Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday : odds and ends

This isn't today's pattern, but I found these this morning, so I thought I'd share. These little designs, Stitchy friends, come from loose odds and ends in my pattern collection.
Weldon's spring flowers:

A rose is a rose is a rose:

And a butterfly and stylised flower design:

Sorry the quality isn't very good, they're all quite old and crusty, and the Weldon's one was yellow ink, so the scanner wasn't happy. I think someone else has shared the same or similar flowers from Weldon's too, let me have a look and get back to you.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday : things for kidlets

Today's designs come from a sheet that is green ink on coarse cream paper, and again, I don't know the maker. It's a set of designs for baby bibs or children's clothes, including scottie dogs, cutesy things, and some nursery rhyme characters.
There's the Old Woman who lived in the Shoe:

The cross stitch Express:

And the three bears (Goldilocks is nowhere to be seen!) looking rather despondent, yet sinister:

Again I'm only guessing, but I'd say 1930's for this one. I'd recommend stitching the shoe lady for maximum cuteness, as those bears are creeping me out!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday: little birdies

This one is a detail from a larger picture that won't fit on my scanner, so until I sort that, enjoy some wee birdie cuteness! [I don't know the maker, it looks like single use blue ink on tissue paper and I'd guess from the 30's.]
PS. Yes Claire, this one's for you!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday : disturbed animal potholders

In direct contrast to yesterday's happy clown buddies, today's animals are all a bit shocked as they realise the evil intentions of humans. This is another Workbasket one, as far as I know, there's no number or distinguishing marks on it anywhere, and it's red ink on that low-quality thick paper. Intended for potholders, there's a panicked pig, a kittah eyeing a wee birdie, a rabbit making a nasty realisation, an escaping duck, a very worried dog, and a chicken who seems to be too dumb to be disturbed about being fried and is advertising "young fries". (?) Oh, the strange, twisted sense of humour of the pattern designers! Actually it's all very tongue in cheek, and the animals are all extremely cute.
Poor bunny though, from Easter icon to cook-in-the-pot. Oh the humanity!

Check out...

...what was in my "in" box when I got to work this morning. And on the Craftzine blog they call Floresita the "embroidery maven". Hee!

Of course I felt extra pleased, 'cause the pic is of this pattern all stitched up.
And I got a newsletter email earlier today from Sublime Stitching, and Jenny Hart says she is loving the week of embroidery at Mike's and gives it a plug there too. So, stitchy friends, if anyone else out there has patterns lurking, it's not too late to join in!

[Feel free to start singing the theme from 'Fame' now if you like!]

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wednesday - Just clowin' around

Okay stitchy friends, a confession from me : I don't like clowns or circuses. I know there's lots of delightful Enid Blyton type stories of hours of happy fun under the Big Top, but I don't think the animals want to be there, and clowns are just disturbing. When I was a wee stitchy I wasn't scared of clowns so much as my response was "What's the point? You look stupid and you're not funny." (Maybe I was just a brat though.) However, people swallowing knives, magicians, fat ladies with beards, strong men, people eating fire, and flying through the air are fine by me, if they all want to be there...unlike the elephants and lions. Anyway, enough belly-aching from me. And don't even start me on "dancing bears" and the like.

But I know I'm not alone in my mistrust of I was pleasantly suprised when I unfolded this Workbasket sheet and found happy, non-sinister clowns, all drawn with a 1960's sense of joie de vivre. There's about 6 clown designs, intended for quilt blocks. So here's today's pattern, where Happy the clown is trying to "tame" Mr. Lion, but we can tell by the drawing that Mr. Lion is just humouring him, playing along for his own amusement. Roar! (Or possibly Yawn! He looks like that sort of lion.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Link for hints on applying transfers

Thanks to Deepa, I've been enjoying Not sure if it's wholly commercial or not, but worth a look. This link on applying transfers was rather handy, I thought.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tuesday - Off to School

Today's transfer is from Workbasket, and designed as pot holders. There's Johnny and Suzie (well I don't know their real names, that's just what I've called them - actually that's a bit dull isn't it? Hmm, okay) - there's Eugene and Hortense off to their pretty little school house. Eugene is a bit of a crawler and has taken an apple for the teacher, but as Hortense is just so danged cute already, she doesn't need to bribe teacher with fruity offerings. Enjoy...and remember to let me know if you stitch these ones up.

PS. Grr, noticing some spam creeping into my comments. Obviously I don't need to tell you stitchy friends to not click on any suss links, and I'm deleting the comments as I find them. It might have to force me to put comment moderation on, but for now, see how we go.

More stitchy fun!

Hey stitchy friends, hope you had a great easter, and didn't smudge choccy on your stitching! Check out a week of embroidery transfers, over at Meet Me at Mike's, Floresita is sharing stitchy goodness.
I'm going to try and play along, but I think I'll give you a single pattern a day rather than my usual featured pattern and rave. Okay, off to search the Workbasket pile for some designs for you.

As it's Easter Monday, here's a fluffy wabbit from Workbasket sheet #80. He was originally designed for a baby's bib, as there's a lambsy as well, but I think he's more wascally than cutesy.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

I know it's late, but honestly, I have lost track of what day it actually is. This one is from a Workbasket set of New Testament designs for a quilt (I also have the Old Testament ones as well.) All the designs depict characters and episodes from the Bible, and the drawings all have a simple charm. Jesus and the Children is quite sweet. (If you want to see any more leave a comment and I'll put them on Flickr.) And given it's Easter, this one seems appropriate.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A wee bit of knitting

scan0005, originally uploaded by drewzel.

...because it's cute.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Knocked my socks off!

I know this is a vintage focused site, but if you love stitching, check out the work of Benji Whalen. Incredible!
Here's one of his pieces "Endless Summer":

Okay, now back to the lambs and flower baskets.

Stitch n' tell

Further to yesterday's post, here's some pics of some of my recent stitching projects.

1. Quick pillowcase made using patterns from the Sublime Stitching book:

2. Hanky with vintage Vogart pattern:

3. Hanky with Sublime book pattern:

4. Rock'n'roll placemat (pattern again from the Sublime book) for a 5 things Rockabilly swap:

5. Yesterday's AT Company pattern, this is actually a bag panel, but until I make the bag, it's sitting in my office at work:

And here's a question for anyone that can offer advice - Irons, cheap or expensive? Does it matter?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Some dainty appeal

" delicate sprays and tiny motifs. Infant wear and lingerie" proclaims this pattern from American Thread Co. , and to reinforce the point has a drawing of a cute baby...or something approximating a cute baby. I picked this one up as I thought it was rather charming, and I'm guessing it's from the 1920's-30's as it predates the American Thread Co. patterns that are virtual parallel issue of the black bannered Vogart ones from the 1940's. I've read that they published a magazine called the Star Needlework Journal in the early part of the century, but I can't find too much about their patterns. (Any links or info gratefully accepted.)

An exciting pattern it is not, and I don't know much about the American Thread Co. , but they didn't have a fun copywriter working for them, like our pals at Vogart. So I can't promise that these patterns will add gaiety to your life, or win you oodles of praise, but they are pretty. Inside the pattern envelope is a printed sheet with the pattern illustration on one side, and some stitch instructions on the other. The pattern envelope is designed so that it's a generic windowed sleeve, and the actual pattern details are on a loose piece of stiff paper inside. Most economical, American Thread Co.

Here's some floral scrollwork designs, which are quite lovely to add "dainty appeal" to your sewing projects, and they're quick and painless to do. Last night I decided to give one a burl and made a panel for a fabric bag, using some flowers and the phrase "talk to the hand." [Picture tomorrow when it's dry.] So for prettiness or for some subversive stitching, flowers are go!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

7 (non-stitchy) random things

Sweet Bee tagged me for this one, and so here's 7 random things about me, hopefully I haven't shared any of these before. For your reading interest (or not).

1. My fingernails grow really quickly and I can't stand having long nails, so I've been known to hack them off with whatever scissors are handy.
2. I can play the clarinet, flute, saxophone and oboe. What I'd really like to be able to play is the violin, guitar and piano.
3. I have a weird phobia of stick insects. There was one in the lounge room last night, and I couldn't sit still until Mr Stitchy had put it outside.
4. I used to be scared of the dentist, but I got over that in 2006.
5. My favourite tv at the moment is 'Dexter' and 'My Name is Earl'.
6. My least favourite celebrities - Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise.
7. I hate chewing gum and can't do it for more than a few seconds without wanting to swallow it.

Tagging? Who hasn't done this yet? Then you're IT!! Leave me a comment if you've done the meme too.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Stop and stitch the roses

Yesterday I used a couple of transfers from my Sublime Stitching book and stitched up a simple rose edge on a pillowcase. (Photo to come, the pillowcase is currently out on the line drying.) As I was stitching it, I thought, "What can I do to jazz it up a bit and add a few fancy stitches?" as it was a simple outline design...but then decided against it. And was glad I didn't do any more to it because it was very effective as is. Sometimes we can overcomplicate things, and good designs really don't need too much embellishment.

So in this spirit of simple stitching designs, and as one for the flower lovers out there (I notice they're winning in the poll!)... here's Superior 154 "40 motifs for varied linens and lingerie".

They're all florals from the look of the cover. My copy only has six motifs left in it, and my guess is that there were various sizes of the flowers illustrated on the cover, for pillowcases, towels, cloths, napkins and vanity set. Floral fun:



Pansy (sorry it's sideways!)
...and the Rose.

So I can only share with you these small designs, but again, simple but effective designs are great fun to do for both beginners and advanced stitchers, as they're fast, yet rewarding. And I think that's what the pattern companies of the 30's 40's and 50's had in mind, as your average homemaker wanted to embellish things and enjoy their stitching, but didn't have idle hours to spend on it. As my page footer (taken from The Modern Priscilla magazine) says "Better homes through better needlework"...and who am I to argue?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

They're so tweet!

It's been a busy week in Stitchy world, what with Brown Owls to keep me out of mischief, attempting to bring order to my craft room, and the tiresome chore of keeping two very amourous dogs apart, hence the lack of stitchy posts. Oh, and work.

But today's pattern is a super-tweet birdie design, ordered from The American Weekly of the late 60's. I found this one on e-bay and had to buy it, as I can't go past a wee birdie! They're doing the usual things, washing on Monday, shopping on Thursday, and as you know, my favourite, baking on Saturday.
Here's some tasty pie coveting:

And of course, birdies doing my favourite pasttime...being stitchy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


My Word Book page, originally uploaded by Comfy & Cosy.

I just came across this picture on Flickr, from a vintage children's book: My Word Book 5, 1966 (Printed by W L Hawes, Government Printer, Adelaide).
I think it would look great as a stitched sampler for a kid's room.