I can recall. Recall is the key word here. I have seen many needlework pieces that are truly amazing but the one I recall is Di van Niekerk”s piece called “Hydrangea” in her out of print book “Dreamscapes”. I really enjoy and find very beautiful her artist play with the thread and stitches. She does more that just embroidery. She feels the stitches and connects them in a masterful way.
Wow These are beautiful scissors.
To this day I am in awe of Lucy’s Wedding/Funeral dress designed by Eiko Ishioka for the movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The headdress, collar and all the detail in the body of this costume are exquisite.
I think the old pillow cases I find with a crocheted lace on them. Just Love them!! So inspiring!!!
I was fortunate to view the entire Tales of the Gengi that was embroidered over a lifetime. There are no words to express the beauty of these exquisite pieces.
I don’t think I can name just one needlework piece that is the most impressive to me. I have been fortunate to travel to Europe multiple time to view and study needlework in several countries both in museums and in private collections. I would have to say that the needlework collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum is the most impressive. Sadly it is no longer open to the public, but when it was I was able to spend a full day there studying the magnificent collection. This is not to say that collections I have seen in Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, and the Netherlands are not also impressive.
Thomas Kinkade Christmas Stitchery’s Love them reminds me of when I was young Christmas without all the commercialization .
The most beautiful needle work, that is tough. I am new to hand needlework but one of the most inspirational pieces I have seen was a thing where a lady did a stitch a day for one year. The end result was very random yet beautiful. I loved how you could see the year come together in the form or art. I tired this year unsuccessfully to do the same. Time did not allow it but I will be trying again next year. 🙂
On a trip to Scotland, I so enjoyed a visit to Holyrood. Upstairs in an exhibit was a baby’s baptismal gown for a very special baby, indeed. It had everything! Drawn thread, pulled thread, lace, and special embellishments by the yard. Never to be forgotten. So glad it is being carefully tended to there for preservation.
A beautiful gift for which I have just the beautiful friend to gift them to. (Fingers crossed).
Mary and French Needle…you are so wonderfully generous to donate one of these absolutely fabulous scissors. I have admired them for years but never dreamed of actually having an opportunity to own one. I lived in France for a year back in the 1960s when I was in the USAF and my husband’s father was born in France, so I have a long connection with France. I so admire the craftsmanship that goes into making these heirloom scissors and the gorgeous case.
I have seen so many beautiful needlework pieces stitched in years…EGA/ANG/NSCAE/NAN that it’s hard to narrow it down I’ve also visited museums in Europe. I think that the queens that Gay Ann Rogers has been creating in this century match any of these works of art. Her Catherine and Eleanor of Aquitaine are at the top of the list…of course I’m partial to Eleanor.
While visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum with my husband I was very excited to see the sampler collection. My husband was not nearly as excited as I was and casually went over to a random cabinet and pulled out a random sampler. Even he knew which sampler he pulled—Jane Bostocke! So famous, and I did not even have to search for it! I was in shock, a very pleasant shock. The sampler has great meaning to me as it has the date of my birthday on it—November 23. Of course just a few years later! Merry Christmas to all and a very Happy New Year for the Needle and Thread community.
I think every piece of embroidery is beautiful in its own way but I think the most beautiful ones I have seen are the linen handkerchiefs my mother, grandmother and aunt used to keep tucked in their sleeves. They all had delicate flowers and crocheted edges. I love utilitarian items that are adorned with such beauty. The scissors are stunning, thank you for the opportunity to enter your contest. I enjoy your posts immensely ! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
One of our EGA guild members designed and stitched a very large spanish galleon for an exhibition. It was amazing in detail and included goldwork and silk. It won best inshow, of course, and even was featured on the EGA magazine.
Lovely article , good luck everyone! Whoever wins is very lucky. I really loved the embroidery in the Bayeaux Tapestry in Hereford, England. I saw this as a little girl on a school trip 40 Year’s ago. I think of it often and hope to see it again one day. Happy Christmas to you all.
Melissa Shirley….birds with flowers on their heads
The needlework samplers on display at Colonial Williamsburg are my favorite pieces of embroidery because each one shows the skills of the women who stitched them.
I don’t know that this is the most beautiful piece of needlework I have ever seen (that might go to the rose that you showed us in this article on silk shading https://needlenthread.wpengine.com/2017/11/cotton-or-silk-embroidery-threads-for-silk-shading.html) but the one that sticks in my mind best is this turtle eating a strawberry that I saw on facebook.
I LOVE the expression on the turtle’s face. This makes me happy just looking at it. The first time I saw it, I thought it was a photograph. (It was on my phone) When I realized it was stitching, I was very impressed!
Thank you for the opportunity to enter this give away. I hope you have a great holiday!
Decades ago I went to an exhibit of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party (in Chicago) and was blown away by the beautiful embroidery. At that time I’d never seen such beautiful work. Her work holds up: it is still beautiful and impressive. I’d love to see it in person again.
It probably isn’t the most beautiful, but I clearly remember seeing a small piece of embroidery in the textile room of the Victoria and Albert Museum back in 1991. I can’t even describe it clearly other than to say it had bright yarns sewn on a black ground. I think it was a pair of gloves or a hat. I thought it was beautiful.
The most beautiful piece of needlework I’ve seen that I can remember vividly is a cross stitch my mom did of the Rose Window from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. She and I visited the Cathedral together, so not only is the cross stitch exquisitely done, the memories it invokes are priceless.
When Pittsburgh still had a women’s bookstore, the Gertrude Stein Memorial Bookshop (Gertrude was originally from the ‘Burgh), often there would be one or two pieces of art for sale. One week, a piece was a goddess, gorgeous, colorful, and—split stitch embroidery, full frame. I’d been doing some redwork with colors, usually of fantasy/sci-fi subjects. This piece was the first I’d seen that used only split-stitch to make an entire piece look like a classic painting. I may have actually gaped at it. If I’d had any money it would be on my wall now. That one piece made me realize the beauty and power that could could come from one simple stitch that made every piece a painting. So my walls are covered with my own work now, and I’d love to find that stitcher and thank her.
Nothing of significance stands out like the other readers have described; but as lame as this sounds, I’m always so pleased with the color scheme I picked out for a pillow project I made for my daughter. Your newsletter inspired me to pick up the needle again and give embroidery a try after many, many years of saying some day . . . .
Thank you for sharing your passion and talent. You are a gift.
That is a hard question. I think the most beautiful was on my trip to Asia. Gorgeous needlework on Japanese kimonos, and when in Hong Kong all the fabric items had wonderful stitches on them.
When my mom passed away in 2007, my sister and I were trying to decide what she would wear to be buried in. We went to one of the larger stores in our area, and searched the women’s department for something special. My mom’s favorite color was blue, and I was always fascinated by embroidery. Well, there on one of the racks of clothes, was a beautiful embroidered pastel blue skirt suit. As soon as I saw it, I knew it had to be mom’s. It was beautiful, just like it was made for her. A memory that will always remain with me.
I recently saw a piece of black work depicting a 40’s pin up lady in suspenders and stockings. It was such a complex mix of light and shade and clearly worked by an artist and well as a needlewoman. Inspirational indeed.
What a piece of art indeed! Am thrilled to know someone still does this. Plan to check out this artisan. Using something this beautiful while making something beautiful….. Awesome!
One of the most beautiful pieces I’ve seen was from Peru, a wall hanging of all colors with small animals and people made separately and then attached. I suppose it would be considered a bit like crewel, but it totally inspired me to go back to embroidery. It showed Llamas and gardens and beautiful countryside.
I saw some beautiful bobbin lace in a museum, but the piece of needlework that melts my heart is the piece my young grandson gifted me after I showed him how to cross stitch! Oh the scissors are spectacular…what a treasure they will be!!
I have enjoyed so many embroidery piece. The French and Japanese artists have always caught my attention.
I honestly believe the most beautiful needlework I have ever seen was Drawn Thread Sampler by Gay Ann Rogers that my friend Mary Doerder stitched. Every stitch was beautifully done.
❤️ embroidery and these exquisite scisorrs are so lovely!!!! What a treat!!!
I’ve never seen those scissors before. Just beautiful, so elegant. Hope Santa sees them….
Gorgeous scissors! My love is cross stitch and one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve seen stitched is His Eye is on the Sparrow Sampler by Heartstring Samplery. In fact, I’ve purchased the pattern and threads to stitch this sampler myself. I’m just trying to decide on my stitch count at this point because it is such a large sampler. Once I make that decision, I’ll buy my fabric and start working that needle to have this piece in my own home.
When i was 12 we were on vacation in Wisconsin. My cousin Tommy took me to a museum and there th dwas a tapestry of a forest with deer, wolves and flowers.
To this day I still think of that day and that beautiful tapestry.
The piece that most impressed me is a design by Maureen Appleton Sorenson called Floral Finesse. It is a tribute to DMC and used all 290 of the colors available at that time. I loved it so much I did it on black over 1 and it hangs in my living room.
The most awesome piece of needlework that I have seen is a miniature quilt that was hand appliqued. It was made by Jill Burton of St. Mary, Kansas. She sized a pattern for a large quilt down to a size about 10″x 10″. The pieces were so small I can’t believe she could get them so small and look so perfect.
This is a tough question! Hard to pick one, so I picked two.
First is/are the stockings my Nonni cross-stitched for EVERYONE in the family. They are beautifully done and have our names in them.
Second is this amazing vintage embroidery piece I saw from France. How can you go wrong with that combo, right? Just the time it took and attention to detail. So beautiful and so delicate. And so girly
Just makes me smile thinking of them both.
Thank you for such an amazing giveaway. Those scissors are stunning
The most beautiful embroidery I’ve ever seen would have to be some embroidered easter eggs I saw on TV. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen them in person but I saw a TV special several years ago about embroidering on real eggs. The designs shown were so intricate and to me it just seems impossible to be able to sew on such a fragile object. They were similar to these (http://www.travelwestukraine.net/2013/03/easter-motifs-embroidery-and-applique.html). I personally do a lot of cross stitching and the most impressive needlework I’ve seen in person is the Heaven and Earth Design (Story Time by Lisa Victoria) that my sister is currently stitching for me and my daughters. It is a labor of love!
Oh My! Amazing, wonderful scissors. The most beautiful embroidery…A piece that I will always remember. It was at an Embrolider’s Association of Canada Seminar, a piece a member had submitted. It was a stumpwork Hibiscus flower, about 5” across and 3” high. The petals were of a white organza fabric with the center of the flower in various colors. The amazing part was that you could not see a single stitch on the petals…. It took first place. Sally Savaglio