Keeping with Tradition {Embroidery}

You may not know this, but my family background is Portuguese. One set of  grandparents and my parents immigrated to this great land back in the 1960’s and I was born here.

I grew up, surrounded with many of the old traditions.

One being needlework. I remember my grandmother making whole cross stitched table cloths. And mum always always stitching or crocheting something.
I came across this old book at mum’s house and have claimed it… well until she notices that it’s missing.

It’s really old with yellowed pages. I have romantic notions of it having belonged to a family member and passed down the generations … but it’s written in English, so I imagine it was purchased here.

I’ve Googled (as you do) and it was first printed in 1950. I should find out if she remembers where she got it, or its history.

I’ve transferred a design ready for stitching – with my trusty Pilot Frixion pen.

Is this the greatest invention or what?

The original was stitched in a linen thread dyed in a golden brown on loosely woven fabric.

I’m going to go with DMC 221 floss on this cream tone on tone cotton fabric.
Can you see on the previous photo that all of the swirls were blanket stitched. So intricate! I do love all of these swirls. They’re just so… swirly!

Do you have any of these crafty treasures, which you have inherited (or swiped)?


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  1. That's an awsome book and the design is amazing. But is it also written in Portuguese ?
    I would love to get some of these old books in Portugal (I am going to visit in Sept 2012) but would probably need to look hard to find them.
    Interesting about being Caldas da Rainha embroidery as my mum lives in that city (in the past 20 years). I must ask her to look around however she hates old stuff...
    Yes, I also have a cookery book from at least 50 years ago, that is written in portuguese, has hand drawn pictures and its black and white. Some of the ingredients are not easily available. I may take a picture and blog about it...

  2. Lovely find!
    I don't have a craftsy heirloom book that I can think of, but I did manage to collect the Women's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery (after receiving several from my family) by searching on Amazon's site. My mom has a set, her mom did, and my father's mom does too. Love the pictures and the recipes made with real (mostly) food!

  3. Would you believe that I have two complete sets of Golden Hands. I love it and was given my aunts set when she moved house and then found another set at a fete for $2 for the BOX!!!!! It was a archive box full of Golden Hands and other craft magazines. I love old embroidery magazines.

  4. I have the most beautiful crochet magazine that my Grandmother made a baby dress for my Mother (who was born in 1947) out of. It is fine and delicate and made form crochet cotton not yarn! Both my sister and myself wore the dress and I have a picture of my oldest daughter in the dress when she was about 15 months old! Some day I wish to make one!

  5. What a lovely treasure and it will be interesting to see you progress on this stitchery .So pretty and delicate.

  6. What a find - and how interesting to make up the design in modern threads/fabric/etc. I'm sure you will enjoy the connection with the past.

  7. What a fabulous treasure. I'm really looking forward to seeing your beautiful swirls once they are stitched. Thanks for playing along this week.

  8. I loved seeing your beautiful embroidery book and how special to have something so wonderful to stitch connecting you with your fantastic heritage.

  9. I now have two unfinished embroideries that belonging to my paternal grandmother and/or my aunt. I "borrowed" my MIL's layette knitting pattern from the 1950s and have never returned it. I also have the first pattern (1973) and the first pattern book I ever bought (1982) which are not vintage yet but will be by the time I hand them on to DD. I also have some embroidered printed pieces that were mine as a child. I think I've found some material for a blog post or two - thanks for the inspiration.


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