Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Needlepoint Cushions

I had my first chance to wander inside the Washington National Cathedral last week. It's gorgeous! Tomorrow I'll show you the building itself (and the gardens), but today I want to talk about the needlepoint! This handiwork (depicting what I believe is the White House) is part of a larger bench design on the south side of the entrance.

You may not realize this, but needlepoint cushions (the patterns, colors and style) have been part of church-life for hundreds of years. As alter cushions, pew cushions, prayer kneelers - I love that a traditional craft made with love and patience, can serve a congregation for generations.

As I looked for a link to the Washington National Cathedral, I found this fascinating article in the Washingtonian. It was written for the cathedral's centennial celebration and is loaded with interesting facts and stories - far more than I can innumerate here.

In this article, I learned that this bench is one of thousands of needlework pieces in the Washington National Cathedral! So many needlepoint pieces, that there is a Needlepoint Committee charged with their care and preservation. Fascinating!


LillyB said...

I didn't realize that about cushions but it makes sense with all the hard wooden benches. I bet the Pastors couldn't keep someone's attention for more than an hour if they didn't have the cushions!

Anne Reeves said...

Yes, I love things like this. Stitching something that will lasts decades and show devotion. Very interesting.