WGBH Openvault

Erica; Designing Needlepoint

Part of From the Vault. Part of Erica Wilson: The Julia Child of Needlework.

12/18/1971

While most episodes of Erica provide technical instruction in various needlework skills, this episode primarily provides instruction in design. Erica describes three methods for designing needlepoint. The first, and perhaps most ambitious, is to paint the design in oil (not acrylic, which will bleed) on the needlepoint canvas and simply follow the colors. The second is to sketch the design onto the canvas and follow the outline. The third method is to draw the design on graph paper and count the squares, as in counted cross-stitch, or alternately, to lay transparent graph paper over an illustration in a book and count the squares (making sure that the graph paper has the same number of squares per inch as the canvas). Erica suggests books and magazines as sources of design inspiration, but for the main project in this episode, she takes her inspiration from her favorite piece of fabric—the curtains in her home library—and traces their design on acetate. As far as color selection, Erica encourages viewers to choose very vivid colors for needlepoint, noting, “You can be a lot bolder than you think.” One of her final tips in this episode is to use an embroidery frame, rather than holding the canvas in one’s hands, as many people do when working needlepoint. The stitch demonstrated in this episode is the tent stitch. Erica shows a 17th century tapestry and notes that the tent stitch was used by embroideresses to copy the look of shading that one sees in woven tapestries of the period. Summary and select metadata for this record was submitted by Amanda Sikarskie.


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Series
Erica
Program
Designing Needlepoint
Program Number

112

Series Description

Needlework series with Erica Wilson. “Erica Wilson, noted American authority on needlework, invites the viewer to explore the exciting possibilities of indulging his creative and artistic talents. In this series of color videotaped 15 minute programs she illustrates the wide vocabulary of stitches used in many types of embroidery including traditional crewel, needlepoint, bargello, and crewel point.

As well as demonstrating these stitches, Erica gives professional hints on creating useful and decorative objects. She encourages personalizing an original or derived design through the selection of motif, materials, stitch, color, texture, and size. C. 1971-2 Series release date: 1971

Program Description

While most episodes of Erica provide technical instruction in various needlework skills, this episode primarily provides instruction in design. Erica describes three methods for designing needlepoint. The first, and perhaps most ambitious, is to paint the design in oil (not acrylic, which will bleed) on the needlepoint canvas and simply follow the colors. The second is to sketch the design onto the canvas and follow the outline. The third method is to draw the design on graph paper and count the squares, as in counted cross-stitch, or alternately, to lay transparent graph paper over an illustration in a book and count the squares (making sure that the graph paper has the same number of squares per inch as the canvas).

Erica suggests books and magazines as sources of design inspiration, but for the main project in this episode, she takes her inspiration from her favorite piece of fabric—the curtains in her home library—and traces their design on acetate. As far as color selection, Erica encourages viewers to choose very vivid colors for needlepoint, noting, “You can be a lot bolder than you think.” One of her final tips in this episode is to use an embroidery frame, rather than holding the canvas in one’s hands, as many people do when working needlepoint.

The stitch demonstrated in this episode is the tent stitch. Erica shows a 17th century tapestry and notes that the tent stitch was used by embroideresses to copy the look of shading that one sees in woven tapestries of the period.

Duration

00:14:29

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type

Video

Subjects
Needlework – Instruction
Tapestry – 17th Century
Design – Instruction
Wilson, Erica
Needlepoint
Genres
Instructional
Topics
Crafts
Creators
MacLeod, Margaret I. (Series Producer)
Contributors
Field, James (Director)
MacLeod, Margaret I. (Producer)
Mahard, Frances (Other (see note))
Wilson, Erica (Host)
Publication Information
Copyright © 1971 Erica Wilson and WGBH Educational Foundation
Citation
Chicago: “Erica; Designing Needlepoint,” 12/18/1971, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 5, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3E65C0140F744015BAF966BE0D2DD72F.
MLA: “Erica; Designing Needlepoint.” 12/18/1971. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 5, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3E65C0140F744015BAF966BE0D2DD72F>.
APA: Erica; Designing Needlepoint. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3E65C0140F744015BAF966BE0D2DD72F
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