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The Pilgrims in the Leidse Textile World

This year marks the 400 year anniversary of the founding of New Amsterdam and the crossing of the Pilgrims.

From the 7th of June until September 13th an exhibit has been mounted in Leiden, the Netherlands, the place from which the Mayflower sailed, called The Pilgrims in the Leidse Textile World. Leiden was one of the main centres for the production of processing raw wool to the weaving of woolen cloth. The Pilgrims were part of this process. The exhibit deals with the history, reproduction fabrics, reconstruction of the tools used in the production of the fabrics, clothing, historic paintings along with explanations.
The information is in Dutch but it's worth while having a look at the website to view the images.

The picture above is of the American Pilgrim Museum.

A symposium that was to be held 12-15 November 2009 at Oakwood Friends' School (22 Spackenkill Road, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA) has been postponed to a future date, yet to be determined. You can contact Kathy Moyer at [email protected].


MESDA Textile Seminar

March 18 - 19, 2010

Celebrating the installation of MESDA's new permanent Textile Study Gallery, the 2010 Textile Seminar will present new findings in southern textiles including southern needlework, bed coverings, and household textiles.

To receive further information please contact MESDA at 1-336-721-7360 or email [email protected].

The reproduction of this sampler is now available. Click here to see it.

Christmas in Willianmsburg Seminar

December 3-7, 2009

Fabulous Teachers and Great Fun in the Colonial Capital of Virginia!

For more information, please visit

A New Acquisition at Winterthur

A new acquisition at Winterthur, a canvaswork picture with its original frame, worked by Rachel Ann Lee at the school of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, Baltimore and dated July 1846. Rachel Ann Lee was the daughter of a free black laundress, also named Rachel Lee, who was listed in Matchett's Baltimore Director in 1845 as a washerwoman with Julia Ann Lee (probably another daughter) at 24 Star Alley. The school ledger records a payment from Mrs. Lee in May 1846 of two dollars "for tuition of daughter in adv[ance]." On May, 2 1848 the Baltimore Sun announced the marriage of Rachel A. Lee to John D. Hull in Baltimore. The Oblate Sisters of Providence were founded in 1829, the first Roman Catholic Sisterhood in the world established by women of African descent. Their students came primarily from the free black population of Baltimore but the school also took a few boarders. The curriculum was very much like charity schools for white girls, and included English, French, arithmetic, writing, sewing (in all its branches), washing and ironing. Their purpose, according to an advertisement from 1836, was to provide their girls with sufficient skills to "either become mothers of families or household servants." Some of their students went on to become teachers or earned a living through their needlework. Today the Oblate Sisters of Providence continue their mission of educating children and serving the poor.

Some Good Websites

A Request

I have been researching orphanage samplers from Amsterdam and an article will appear in Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly, probably later this year.



Earlier this year, I spent some time in the Netherlands, in museums and archives looking at these samplers and their teachers and the girls making them. The First one is from The Burger weeshuis and the others are from the Diaconie Weehuis. Note all the initials on these samplers. The red one and the following one are totally reversible. There were numerous other orphanages, as each religion had one, and the girls all made samplers but we don't know what these look like at this point. If anyone reading this knows of any orphanage samplers I would appreciate hearing from you for a future publication.



Online Course

The Maria Antonia on line class will start the first of November 2009. The deadline for registration is September 30th. The sampler can be found on our website here.

New Additions

Sara McPhail Reproduction

1744 Pocket Book

The V&S Spot sampler
is finally ready

This sampler will be available
on our website in 2 weeks.

A note on payments: People are asking if they can pay by paypal and I will accept that method of payment but will have to add 4% to the final cost to cover the cost paypal charges.

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