Foraging in the studio yesterday for my black threads had its advantages: I came across some treasures that I had (admittedly) forgotten about. Among them is this very delicately hand embroidered handkerchief that I bought at an antique store ages ago. I thought I’d show you some photos up close. It’ll give you a whole new perspective on drawn thread embroidery and whitework!
This vintage embroidered handkerchief is about 11″ square. The fabric is very sheer and delicate – I’d call it “gauzy.”
It’s a very pretty handkerchief, but it is certainly not an “original” design or one-of-a-kind piece. I recently saw one very similar to it (if not identical – I didn’t have this one with me to compare) in another collection of vintage textiles. It caught my eye because of the edges.
The edges feature a crenellated pattern, with the threads drawn to form a net, and the edges worked in tiny buttonhole stitches. This form of edging is not uncommon – I have a few pieces of heavier vintage linens (dresser scarves) with the same edge pattern – the work is not as delicate as this, but still very fine.
The little whitework flower design sprinkling the hanky is so tiny and delicately done. There’s an itty-bitty eyelet in the middle of each flower. While the leaves may look almost like a bullion knot, they aren’t – they’re worked in an overcast stitch – that is, they’re satin stitched over another single thread. You can see the single thread sticking out at the end of some of the leaves there.
My favorite part of the design is these three corner squares, surrounded by the little flowers. Each drawn thread grid there is just barely over an inch square – split into nine, with the threads drawn out and hemstitch worked all around. It’s all so fascinatingly small.
So, despite the irritation of my desperate search for my black threads yesterday (more on that later – there is an ironic ending to that episode!), I was really thrilled to be reminded of a few pieces of embroidery that I almost forgot!
In addition to a few vintage pieces of needlework, I unearthed a large collection of kits, charts, designs and stuff that I will never ever in a million years use. They’ll make excellent give-away treats. They’re mostly for counted work – they came in a bundle package that I bought when a needlework store closed. They’re all “new” (unopened, unused), but not all necessarily “recent.” There are some series pieces in there – Old Santas and the like – as well as some Primitive designs (in surface embroidery), some historical flavored pieces (Quaker and old English), and so forth. So I’ll be giving those away in bundles – keep an eye out!
And, finally, I did set up the blackwork project, so I’ll show that to you this week, too. It’s not what you expect, so please don’t expect much! And, yes, I’ve managed to put some stitches onto a couple projects.
With all that, here’s hopin’ I can keep things interesting this week!
Enjoy the day!