Cathy Grafton learned to embroider at age six and has loved handwork ever since. Her passion for playing with color has developed over a lifetime of stitching, and for the last 20 years she has taught herself the 18th-Century style of embroidery using fine silk ribbons, giving her work an added dimension as she continues to explore shading and color combinations.
Grafton has been demonstrating traditional quilting techniques since the early 1970s at historic festivals in the Midwest, and she continues to spend many weekends each year living in the 18th Century. At these events she portrays a lady making her way in the world by doing fancy needlework. She has been teaching and lecturing for more than 30 years and has long studied and often visited the Bayeux Tapestry in France, using some of its embroidery techniques in her own work.
Grafton creates small quilted pieces based on folk art designs from the 18th and early 19th Centuries. Using simple floral designs and many Shaker influences, she stitches small wall pieces, huswife sewing kits, needle cases, and ladies’ pockets using silk thread and silk ribbons.
She is the author of Nature, Design & Silk Ribbons, published by the American Quilter’s Society in 1996.
Artisans wishing to participate in the 2021 Directory of Traditional American Crafts™ may download applications by clicking here. Because of the uncertainty of mail delivery caused by the Pandemic, we have extended the deadline for entries. We will accept entries postmarked by February 15, 2021. Those selected will be notified after judging in April, 2021. The 2021 Directory of Traditional American Crafts™ will appear in the August 2021 issue of Early American Life.
1,995 days until America's Sestercentennial
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