Something old, Something new
Something old, Something new

When Mary Beekman was a little girl, she and her mother, Joanna, would sit on the front lawn of the Beekman on sunny summer afternoons working on the crucial craftworks of the day.  While cross-stitching would have been a skill that Mary would later perfect, she possibly got her start with simple huck embroidery.

Huck embroidery is also known as huckaback, Swedish weaving, or popcorn weaving and is a decorative art that dates back to at least the late 18th century.  The word ‘huckaback’ is derived from “hucksters”, a  reference to peddlers of various wares.

Mary's view from the front yard of the Beekman.
Mary's view from the front yard of the Beekman.

The type of simple embroidery Mary would have done is referred to as patterned darning, and we imagine that she would have taken her pattern from something readily available for her to copy—like the Greek Key motif that decorates the canopy of the front porch of the Beekman Mansion.

Beekman 1802 huck embroidered picnic blanket
Beekman 1802 huck embroidered picnic blanket

New at ShopBeekman1802 is our hand-embroidered and hand-tasseled picnic blanket and summer throw.

To read more about Mary learning to weave and her introduction to the domestic arts of life in 1802, follow along with her journal.

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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michelle evans

I am desperatly seeking a paticular husk weaving pattern.. If you can send your email I can upload a pic.

Thanks,

Michelle

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Carolann

Hi!

The blanket is beautiful! I love embroidery.

I've been recently teaching myself tambour work which is a centuries old form of embroidery using a special tambour needle. It is believed to be the predecessor to crochet as tambour stitches were thought to be "made in the air". I love all the old crafts!

Carolann

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Elaine

Hi, Dr. Brent and Josh!

That first picture is wonderful and I love the blanket – it is so beautiful! What a lovely addition to your linens.

I started cross stitching when I was a young girl and have always enjoyed it.

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