Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Vintage Vogart Embroidery Transfers – The Cute Kind…


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So do you LOVE them, or do you HATE them? Vintage Vogart embroidery transfers have made a big come-back in popularity, and a lot of younger generation embroiderers are not only stitching them, but are also collecting them.

There are many resources online about vintage Vogart embroidery transfers, but the nicest resources are the ones that provide cleaned up versions of the patterns, with a good index. By far the best one I’ve seen online is Floresita’s “Hoop Love” page. The index includes mostly Vogart patterns, and some Walker’s as well. Not all the patterns are cute little animals – floral motifs for bedroom linens can be found in there as well.

Great Resource for Vintage Vogart Embroidery Patterns

Here, you’ll find vintage Vogart transfers cataloged by number and name, with a link to the website that hosts the design.

I’ve discussed these kinds of embroidery patterns with many embroiderers over the years – and what it boils down to, it seems to me, is that there are two schools of thought on them. They’re either loved, or they’re hated!

Perhaps I should say there are three schools of thought, because I fall somewhere in between. While I don’t normally use the designs myself for my own projects, I do like them. I like their simplicity. I like the fact that they make embroidery accessible to beginners and that they give beginners and beyond a fun way to embroider something light.

I like the fact that kids LOVE these designs. They do! My little students in the summer really go for these, and it’s so fun to see them get excited over them!

I like the fact that you can go a little further with them – you can embellish them beyond their original design. For example, I took a similar old Sunbonnet Sue pattern (not necessarily Vogart, but the concept’s the same) and embellished her to the gills for a baby quilt, adding a garden and a bee and decorating her dress and bonnet. It was fun.

So I think it’s a great thing that the patterns are collected and made available to you and me through the generous efforts of people like Floresita!

Think of all the people over the past decades who have really enjoyed stitching those patterns! Think of all the embroiderers who have developed a life-long love of stitching because they started on these patterns when their fingers were just learning to hold a needle! Think of all the grandmas who have stitched quilts for their grandchildren using the Vogart patterns, or the expectant moms, making their first Embroidered Something for their Little On-coming Offspring!

Yep. I belong to the third camp. And I like them.

Now, talk about controversy… what do YOU think? Are you first camp (love them), second camp (hate them), third camp (like me – you see something valuable in them, but don’t necessarily stitch them for your own pleasure or purposes), or… are you completely and entirely indifferent to them???

I’d love to hear your opinion, your thoughts, your feelings, your observations, your experiences, and your reasons….!

And remember, you can always comment anonymously! 😉


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(9) Comments

  1. Oh, I love’em! I realize that many of the Vogart transfers and stamped linens are overly precious and cutesy but I love them anyway, for a number of reasons.

    I think the appeal, for me, of the Days of the Week types of transfers, with all the ad nauseam kittens, puppies, ducks and bunnies etc., is that the artwork is entirely reminiscent of my old coloring book and crayons days.

    A favorite childhood memory of mine is what was often the early morning routine for my mother and me. Up before the birds, mom would be getting the ironing done while I would lie on the floor in front of the ironing board with my coloring books and crayons. I remember everything about it, the rhythmic sounds created; water swishing around in the bottle with the sprinkler top, the soft thud then a light hiss when the iron first came down on the damp fabric, the smell of the steam released into the air, the soft zipping sound of the iron moving back and forth over the fabric, my mom softly humming a little tune now and again. I would give a lot to hear that symphony again. Anywho, all those silly kitschy little Vogart animals bring me back to my wonderful world of color under the ironing board.

    But I dig the other sorts of patterns too. I think old kitchen kitsch, with the dancing fruits and veggies and dishware is kinda cool! I think retro can be fun and look good if it’s not overdone.

    And lastly, it’s all really simple stuff to embroider, which is great practice for a beginner like me.

    Oh, looky! http://search.ebay.com/laundry-sprinkler_W0QQfsooZ1QQfsopZ1QQssPageNameZWLRS

    I was curious so I did a search. Ha! You can still get those laundry sprinklers. *sigh*
    – Jeannine

  2. Hi Mary. I just started to embroider and your blog is a gold mine of learning resources (the video tutorials are incredibly helpful), so thank you so much for doing this! 🙂

    I love the vintage transfers. My grandmother embroidered and she used them all the time. One of the reasons that I wanted to learn to embroider was so that I could make some days of the week towels for my kitchen like the ones she made for my mom.

    My first project was a clothespin bag using a “Mr. Clothespin” transfer from Floresita’s site – I believe it was a Vogart. It makes me smile when I see it hanging in my kitchen. 🙂

    I plan to make some pillowcases soon too – the designs just take me right back in time to my grandma’s house.

  3. I’m going to have to put myself in the “hate ’em” category (though I might say dislike rather than hate!) These designs don’t quite rise to the level of cute or charming in my book. Maybe if I had some nostalgic associations with them I’d feel differently.

    But I’m certainly game for expanding my horizons, especially as a needlepoint beginner, so thanks for sharing them!

  4. Hi Mary, I’m more on the “third camp” like you…
    I appreciate them for their vintage appeal but I wouldn’t stitch them. Usually I prefer to make my own designs.

  5. Third camp. I can somewhat appreciate them but they are a little (or a lot) too cutesy for me. On the other hand, I’m thinking of embroidering something from TipNut’s Kitchen Proverbs. They are somewhat similar, I think, though a bit edgier/not as cutesy. (And with all these fantastic monograms and cups of coffee, I’m feeling the urge to embroider on a towel!)
    🙂 Ruut


  6. Some of them are treacely sweet – way overboard for my tastes but having said that they bring back very fond memories of my childhood.

    I am a collector of Vogart and Workbasket and the OOP Aunt Martha’s because some of the designs are brilliant. They can be embellished and reworked into something stunning. I’m thinking peacocks 🙂

    I also find value with them when I want to whip up a tea towel or a hankie gift – I can design simply with pre-fab motifs. Very time saving.

    So, I guess I’m in the third camp.


  7. I absolutely adore them! I love to embroider using vintage and modern transfers….especially animated fruits or dishes, and cats.
    I’ve embroidered for years. I like to make my own designs, usually rewriting history. My fav was a pillowcase for my son, a version of Pearl Harbour’s Arizona. I made the Arizona winning.

  8. I love them. My grand a used to embroider all the time and she only used Vogart transfers. She taught me to embroider when I was about 8 yrs. Old. That was almost 60 yrs. Ago. I still love to embroider and can’t wait to go down memory lane.

  9. Do you know anyone who like to have some very old catalogs with the F.W.WOOLWORTH on the covers? Also copy of THE EDNA MAY BOOK, Fall and winter Fashions Toiletries. I would judge them to be 1930’s

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