I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

Friday, December 20, 2013

Being an embroidery artist...............my work is a lot about

rescuing, re purposing and restoration.
I am always thrilled to come across tossed and forgotten pieces like this kit.
If you like to work kits like this................you know how expensive they have become. This kit, if you look at the small tags on the right was once $17, reduced to $11 and I found it for only $1.
This is a kit from 1978...........and as a friend commented.........$17 at that time was expensive.
So if this is the thing that you like...........take a look at your local thrift shops. Go past all of the rows of different decades of clothing......the scuffed and worn shoes...........the dusty knic knacs and usually, around the book section.........or sometimes........the bed and bath linens............
you might find a few sewing items tucked away in boxes or on shelves.
You might be lucky to find complete kits as this.

It was only partially embroidered in thick crewel yarn. It still had most of the unused yarn, as well as the instructions and even the needle.

As you can tell, the embroidery was worked in long quick stitches.

The linen the design is on, is in  wonderful condition........except for some reason, a corner has been cut out of the left top and out of the right bottom of the fabric. This I can remedy by finding matching fabric to stitch and repair in it's place.

There is still quite a lot of design left to be stitched. And as most of you know about me.............
I don't like large heavy stitching on unfinished pieces like this. The only reason I purchase them, is to remove all of the previous stitching and to stitch the design all over

the way I want it to look.
(click on photo for better view) 
If you look closely at the right side of the owl's face...........this is the original stitching.
Look closely at the left side of the owl's face.........this is my stitching.

I removed the yarn and used floss and stitched the owl's eye,nose and face the way I want to see him.
It will take me 10 times the amount of time,  hundreds of stitches,  and large amounts of floss, to finish this piece............more than it would have with the yarn.
But I think ,instead of a pretty restored piece............
I will have a beautiful restored piece when I am finished.
What do you think?
***drop by my cooking blog***
for a great snack recipe for Christmas guests,
and for an end of the year reflection,
stop by my country blog


wenhkc said...

I love how you have taken a yesteryear kit and rest itched it to your artistic vision. Needlework continues to evolve, even as it keeps nodding to it's past.

Cindy said...

What a beautiful difference in the stitching you did! I remember those kits and I even did a few, but I also preferred floss. Have a wonderful Christmas!

lil red hen said...

I totally agree ~ the stitches done with floss look much, much better. I have a crewel embroidery piece, that I have been working on for years and years, almost finished. Need to get with it and have it done!

Prairie Patch Quilts said...

Yes, your stitching makes it beautiful. So happy you rescued this piece and will finish it. I will look forward to updates on the owl.

Karen said...

Your stitching definitely looks better than the old yarn stitching, it's going to be beautiful! Like you, I always head for the sewing and craft areas when I go to thrift shops. Once in a while I find something really nice!

Gina E. said...

I love it!!! Owls are so cute! And your stitching is 100% improvement on the crewel wool. I dislike embroidery in wool, although I've done quite a few in the past and they are framed and on the walls. Everyone admires them, but if I could do them over again (and I won't in this lifetime!) I'd use floss instead of wool.
You and I find some wondrous things in our travels, don't we!
Happy Christmas with hugs from Gina in Oz.

ladycobblestones said...

Almost all the thrift stores around here have lots of older kits that someone decided not to do. I must have passed over hundreds of older kits that I liked the picture - but not the yarn. I would have passed up your owl because of the yarn. BUT, if the kit looked like your side of the owl I'd have grabbed it for sure. I never thought to change to floss! Next time I go to a thrift shop, I will be re-looking at those kits.
Have a wonderful Christmas.
Smiles to you.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen, what can I say...your embroidery is dynamic! This will be very beautiful when you're finished. I can't wait to see it.

Yes, I always go to the back of the thrift store to see what 'goodies' they may have back there...and you're right it's past the clothes near the books...lol...I've bought some wonderful laces and such, which I've been using on my wall hangers. And recently I've picked up some very nice fabric remnants.

May your new year be happy, healthy, and prosperous!

Sending love,
Marianne xo