The Metropolitan Region’s next virtual lecture is with Claudia Kistler who will be speaking 

about The History of Paper Needlework, on Saturday, February 25 beginning at 2 pm.

This lecture will share with you the creativity of counted thread pieces worked on specific 

"fabric" that was once very popular but is almost forgotten today. Between 1840 and

1900 a popular needlework pastime for both children and adults was stitching on

preforated paper. In this lecture you will see an overview of the history and different

types of perforated paper needlework. You will see some amazing technique and 

creativity in these antique pieces that you may not know was possible.

The era of the counted thread linen sampler, with designs worked in cotton or silk on fine

fabrics, began to wind down about 1850. By 1870, brightly colored German wools were 

being used on needlepoint canvas for Berlinwork patterns of flowers, animals, and 

geometric designs. These two types of needlework are very different. Do you ever wonder

what happened to bridge the gap between these two familiar types of needlework? 

Perforated paper, also known as Bristol card, filled that gap. Perforated paper was a 

cardboard punched with evenly spaced holes that was sold in sheets. Perforated paper 

could be used for counted thread design, for needlepoint design, and for printed design. 

By 1860 perforated paper was the common “fabric” for needlework because it was easy

to find, affordable, and fun to work with. Bristol card allowed for new types of design, 

offering different creative options that were not successful on fabric or canvas. Stitchers

began to choose paper over fabric, magazines offered counted thread paper projects, and

designers began to offer printed pieces.

This lecture presents an overview of three categories of perforated paper needlework – 

The Smalls [1840-1860]; The Samplers [1840 – 1870], and The Mottoes [1870-1900]. 

You will see examples from Claudia’s extensive collection of perforated paper pieces. 

Some of the samplers reveal history about the maker, and Claudia will share those

stories with you. 

Come join Claudia for this special event and enjoy the wonderful creativity of the stitchers

who worked their forgotten stitches on perforated paper.

Since there is a maximum number of attendees allowed on Zoom, those interested will 

need to rsvp to Janice Meyers by Thursday, February 23. Janice will then send the 

Zoom invitation to those attendees on Friday, February 24.