Monday 4 July 2016

Vintage embroidery transfers and my first piece of embroidery

I went up in the loft the other day looking for suitcases. As is often the way when venturing into our loft, I got sidetracked by boxes of nostalgia. Whilst rummaging through one craft box, I was bowled over to find my first ever piece of embroidery. I think it was stitched when I was about eight or nine. The white cotton hankie given to me by my Mum 'to practise on' was still in the embroidery hoop. Exactly as I left it over thirty years ago.

I must've tucked it away when I left home to go to university. It has followed me around several house moves and it was lovely to see it again. Alongside my childhood attempts at embroidery were the vintage transfer sheets I'd used. These were my Mum's from when she first started to sew, so they date from late 1950s to early 1960s. Most of them were free gifts inside magazines, which my Mum must've carefully saved.

I grew up watching my Mum sew and she always encouraged me to have a go. I remember her showing me the 'Mazurka' piece she had sewn as a young teenager. It combined embroidery stitches and applique, I thought it looked beautiful. She made the appliqued piece of linen into a cushion cover and it sat pride of place in my childhood bedroom for many years. I don't know what ever happened to it, which is a shame.

I was in awe of her sewing skills and I must've badgered her to let me have a go. She gave me free rein to search through her delicate embroidery transfers. I was drawn to the flower posy and she ironed the image onto a hankerchief for me. She also gave me the embroidery threads from her childhood, which in turn had belonged to my late-grandmother. I blogged about the tin here.

In hindsight I bit off more than I could chew for a first project and I must've lost interest after a while. It has remained unfinished for over thirty years. I wonder if I could attempt it again now? Even as an adult it looks a bit daunting. Even though it's not complete, I do remember enjoying sewing my wonky satin stitch. As a child I felt relaxed by the repetition of pushing the needle in and out of the fabric. I enjoyed seeing the colour build up on the fabric.

It's something I still enjoy to this day and I have my Mum and Grandmother to thank for instilling a love of sewing at such a young age. When sitting with some embroidery, my own daughter occasionally watches over my shoulder. She is starting to take an interest in sewing. She can even identify some stitches and comments on 'my lovely sewing'...which makes me smile. I hope she will be inspired to be creative with thread too...

Me You and Magoo

I've linked up with July's Crafting is my Therapy with this post. I co-host #craftingismytherapy with Jennifer Jain. The focus of this linky is crafting for pleasure, basically taking some ‘me-time’ to unwind in our busy lives. It doesn’t have to be a finished project, we love seeing work in progress, planning posts or tutorials too.

This week I am linking up with these lovely blogs:

Craft Frenzy Friday over on

Share The Joy over on and

HomeEtc over on

Pick 'n Mix over on

Blogger Club UK over on


Vintage Sheet Addict said...

How lovely to find this again :) xxx

Jennifer said...

It's lovely! I remember my Mum doing sewing like this too. I like cross stitch but I've never tried embroidery, I'd love to give it a go. I hope you manage to finish it!

The messy brunette said...

Oh wow ! Finding it after all that time , you should try & finish it or even start a new one, that design is so pretty . My grandmother had bits like this years ago would love them now

Unknown said...

Wow, how lovely. You were very talented to make create this so young. And how wonderful to have the vintage transfers still (although I do find it a bit unsettling that stuff from our childhoods can now be classed as 'vintage'!!) Special memories from your mum as well. I have a similar debt of thanks to my mum for instilling a love of crafting and creating - such a gift to pass on, priceless really #craftingismytherapy

Karen said...

Just beautiful xx

Leigh Kendall said...

This is lovely. What a beautiful poignant set of memories. The work you've started is really pretty, and I bet completing it would be soothing and give a lovely sense of achievement xx #sharethejoy said...

Beautiful and so delicate too - what a fab craft to have. Love these! Thanks for linking - Jess xx


Tania Pelletier said...

Aww, how sweet! My mom recently gave me back some embroidery I had done at about that age too! :o)


Unknown said...

That's so pretty, I would love to be talented like that. Thanks for linking to #picknmix x

Mollie said...

What an incredible thing to find. Oh, how I wish I had some of the towels I first stitched!

I actually think this would look wonderful hanging on the wall, as is. With the hoop still on there, and just tacked up by the corners of the hankie. Sort of frozen in time!

Sarah@teammomlife said...

It's so nice that you have carried on the tradition of embroidery within your family. That's not something I've ever been any good at. I'd love to see more of your stuff!#craftingismytherapy

Elsie pop said...

What a find! I love finding things I made as a kid - it's a lovely reminder that while I think my crafting is something I got into 6 years ago, actually it's been a lifelong passion that I never knew I had! Xx


Related Posts with Thumbnails