Lucy Larcom’s sentiments must have been a common feeling in 1830. It is hard to comprehend today, when needlework is considered a hobby for women, the importance of needlework to women 200 years ago, or indeed its importance less than 75 years ago. even into the middle of the twentieth century, American girls of about 12 or 13 years of age were required to take home economics classes where they learned to cook and sew, including basic sewing techniques and construction of clothing, to prepare them for their future jobs as housewives. Although electric sewing machines were widely available in the mid-twentieth century, these were not the computerized versions of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, capable of a wide variety of stitches and even embroidery. While sampler making was no longer a requirement, girls still needed to show proficiency with some hand stitches for buttonholes, mending and hemming.