Family heirloom is lovingly recreated

March 28 2014

REMAINS of a pincushion heart, created by a soldier during the First World War, made its way to one of Heart Space Studios' workshops.

March 28 2014

REMAINS of a pincushion heart, created by a soldier during the First World War, made its way to one of Heart Space Studios' workshops.
During the First World War, many soldiers and sailors made pincushion hearts decorated with beads and braids for rest and recuperation.
Regimental ribbons and mottoes, as well as initials and sentimental messages were often pinned to the heart; and were given as gifts to wives, girlfriends and mothers.
Libby Butler, the granddaughter of the soldier who made the pincushion heart for his wife whilst on duty abroad, brought the remains along to Heart Space Studios' regular beaded heart pincushion workshop.
Libby had received the original over 25 years ago from her grandmother, who had received the cushion as a token of love.
When Libby was given the pincushion, she tried to restore it, however, the whole thing disintegrated because the silk it was made from had rotted.
She put all the pieces in a small box, with a scribbled note of the design.
Janet Haigh, owner of Heart Space Studios, said: "All we had to go on was a package of beads, pins, braids and faded materials, but a pattern was made from a similar heart in our small collection and the original scraps were reassembled using new background fabrics and extra beads.
"The best thing of all was how the remaking of this family heirloom, originally made by Libby’s grandfather, resulted in her reflecting on her family and its history.
"She was moved by the idea of actually touching the same beads and placing them in the same patterns as her grandfather had – I have seldom worked with such an enthralled and ultimately contented student."
The full story of the workshop can be read at: janethaigh.wordpress.com. Future workshops in making pinned hearts are scheduled for May 16 and later in the autumn.

Pincushion heart