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E - Embroidery
Posted On 09/13/2017 18:42:50 by chillipepper

E - Embroidery

Embroidery seems to be a craft that very few people do today. It’s an art in its own right.  I remember the fine detailed work that my Mother and Auntie did and other women of that era.   I was very fortunate that my mother was so patient in showing me the different stitches used in embroidery and soon I was creating designed Supper cloths, Dressing Table sets, Centre pieces for the table, doilies etc. using Lazy Daisy stitches, stem, satin, worm, French knots, chain, back stitches and the cross stitch. Not the fine X Stitch but the large style used for Supper cloths and Aprons using a much heavier cord type thread. Everything that we made was useful and not just for show. 

At school we had time set aside each week for embroidery projects whilst the boys made Cane baskets and Trays. Those days were a huge success and the time just flew by.

Sewing was something that I had to do so much of when my family was young. Wages were minimal and money had to be stretched a long way. Buying clothes was much too expensive so I set too and began making all of our clothes. I enjoyed the challenge of working out the patterns and the end result. At first I made endless mistakes to begin with. Stitching then unpicking after I had realised that I had sown together the right side to the wrong side!!! But it was a craft that became so useful and saved us lots of money.

Knitting was another useful craft that my Mother taught me. I was about five years old when I first began to knit. I will always picture my Mother sitting with my father by the old Wireless/Radio in the evenings listening to the News broadcast then the serials that followed.  So many times I would make mistakes then take the knitting to her and she would patiently unpick the rows and start me off again while she was listening to that old Wireless. After a time I learnt how to unpick the rows myself of which I’m sure she was very pleased when I did.  At one stage I purchased a ‘Knitting Machine’ and used that for many years as making garments was so quick and easy many with lacy patterns and Fair Isle. It was faster to make the garments than it was to sew the pieces together….This I did until the synthetic wools and stretch materials came into vogue.

Crochet was the one craft that I never learnt although both my Mother and Auntie were so good at it. Several times over the years I’ve attempted to learn Crochet but each time gave up because I could knit the garment faster. I think it’s something that a person must learn at a young age. Many of my friends do beautiful Crochet work and I envy them for their ability as they make it look so easy.

Recently I was making a few gifts to donate as prizes for our Card Day Raffle and thought that I would add some embroidery on the article I was making. I had not forgotten what to do but my efforts were terrible!! Finally I gave up in disgust and unpicked what I had done. It is such a long time since I have done embroidery and the lack of practise was obvious!!..

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Viewing 1 - 2 out of 2 Comments

09/16/2017 05:17:50

Your variety of handwork methods were very interesting, and I can identify with some of them. My mother did a lot of sewing, making her own dresses and mine too. She made patchwork quilts, often together with neighbors, my daughter still treasures a quilt that her grandmother made.

I learned to knit the European style (holding and controlling the yarn with my left hand, but found it very hard to follow patterns because some stitches I couldn't manage the way the instruction were written.

I did sew clothes for our children when they were very young but didn't enjoy it because the result looked "homemade" and not store-bought. I've done a lot of crochet, creating afghans for our home and for our grandchildren, and hats and scarfs for gifts and craft sales.

My favorite craft was petite point... following a chart, using embrodery thread on silk net. It is similar to needlepoint, done with wool. I had to give it up when I couldn't see the stitches anymore, even with glasses.

Like Diane, I much prefer a keyboard now.



09/14/2017 09:09:28

I enjoyed reading this, Pat. It brought back a few memories. I've still got a few pillowcases & dresser scarves that several of my relatives did with cross stitch & a whole box of 'doilies' done by different relatives; I treasure those! I've never been  very good at any kind of 'sewing'; but for a few years, I 'dabbled' in cross stitch (yes, the 'tiny' kind).  I still have a box full of embroidery thread and blank canvas as well as a few small 'pieces' that I did. I've kept them, thinking that one day I might get energetic and start doing it again!  But I'm much more 'comfortable' with a keyboard than a needle. 





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