In need of an answer

In need of an answer

Firstly this one has me stumped – does anyone know what Tu-Tu stitch is? I had a query via email from Jeff who is trying to repair some wigs. He said he was told to “tu-tu stitch the hair strands together” So does anyone know what this term means? Is this stich known If you do either leave a comment so everyone knows. If you really don’t want to leave a comment drop me an email.

Chaya one of my students in the joggles class found fantastic online source for free antique pattern books which can be downloaded as pdf files. They are mainly crochet patterns and scrolling down the page there are many which cover crochet edgings, flowers, leaves and spider edgings which can be used in Crazy quilting too. Don’t miss this link its great.

Also Anne Copeland left a comment yesterday in response to my post I want to highlight it because it is such a good response. You will find it here Also Linda at Chloe’s place is tossing about the issue in response to yesterdays post too . Linn of the embroideress has left a message to say she will be writing a post later on today about her views. It is an interesting issue and ultimately tied to what is to be valued and what is to be discarded.

Now my garden is in real need of some attention. So while it is still cool I am heading out there before my usual Saturday morning run around of house blitz, washing and grocery shopping. Now imagine if you can – washing machine running, printer running, while printing out the patterns I have just talked about while I bound in and out the house (to check printing etc) from doing the weeding. its not the most relaxed way of pottering about the yard!


  1. I love the number and kinds of people you touch, Sharon, with your work. Like Annie, I read you almost every day, your blog has become my daily paper, so to speak! I love following up the links, I love reading others’ thoughts and reactions. I love the fact that we are all drawn together by, if not an actual love of, perhaps a common curiosity about fibers and textiles in all venues. Thanks so much for your continued hard work…you are very much appreciated!

  2. I love this blog site so much! I make it a point to read it almost every morning because I learn something new from it every day. You are all such an incredible and delightful group of folks, and it is a genuine honor to be among you.

    You know, time is funny about what comes to be valued and what comes to be devalued. Quite a few years ago, perhaps in the early 80s, I restored several genuine fur coats for some folks I knew who asked because they knew I did restoration and repair of quilts. It was funny to me how people come to sort of side-associate one thing with another thing. Restoring a fur coat is so FAR away from the skills involved in restoring or repairing a quilt.

    But I guess I am always one to challenge myself. My mom, bless her departed heart, always had a good saying for everything, and once she made the mistake of telling me “You can do anything if you make up your mind to do it.” Well, it has its obvious sense of unreality. I mean, no matter how hard I try or how much I make up my mind to do it, it is highly likely that an old out-of-shape lady can lift a 500 pound weight above her head.

    But be that as it may, I decided I WAS going to restore those coats, so the first thing I did was to pull out every single bit of literature about fur coats, pelts, and furriers that I could find. Now in those days it was a major task because there WAS no Internet. But within several weeks and a lot of traveling around from library to library, and to the local university library, I felt I knew enough to do the job.

    So I set out to do it, and by golly, I did it. And a pretty decent job of it too. It was painstaking work and took me a long time because furs usually split because they are dry and brittle from years of neglect — not being stored in the right conditions or treated properly.

    Now that was a long time ago, and I don’t think I was as ecologically or humanely aware as I am now, but at the time, it seemed the good thing to do. After all, the coats were already there, and made by craftsmen somewhere. At one time they probably cost a small fortune, or perhaps even a major one.

    Now isn’t it strange today how NO ONE wants to wear a real fur coat, and they sit in thrift stores where they can often be picked up for as little as $10. Ask me how I know. The wonderful wife (and my good friend) of one of my ex hubbies (who are mostly my good friends as well), used to buy them up at swap meets and garage sales and make beautiful teddie bears out of them.

    Fur coats are a kind of craftsmanship that is pretty much invisible, unlike stitchery, knitting, crochet or quilting. You DO have the finished product, but you have no sense of the amount of labor or skill that went into its manufacture. These were not mass produced items at all ever, though furs WERE produced in great numbers. There are so many steps involved it is overwhelming.

    But today, here they are being purchased by people to use in a totally different manner, and probably no one is aware of or even cares about the craftspeople who created them. In fact, some of us who love animals of all kinds probably would hold them in distain.

    It’s truly an interesting world we live in. We admire needlecraft that was originally taught to young women because it was considered a womanly thing to do (no offense to you gentlemen out there) and it has been suggested that perhaps it was also used to keep women quiet and to keep them in their place.

    Today, however, we have found ways to use it to express our originality as creative individuals, and we greatly admire not only the present people who create but the people of the past who created such works of beauty.

    In the 1970s, there was a great denim competition — I don’t remember who held it but there was even a book published with the pieces that were entered. I always did needlework of some kind or other before that time, but when that competition came, I decided to make my first sampler on the back of a denim shirt. I got book after book of samplers and used different motifs I liked a lot, and I made up my own wording for the lettering. Most of it was done in cross-stitch and I am trying to remember what other stitches. I missed getting it in before the deadline by one single day as I was in the middle of finals for my archaeology studies. But to this day I have that sampler stored away and it is very dear to me. I had to go back and take some of the wording out for I changed names after a second marriage and thought if I were displaying it, it should reflect the new marriage. I often wonder if my own family or some stranger will treasure it as a part of a special time in my life as I do. Certainly the connections with the past will be gone, and even if I document the things I was doing them, I wonder if they will really matter to others, who don’t have a connection with the context that I had.

    So things DO change over time with regard to what we value and why. It is good to think about. There are many truly beautiful crafts all over the world that were made by indigenous and anonymous people, and some of them are those “invisible” forms of craftsmanship that we can only begin to appreciate by reading about them.

    I understand everyone’s feelings about wanting to keep our handwork sacred and to help it live for as long as we can. It is sad to see the people of the past, or what little evidence we have of them, disappear forever, especially when we see it thrown on the ground like a piece of old blanket and even walked on, etc. I think we just have to keep in mind the larger context of how things are valued or devalued in our society at large over time. Perhaps we are not just fiberartists, but the stewards of culture in our lifetimes. Peace and blessings, Annie

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