A Heart(full) Weekend


Each first Friday the hope is to take home some form of art, either current or antique. Friday’s purchase, or “the Friday heart” is an antique Iroquois Pincushion. The seller shared a brief history of the Iroquois women (it appears it possibly wasn’t just the women) and their art so research quickly began…

The publication Flights of Fancy: An Introduction to Iroquois Beadwork by Dolores N. Elliott, is out of print. Click here to read portions of the text.

Following is a brief excerpt from the book that speaks of the heart form pincushion.  The most common pincushion heart form began around 1890, featuring a leaf in each of the top lobes with the tip of the leaves toward the center. Sometimes the leaves are replaced with balls. Purple velvet is a favorite cloth in these hearts. Tan velvet and hot pink cloth were also used frequently. Often there is a date or design in the center of the heart. The larger the heart, the larger the design in the center and the more elaborate the loops along the bottom of the heart. The hearts that feature clear beads and clear bead handles and fringes were made before World War I. Those with white edging beads, a white or multicolored hanger, and multicolored bottom loops were made after World War I. Later pieces are more likely to have cord hangers than hangers made of beads. Mohawk beadworkers made this style of heart.

This one has certainly been well used (loved) because it’s wool is very worn and it is missing the loops on one side as well as the hanger.  According to the writings above, it was made before WWI due to the presence of the clear beads. I can feel the love of the artist when I hold the cushion… and it’s simple back shows how it has truly been a part of someone’s (maybe several someone’s) needlework life.  I find the mending tells a bit more of the story as well.


The Saturday heart was a thrift store purchase… a very heavy blue glass beauty. The moss is thriving in this balmy weather we are having. I found spirea blooming this weekend as well as the witch hazel and the daffodils are up almost two inches… very scary!


The Sunday heart is somewhat more demure that the other two… a simple little piece of metal, but I found it, along with the hand at an estate sale. I also got to see my old friends, Melvin and Mia whom I haven’t seen in quite some time. They were kind enough to employ me during my layoff a few years ago.


… and of course what home doesn’t have a few of these? (also from the estate sale today)


There are a few ideas in my head for them… now, just enough time to follow through would be nice!

Thanks to all of the previous owners who have shared their hearts with me.

~ by kcjewel on January 8, 2012.

7 Responses to “A Heart(full) Weekend”

  1. Hmm, looks like you can’t resist a heart either! ;-)
    LOVE the blue glass heart! Gorgeous!! My second favorite is the little metal heart in the hand.

  2. Appears to be a lot of love in those hearts…they now have a loving home.

  3. Wedo appear to have many interests in common…look forward to following your blog also.

  4. … and ‘heartfelt’ wishes for a Happy ‘gardening’ New Year!

  5. What stories that antique heart could tell!

  6. You are all set for Valentines Day. I like the heart with beads.

  7. I felt it even before I read. Something of those beads said Eastern bead-work of the People. I read and then what surprise its true. I only now remember what connection there. Something of my grandmama. Cool.

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