Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Henrika's Legacy

A Legacy of Creativity

By: Joan Beswick

Henrika (Ricky) Eickholt


Henrika (Ricky) Eickholt was born in Holland into a family of thirteen children, two of whom died young. It was a busy and disciplined household. She quickly learned that when schoolwork, gardening, and chores were done, you were expected to read or do handwork. And Ricky rose to the task. By age five, she was knitting clothes for her dolls. In elementary school, her knitting was so precise the nuns sent her down to Grade One to teach beginners. So began a long career of fine handwork that expanded beyond knitting to include sewing, embroidery, cross stitch, rughooking, weaving, quilting, and gobelin tapestry. 

Lovers' Knot Quilt

Embroidery with Beading
Embroidered Table Cloth
Gobelin Tapestry Screen   

As a mother of three growing children, Ricky sewed clothes, made hundreds of quilts, and knit, on average, ten sweaters every winter. Eventually, she and her husband followed those adult children to Canada. They emigrated in the late 1970’s and settled near their daughter Louise, her husband, and four granddaughters in Shinimicas, Nova Scotia. Those granddaughters were blessed with hand knit sweaters for themselves as well as knitted outfits for their Cabbage Patch dolls. 

Ricky's granddaughters grew up and now have homes of their own where they proudly display their grandmother’s incredible handiwork, including a picture collage of her '20 Years of Quilts'.

Ricky and her husband have downsized and although they live in a smaller space and no longer have room for a weaving loom, her hands and mind remain busy – crocheting, embroidering table cloths and napkin trims, knitting for great grandchildren, and advising her daughter and granddaughters on their stitchery projects.

The little girl who began her life in a large family in Holland is now the heart of a Canadian family.  She continues to create fibre art that is both functional and fabulous, and she enriches the lives of her family and friends with a legacy of creativity that continues across the generations. 

Ricky’s fibre art work, and that of her daughter, Louise (above photo), and granddaughter, Wynne, will be featured this fall during the 2013 Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival in Amherst. 

Come, join us at the festival, and share in the creative legacy of Henrika (Ricky) Eickholt, a truly remarkable lady!




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