Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Erica Wilson

The New York Times reported today that Erica Wilson has died. They call her the "Julia Child of needlework" and I can't think of a better way to describe her. She did much to revive embroidery and needlepoint in the US. While her kits were beyond my means and expertise, her books found their way onto my bookshelves. I actually wore out my copy of Erica Wilson's Embroidery Book, because I would look at it so often and study the stitches. When I was in high school, other girls in my class would rush home to watch their soaps, but I would be watching Erica Wilson's show on PBS. Although the episodes were only 15 minutes long, they gave me ideas and inspiration to last a lifetime.

When I think of Erica Wilson's designs, I think of one that appeared in Erica Wilson's Embroidery Book. It was of a 16th century young woman standing by a tree and holding a hawk. Each chapter of that book was about a different needlework technique, and that design was worked in each of those techniques. Her talent was just amazing. And even though I wasn't able to make a career out of needlework like she did, my interest in needlework will last throughout my life.

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