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Saturday, 11 May 2013

A Visit to the Manitoba Crafts Museum & Library

If you are in Winnipeg and into history and stitching, this is a must-see!  I'm so glad I stopped by.  The current exhibit of Just a Needle & Thread is in a fairly small room but LOADED with charm, beauty and a huge variety of work.  They told me cameras were allowed (YAY!!!), so enjoy.  Everything I photographed was behind glass, but I think the pictures turned out quite well.

! GASP !  This Christening Gown was worn by a baby boy in 1852 and it was the first thing we saw when we walked in. 

It took my breath away.  

O my.  It features delicate hand embroidered floral designs, drawn thread, and cutwork lace.  The photo above is of the top, and the photo below is of the lower portion of the gown.

Around the other side of that display, I found this next headpiece.  I do not recall the year it was made, but GOOD GRACIOUS if that isn't the PRETTIEST piece I have ever seen!!!

SIGH  (insert utter speechlessness here)

It is a crafts library as well, and I really enjoyed finding interesting sections of books to photograph.  I love to read all the titles.  WHAT A COLLECTION!!!

This last piece I want to show you was in a drawer topped with plexiglass for protection.  It is a vest with the finest of threadwork (likely silk?).  I think what I adored about this was how elegant and fine it was, but also natural and loose in the design composition.  The embroidery on the left and right side of the vest opening was not perfectly symmetrical.  The leaves and floras and seedpods and grasses stitched on here were so free and whispy - and looked entirely natural (yet stunningly PERFECT). 

all silk.  all by hand.

Though I was told I could take photos, I decided not to post the following woman's work on the net without her permission because she is currently exhibiting and selling her art.  It would get pinned like you wouldn't believe.  Her bio is below and worth googling if you have a moment.  The work I saw of hers was very modern - patchwork pieces with free machine & hand stitched 'doodles' and illustrations that were entirely charming and whimsical.  For instance, there's a scene of little cartoon-like birdies singing together and going down a sledding hill on a toboggan!  I mean really - there's no way you can look at her whimsical stitches and not break into a happy giggle.  I enjoyed it so much.

her whimsical contemporary thread illustrations are adorable!

So there you go!  I hope that's enough eye candy to get you to want to pop by and check it out.  Here's the show's information:

It says it's on exhibit until May - but I'm not sure what the last date will be.  Maybe phone first?

Thank you so much to Noreen from MPQ for taking me out on the town the last afternoon of my stay in Manitoba.  I had such a nice time : ))).

Have a great weekend everyone!


Mary Ann said...

I love that vest....beautiful. I wish I was close enough to visit the exhibit.

I have a few of those doll books but I wouldn't mind looking at the rest. Sadly my local library doesn't have much of a selection. I think I have more than they do...LOL

Terri said...

Thanks for sharing some of the exhibit. When you realize that the woman who made the christening dress was probably only working at night on it... and doing all her chores during the day... amazing is a small word to describe the awe.
My Grandma made a table topper like the vest... I'll have to show it sometime.

PrairiePeasant said...

I love that embroidery on the vest!

I first met Beth at a craft sale about one year ago--she's a lovely and generous person and extremely talented. Your readers can see one of her pillows here: http://www.vineyardcraftsale.com/author/beth-wolchock-brown/
and a framed piece here:
I love her work, and I think you would have a lot in common with her. I told her about your exhibition, and I hope she goes to see it too.

Kitchener Quilter said...

Wow, thanks for posting that. Must have been such a treat to see that exquisite embroidery work. I, too, love seeing some of those old stitches. Probably more accessible around here in Ontario. These older pieces are such an inspiration. It seems our pioneering ladies worked harder in their lives than we do in ours, but they still had time to produce such lovely crafts. So creative, but ordinary at the same time.

Jeito Mineiro de Ser said...

Você me deixou com "água na boca" para ver esta exposição...tão longe... Fico imaginando a espessura da agulha e dos fios para um bordado tão delicado... olhos e claridade e amor ao bordado...
Obrigada por compartilhar!
Um abraço!


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