Monday, May 2, 2011

Needlework kits, remembered


When I was a girl, I had two fantastic old fashioned aunts.  They were my grandma’s sisters—one was a retired schoolteacher, and the other was a farmer’s wife.  They did their laundry on wash day with a wringer and a clothesline; they knew how to tat; they knew how to make cookies without a recipe.  They wore hairnets and brown lace up shoes and had the most incredible old-school dentures, which they would take out and show you. 

They gave me wonderful gifts—fancy rose-scented soaps in a box, pearl jewelry, first-hand knowledge of home canning, my first copy of Anne of Green Gables, and lots and lots of embroidery and needlepoint kits. 


It was probably an easy thing to give a girl, but to a girl like me, it was the most perfect thing in the world.  The pattern was already printed on the fabric, the thread was all there, and it usually came with a needle, too.  You could just shove the wrapping paper to one side and start stitching.  Sadly, I have none of these sweet little artifacts anymore.  I am a haphazard saver of things, and sometimes am not sentimental enough, so I probably saw them at some point, with their grubby, messy beginner little girl stitches and threw them away. 


This kit was in the bins at the thrifty craft store last week.  It was all there, including the needle.  It was dated 1982, but it has a total 70’s feel, so reminiscent of my Peter Frampton-based girlhood.  I had so much fun working on it, thinking of the old-fashioned aunts.  The most perfect gift for a girl like me.


It’s vintage embroidery, but I made it myself.  How much better can it get?


  1. I love this--both your aunts' story and the embroidery kits. I still have stashed away a bunch of cross stitch kits I bought about 18 years ago (OMG has it really been that long???), maybe one day I'll get back to them... well, I better, I can't see my son having fun doing that :)))
    Your vintage embroidery is just beautiful!

  2. I was hooked on x stitch for a long time. Both petite point and gros point, also tapestry. I love the one you have just finished. It is so bright and cheerful and should fit into your house beautifully. well found and well worked

  3. The perfect combination! And so pretty. What a lovely thing to have up on the wall :)

  4. That is so beautiful... it's exactly my kind of style in embroidery. What a great find!
    I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago (I can't remember what my search was for) and I've been enjoying your entries since then!
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  5. Wow! Such a beautiful pattern.. I want!! The colours are just perfect and it looks like it would have been so enjoyable and also pretty therapeutic to do..! I love the two blue birds at the top of the embroidery.
    Ashley xx

  6. Hello! I just found your wonderful blog, i am so happy. I love your embroidery, it is just beautiful and the colours ae amazing
    j x

  7. How perfectly perfect! I'm also a past cross-stitcher, but love the look of embroidery. I might have to dig up a vintage kit of my own and try my hand at it. It looks more difficult than cross-stitch, though. We shall see!

  8. Thanks, all! Yeah, this kind of embroidery is a little more difficult than cross-stitch, but nothing you all can't handle. I had a great time stitching it!

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  10. Thanks for sharing the wonderful floral hand embroidery. This is fantastic piece of art. Loving it totally. Are you into Machine Embroidery designs and digitizing too?