I have always been drawn to old things. It is as if they whisper a story to me of the past. As a creative I am particularly fascinated with made items and the instruments used to create them. It matters little if I knew the maker or not.
Recently I was thinking on why it is I am so drawn to these things. I have not fully answered that question but what I have arrived at for now has more to do with my own work than I originally thought. I believe we are created with purpose. Part of my purpose is to create things. These things that I create are little love songs from my soul. I know one day I will pass but likely my work will remain and the pain of thinking of it ending up in a dumpster or the back dirty corner of a goodwill hurts. So, when I run across the needlework of those that have gone before me, I take the time to admire what they have done and wonder a little bit about them, whoever they were and why they made what they made. I connect with these strangers and they become part of my work. Sometimes I bring their work back to my home.
The above sewing machine was pulled out of a dumpster. The bobbin was full and the needle threaded. I wonder what it sewed last? Below are a few of the rescues that have been distributed around my home. What have you rescued lately and why?
Oddly most of the best needlepoint resources that I have found were written the year I was born. The fatalist in me likes to think of this as a serendipitous indication of what was to be my fated path as textile enthusiast and needlepoint designer.
I have always collected these resources as I come across them at tag sales and thrifting excursions and often gave them away to other stitchers and designing friends as well as brought them along to workshops and craft fairs. With a now overflowing collection I thought that I might add them to my etsy shop to make them available to others that would benefit from these resources. I am selling them at a low base price of $5 with the hope that people would collect these for resources. They are really great references and very relevant to the contemporary needlework movement.
I am a firm believer that design built on the teachings of our predecessors has the strongest result and find immense fascination in exploring the work of our grandmothers.
What are some of your favorite resources?
As part of my design process I often look to the designs of the past for inspiration. It is not uncommon for me to “rescue” a bit of unloved needlepoint from time to time and find it a new home. Today I wanted to share some of my top picks with my readers for needlepoint rescue. They are all listed on Etsy and you can click on the image should you like to purchase them.
Vintage floral needlepoint canvas, $7.50
Beautiful vintage needlepoint handbag. $55
Vintage needlepoint pillbox. $28
Vintage needlepoint brooch. $5.77
Laurence Devoge from Deco Chic Creations in France created this beautiful bag that is pictured above. I discovered it when my wonderful son gifted it to me for my birthday. I just love it!
It is so well crafted and the previously dated, slightly kitschy imagery is reinvented into something chic and utilitarian. Laurence finds vintage needlepoint and repurposes it into these stylish totes. About the bag and the process she says:
“Upcycling these vintage tapestries is an interesting approach: it is a way to pay tribute to all these women who have patiently embroidered, and at the same time, it is a way to re-discover them.”
Below are some other gorgeous bags from their French Deco Chic Etsy shop.
You can buy your own one of a kind bag here. Thank you Laurence for your craftmanship and concept and thank you to my sweet son for your thoughtfulness. I will treasure my bag.