Pillow Top Workshop: Crafting in the Lumberwoods

Pillowtop poster

The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and Memorial University’s FOLK 6740 class present a Pillow Top Workshop at Cochrane St. United Church on Saturday, Nov. 3rd, 2012 from 1-4pm.

What are pillow tops? Woven with wool on wooden frames, these Newfoundland textiles were traditionally crafted by lumber camp workers to be gifted to their sweethearts or sewn onto pillows, used as throws or even placemats.

Today this handcrafted tradition is being carried on by Elizabeth Murphy of the Burin Peninsula. She grew up in a house where crafting pillow tops was a winter pastime and learned to make them from her parents in the early 1960s. This is a skill which she has gone on to teach for several years.

“This is a great opportunity to learn more about this little known craft, and for our students to connect with their surrounding community and their local heritage,” says folklorist Dr. Jillian Gould, the Memorial professor behind the class organizing thisworkshop.

On November 3rd, interested community members can participate in a hands on pillow top workshop led by Elizabeth.Registration is required with a fee of $20, which includes the use of necessary tools to make a pillow top (specialized weaving frame etc.) and detailed instruction.

Workshop organizers would also like to hear from members of the public who have made pillow tops in the past and would be willing to share their memories, particularly former lumber camp workers.


Intangible Cultural Heritage

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000