Kimberly Servello's Embroidery Blog

Kimberly Servello - Pattern Drawer and Embroideress

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

With Cunning Needle: Four Centuries Of Embroidery ....Winterthur Museum in Delaware

  With Cunning Needle Four Centuries of Embroidery Open now through January 8, 2012 in the Winterthur Galleries

Most of you are probably already aware that the Plimoth Jacket is on view at Winterthur Museum,  in the exhibit titled  "With Cunning Needle: Four Centuries Of Embroidery" (photo at right is from their email advertising the exhibit).  Click here to go to the exhibit info on Winterthur's site.

On October 21st and 22nd they are holding a needlework conference in conjunction with the exhibit.  Will any of you be attending?  If so, maybe we could plan to meet.  I will be studying crewelwork under Nicola Jarvis from the Royal School of Needlework.  I hope to see you there!

To view conference info click here.

Winterthur needlework conferences are among the best I've attended, with informative lectures and great workshops and tours.

In October 2008 I attended their conference, "Who's Your Daddy".  I took a workshop by Tricia Wilson Nguyen, reproducing a sweet bag and knife holder in their collection.  Before you ask - No, I haven't completed it yet : )  After the 2nd afternoon of conference workshops they gave us what can only be described as a fairytale gala.  We met in the Galleries Reception Area after lunch and proceeded upstairs to our respective workshops.  In early evening, we descended the wide stairway back into an enchanted fairy tale gathering.  In the twilight, the largely glass room was awash with candlelight from tiny candles placed at a multitude of  tete-a-tete tables that had appeared in our absence, and also amongst the glittering glassware piled high atop the round reception desk, now moonlighting as a wine bar.  We dined on hors d'oeuvres and wine whilst discussing embroidery; it was an enchanted evening.

In addition to Tricia's workshop I also attended their Library Design Resources Workshop.   If you haven't experienced the Library workshop you really should!   Many people aren't aware that Winterthur Library has an extensive collection of rare & antique design-books, which include etchings of all manner of things useful to an embroideress.  The books are available to the general public for viewing - and touching!  (That's what surprises most people attending the workshop.)  The books range from the 17th to early 20th century and you can page through them, carefully, of course.  You may also copy any intriguing bits you discover for a very nominal fee.

Winterthur Museum & Library is a great resource for needlework artisans.  In 2010, as Chapter Vice President,  I scheduled a tour for my local EGA chapter that included the Library Design Resource Workshop, a personalized tour of any embroidery on exhibit in the main house, viewing of the Plimoth jacket, and a short lecture by Linda Eaton, who shared many embroidered pieces not on exhibit.  All this for $15 per person and the staff treated us like special guests.

So, if you live close by, or even if you don't,  you might consider attending a needlework seminar at Winterthur.  You won't regret it!


  1. Oh, you lucky lucky duck - to both go to the exhibition and to the crewel work course.

    And the 2008 faery evening sounds just lovely!

    May we have phots of the unfinished Trisha project? Never heard of it, and curious.....


  2. I'm going to be there! Would love to meet you (and see your BEAUTIFUL work). Maybe we can work out some plans...

  3. Stitching with Kittens - you can contact me directly at Then we can set up a time to meet at Winterthur. I look forward to seeing you.


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