Yesterday I was invited out to Cupids to instruct a pillow top workshop. Dale came along and we had a great time at The Cupids Legacy Centre teaching a lovely group how to weave this interesting textile.
Pillow tops are square-shaped textiles woven from wool using a wooden frame, made by Newfoundland women and men. Women would make these in various sizes and used them around the house as pillow covers, table toppers, and backs for chairs. Pillow tops were also made by men working in the lumber camps. Cutting and collecting lumber was arduous work and the only day the men in the camps had off was Sunday. To pass the time some men would make pillow tops to give to girlfriends, wives and mothers.
For more information on pillow tops check out the Intangible Cultural Heritage Pillow Top Collection on Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative.
And here's some of the finished pillow tops. One thing I love about these is they all look different, I've yet to see two pillow tops that look the same.
For more information on the tradition of Newfoundland lumber camp workers weaving pillow tops, check out this issue of the ICH newsletter.
If you're interested in making your own pillow top frame, check out this blog entry which includes instructions and lots of pictures.
And if you'd like to have us out to your community to teach a pillow top workshop, you can reach Nicole Penney at 1-888-739-1892 ex.6 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.