Whenever my two daughters and I get together, they always pull out some kind of handwork to do – knitting, crocheting, embroidery, tatting.  Since I’ve always done my piecing and quilting by machine, I rarely have something to work on.  I decided to try some very simple embroidery using vintage 1930s-40s style patterns.  They are easy enough for my limited skills and I like the patterns which remind me of the embroidery all of the women in my family were doing in that era.  My daughter and I have a large collection of vintage patterns and I’ve been able to add patterns from some good online sites.

I embroider the panel (usually 8-½ x 8-½ inches) and then use scraps to make up something useful.  I don’t want to gather a drawer full of embroidered squares, so unless it’s a seasonal pattern, I make it up quickly.  Another goal of mine this year has been to eliminate bags of small scraps – smaller than 4×4 inches – and I’ve managed to do that.  The only fabric I’ve bought up to this point is some good off-white fabric for embroidery and to use to assemble the scrap blocks.  Here are some of the items I’ve finished this summer:

A cushion set for my vintage folding chair ….

007

005

A small wall hanging of an old kitchen stove …

kitstove

kitstove-cu

A pillow with a design I adapted from an old postcard …
chick-full

chick-cu

A wall hanging with a crow and sunflower center.  I hand quilted around this design and machine quilted the remainder of the hanging.
crowSF-full

Crow-SF-center

A table pad with a Mexican theme …

82815

82816

I still have a stack of completed embroidered panels to use.

82821

Here are some links to free vintage embroidery patterns:

http://mytransfers.blogspot.com/
http://www.patternbee.com/FREEPATTERNS3.html
http://www.french-knots.com
http://www.needlecrafter.com

Click on photos to enlarge.