HNW - Heart of Cross Stitch Festival

Rowena rowena at
Sun Jun 20 13:44:34 PDT 1999

- ----- Original Message -----
From: Carl/Anne Adamczyk <ladygrania at>
> I just returned from a short trip to the Heart of Cross Stitch Festival
> being held over the last 4 days in Cherry Hill, NJ.
> I didn't take any classes.  The costs were way too prohibitive for my
> pocketbook.  I did get in on the Marketplace.  I was fortunate to meet
> and talk with Linn Skinner, who presented a class in blackwork.  Her
> booth was lush with blackwork books and patterns.  It was a pleasure to
> meet her

    I went just to take the courses from Linn, who I have exchanged a few
messages with on another list.  She missed her History of Blackwork course,
as she had just broken 3 bones in her foot and was receiving medical care.
She made it for all the rest, and - truly great lady that she is - insists
on mailing us all copies of the handouts, even though we all got refunds for
the course and a discount on taking another course.
    Her course on blackwork on garments, and on Elizabethan coifs in
particular, was wonderful.  She gave us all photos of blackwork on real
garments at the V&A and other places she has been allowed to examine in
detail, and photograph.   I was particularly happy to find that she has not
once found a garment where it looks like the blackwork was counted.  She has
numerous examples of where they were handsketched on first, and then
embroidered,  and a LOT of examples of where the design was woodblock
printed on, and then embroidered.   In other words, where they used
transfers and just followed the lines.   She has an example -and had the
photographs of! -where they actually have to different coifs done with the
same stamped on pattern.  They are each just different enough....
    After having done a partlet in blackwork on the finest cotton I could
find,  and counted it!  , this was a particularly pleasing find.
    She gave us enough 45-count linen, the finest she can now find, for me
to get two of these caps out of it, if I am very careful on one of them.
She gave us a LOT of black silk of different weights, and started us off on
a fiber notebook with a lot of samples of silks, and fakes, and metallics
and fakes.
    SHE GAVE US REAL GOLD TO COUCH DOWN,  from the only source she has been
able to find that sells stuff that is gold, not just 2% silver.   It sells
by the gram, from over in Europe.   We didn't get much,  but she gave us
enough to do some neat highlights on the coif.  And will order any of it for
us, if we want more.     Silly me, of course I do!   Thoughts of running
through Pennsic with this cap, showing it to people,  with real gold couched
on it, while chuckling and muttering mine, mine!   did drift evilly through
my head!
    It was worth the 6 hour drive to Philadelphia, the tolls and the
traffic,  just to talk to this lady.   Check out the Heart of Cross Stitch
Festival,  and the Creative Arts & Textiles Festivals,  where she will be
teaching, and GO if you can.

NEXT YEAR.  Yes, I know I am shouting.   But her knowledge is worth trying
to get some of us to pay attention,  and I would really, really like to
learn what she knows on goldwork.

Rowena ni Dhonnchaidh, Aethelmearc

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