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Some of us have searched the web over looking for quotes dealing with sewing and

embroidery and I, for one, have found very little. So, I've gathered what I did find,
and I would be very grateful to anyone who could add to the list!! Please email Judy.
Let me know if you'd like credit for sending it. (Some would just as soon stay
anonymous, and I understand.)
Grandma's Prayer
I pray that, risen from the dead,
I may in glory stand -A crown, perhaps, upon my head,
But a needle in my hand.
I've never learned to sing or play,
So let no harp be mine;
From birth unto my dying day,
Plain sewing's been my line.
Therefore, accustomed to the end
To plying useful stitches,
I'll be content if asked to mend
The little angels' breeches.
Eugene Field
From a kindred spirit who prefers to remain anonymous:
I recently found this one: "When I'm not writing or tweaking my computer, I do
embroidery. When I'm not plunging into the past, tweaking, or embroidering, I'm
reading books about history, computers, or embroidery."
~Lynn Abbey

only place where housework comes before needlework is in the dictionary".

--Mary Kurtz, "The Needlework Times" April, 1978.

Fashion can be bought, style one must possess.
Edna Woolman Chase

To inspire all needleworkers I'd like to share the following quote that my daughter sent me years ago and I
don't know the source. I've kept in on my computer for many years!

"Success is often a series of failures that you didn't allow to stop you!"

For myself, I find I'm never happier than with some kind of needle in hand, designing or completing some
kind of needlework; when not doing it, it calls to me like a siren.
AJ Barnett, Needlearts Design

Dear Judy,
While creating a collage of old fabric swatches from my children's Halloween
costumes, maternity clothes I made for myself, the yards and yards of curtains I've
made over the years (my husband is in the Army and we've moved 11 times in 18
years - that's a lot of curtains!), my firstborn's bedroom/layette set, etc., I realized I
needed a quote to put in the middle of the frame. I came up with the following:
"Memories are sewn together with heartstrings".
Gina Redwine

I don't remember where I found this quote, but I keep it by my computer....

Lacemaker's Prayer
"Lord, let me grow old like beautiful lace, cherished and treasured and care for with grace."
Author Unknown

Thank you, Sandra!! June 2, 2002

In a cat's world, all things
belong to cats, including your
cotton loose ends. (Unknown)

Shalla Schmidt
Fashion is made to become unfashionable.
Coco Chanel, 1883 - 1971
Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and
imitation without benefit.
George Santayana, 1863 - 1921
Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.
Henry David Thoreau

No amount of preaching, exhortation, sympathy, benevolence, will render the

condition of our working women what it should be, so long as the kitchen and needle
are substantially their only resources.--Horace Greeley, 1811 - 1872

Hi, I wrote this on the rod of a wooden paper towel holder that I painted and
use on the floor to keep my crochet thread from bouncing all over the floor
and providing hours of entertainment for my cats. It holds 2-3 balls and
keeps them feeding evenly if you are working with more than one strand of
yarn. Thank you for your website. I was looking for something to write on my
embroidery hoop stand, and came across it.

Needlework is a way to capture Love, Beauty, Peace & Time...


Thank you, Christina!!! August 29, 2001 *********

Embroidery quilting needlework/sewing needlepoint knitting miscellaneous desig

n lace
From Melissa:
OK, here goes. This one is from Ella Rodman Church, author of The Home Needle,
"Children seldom achieve greatness, in the way of sewing, unless it is thrust
upon them...."
(she was having fun with Shakespeare there! it continues)
"...them; few take to it naturally, and a child's definition of a needle would
probably be, 'Something to prick one's fingers with.'" :)

On embroidery:
Embroidery is the art of enriching a fabric with stitchery.
We are enjoying a revival in all arts and crafts--it is fashionable to be dexterous--and
since it is better to be out of the world than out of fashion--it is as well to know
something of the art which will soon be the pastime of every woman in the million
houses where the wireless is turned on nightly. --

Many people are deterred from trying some forms of embroidery simply because their
names imply that they are complicated and difficult to learn. --Moyra McNeill,
Pulled Thread Embroidery
There are only a handful of basic stitches which are the Adams and Eves of all the
others...stem, satin, chain, cross, back, weaving, and filling--upon which untold
variations have been built.
--Erica Wilson
...The Art of Needlework, by Mrs. Elisabeth Stone. This was the first history of
embroidery, and it aroused great interest from the moment of its publication in 1840.
Thomasina Beck, The Embroiderer's Story
Embroidery has a natural affinity for flowers. It can also, of course, represent nothing
at all. --Chris Rankin, Splendid Silk Ribbon Embroidery, 1996
Embroidery has continually played an integral part in the history of man and woman.
It not only signified certain status and wealth through the ages but it has also given
countless hours of satisfaction to those who could create something of beauty with a
needle and thread. --Margaret Pierce
Embroidery, like every other art--or sport, for that matter--needs to be understood to
be enjoyed. --Mary Thomas
Embroidery is a very personal art, its charm lies in the individuality expressed by the
worker. W. G. Paulson Townsend 1899

Submitted by: Sandy ~ December 21, 2004 WWW.VINTAGELINENS-COLLECTIBLES.COM

"It is a token of healthy and gentle

characteristics when women of high thoughts
and accomplishments love to sew; especially
as they are never more at home with their
own hearts than while so occupied."
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun

On design:
We have to trust our own choice after all, and end with the simple belief that what
pleases us is beautiful. Indeed, no other rule is of any use to us, and if we do but
honestly please ourselves, and make forms which genuinely give us pleasure, we shall
find ourselves credited with the power of designing beautiful things. --Richard Hatton

It requires as much ingenuity to adapt a design as to invent one, and the needle worker
who can adapt a pattern from another source is half way along the road to being a
successful designer. --Ernest Thesiger Adventures in Embroidery 1941

It is a fallacy to think that original design can only be achieved after years of training.
--Constance Howard Inspiration of Embroidery 1966

On Needlework/sewing:
From the Martha Pullen email newsletter, July 1, 2002:
"The sewing machine joins what the scissors have cut asunder, plus whatever
else comes in its path."
Mason Cooley
(Don't you love it?)

From Dorothy, February 6, 2001:

"I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
>From heel to throat..."
credited to William Butler Yeats
(1865-1939) exact source not given
The actual quote on the design is "The Embroider stitches with a golden
needle" no credit given.
From Betsy, February 6, 2001:
It's from the collection *Responsibilities*, published in 1914. The poem is
called "A Coat".
I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
>From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the worlds' eyes
As though they'd wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there's more enterprise
In walking naked.
Bitter, eh?

The spinsters and the knitters in the sun

And the free maids that weave their thread with bones

Do use to chant it: it is silly sooth,

And dallies with the innocence of love,
Like the old age.
That second line's about bobbin-lace, right? I've heard it referred to
as "bone lace," as at some points, the bobbins were made out of carved
bone. (It's a bit from "Twelfth Night," act two, scene four; Duke
Orsino is telling Viola/Cesario about a rather melancholy song that a
clown had sung the night before.) Thank you, Karen!

Needlework is an outlet for the creative instinct.

Excerpt from Mrs. Harris's Soliloquy, While Threading Her Needle - By Lady Dufferin:

"Ah deary me! what needles! - well really I must say,

All things are sadly altered - (for the worse too) since my day!
The pins have neither heads nor points - the needles have no eyes,
And there's ne'er a pair of scissors of the good old - fashioned size!"
The very bodkins now are made in fine new-fangled ways,"
And the good old British thimble - is a dream of other days!"

From Monique: " ...Methinks it is a token of healthy and

gentle characteristics, when women of
high thoughts and accomplishments love
to sew, especially as they are never more
at home with their own hearts than while
so occupied." ----- Hawthorne's "Marble Faun".
We should have nothing in our houses, which we did not either know to be useful or
believe to be beautiful. --William Morris The Beauty of Life lecture, 1880
"Anything you do with needle and thread improves what else you do with needle and
thread." Sarah Douglas, 1998 contributed by Dianne Lewandowski
The British needlewoman follows blindly where the merchant leads. --Ann Macbeth
Strangely the manufacturers appear quite uninterested in tempting us with tools that
are not only a pleasure to use, but to look at as well. --Thomasina Beck

They must be careful, diligent and wise, In Needleworkes that beare away the Prise.
--William Barley, 1596
She (Mary, late Countess of Pembroke) wrought so well in Needleworke that she nor
yet her Worke shall ere forgotten be. --John Taylor, 1630
Some may wonder if handsewing, with its seemingly endless stitches, has a real place
in today's busy home. Just as comfortable a place, we reply, as the rocking chair in
the nursery. --Sarah Howard Stone
Make the process of sewing a pleasure for yourself, so that you hum and smile to
yourself as you sew. --Nancy Zieman The Busy Woman's Sewing Book
A stitch in time saves nine. You keep me in stitches. Beats a sharp needle in the eye.
All contributed by my better half, Jim. :)
Arachne first invented working with the needle, which this mayd of Lydia learned
from the spiders, taking her first samplers and patterns from them in imitation.
--Edward Topsel, History of Fourfooted Beasts and Serpents, 1608
Sometimes it's easier to turn on the TV and become a couch potato than to get started
on that next piece of needle art. --Linda Fry Kinzle Embellishments 1993
I cannot count my day complete 'til needle, thread and fabric meet.
Really I don't dislike to cook, but what you cook is eaten so quickly. When you sew,
you have something that will last to show for your efforts. --Elizabeth Travis
Johnson The Complete Book of Sewing for Children.
All my scattering moments are taken up with my needle. 1851 diary of Ellen
Birdseye Wheaton
Here followeth certaine patterns of cut-workes, also sundry sorts of spots, as Flowers,
Birds, and Fishes, etc. and will fitly serve to be wrought, some with gould, some with
silke, and some with crewell, or otherwise at your pleasure. --Richard Schorleyker, A
Schole house for the Needle, 1624
Young ladies should be taught that usefulness is happiness, and that all other things
are but incidental. --Lydia Maria Child 1832
Needle-work, in all its forms of use, elegance and ornament, has ever been the
appropriate occupation of woman. --Lydia H Sigourney, 1837
Home to my poor wife, who works all day like a horse, at the making of her hangings
for our chamber and bed. --Samuel Pepys
My mother kept a gentlewoman to teach us all kinds of needlework which shows that
I was not brought up to an idle life. --Anne Halket (1623-1699)

With his enthusiasm for words, he quite probably made up the names of some of the
twenty-one stitches (Rosemary and Mouse stitch for example) which have puzzled
embroidery historians ever since, but his comments on embroidery are none the less
highly perceptive. --Thomasina Beck on John Taylor.
Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by and
by. Life is like that-one stitch at a time taken patiently and the pattern will come out
all right like the embroidery. --Oliver Wendell Holmes
She watched and taught the girls that sang at their embroidery frames while the great
silk flowers grew from their needles. --Louis Jordan Miln The Feast of Lanterns
Useful and ornamental needlework, knitting, and netting are capable of being made,
not only sources of personal gratification, but of high moral benefit, and the means of
developing in surpassing loveliness and grace, some of the highest and noblest
feelings of the soul. The Ladies' Work-table Book, 1843 quoted from Piecework
magazine, March 1995
Strive with all your might against foolish
superstitions in dress, a thing hateful to God. These
ornaments, as they call them, but which others call
foulness, with their wide embroidered purple stripes, are
sent by Antichrist to herald his coming. Through his [134]
craftiness he introduces into monasteries his own servants,
fornication and lust, sinful friendships of youths in purple
garments, distaste for study and prayer, and the ruin of
souls. Such attire shows the wickedness of their souls,
giving proof of arrogance and pride, luxury, vanity, of
which Wisdom says: " Pride and arrogance and the evil way of
the froward mouth I hate."
--From "The Correspondence of St. Boniface" in the Medieval

On Lace:
...for even some of the most prized of old laces can be successfully copied by all who
have patience, leisure, and eyesight. --S. F. A. Caulfeild A Dictionary of
Needlework 1882
Lacemaker's Prayer

"Lord, let me grow old like beautiful lace, cherished and treasured and care for with grace."


On needlepoint:
Needlepoint: ...the delicious art of filling in holes with wool. --Carole
Berman/Jennifer Lazarus The Needlepoint Collection
Needlepoint is a superb way to stop smoking and nibbling, and unlike counted cross
stitch also allows the mind to wander. --Carole Berman/Jennifer Lazarus The
Needlepoint Collection
Apart from yoga, meditation, reading, it (needlepoint) has to be one of the most serene
things to do (don't lose your needles though, that can create a severe lack of serenity).
--Carole Berman/Jennifer Lazarus The Needlepoint Collection
The best thing about doing needlepoint for very small children is that they are so
uncritical. The don't say things like, 'I see you've missed some stitches over here on
the leg, was that intentional?' or 'Was this creature blinded in a fight?' They will clasp
it in their little arms and love it besottedly, inseparably as the thing becomes more and
more rancid. --Carole Berman/Jennifer Lazarus The Needlepoint Collection
So, we should encourage our children to sew, not as the mind-numbing experience it
was for many of us, but to lean the satisfaction of creating and experimenting, with
definitely no mention of the word 'perfectionist' (because therein lies madness).
--Carole Berman/Jennifer Lazarus The Needlepoint Collection
On knitting:
from Elizabeth Zimmerman:
Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the
untroubled spirit, either.
For people allergic to wool, one's heart can only bleed.
There is no right way to knit; there is no wrong way to knit. So if anybody kindly
tells you that what you are doing is "wrong," don't take umbrage; they mean well.
Smile submissively, and listen, keeping your disagreement on an entirely mental
level. They may be right, in this particular case, and even if not, they may drop off
pieces of information which will come in very handy if you file them away carefully
in your brain for future reference.
Really, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly
below-average intelligence. Of course, superior intelligence, such as yours and mine,
is an advantage.

A #6 aluminum needle has been known to furnish an excellent emergency shearpin for
an outboard motor.
Knitting still remains my most stimulating yet relaxing activity and I thank the powers
that be that I can make a living at it...I always pack my knitting or needlepoint project
first when traveling. --Kaffe Fassett

On quilting:
What a counterpain to sleep under or die in. We all got to represent each other. Every
color is a deed and suffering, a prize. Our quilt'll be, oh, quite the winding cloth and
glad rag. --Pull it over me!
--Allan Gurganus Oldest Living Confederate Widow
Tells All
Those who agree with us may not be right but we admire their astuteness.--Cullen
Life is an affair of putting on clothing. --Richard Wentz
Little children love rhyme and rhythm long before they are able to grasp the thought
expressed. --McCall's June 1912
I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn't itch. --Gilda Radner
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most charming and appealing. -- Jenny
Haskins, Victorian Pansies.
When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt. --Henry J. Kaiser
Can today's efficient manager and homemaker find satisfaction in old fashioned
craftsmanship? You bet your baby booties! --Jo Paoletti, Heirloom Sewing for Jack
and Jill.
In my experience, there's a strong correlation between idiot work and unfinished
work, and "idiot" has less to do with the intelligence required to perform the task than
the intelligence and forethought, or lack thereof, that might have prompted me to start
it int he first place. --Linda Ligon "Idiot Work" Piecework magazine Jan '95
{Dress} is one of the most powerful mediums of expression ever devised by humans.
It serves as a frontier to the human body and a determinant of the individual's inner
consciousness. --Penny Storm Functions of Dress
The greater part of a woman's life ought to be and necessarily must be passed at
home. Fanny Parkes, 1825

Nowhere has the seductive appeal of Berlin woolwork for Victorian women been
better explained than in Miss Lambert's Handbook of Needlework (1842), the first
practical manual ever written for embroiderers. T. Beck
It is not that artistic power has left the world but that a more rapid life has developed
itself in it, leaving no time for deliberate dainty decoration or labours of love. --Mrs.
Orrinsmith 1877
Nothing should be made by man's labour which is not worth making or which must be
made by labour degrading to the makers. --William Morris
No one can be really esteemed accomplished, who does not greatly surpass what is
usually met with. --Jane Austen, 1813 Pride and Prejudice
Her (Jane Austen) needlework both plain and ornamental was excellent, and she might
have put a sewing machine to shame. She was considered especially great in satin
stitch. --James Edward Austen-Leigh, 1871
QUOTES, generic, about everything! pages and pages of them.
IRISH Quotes. Not necessarily about anything...thank you! This is an outside link.
Thanks for reading with me!
Email me if you have contributions. judy@white-works.com