Thursday 30 April 2015

Two dear little embroidery book finds .....

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” 
 Marcus Tullius Cicero

I am always on the look out for antique books of all sorts and I guess there are three types that I really love, cookery, poetry by Shelley or Byron ( still looking for things from Oscar Wilde) and Embroidery books.  There is something about a book that a kindle just hasn't got ..... soul!

As you turn each page with its descriptions and photos and little drawings it is so magical for me.  From a very little girl I have loved history, it fascinates me.  When I pick up an antique book I wonder who has read it before me, who owned it, what joy it brought to the person .... thus the soul! There is something about the paper contained between the binding that almost whispers to you.

I found this lovely little embroidery book from the late 1940's and it is really delightful.  The book is by a lady called Winifred M. Clarke and it says that she has City and Guilds of London - Honours Grade, Kings Prize and Bronze Medallist and Late Instructor: Loughborough College and Leicestershire County Council.

The contents lists a host of goodies including Equipment, Designing Embroidery, Borders, Leaf forms, Flower pictures, Lettering, Aprons, Transfers and Pincushions and needlebooks to name a few.

One that caught my eye though was the Michaelmas Daisy!  There are drawings of daisy's and two designs to use them on and this little poem to draw on and stitch....

Why does the Michaelmas daisy stay
out of doors in the wet to play?
The Autumn days with rain are grey
Most summer flowers have gone away
Leaving the Michaelmas daisy to stay
out in the rain all day.

The Michaelmas daisy seems to say
I am not in the least afraid to stay 
out in the rain all day
The sun is coming to warm my flowers
Which open in spite of Autumn showers
And I shall blossom in sunny hours
Though I stayed in the rain to play.

It is not the best poem I have heard but the lady goes on to point out that when writing this carefully with good pen ship! the line "Most Summer flowers have gone away"  - Make an illustration for this
line.  It affords great scope, and can be enlarged upon, giving much interesting information about the various flowers.!!

There is another poem about Yellow Jasmine and to quote from the section in Lettering " Suitable and pleasing lettering gives character and interest to a design, and may be introduced in various ways"
In addition there is a little bit about monograms in this delightful book as well.  Drawing a large letter and making it decorative with little flowers and vines entwined around it...

The second little book is older by a decade I believe and it a small encyclopedia of needlework by Dillmont and is a great little book covering all sorts as you can imagine. There is mending, plain sewing, applique, linen embroidery, knitting, crochet work, macrame ,embroidered laces and so much more!

It is such a wonderful reference book and you know we come up with all sorts of new ways of doing things but sometimes the original way is the best.  It is a wonderful thing to read, the way they went around embroidering table linen, and look how sort after that is right now!

The section on applique  is my next read in this dear little green book and that is what I will be doing later after I finished work and waiting for my husband to come home from his long week.  I am going to make a warm drink and curl up in my favourite chair and learn some tricks of the trade!!

Firstly though it is away to my sewing room to sort out some things and carry on stitching....

I am hoping to be able to show you a snippet of a new design I will be working on next week for publication..... With some of the great fabrics I have been showing you..

Have a wonderful day and a great May Bank Holiday..... There will be the stitch of the week tomorrow as normal and I will let you know what I am up to as well...

Happy Stitching!

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
 Mark Twain


  1. Love monograms entwined with stitch work ..... a wonderful first little book.

    1. Thank you! yes it is a dear little book. I simply adore the stitchery books. They way they are written is a little fierce but apart from what you learn you do have a giggle as well!...

  2. Lovely books for browsing! I have 2 books from the late 40s - one on sewing, and one on knitting with a very young Roger Moore as a sweater model.
    Teresa x

    1. How lovely! ... there is something about the vintage books!

  3. I enjoy seeing your books Sarah - I collect too!
    I have the first one but I don't know the second - I will look out for it!

    1. Hello Gill
      SNAP! .. how lovely. Yes the second is more of a reference book and Is a little beauty! x

  4. The name of the author of the second sounds quite familiar, and I think she worked for DMC in France in the early days.

    1. Hi Marian
      Really!! oh well I am going to do a bit of digging now to see what I can find out! ...Thank you for the information.

  5. Lovely story...
    I too collect old books on crafts etc and just love the living history they can't capture that on digital downloads!
    Something special about leafing through the pages, the smell, and the illustrations :)
    Happy stitching my lovely....
    Tilly x

    1. Thank you! I agree whole heartlily agree... 🌸🌾