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19th C. Pieced Sewing Roll Up

 A circa 1840 New England sewing roll up (also called a "huswif") made from hand pieced printed cotton fabrics. Has a granny note from first half of the 20th century which reads "thread case nearly 100 years old made by Mrs. Lucy (Churchill) Sampson. Belongs to Lucia B. Durrell."

From Labors of Love (Weissman and Lavitt, 1987) on the subject of ladies' pockets: "Related to these pockets is the much smaller, usually cotton, case called a 'huswif' or housewife, an oblong pouch for needles, pins, and other smalls that rolled up and could be carried in the larger pocket. Usually made of scraps of calico or chintz, some were initialed in cross-stitch, as were pockets."

I love to buy things with old granny notes. There is something about the layers of history that can belong to a simple textile object. This sewing roll up especially caught my eye because of the small square piecing on the back and pouch. The "back" when rolled up is actually what you would see. These little details were thought up. I can only wish that we can one day put this much care into our utilitarian objects as craftspeople did at that time.