Friday, January 8, 2010

Stitched with Love

If you've been following my blog for a little while (actually, it has only existed just a little more than a while) you've read about the quilts I inherited last spring. Well, those quilts weren't the only cool things that came into my home at that time. There were also these:

Can't you just picture it? The lady of the house sitting in her favorite chair in the evening after washing up the dinner dishes, needing to relax and unwind from the day's happenings, picking up her embroidery from the basket beside her chair.

It was her quiet time; her time to be creative. And her time to do a little something extra to make her house a home.

Aren't they fabulous? Why oh why did our lives have to become so hurried and complicated that we ended up losing sight of these little pleasures? Just looking at them takes me back to my childhood when I first saw the pillowcases that my grandmother had embroidered. I was about 8 or 9, I suppose, and my Mama Jones was pretty much my best friend. She had moved closer to my family when Papa had passed away, allowing me to spend so much more time with her. I treasure those days with all my heart.

One day she opened her cedar chest and showed me her pillowcases. They were decorated with bright, pretty bouquets and prancing pink poodles and ladies with parasols. All things enchanting to an impressionable young girl, and I was immediately smitten. I wanted to be able to create such lovely pictures with needle and thread.

I can't tell you how many of my Daddy's handkerchiefs were lost to my first attempts at embroidery. Bless his heart, he was a good sport and would just hand me another each time I would destroy the previous one by pulling out the threads one time too many!

Regretfully, Mama's eyesight was too poor by that time for her to be of much help in teaching me the art and I was pretty much on my own. I never really developed a knack for it, but it wasn't for lack of trying. The numerous needle-sticks made my fingers so sore that I flinch just thinking of it!

I still haven't completely given up hope. I have an embroidery hoop and a selection of floss and from time to time I give it another go.

But this busy life usually gets in my way. *sigh*


  1. You would think that with all the technology we have now, we would have more time for the simple pleasures such as needlework... Love the beautiful pieces, lucky girl!


  2. They are all beautiful and I'm a little envious. I love the old embroidered pillowcases and have stitched a few and bought a few at our local antique store. I enjoy using them during the warm months when I use light covers on my beds. It really is a shame that we don't find the time to create such beauty. Thank you for sharing and I am happy to hear that you haven't given up trying to learn. I have been trying to teach myself to crochet and I will try for a while . . . get frustrated . . . and put it back up but I am not giving up. Have a nice weekend.


  3. You definitely speak the truth ... it actually scares and saddens me that my children will not grow up surrounded by such things. It's a whole era that they will never know, even though I was just given a glimpse. Beautifully written!

    And *Sigh* is right.

  4. Those are beautiful! I have some with crocheted edgings that my grandmother made. The quality of stamped pillowcases (ready to embroider) is often not very nice today and I haven't embroidered a pillowcase since I was first married. When the boys were little, embroidery didn't seem a good fit, but I painted pillowcases for them with liquid embroidery pens. I should have saved them to laugh over now.

    Part of our problem now is that we are so accustomed to things being done in an instant, we don't engage in activities that seem to take too long. We feel like we aren't making progress if it takes us months to embroider (or knit, crochet, etc) something. Don't count the hours or days it take to make something. Measure the enjoyment you get from creating.

  5. GET OUT! Kelli, i'm just now starting to embroider some vintage patterns on flour sack tea towels!!!!! i'm going to check yours out for color inspiration since that seems to be the most challenging part.

    These are amazingly beautiful...something valuable to hand down to generations.

  6. I have some of my grandmother's work and also my mother-in-law's work that I wouldn't part with. My grandmother taught me to crochet and to sew. I am so grateful. Your pieces are treasures!


Thanks for taking the time to leave me a note! : )