An Ode to Flora Macdonald

Not a member of the Quilting Hall of Fame, as far as I know, but I assume she was famous for something. Or maybe she was just the wife or daughter of Mr Macdonald.

Front and Reverse of Flora Macdonald Needle Packet

Flora Macdonald Needle Packet

My mother allowed me to take this needle packet back home to my house after visiting her just after Christmas. It is a marvel of graphic design and invokes in me a nostalgia for time when needles were made in England rather than China, when notions were packaged in paper and purchased at a drapery and when people had to save up for all sorts of things, even small ones. If you’ve ever heard the expression ‘pin money’ (meaning a small amount of pocket money), that harks back to a day when ladies saved up their money to buy new needles.

We’ve come a long way, baby, but just maybe we’ve also left something behind on that journey.


2 responses to “An Ode to Flora Macdonald

  1. Very late reply to your posting however – Flora MacDonald was the young Scottish woman who helped Prince Charles Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) escape after the Battle of Culloden. Flora is considered to be a national heroine by the Scots. The escape, and Flora, are commemorated in the Scottish folk song The Skye Boat song.
    I would hazard a guess the packet would have contained needles made in either Scotland or England.

    • Always happy to receive a comment, late or immediate. Thanks for yours. Since writing the post I did read up about Flora MacDonald. Her actions were taken at great personal risk I believe. I wasn’t aware of the Skye Boat Song having a link to that story. Thanks for mentioning it.

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