Crafters everywhere know the story of the Hastings Needle Work Company, an industry started in 1888 by Alice and Florence LeDuc, a family name well known to to 21st Century Dakota County Minnesota residents. From its origin until the mid 1920’s the Hastings Needle Work Company produced unique embroidery pieces for their hundreds of clients.
Today, over 1200 patterns from the company have survived; the patterns show a broad variety of design styles and subjects – florals, dragons, birds, American Indian designs, geometrical combinations and more. The original patterns are archived at the Minnesota Historical Society, the City of Hastings’ Pioneer Room, and the Dakota County Historical Society.
To showcase the company and its craftsmanship the Dakota County Historical Society has initiated a unique national competition. Sixteen of the patterns have been chosen as the focus of a unique challenge to create modern interpretations of the historic designs.
Though the designs were originally intended for embroidery the competition invites applicants to create interpretations using their own choice of artistic medium. Media may include, but are not limited to hand or machine embroidery, wool felting, rug hooking, quilting, wood carving, painting or mixed media.
Beautiful renditions of the selected patterns are posted on the Dakota County Historical Society website where artists and crafters will also find competition guidelines. Deadline for entries is March 31, 2014; artwork selected for display must be received by June 13, 2014 at the LeDuc Historic Estate, 1629 Vermillion Street, Hastings, MN 55033. Accepted artwork will be displayed in the LeDuc House, a working museum open for public tours.