Monday, September 3, 2012


September always feels like a new beginning to me, sometimes even more so than January 1st! It may be the fact that I still have school aged children, yes 21 and 17, but still having to prepare for the first day of school and buy those much needed supplies, pencils, pens, notebooks, folders… well as a few new things for the wardrobe and for the 21 year old, stocking up at Costco on some good food to keep him going for a little while.  Both of my children, young adults, are seniors this year, so it’s the start of a very big year in our household.  Big endings next spring, which will lead both into big new beginnings a year from now.  So chaos has been reigning in my life in more ways than one! While we have kept Julie chained to the computer working on our final edits and layouts for the upcoming book, I have popped in and out giving my yea, nay, how about this….then dashing back to the workroom to create products for our upcoming releases as well as some new pieces for some special locations and events.  

Fall also brings the start of new exhibits and events in the Sampler World!  Usually making Julie and I wish we lived somewhere closer to wherever the action is.  If you have a special event or activity coming up that relates to samplers and historic needlework, let us know and we will be happy to help promote it!

Opening this coming Saturday, September 8th  and running through November 15th,  at The Mercer Museum,  Stitches in Time: Bucks County Needlework Samplers.  

Along with the exhibit will be lectures and a discovery day for samplers…..this exhibit is being curated by Kathy Lesieur. Stitches in Time will examine over 50 samplers from the Mercer Museum’s permanent collection, many of which have never been exhibited, as well as borrowed pieces from premiere private collections and prestigious local museums. The exhibit will feature 18th and 19th century Quaker samplers, exploring how they were influenced by the English, and comparing these pieces with Pennsylvania German communities and their methodology of teaching and transference of style and design.  Contact the museum for further information.  

We are happy to announce that you will find some special souvenirs at the museum exclusive to them created by us, from images in their collection.  Hopefully they will arrive in the nick of time for opening, but we are still waiting for the last of the beads to arrive Tuesday to finish up one of the special items. I hope you have time to go and see the exhibit and enjoy some of the special activities they will be offering. 

Chester County Historical Society in West Chester, concludes their exhibit this week on September 7th if you haven’t had a chance to visit, now is the time, quick! 

IN STITCHES: Unraveling Their Stories.  Westtown School and Chester County Historical Society are providing a unique opportunity to see large portions of their needlework collections in one exhibition.Learn how commonplace pieces become heirloom treasures.  Enjoy select samplers and other embroidery made by girls from Chester County and the surrounding area 200 years ago.

We are proud that you can also find pieces from our collection and next week exclusive pieces we have designed for the museum shop from images in theirs and Westtown Schools collection.  Great little gifts to share with friends who were not able to see the show or for you to add to your stitching toys.  For more information contact the museum. 

Recently I was made aware of an event coming up in 2013, I have never been to Maine, so it’s very tempting to try and fit into my schedule. If only Julie might let us loose for a week or so?  Time to mark your calendars and see if it might fit into your schedule too.

SACO Museum January 12 through March 2, 2013   
"I MY NEEDLE PLY WITH SKILL": Maine Schoolgirl Needlework of the Federal Era

This is an in-depth look at the complex and lovely needlework created in Maine by schoolgirls of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. At a time when advanced academic opportunities for young women were limited, private academies--often run by women--offered training not only in academic subjects, but also in the fancy sewing skills that were still of critical importance to future homemakers of the Federal era. While many of these schools were well established in southern New England states by the late 18th century, Maine developed private academies a bit later. As these local academies grew and flourished, new styles of samplers and needlework evolved that were unique to Maine.

This exhibit both explores that evolution and offers a glimpse of a period of blossoming female creativity and accomplishment that transcended the societal limitations on women of the era. About 80 samplers and other embroideries will be on view, drawn from the collections of the Dyer Library/Saco Museum as well as other public and private collections in Maine and beyond. The exhibition will also be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by Dyer Library/Saco Museum Executive Director Leslie Rounds. A FREE public opening reception will take place.  Contact the museum for further details. 

Mark your calendars for May 17 and 18, 2013.  The first ever Penn Dry Goods Market Show and Sale will be held at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center. There will be dealers in antiques, vintage textiles, quilts, needlework, linens, clothing, textiles, accessories and tools, baskets and more. Including “US” In The Company of Friends will be there with not only our needlework toys, but our books as well.  Some special goodies just for the show to tempt you as well. 

Besides the sellers, there will be lectures, workshops and classes. How will we fit it into just two days?  Candace Perry and Kathy Lesieur will be heading up this event.  For more information call 215.679.3103 or email

If your guild, museum or historical society is in need of a lecture for an upcoming event or program, Joanne Martin Lukacher will be happy to schedule her new lecture, “Imitation and Improvement: The Norfolk Sampler Tradition”.  

The image above was kindly provided by and is copyright to The Micheál and Elizabeth Feller Collection.  Look for the Micheál and Elizabeth Feller Needlework Collection Volumes I and II at

Ms. Lukacher's book of the same title will be released February 2013 by In The Company of Friends.  Ms. Lukacher identifies and interprets a distinctive body of samplers executed by the girls of Norfolk during a dramatic time of social and cultural change in the late 18th century Britain.  The motifs and style of these samplers reveal a rich engagement with textile craft and industry that was both regional and international in scope.  These works are analyzed for their exquisite beauty and skill and for the civic, moral, and educational values that they embodied in Norfolk society from 1730-1830.  By closely studying the intricate and distinguishing features of these samplers, Ms. Lukacher opens up remarkable vistas onto a complex social landscape and the significant primary place of textile art within.

Joanne is a native of Savannah, Georgia. She received her B.A. in Art History from New College before studying architectural history and historic preservation planning at Cornell University.  After twenty years as an historic preservation consultant she turned her attention to samplers and needlework, interning at the Textile Conservation Workshop in South Salem, New York and conducting a survey of the extensive sampler collections at Vassar College where she organized an exhibition and symposium.  Her investigations into the Vassar sampler collections were published in an exhibition catalogue for the Francis Lehman Loeb Art Center and in Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly.  In addition to the book, “Imitation and Improvement: The Norfolk Sample Tradition”, her sampler research is published periodically at the

The fee for her lecture is $300 plus travel and, if needed, accommodations.  Please contact Joanne directly at to arrange for her lecture.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your article Becky! I love fall--already have the witches out! After reading about all the exhibitions in the East, I think I really do need to move there!
    Enjoy the fall!


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