Vintage Patterns

Retro Kitchen

033aAnother redline transfer pattern from Modern Handcraft from the 1960's has been added.  I'm calling it Retro Kitchen for obvious reasons although it was a typical modern kitchen back in the day, with the introduction of cake mixes.  The pattern comes with seven dish towel designs and two potholders.  The clock potholder is especially clever and fun.

Retro Kitchen #9521


Stitch by Stitch

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My (crazy epic) embroidered table topper is coming along nicely.  So far, I've put thousands of stitches into this thing!  Click on the image to enlarge.

Be true to what you love

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November Update

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November is off to a busy start!  I'm going in all directions.  Happily so.  But at times, I feel like I can't catch my breath.  I'm reminded of the words spoken by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."  That just about sums it up I guess.  It's that enthusiasm that keeps me up and running and spinning in dizzy circles.  Three cheers for enthusiasm!  Hip hip hurray!  Enthusiasm is key.

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And speaking of enthusiasm . . this week, I received a wonderful HUGE box of vintage embroidery patterns.  They were generously donated to the PatternBee archive and online vintage embroidery shop, by a sweet and generous lady from Arizona who just wanted to make sure they got a good home.  And did they ever!  They are all right at home on my desk, in that little room at the back of my house we call 'PatternBee Headquarters'.

I'm taking my time and carefully sorting through all these amazing works of art.  Some are so brittle from age that I'm afraid to open them.  Like really, really old Walker's, before they were Walker's dating them at least 75 years old!  Found some other gems too that I hadn't seen before.  The plan is to repair and reprint some of these after the holidays. 

Actually, I haven't been adding as many new patterns to the site these past months because of all the other projects I've taken on.  But I still try and do at least one "new" pattern each month.  This month, it was Peasant Folk Dancers.

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Just look how cute they are!  Kicking up their heels and all.  I can almost hear the lively fiddles and the old kitchen spoons clicking and clacking keeping time.  So fun!

 


Autumn Stitching

100_0080AFor awhile I thought maybe the golden autumn light would escape us with all the rain, wind, fog and frost.  But so far this week the weather has been amazing and I took the opportunity to get some more pictures of my 'Field & Forest' quilt (in progress) while the light was still good. 

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I rarely work with oranges, golds and greens.  They're not usually my first choices when quilt making, but clearly I need to break from tradition more often.  These rich earthy tones beautifully compliment the embroidered blocks of flora and fauna.  

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The addition of feather-stitching highlights the embroidered blocks.  The embroidery motifs I used are a random mix from a wonderful vintage collection I tagged Field & Forest.  

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The pattern includes over forty designs with all sorts of mushrooms,  acorns, ladybugs, leaves and wildflowers in varying sizes from 1 to 7 inches.  Such fun stitching!  


Field & Forest

Queen_anns_laceEvery summer, mother nature provides us with an ever-changing meadow nearby. It's always a surprise.  Last year it was mostly field daisies.  Before that, teasel and tall grass. This year it's dandelions mingled with Queen Ann's Lace.  To some, only weeds.  But to others, wildflowers!  Certainly miracles.  Rain or shine it takes care of itself.  Gentle breezes make it dance.  Bees and butterflies come and go.  Ladybugs lurk.   Nothing more is needed.  It's free for the taking: a little calm within a chaotic world.  A gift.

Wildflowers_1295It's always interesting to see what 'volunteers' arrive each summer.  Mostly from seeds carried on the wind or dropped by birds and other small critters that have made homes in here.  Lavender and lilies share a stage together, harmonious counterpoints, though their performance is brief.  At the height of the season, and even beyond it, bright colors fade into muted mossy tones and I take joy in every blossom, seed and leaf.  It's always a little sad when the show is over. 

However, I can still preserve a few snippets for remembrance with needle and thread. 

Embroidery_pattern_7300 And, best of all, I can share it with you!  I've made a revised version of a vintage pattern I call, Perennial Garden Quilt #7300.  The original (above) has twenty-four 8" x 8" block motifs connected with lattice strips.  It's a striking quilt on it's own with lots of pattern and variety, and a wonderful companion if you are looking for a big lap-stitching project to while away the hours. 

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However, I wanted to make a smaller quilt, like a lap throw, with smaller 5" blocks, so basically I pulled out and resized some of the motifs for this purpose.  Just over forty in all.  Plenty enough variety for my purposes and plenty to share as a "new" pattern I will call:  Field & Forest  #6589

Dragonfly_embroidery

So, that done, I started my project with the dragonfly motif.  These harmless critters come in an array of amazing colors; reds, gold, orange, purple, as well as blues and greens--so anything goes.  Not wanting to get overly technical, colors are just randomly placed.  I'm using a pale silver for the wings which is quite nice.  A plain linen background really makes the colors pop.  I will also be combining blocks with bold background colors too. Dragonfly_embroideryYes, I know...my stitching is a bit loose and messy, but that's the effect I'm going for, so no worries.  Still have a ways to go on this one.  Then ladybugs next. 


Spring Chicken Bakes

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This 1960's dish towel design from Tri-Chem was originally designed to be painted with liquid embroidery.  Back in the day this was a brand new product introduced as a time-saving solution for the busy working woman. 

My Mom, being a busy working woman, had eagerly purchased the ball-point tubes of paint for us to try (I was about 12 then), but we discovered the medium was messy and difficult to control.  As a result, we ended up with some very interesting dust cloths! 

However, I'm told the current liquid embroidery paint tubes work much better.  So if you prefer coloring to stitching then here's something for you too.

But as I prefer to stitch these, and others may as well, I took liberties and made a few slight modifications to the graphics choosing a friendlier font (for needlework) and a different layout. If you love Lazy-Daisy, I've also added optional daisy borders, to carry out the theme.  They can be stamped lengthwise alongside the chicken (like the original lettering) or used as a border underneath her. 

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But wait!  There's more!  I also created BAKE! as a theme towel.  It's not shown on the envelope cover (above), but it will be included in the pattern as a sort of Surprise Bonus.  Only my blog readers will know the what, where, when, how and why.

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Here's the BAKE! towel, stamped and ready to go. 

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Already a work in progress!  This was stamped onto a fresh flour sack dish towel, but I think it would be darling on an apron bib or baking smock.  It measures about 8" x 7" (without the weekday).

Lazy-daisy-redThese old patterns usually had numbers and rarely had names (with the exception of Aunt Martha's).  But this one had neither that I could find, so I've given it both and added it to the PatternBee website as Spring Chicken #4472.  In the event the link no longer works, look under the Kitchen Towel category, under 'Feathered Friends'.   


Bluebird Couple

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In case you're looking at lots of snow and still waiting for spring, embroidery (and humor) can help.  This fun 1940's kitchen towel embroidery pattern may just be the ticket.  Found here: Bluebird Couple #238


Plaid Produce

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Have you ever done "cross-stitch plaid"?  The effect resembles gingham.  This type of stitching may appear complicated at first glance, but it's really quite easy.  You alternate with a light and dark shade of the same color and work the center square in the darker shade like this.

 See?  Not so scary.  Plaid radishes anybody?  This design originally from Superior #140, dated from around 1940-50's; now available as a new transfer reprint as Plaid Produce.  Pattern includes six kitchen towel motifs with three each of fruits and vegetables. Designs run approximately 12" x 6".