Breaking News: Erica Wilson PBS videos now online — Erica shows us how to stitch an owl!

Oh my gosh, today is a a Wonderful Day, because I see that this morning, Erica Wilson Nantucket has started to post segments from Erica Wilson’s 1971 television series “Erica”, originally produced by PBS. Erica Wilson was the “First Lady of Stitchery” in the 1960s and 1970s — The Needlecrafts Goddess. She published at least 16 books and starred in two television series. She died in December — please see my comprehensive online biography and guide to Erica Wilson’s life and work. I am stunned and ecstatic with amazement at the opportunity to view these videos — this is going to be the best thing ever! In this first video, the amazing Ms. Wilson shows us how to stitch an owl. She stitched an owl like this onto a rocking chair designed by her husband Vladimir Kagan.
She says she named the owl on the rocking chair “Belinda”. She also shows us a wall hanging / room divider that she made. She is very funny, she calls the fabric that she used for the wall hanging ‘dirty green’ or some such. I am rushing to get this story out — I will have to go back and watch and start writing down the “Erica-isms.” I also will be tracking down the back story on the posting of these videos. How many will we see???!!! I am so excited, I am using exclamation points, which I reserve only for the Most Important and Exciting News.

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  1. Brini says:

    How delightful! It’s so nice to see those stitches done by a professional, and the slightly awkward quality of the show is really charming.

  2. Becky P S says:

    I am sooooo excited. I watched Ms. Wilson’s show way back when it was on TV. I was quite the novice needleworker and now I can really appreciate her shows!

    YAY!! Thanks for sharing Pam!

  3. Darlahood says:

    Wow, I am in love!! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I like how she “paints with her needle” as she so appropriately describes her craft!

  4. Becky W says:

    I am insanely excited about being able to watch these shows. I’m an avid embroiderer and a big Erica fan. Thanks so much for letting us know!

  5. Jill says:

    The Best Thing…ever! Thank you so much for this post. I was planning to make a large “tree in 4 seasons” felt board thing for a preschool classroom. You have given me the best inspiration!

  6. adrianneross says:

    My mother was a “Creative Expressions” demonstrator in the 80’s (western NY state) – kind of like tupperware, but with embroidery. The hostess would schedule a party where my mother would demonstrate some embroidery style. The guests would work on a little little mini-kit (book mark, pincushion, etc) and then they could order a full-size kit if they liked it. A lot of the kits were “Erica Wilson” kits. She won some kind of contest (she mounted one of their kits into a wood & glass serving tray) and got to go to New Orleans for the award. She still has so many kits – she’ll work on one now and again.

  7. pam kueber says:

    What a great story — in particular in light of that Tupperware documentary last night — thank you for sharing, Adrianne.

  8. Caryn says:

    Fabulous!!! Thank you for sharing, I went on youtube last night and watched all (only three) of these videos I could find. I am determined this year to learn crewel embroidery, and even have some vintage kits ready and waiting in my craft room. I LOVED watching these videos and will probably be referring back to them!!

  9. Marjie says:

    No doubt Wilson’s needlework is beautiful.I’m sorry to hear of her passing. I remember how shocked my own mother was about the prices of the materials Wilson used.In our home, we “crafted” because we didn’t have the disposable income to buy ready made and spending hard earned dough for a kit was something that never happened.

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