21 April 2012

Wartime embroidery from World War II: four images

This embroidery was for sale last year.  It seems likely to date from the 1940s.  Would someone have stitched it much after the war had ended? But in wartime, would someone have had the thread and fabric to make this? Was it featured in a magazine or newspaper, and how would this have been affected by paper shortages?  It could have been based on a transfer, but that's guesswork only.

Anyway, it's a fascinating stitched insight to a particular time.

I can only make out three of the four tag lines:
where the Navy reigns, guard the streets, ?? and plough the land.  Under REMEMBER there might be a date on the blue banner.  The tag line I can't make out looks to be something related to the services, judging by the badges - Army, Navy, RAF?

If you know any more about this design, please leave information and link/s in the comments.

14 April 2012

Union Jack needlework kits

Several designers have jumped on the bandwagon of the Union Jack's popularity as a design icon and created kits for tapestry, needlepoint and cross-stitch.

 This tapestry / needlepoint design by Candace Bahouth for Ehrman is not in the current range (she was ahead of the trend) but turns up on eBay from time to time.  It's called Albion.  The pictures show the printed canvas and a completed cushion.  It has the subtle colour variation that makes Ehrman tapestries have a pleasing depth.

I wouldn't be surprised if it reappeared in their range.

Jacqui Pearce of Granny Knits has several Union Jack  (and other British-themed) designs using cross stitch and tapestry / needlepoint, such as those below.

A beginner's cross stitch kit (link)

This is a detailed kit, the filigree work is all tapestry stitching, red aqua and white.  Find it here.

Jan Constantine has used the Union Jack in a multitude of her designs - click here to see her British collection (made designs, not kits).  She also has some kits, including this one.

It is sold as a tapestry kit here, and also as a downloadable pdf.

There was also a Jan Constantine Union Jack cross stitch design in Cross Stitcher magazine, issue 226:

This issue turns up for sale on eBay from time to time.

This Anchor brand tapestry kit can be regularly found on eBay.  I don't like it as much, as it's hardly subtle: (it doesn't, to me, stand up against the designs I've shown you above.  But I'll include it here to record its existence).

I've also seen a number of patchwork quilt designs employing the distinctive geometry of the Union Jack in quite a variety of fabrics and colours.

The 2012 London Olympics will no doubt be inspiring more designers to create patriotic works.  If you know more links, please leave a comment with them - especially for kits/patterns, not finished works, as the focus of this blog is handwork done by individuals rather than mass-produced patriotic items.

07 April 2012

Elizabeth II: coronation: swags and flags

I'm not sure if the embroiderer of this design kinda ran out of puff.  Plenty of work done on the details - see the extra two photos with horses and coaches.  But there's a fair bit of white space...

And here's a different example, with the white space filled with roses and wheat swags and so forth.

The design itself looks professional - it seems highly unlikely that two different embroiderers made the same design without it being commercially published in some way. 

I can't help wondering, though, if on the second example, the word CORONATION and the date, wonky as they are, were the embroiderer's own addition.  I like their wonky individuality.

If you know where this design was published, or any other information about it, do leave a comment.

03 April 2012

Elizabeth II: coronation: from transfer to sampler

So imagine you have a book of transfer patterns like this:

and another one like this:

What could you do with it?

Perhaps this.

From a private collection.

It's perhaps a pillow sham sort of size.  Maybe a table centre?  Not big enough for a table cloth, but too big for a single table mat for dining (and such things are more likely to be decorative than useful).  It does seem more likely to have been displayed flat, rather than vertically.  The fringe is woollen, in patriotic red and blue.  Perhaps it was a child's work? - one motif at a time and the satisfaction of seeing each complete to spur you on.  Even though patterns/transfers are being used, the individuality of the maker comes through in the choice and placement of designs and the nature of the stitching itself (more room for variation in embroidery than the more charted confines of cross stitch or tapestry).

It was rather fun to put the two together and see the origin/source of the stitched designs.

The collector sourced this sampler from the US.  Perhaps a post-war British migrant, nostalgic for home?

Sadly, like most of these British patriotic samplers and embroideries, there is no stitcher's name or any other clue to their identity.

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