The Antique Pattern Library is a real gem of a site when it comes to free online needlework books – it’s an on-going effort of many to preserve old needlework books that are in the public domain. If you haven’t visited the Antique Pattern Library lately, you might want to take a look at some of their new offerings, some of which I wanted to highlight here.
The books I’m looking at today are compiled by M. Heminway & Sons Silk Company. They’re collections of needlework patterns and color plates. In the first book, A Treatise on Embroidery with Twenty Color Illustrations from Original Models. Art Needlework Series No. 8., published in 1910, you’ll find in the first PDF a run-down on embroidery in general, with stitch instructions and so forth.
As you move through the four PDF files that make up the whole book, you’ll come across patterns for a variety of heirloom-type embroidery projects, as well as some gorgeous color plates of exquisite embroidery.
I love, for example, this box of strawberries! Wow. You’ll find instruction on working these projects, too, though the color instructions are directed towards Heminway silks, which can’t be had today.
As you continue to browse through this book in the different PDFs, you’ll come across one beautiful piece of embroidery after another.
In the other book, Treatise on Embroidery, Knitting and Modern Lace Work, with color illustrations from original models. Art Needlework Series Number 6., you’ll not only find some beautiful color plates, but you’ll also find the patterns and color / stitch keys for the different pieces of embroidery featured in the book.
So if you’ve got the time, check out these PDFs. You can find them on the Catalog Listing on Antique Pattern Library. While you’re there, take time to browse all the other offerings – or at least bookmark the page so you can visit it frequently when you’re in the mood for inspiration!
Thanks, Margaret, for the heads-up on these discoveries!