Monday, May 2, 2011

Needlework kits, remembered

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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

9 comments:

  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!
    xx

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  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

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

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  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!
    shu flies

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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

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  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

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  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!

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  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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