I love whitework embroidery. I love monograms. I love drawn thread embroidery. I love linen! I love vintage linens! And I really love it when whitework and monograms and drawn thread are combined on one vintage embroidered linen! That’s what I call a winning combination! And oh, what a piece of embroidery this is!
Come gaze with me!
This is a gorgeous piece of vintage linen – an exquisite example or whitework at its best!
And no, I’m not just saying that because the monogram is “MC”!
Can you imagine my delight when I opened the mailbox on Saturday and found a package addressed to me, and within the package, this beauty? A reader wanted it to have an appreciative home – and she thought of me. Thank you, Sandra! I have Great Plans for It!
Let’s look at it more closely, shall we? After all, this is the type of beauty that needs to be shared!
The piece is the size of a placemat. It is heavily embroidered with bullion stitched branches, and elaborately worked with drawn thread embroidery along the outer edge. The inside is set off with more drawn thread, and the initials are embroidered in wonderfully textured stitches.
A close-up of the bullion stitched branches that adorn the linen.
The M and the C are outlined in cable plait stitch and further embellished with petals worked in stem stitch. French knots dot the interior of the letters.
Here, you can see the cable plait stitch (or braid stitch) up close. The linen has been ironed, so the stitches are a little flattened. At first, I thought this was actually Palestrina stitch, flattened and broadened – but Yvette Stanton convinced me to look more closely at it, as it looked to her like cable plait stitch.
So I took up some needle and thread and followed the course of the stitches, imitating the outline here, and indeed, it is cable plait stitch.
Applying a filter to the photo, you can see the stitching very clearly here. Thick, sumptuous, textured, lovely stitches! I feel as if they’re calling my name!
And oh, that drawn thread border! Can you just imagine the time it took to work this piece? The intricacy of the edge is something to behold!
The needle lace bars, wraps and circles hold together the remaining linen threads securely, while at the same time decorating the piece in a deep, lacy trim.
Between the sections of drawn thread, French knots march along in orderly, evenly spaced lines.
The needle lace on the corners is further adorned with French knots and bullion knots. Amazing detail!
And for those who might be tempted to think that the bullions that pepper the piece might be satin stitch rather than bullion knots, just look at the back! You can see the starts and ends of all the stitches zig-zagging along the design lines.
Now… what would you do with this beautiful linen? Would you place it on a table or dresser, which is probably what it was originally intended for? Or tuck it away for safekeeping? My Mom came up with this idea: have it professionally mounted on a colored board and framed behind glass, and then hang it in my workspace, where it can continuously provide inspiration. And you know what? My mind is recalling that life-long lesson: Your mother is always right! In this case, I believe she is! I’ve never framed a vintage piece of whitework like this – one that is obviously intended to lie on a table top. But I think it will definitely be worth doing, don’t you?
Have you ever framed a piece of vintage linen like this? Any suggestions? Any other ideas for what to do with the piece, so that I can actually see it and appreciate it all the time? Share your thoughts!
Thank you again, Sandra! You’ve surely made this needlework nut happy!
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