|Antiques Digest||Browse Auctions||Appraisal||Home|
Needlework In General
There is a certain satisfaction for the woman who does needlework of any kind; it consists of the sweet feeling of accomplishment, as well as the relaxing enjoyment of the actual work.
In this age of mechanization, it is refreshing to enter a home where the woman has taken the time and trouble to create something lovely with her own hands. Unlikely as it seems, it is usually the proud Husband who most appreciates a woman's handywork.
The charm of yesteryear was in a large way due to the handiwork of the people themselves: from sturdy, handmade furniture to delicate needlework.
Framed samplers adorn many walls. The sampler might be an authentically old one or it can be one you have made yourself. If you make your own, keep in mind that the very old ones were of excellent workmanship with tiny stitches, individual patterns, and usually pious verses. Biblical scenes were often represented, with Adam and Eve one of the most favorite; also flowers and birds were rampant. Unbleached linen was used for the basis of the embroidery.
Needlepoint, both petit point and gros point, is simple to learn. You can make your own covers for chair seats, footstools or complete chairs (which will require professional upholstering).
Colorful wools embroidered upon unbleached linen provides an interesting departure from the usual needlework done by the modern woman. This will give you a chance to use up those odds and ends of wool left over from needlepoint, knitting, or crocheting.
The "tree of life" patterns were always popular. These depict leaves, buds, flowers and occasionally fruit, all on the same tree. Primitive little animals and large birds or butterflies all out of proportion with the rest of the work were added. Chair seats and curtains of this work are most attractive. You can also use butcher linen for the base since it resembles true linen in appearance closely, but at a much lesser cost; however, it does not wear as well.
RUGS: HOOKED AND BRAIDED
Both of these types of floor coverings look good with antique furniture. Here you have your choice of old rugs, modern copies, or making them yourself.
The making of a rug is a tremendous undertaking which only the most ambitious will tackle. Small throw rugs, however, are not so arduous a task; and little pads for the seats of wooden chairs, even less.
Any woman who can sew a neat hem in a dress can make a patchwork quilt. For the woman who sews, this is a goood way to use up the bits of washable material from her scrap basket.
There are frames which resemble oversized embroidery hoops, for quilt making. These can be easily carried about so that the quilt can be worked on at your convenience, and then put out of the way.
There are many delightful old patterns available which will give your bedrooms an air of authenticity in the exact colors you desire. The American-born Duchess of Windsor has lovely harle quin-patterned quilts in her home just outside Paris, shown recently in a national magazine.
Quilts were made with elaborately pieced tops as well as crazy quilt patches; with appliqued patterns and with the pattern worked out all in the actual quilting. Use a good filling made for that purpose # and color-fast fabrics. When made this way, quilts can be washed in a tumbler type automatic washer and dried in an automatic drier to emerge fluffier and prettier with each washing.
Many women find needlework of any kind relaxing, and quilt making heads the list. During a long evening of television or on a quiet summer's afternoon it cannot be surpassed.
A quilt makes a pretty bedspread, and in addition it doubles as a light-weight blanket. Extra blankets are always useful, and a quilt is light enough to use throughout the summer months, when, in some parts of the country, a wool blanket is unbearable. The author has made many quilts, of old patterns as well as of her own designs, and recommends quilt-making highly.