I My Needle Ply with Skill: Maine Schoolgirl Needlework of the Federal Era

Author: Leslie Rounds

ISBN 978-1-62137-187-8 (softcover)

160 pages

Combining color photographs of more than 125 pieces of schoolgirl needlework, nearly all stitched in Maine, and fascinating biographies of the sampler makers and their teachers, this book is an essential purchase for collectors and admirers of historic needlework. Written to accompany the comprehensive exhibition, “I My Needle Ply with Skill”: Maine Schoolgirl Needlework of the Federal Era, at the Saco Museum, January 12 to March 2, 2013, this catalog includes pieces from across the state, documenting for the first time, bodies of work from numerous female academies of the era. While many of these schools were well established in southern New England states by the late 18th century, Maine developed private academies somewhat later. As these local academies grew and flourished new styles of samplers and needlework evolved that were unique to Maine. This catalog explores that evolution and offers a glimpse of a period of blossoming female creativity and accomplishment that transcended the societal limitations on women of the era, as young Maine women created masterpieces of intricate stitchery.


Leslie Rounds has served as Executive Director of the Dyer Library/Saco Museum in Saco, Maine for the past seven years, and is deeply involved in all museum activities. She has studied and collected nineteenth-century textiles for nearly thirty years and has been locating and researching Maine needlework since moving to the state, almost a decade ago. Mrs. Rounds has her Masters of Library Science degree from Southern Connecticut State University and has served the library field for thirteen years. She has written extensively about local textile traditions in her blog (plyingneedleandpen.blogspot.com) and in her regular column for Saco’s local weekly newspaper; she has also attended scholarly conferences on needlework. Mrs. Rounds regularly lectures on textile topics and provides textile appraisals for the Saco Museum’s annual Antiques Appraisal Day fundraiser and has also provided appraisals for large textile collections belonging to Maine historical societies. She is the co-author of Saco Revisited(Arcadia Press, 2010) and an article about the local Quebecois wood-carver known as “Bernier the Mumberman,” published in The Magazine Antiques (Summer 2010).

Category: Academic, Educational, Non-Fiction

Type: books

Vendor: Leslie Rounds

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