OK, I’m going to confess. I have an addiction to unfinished embroidery projects. You know, the ones with stamped designs and instructions for finishing them. Sometimes they come in kits with the embroidery floss but often they’ve been opened or the instructions are lost. No problem. I don’t mind choosing my own colors and often finish them to match a particular fabric if I'm making a pillow.
There’s something about the process of doing embroidery that’s very soothing and stress-relieving. Kind of like how petting a cat lowers your blood pressure. I’ve heard several people talk about how it’s gotten them through recovery from an accident or illness and that’s certainly true in my case as well. After my thyroid surgery two years ago, I barely had enough energy to get out of bed most days. I love to read but even that got boring after a while. So embroidery helped my recovery time pass more quickly.
My energy is back to normal, or at least as normal as it will ever be again, but it's still nice to have a stress reliever. Who doesn't need one of those? So, I always have a project or two in the hoops. Lately (since I have several friends who are pregnant), it’s one of the quilt blocks with birds that I make into baby pillows. I won a bunch of these on Ebay a couple of years ago and have been steadily working my way through the pile. Here’s one I’m just finishing up:
And here are a couple more in their original state:
This set was made by Vogart in the 1950s. I love the Vogart designs best, although I've bought a couple of Paragon kits for little girl aprons lately that are going to be really cute when finished. Vogart has the sweetest baby bibs, too, but I'll save them for another post. These bird blocks were sold together to be made into a quilt and I suppose I could do that. But I think they make really cute pillows, too. This is a finished version of the first block above:
With a little hunting you should be able to find original to-be-embroidered linens, too. There's always Ebay, but expect to pay a lot for the cutest designs and get into bidding wars with collectors. Or you can design your own project. Sublime Stitching has cool embroidery patterns (and starter kits, too). Pattern Bee sells iron-on embroidery transfers of vintage patterns. Needlecrafter.com has a library of downloadable vintage patterns that you can transfer yourself. And you can always make your own patterns from embroidered things you already own. Embroidery is simple to do (except maybe for French knots) and fun, and once you get started you'll see how easy it is to get hooked.