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

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Embroidery and linens from the 1940's

have always caught my eye and captured my heart

so much in fact.............. that I embroidered this design this way..........
using black as the main border/trellis design color. I usually stay away from using the color black in large design areas when I embroider............
but this gave me that "40's" look that I wanted to achieve..........
don't you think??

I found this table runner with such a pretty crocheted edging..........

perfect for this embroidery design.
This is the kind of embroidery work I plan to sell when I get my vintage shop up and running!

I also experimented with a new technique..........to me.....it was something new to try.
tinting some areas with a crayon.
It is very easy to do,
1. Trace the design onto the fabric as usual.
2. Make the surface that you want to color clean and smooth on the front and back.
3 . Color all areas you want tinted heavily with white crayon.
4. With the color of crayon you want to use, tint over the white coloring, working in a circular motion.
5. Heat set with a hot iron by laying a white paper towel over the tinted area and pressing......you will smell the wax.
6. Remove the paper towel and if there is any color on it, repeat the pressing process with a clean paper towel. 
You can wash your tinted linen, but I would suggest doing so gently. The tinting will last and look beautiful for years to come!
Now back to the  1940's..............

I found this wonderful transfer at a antique/flea market.

It came from this Work Basket issue dated July 1945
Volume 10

This Work Basket transfer was a large 18x 22 inch sheet, rather than the small inserts that the later issues offered.

The peacock design is what made me pick it up.

There are also some beautiful dollies to embroider

and a wonderful cut work design.

As most of you know............I preserve any kind of vintage embroidery design I can find.............
and I spent a bit of time tracing these off to keep and to use at a later date. The transfer sheet itself was so very fragile because of the folds and age of the paper.
After I traced off the designs, I framed the original transfer sheet in a puzzle frame that was just barely large enough to do so. Now this wonderful transfer sheet hangs in my studio and gives me much inspiration throughout my work day of stitching.
How about you?
What is your favorite era...............for embroidery
or for any thing?
I would love to hear!


Anonymous said...

Like you, I enjoy anything from the 40's. So many simple, although some look difficult, things to make that add much a pretty, home sweet home look. I recently found a crochet book from 1946 that I am enjoying reading. Many 'frugal' suggestions to add beauty to one's home and wardrobe.
blessings, jill

Bren said...

Thank you so much for posting this blog. It's so wonderful to see this type of design again.

Also thanks for the instructions on color tinting. I'm gonna try that!

Bren said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post. It was so good to see those wonderful old designs again.

Also, thanks for the instructions on color tinting. I'm gonna try that!

Cindy said...

I wouldn't usually use black either, but it does set off the other colors nicely. Your work is so pretty, I'm sure you will do well with a shop.
I also collect Work Basket patterns. My step mother had a subscription for it in the 60's and 70's and I took all the patterns out:)

Bev said...

I have a few vintage dollies with the black on them. I love them too !!!

Hill Top Post said...

That's a good question...I especially love old needlework stitches seen in vintage clothing. My mother's handmade buttonholes and hand applique from the 40s are works of art.

Anonymous said...

Well first, Kathleen, let me say that you certainly achieved the 1940s look with the black trellis and flowers. The runner is perfect and I love what you did with it. I wouldn't think to use black in a large space, either, but you made a great choice here. I've never tried the coloring in process with embroidery, but I've heard about it. Sounds interesting and fun.

The transfers are wonderful and I like that you framed the originals after you traced them for future use. Good thinking. I love the 1940s and 50s embroidered linens and such.

Blessings for more inspiration...
Marianne xo

Betty Lou said...

Black does make the other colors stand out. I have picked up some vintage embroidered linen lately, I just can't stand to see someone work sold at thrift stores. One dresser scarf does have an asian influence with some black embroidery. The Workbook that you have was published right before the end of WW 11 (August 1945)-----I think.

KathyB. said...

Oh what great info on coloring in some embroidery. Also love the peacock design. You have so much knowledge to share and I am impressed you are keeping patterns so many of us have dismissed over the years, but regret. I have looked for some old patterns recently , to no avail. I think I'll be checking Goodwill and garage sales more thoroughly from now on.

I am inspired to persevere in my hunt for some patterns. Thank-you !

KathyB. said...

Oh, I forgot, the black is stunning ! I never realized how a simple color change can dramatically alter a design for the better.

chrissie said...

This brought back so many memories for me as I was born in 1942 into a family that sewed all of the time. I learnt how to do tiny stitches and would be allowed to do a little border on table cloths and other projects.

The post has put a smile on my face -thank you

Love Chrissie x

Connie said...

I am so excited to have found your lovely blog. I too love hand embroidery, although I do not do it anymore. It was a hobby when I was a teenager, but the last time I tried it didn't look that good. I have been having fun with free-hand machine embroidery. Your blog is so fresh and wonderful. I love your checker board table on the porch . . . it is so much fun and looks amazing. Also, your red and white checked napkins. We always eat with cloth napkins, it's a great way to not waste paper, and they just go in the wash with the towels :)
I am your newest follower and I would love, love, love it if you would decide to follow me back.
I'm a retired wife, mother and grandma who is enjoying life and having fun doing some of the things that I never had time for when I was working.
Have a delightful day,
Your new blogging sister, Connie :)

Karen said...

Your embroidery is beautiful,Kathleen, and definitely looks vintage. I thought it was vintage before I read that you stitched it yourself. I do believe that you love vintage transfers as much as I do, this was a wonderful post!

lil red hen said...

Kathleen, I had thought about asking you if you had ever used crayons in your work! And now you've made something beautiful and used them. I have heard, if the colors fad, simply color them again.

I have several old transfers, too fragile to use as such, but with a light box I can trace them.

Sure would like an update on the shop.

Unknown said...

Hi Kathleen!
Love the vintage embroidery transfers
Hope you can stop by for my new linky party Rednesday Wednesday...

letslearnembroidery said...

thanks for the tinting technique.Might try it someday.The peacock pattern is awesome!

Sharon said...

What a clever idea, Kathleen, to tint the design with crayons. Seeing the Work Basket magazine really brought back a lot of memories. My sister collected those for years. She died 12 years ago and I wonder what happened to all of them.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

So lovely! We saw many peacocks at the bird park in Kuala Lumpur. It is so amazing with those big tails how they can fly up into a tree and just perch there. Amazing little birds. I know you will make beautiful work of that design. Nice that you are able to preserve the designs for the future and great idea to frame the old pattern for safekeeping. Wishing you a wonderful week. Tammy

Preeti said...

Your table runner looks perfect !! The designs are all lovely. Thanks for sharing!!
Peacock is the national bird of India. I see them in the garden when I go for morning walk. In some places in north they can be found all over the city perching on terraces.