Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Point de Croix

Here are the pictures as promised from the amazing cross stitch exhibition at l'Aiguille en fete in Paris at the weekend.
The first section of the exhibition displayed some sweet and incredibly complex samplers in the Souvenirs de jeunesse or 'Memories of Youth'. These demonstrated how, in the exhibition's explaination, young school girls of past years learned the skills of women by practicing their cross stitch, sewing, knitting and repairing skills on small samplers. There are some great examples on the website, so check it out.

Amongst these were also more complicated and beautifully detailed samplers from the colleciton of Joke Visser, some from the 17th century. My personal favorites were this stunning olive green piece and the one below it with a very cute yet, strangely, at the same time stately stag.
Another section was from more modern cross stitchers, called Treasures of Cross Stitch. Amongst other pieces, I liked this one based on the metro. Each part represents a station on the Paris underground system.

The most intersting exhibits to me were definitely the hundreds of vintage sewing, embroidering and cross stitch artefacts. I liked everything about this section; the way the objects were all arranged higgledy-piggledy; the colours; the retro pictures and graphics printed on the packaging; the small and intricate cross stitch embellishments on scissor cases and needle wallets.

I am a sucker for a hook and eye, especially when its packaging is as sublimely pretty as these:

What I would give for some of these storage solutions, especially this wooden and glass box, labelled appropriately of course!

This arrangement of items is really appealing to me, it has it all - some religious iconography, wooden spools (with or without yarn - I don't care!), tin boxes and pretty, shiny threads. Sigh.
Overall, though, I think these star shaped darning thread cards are simply divine and my absolute favourite display. They are almost like little gleaming war medals or falling snowlakes. My cards of darning yarns are almost always square, I would be so, so happy if I were to find a little six-pronged wrap of yarn like this, let alone a collection as fab as this one. As it is, I had to settle for this intriguing exhibition. However, it left a fabulous impression and was a great inspiration.

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