A Stitch in Time

A Stitch in Time

The Needlework of Aging Women in Antebellum America

Book - 2014
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"Drawing from 167 examples of decorative needlework -- primarily samplers and quilts from 114 collections across the United States -- made by individual women aged 40 and over between 1820 and 1860, this exquisitely illustrated book explores how women experienced social and cultural change in antebellum America. The book is filled with individual examples, stories, and over eighty fine color photographs that illuminate the role that samplers and needlework played in the culture of the time. Situated at the intersection of women's history, material culture study, and the history of aging, this book brings together objects, diaries, letters, portraits, and prescriptive literature to consider how middle-class American women experienced the aging process. Chapters explore the physical and mental effects of "old age" on antebellum women and their needlework, technological developments related to needlework during the antebellum period and the tensions that arose from the increased mechanization of textile production, and how gift needlework functioned among friends and family members. Far from being solely decorative ornaments or functional household textiles, these samplers and quilts served their own ends. They offered aging women a means of coping, of sharing and of expressing themselves. These "threads of time" provide a valuable and revealing source for the lives of mature antebellum women.
Publisher: Athens : Ohio University Press, 2014
ISBN: 9780821420522
0821420526
Characteristics: x, 265 p. : ill. ; 26 cm

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