When you can’t go to China…free patterns to color and stitch.

Terraced rice paddies spill down the mountainside in the Dong village of Dimen

A year ago, the world was different. We were eagerly awaiting a boat from China bringing our newest book, Every Thread a Story and its companion volume, The Secret Language of Miao Embroidery, to our warehouse. Then we were going to hop on a plane with 16 intrepid fellow travelers and head off to Guizhou […]

Embroidering the Future in Afghanistan

Rangina Hamidi is a world-class problem solver. This becomes abundantly clear as you read her personal story in Embroidering Within Boundaries: Afghan Women Creating a Future, co-authored with Mary Littrell. When the problem was women in Kandahar, often widowed with no means of support and always sequestered, she founded Kandahar Treasure. This allowed women to […]

Discovering Miao Embroidery with Zeng Li

“I’d like you to meet a friend of mine,” says Wang Jun, wanting to broaden our understanding of Miao textiles. I was in Guiyang, Guizhou Province, with Karen Brock and Joe Coca, working on Every Thread a Story: Traditional Chinese Artisans of Guizhou Province. So Jun took us straightaway to meet with his friend Zeng […]

Solidarity of Women

Today is the annual Women’s March on Washington Reading about the scheduled activities reminded me of when our publisher Linda Ligon went to Washington, D.C. for the first march in 2017. She wore, somewhat reluctantly, the signature handknitted “Pussy hat.” Linda later wrote about how the experience of attending the march changed her perception about […]

Book Talks: Opportunities for Learning and Dialogue

Book Talk

Author Mary Littrell shares her experiences from her recent book talk at the Wheelwright Museum. My public talk for Embroidering within Boundaries: Afghan Women Creating a Future drew a full house last Sunday in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Following a week of three horrific attacks in Afghanistan, Santa Feans seemed eager to hear a message […]

Embroidering within Boundaries: Framing the Story

  I’m thinking about Paula Lerner. This woman who worked tirelessly and fearlessly in Afghanistan to tell the story of women in that desperate, war-torn country. This woman who left an archive of powerful images so we can see and remember what she saw and experienced. I had never heard of Paula Lerner until a couple […]

Mending Our Ways


A few years ago, I read an article by Augusta Strand, a conservator at Uppsala University in Sweden, about a medieval book that had been mended with silk thread. Tears and holes that had formed when the parchment was made in the fifteenth century had actually been embroidered with colorful silk. Blemish became beauty. The conservators at the […]

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