This is one of several embroidered patches I am in the process of completing that will eventually find its way into a quilt!
Today...Watercolor Wednesday isn't about watercolor...it does include water and color... and antique embroidery!
While on vacation in North Carolina recently, I took an hour out of the sun, off the beach, to visit a favorite antique shop in search of treasure! We have been going to Emerald Isle annually ever since our kids were small and years ago on a rainy day, I discovered this great shop, Grapevine Antiques, boasting three, old buildings full of goodies. I typically gravitate to the old books, the old photos and of course any needlepoint samples or embroidered linens.
Despite finding few photos, and few books of interest, my trip turned into a great success in terms of textiles! In an old, musty smelling cupboard full of shelves, each stuffed to overflowing, I found several sets of embroidered table runners, doilies, napkins, and even an antique potholder! Some told their age with stains, but not enough to dissuade me! I came home happy, as the embroidered designs were a nice mix of vintage and current, their colors bright and their stitches impeccable! But... I had to tend to the stains!
I picked up some Oxiclean powder and spray on the way home, along with some disposable roasting pans. (We had flown to N.C. this trip, so I did not want to invest in bulky plastic containers.) Luckily our rental has a large jaccuzzi tub where I could line up and fill the pans with water and the oxiclean, to leave them uninterrupted to soak.
And so they soaked for several hours, after which I rinsed them in cold water, wrung them out by hand and laid them outside on the deck to dry in the hot sun. It was so hot that a half an hour later all were completely dry and what a difference... a bit wrinkly but much brighter and stain free!
As soon as I got home and unpacked, I ironed the pieces and while some are earmarked for use in my fabric collages or fabric books, a few had designated spots waiting for them around the house, where I can enjoy them daily!
I'm currently working on a large custom order of recycled sweater birds and returning to embroidery in designing their wings has been relaxing and fun! If you are interested in learning needle arts there are many great resources online, but I also like to go "old school" and check out books to see what other stitchers are creating!
Published in 2013, The Needlecraft Style Directory by Sarah Whittle, is a fabulous overview of everything involving a needle: embroidery, needlepoint, cross-stitch, crewelwork, beading, punch needle, needle felting and more! I love this book because it is full of eye candy ( very cute stitched projects of all types) and is truly a well-done visual guide through the various types of needlework, and the stitch guides in the back are really well illustrated, therefore easy to follow!
What are you waiting for...Get Stitching!