A Stitch In Time

The Dutch designer Hella Jongerius, who has embroidered plates and vases, has curated the exhibition Hella Jongerius Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection for the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (through September). The show displays eighteenth- and nineteenth-century needlework samplers that are traditionally passed down from mother to daughter. Jongerius also created her own designs referencing the embroidered motifs she found in the collection. “We wanted to have twenty-first-century eyes looking back at the history of design,” curatorial director Barbara Bloemink says.

Using contemporary needle-punch techniques that produce reversible textiles, Jongerius created ten blankets featuring sampler characters such as a squirrel, a palmetto tree, hearts, a house, and letters of the alphabet. The image on one side may be a bright green pattern, on the other, mossy and mellow. As with all of Jongerius’s work celebrating craft, the blankets are anything but traditional.

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