The Embroiderer's Story

Never a Dull Moment

June 21st, 2008 by Jill Hall

FIRST: You didn’t miss anything, tatting has nothing to do with early 17th century fiber arts – Kate is just interested in almost ALL the fiber arts, whatever their origin. She doesn’t tat on site here, either as an interpreter or in the Crafts Center.

The day in pictures:

A beehive of activity.Here is the workroom, which is a beehive of activity, photo courtesy of Robbin.

The Mayflower Sampler Guild came this morning, partly to see the jacket work but especially to see the EC sampler, which they gave $1000 to help conserve. They really enjoyed their visit, but because I didn’t think to ask their permission, I can’t post the photos Robbin took. Five of them bought embroidery kits, and there’s talk of organizing a stitching session for them to come as a group. We’veLacey’s ambitious project. had a couple of sets of friends come together to stitch, and they (and we) have really enjoyed that. Don’t be scared, just sign up. Bring your sampler if you want help, and we’ll help you figure it out. I never did a bit of this kind of embroidery until last winter, and now I’m stitching the detached pieces that will be sewn over the pea pods. A little practice and you won’t want to stop.

Lacey took on a very ambitious project a couple of days ago. Beth, one of the interpreters in the 1627 English Village, needed her stays altered. The front cups weren’t comfortable for her, so Lacey took out the stitching, extended it to the top edge, and reboned the fronts. It was also too big around, so Lacey cut the back down, redid the boning and put in new grommets. It was ambitious because it all had to be done on Beth’s weekend; she needs to wear it tomorrow morning. And here it is finished!

First and only.Because it is our anniversary session, Marcia made us a special dessert. When I mentioned that, several people said, aren’t all her desserts special? How much more special does it get? This much specialer. It’s as delicious as it looks – chocolate ricotta cake, or as Marcia’s son-in-law calls it, cannoli cake.One year later.

And speaking of old friends, look who came today! Laura, “our girl Friday”, last year’s intern, without whom I never would have made it through last summer. It was so good to see her. The four of us here, Robbin, me, Wendy and Laura, were also here for the very first stitching session last summer. There will be no cake with a “2″ on it, believe me.

Laura’s first lace lesson.Laura got very interested in the bobbin lace, and here is Robbin giving her a first lesson on the starter pillow Carolyn has left here for that very purpose.

It was a good day.

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3 Responses to “Never a Dull Moment”

  1. Colleen says:

    Ok, you said we don’t miss much…I must take that as a challenge ;-)

    If Laura is interested in Bobbin Lace (wise woman, Laura), and Robbin is giving her a lesson, why is the woman in the photo wearing a name tag with Irene on it?

  2. Tricia WIlson Nguyen says:

    Hey – Happy Birthday to the Jacket!!! I am out here in Chicago giving a lecture on the Jacket Project to the Lake Michigan Sampler Guild. THey are happy to hear of our progress and many have been talking about coming to Plimoth to share the experience. I love this project as it gives us all something to rally behind! Sorry I had to miss the 1st stitching anniversary – but still am working out here drumming up support!


  3. Robbin Douglas says:


    I assure you, that really is Laura! I actually took her Irene tag away from her before we did the picture with the cake. Laura isn’t an intern any longer and didn’t have a nametag. Jill, however, has a bag of nametags either made for people who were unable to attend or perhaps returned by people after their session. Silly me, I go down so often I carry mine in my purse and put it on early this morning (at my waist, which is why you don’t see it) and was served by name at the coffee shop this morning. :) ) I was only down for the day so I don’t know what happened with nametags in general, but one of the stitchers was actually rebadged this weekend with her name over another tag. (The nametag gets you a 10% discount on food and in the gift shop when you’re a volunteer and makes it easier when you’re going places not open to the public or not open without a ticket, so it’s very useful to wear yours even if you’re walking around undercover. :)

    I don’t know if it was the best bobbin lace lesson ever given (the pillow started in a very confused state) but Laura was intrigued enough to get a lace kit (and another was bought as well) and get info on where to get a beginner’s kit. If we have people who’ve never made lace wanting to learn enough to come and work on the project, surely some of you out there in the area would love to come down and work on it! Everyone is very flexible on making time for people to come work if possible. I made a small bit of progress on the lace but we’ve still got plenty of stitching and lacemaking to do this summer!


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