Wednesday, September 12, 2012

1960s Highschool Embroidery Samples

This week I'd like to share some photos of vintage crochet and embroidery work, starting with these four embroidery samples made by my mother in the 1960s. I apologise in advance for the state they are in, these samples are in need of washing, pressing and blocking, but I feel a dismayed sense of urgency to record these precious things while I can. When I get a chance, I will share photos of them in better condition.
1960s high-school embroidery on linen made by my mother, one corner detail
this is the 4th embroidery sampler my mother made in high-school
I believe these high-school samples are so very special so I will start with these, although there are many, many photographs to share with you from my mother's stash, including intricate doilies made by my great-grandmothers and great-aunts that were given as wedding gifts to my parent's in 1969. I can only share a few photographs this week, because this is what I managed to get photos of at my last visit on the weekend. We are planning to try and visit my parents once a month, they are couple of hours drive away, and we have now committed ourselves to care for their fruit trees, which are in such a dismal state we can't bare to see them slip further into decline. I will also be posting about that adventure in the near future.
3rd year high-school embroidery sample from the 1960s, the large leaves were made by someone else and added on
When I looked at these samples, I got a sense of the amount of time this intricate work required. Every year the home-economics teachers got the students to make a new sample. By the time you look at the 3rd and 4th sample you can clearly see my mother had already graduated from this skill, so the teachers had set her to some busy work to keep her occupied. I hope to find time to improve my embroidery skill, I do still remember a bit my mother taught me when I was younger, but my skill is very rudimentary to say the least!
2nd year high-school cross-stitch embroidery on linen sample
Personally, I find embroidery, and cross-stitching for that mater, a luxury in time-wasting. In my opinion there are far more productive things you could be making with needle and thread, and quicker ways to decorate with paint and stamps. That's why I think this skill is so treasured. If I find time to improve my emrboidery skill, it will be with the goal to simply sew faces onto crochet toys, I think a face on a toy is best embroidered on. But who has time for this intricate decoration?
this simple red napkin and tray mat set were the 1st sample my mother made in high-school
I hope you enjoyed seeing photographs of this very special embroidery work from the 1960s. Check back on my blog soon for more photos of vintage crochet and embroidery.

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