Monday, August 14, 2017

Motifs from Childhood On Victorian Quilts

Description of Needlepoint Pattern: patterns from 1880, bonnets, pets, toys, girls and boys, needlepoint of children, Victorians, for crazy quilts

Have a question about the illustration? Just type it in the comment box and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. I only publish content that is closely related to the subject folks.

Designs by Kate Greenway for Needlepoint

     Especially popular during the 1880s were the designs of Kate Greenaway (Catherine Greenaway -17 March 1846 – 6 November 1901). Women often incorporated needlepoint and painted stencils from Greenaways illustrated books into their crazy quilts.
      Greenaway spent much of her childhood at Rolleston, Nottinghamshire. She studied at what is now the Royal College of Art in London, which at that time had a separate section for women, and was headed by Richard Burchett. Her first book, Under the Window (1879), a collection of simple, perfectly idyllic verses about children, was a bestseller.
      Greenaway's paintings were reproduced by chromoxylography, by which the colors were printed from hand-engraved wood blocks by the firm of Edmund Evans. Through the 1880s and 1890s, her only rivals in popularity in children's book illustration were Walter Crane and Randolph Caldecott.
      "Kate Greenaway" children, all of them little girls and boys too young to be put in trousers, according to the conventions of the time, were dressed in her own versions of late eighteenth century and Regency fashions: smock-frocks and skeleton suits for boys, high-waisted pinafores and dresses with mobcaps and straw bonnets for girls. The influence of children's clothes in portraits by British painter John Hoppner (1758–1810) may have provided her some inspiration. Liberty of London adapted Kate Greenaway's drawings as designs for actual children's clothes. A full generation of mothers in the liberal-minded "artistic" British circles who called themselves "The Souls" and embraced the Arts and Crafts movement dressed their daughters in Kate Greenaway pantaloons and bonnets in the 1880s and 1890s.
      Greenaway was elected to membership of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colors in 1889. She lived in an Arts and Crafts style house she commissioned from Richard Norman Shaw in Frognal, London, although she spent summers in Rolleston, near Southwell.
      Greenaway died of breast cancer in 1901 at the age of 55. She is buried in Hampstead Cemetery, London. The Kate Greenaway Medal, established in her honour in 1955, is awarded annually by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in the UK to an illustrator of children's books.

A little boy and girl by Kate Greenaway for crazy
quilts based upon antique variations.

Add a few little girls by Kate Greenaway
to your next crazy quilt design.

Redwork pattern of a springer spaniel

springer spaniel with collar and serious expression
This dog theme for redwork are free for private, non-profit use only. Read The Terms of Use Before Printing.

Galloping Horse Needlepoint from France

Description of Needlepoint Pattern: a galloping horse, grassy pasture, watercolor, a bay with black points, this design was graphed in 1800!

Have a question about the illustration? Just type it in the comment box and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. I only publish content that is closely related to the subject folks.

Needlecraft Skills & Techniques by Lucinda Ganderton

       A small, attractively photographed manual that includes: 500 instructional illustrations and directions for the use of many textile tools and needlepoint stitches. Not only is it the perfect size for including inside a new sewing box, it is also a nice introduction for a beginner sewer. 
       The manual doesn't include patterns but it will spark the interests of the student who is independent and curious. I purchased it to teach textiles to teens in the classroom. 
       Wrap the handbook up with a bundle of fun fabric, embroidery, notions, and a charming sewing basket to make the perfect gift for a creative eleven year old. It's sure to keep her busy!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

13th Century Alphabet Letters

       These 13th Century letters come from a Latin M. S. and have very unique corner cuts. If you are planning to letter text onto a liturgical banner or perhaps need a stencil for marquetry, this alphabet would be very appropriate.

The corner cuts mirror the Fluer-de-lis.

Antique Butterfly Needlepoint

Description of Needlepoint Pattern: worked in red, brown and blue threads, insect, bug, butterfly, pattern, template, may be used needlepoint, cross stitch, embroidery

Have a question about the illustration? Just type it in the comment box and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. I only publish content that is closely related to the subject folks.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

French Fabric Swatches from 1900

       Here are lovely spring prints (silk or cotton?) were manufactured in France in 1900. When I discovered these, I was surprised at how similar the styles were to what is produced today! I think that any one of these fabrics would make a charming dress or 'frock' as they used to say.
       When I was very young, my grandmother used to take my cousin and I to the local sewing shop to search through pattern books and fabrics in the afternoon. Eventually, we would select a print for a new sundress. Then we'd stop in the local druggist to buy a soda or ice cream before walking home. Those were wonderful days; the time my grandmother invested in her grandchildren was very precious. She taught us how to cook, sew, and take care of little ones. We did all of this without computers and cell phones. Although grandma loved to fall asleep during her soaps. (soap operas in t.v.)
feathers and butterflies
dots and swirls
tiny ferns and flowers and clouds
 a sweet plaid and floating blossoms

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Revival of Old-Fashioned Quilting

Reviving patchwork traditions.
      Only a few years ago it was no uncommon sight to see a group of women seated about a large frame working with all their might, tying knots and sewing and chatting with each other. This was the quilting party of other days, and this sewing art is probably the only remaining one of our great-grandmothers. Quilting is now having a revival. Women are again taking it up, and the patch-work quilt will soon be as popular as it ever was. But the quilting revival is no fad. It will last longer than the present fad for the old-fashioned rag carpets. Of course, quilt making of the twentieth century lacks much of the old time pristine romance because of its setting. To the gentle woman of other days the quilting festivities were ranked among the real pleasures in the restful Colonial days of hospitality.
      The quilts of our great-grandmothers, after laying for years in the cedar chests, have been taken out and now rank with the other treasures of the household. In the days when these quilts were made Milady, whether a noblewoman or of lowly degree, was skilled in the art of using the needle. The bed coverings, made as they were indeed works of art, each stitch a masterpiece in itself. In many of the old time quilts no two stitches were ever alike in form or color, and they might well be termed "crazy quilts."
An old log cabin design.
      For some reason the women of now have paused in the rush to take up the bygone art of yesterday, and feminine fingers are again growing nimble at knotting, sewing and threading needles about the quilting frame. Scraps and patches are again being arranged into intricate patterns such as "The California Tree," "The Tulip," "The Log Cabin" and "The Sunrise." Patterns of 75 and 100 years ago are being closely followed, and the same arrangement of the vari-colored patches is being adopted.
      In the olden times, months and even years were taken up in the making of a quilt, especially when such a complicated design as the "Tulip" is followed. The leisure moments, though they be many, are hardly enough to allow such a work to be finished in a short time, and Milady of Today finds she hass too little time to work her quilt when it is once started and the work becomes interesting. Quilting is quite as intricate as the making of blocks and squares. There are few women of today who understand the method of quilting and the elaborate stitches used in the old days, unless she has inherited a liking for the work and has learned it from mother or grandmother. But, on the other hand, if one is energetic and searches hard and long she may find some quaint old colors or patterns.
      Probably the most popular design of quilting is the "Log Cabin." This pattern is quite simple, but not altogether easy to make. The patches are arranged in blocks, the smaller ones at the top, gradually dropping to the longer and larger ones at the bottom. Many of these sets of blocks are found in a single quilt. The origin of the "Log Cabin" quilt is a mystery, swallowed up in the past, but it has been shown that patterns of this variety came over in the Mayflower.
      "The Tree of Paradise" is another favorite pattern, outside of the applique class. It is made of triangle-shaped pieces of green chambray gingham alternating with white, cut uniformly with green. Next comes the "Sunrise" pattern of yellow calico, combined with white. "The Tulip" pattern is such a complicated one that a beginner in the work will hardly undertake it.
      Debutanies, as well as the girls in the colleges, have taken up the fad of quilting. "Fudge parties" have given way to "quilting bees," as they are sometimes called. The girl who has had several seasons in society has found time to copy one or more of these old quilts to add to the linen and lace lingerie in her "treasure chest." But probably the most amazing thing about the quilts is that they are used on the outside of the bed, and they have quite superseded the cover of ruffled Swiss or the counterpane. Where they harmonize with the decorations nothing could be prettier in the home. The snowy pillowcases, not shams, trimmed with heavy crocheted linen lace and showing a tiny raised letter or monogram are indeed a fitting accompaniment to the quilts of our great-grandmothers.
      Fancy stitches tend a great deal toward making the old-time quilt attractive. These stitches are in such numbers that there is no need for the quilter to originate her own. Then, with the different colors of embroidery cotton the effect of the blocks and their borders is unique. Many women prefer to use a different stitch around each block of the quilt. This of course, makes a great deal of extra work, but the result pays for the time taken up. All sorts of zig-zag lines, curves, blocks, triangles, flowers and odd designs form stitches, and the sewing on of these is a feature in itself. Often a stitch is made in two colors, one half in one and the remainder is another color. Then the thread can be blended with the other material.

Sewing a modern 'Crazy Quilt."

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Free Sample Art Nouveau Border Designs

       Three Art Nouveau designs anyone may use to decorate the boarders of curtains, bed linens, pillows, table cloths etc... These would also make some intricate and authentic stencil designs for decorative painting in either a California Bungalow home or an Arts and Crafts home.

Water lily border drawn in the Art Nouveau style.
Art Nouveau clover border.
Continuous peacock feather border design; a very Art Nouveau design.

Learn more about the Art Nouveau Period.