Monday, November 30, 2009

Puppy Love & Dog-Eared Pages

Like a lot of fiber artists, I learned much of what I know because I found it in print. I still have and use that little orange embroidery booklet from Coats & Clark. A circa 1959 copy of Good Housekeeping’s Complete Book of Needlecraft by Vera P. Guild, which I pinched from my mom years ago, was my introduction to netting with shuttle and gauge, and much more. In high school, I bought Mara Cary’s Basic Baskets and some reed and taught myself to weave. My idea of a good time is scouring a used bookstore for titles that may be long out of print but still offer insight and ideas.

In the studio today, I needed someone else’s opinion (winnowing or threshing?), and thought maybe I’d find it in Ed Rossbach’s The Nature of Basketry. I got sidetracked in his chapter on Temporary Baskets. That’s where, years ago, I dog-eared the page corner and underlined this:

“The perishable thing which survives speaks most potently of time, of all time rather than the moment of its existence.”

Later today, I read the first issue of a new online magazine, Needle. Fabulous images, lovely articles. Don’t miss Jayne Coleman’s “The Wisdom of Grannies”. My first thought was, how do I dog-ear this page? I want to stumble upon this again when I’m looking for something else.

It’s hard not to think of magazines as perishable, and online magazines even more so. But this one created a beautiful memory for me. I haven’t figured out how to store it with the back issues of Piecework in my basement, but I’ll keep you posted.


  1. I would love to have that orange book of embroidery stitches again. It's been lost for a while. I learned how to embroider using it I don't think there's a better illustrated book. Plus it's small enough for your project bag. Just keep an eye on it!

  2. I have to admit I lost mine, too. Then a few years ago I was talking with a friend who also learned to embroider from the C&C booklet and remembered the orange cover. She found an extra copy in a thrift store and gave it to me -- priceless!

  3. After visiting your blog I went to, a used book seller, and found copies ranging from $1.99 to $5.
    I think it was probably 35 cents when I got it, but I sprung for a $2 copy plus shipping.

  4. Worth every penny. As you said in your earlier comment, the illustrations are great and it's so easy to tuck in with a project. And every time you see that orange cover it's going to make you smile!

  5. Donna- Christine Thresh might be able to help you at

    Seriously...thresh and winnowing's all on the same blog!


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