Monday, July 11, 2011

Little pieces of history, part one

I have long had a passion for hand made items. Particularly items that are meant to be used. Aside from appreciating the time and skill required to make these items, I like how they can also connect us to the past. Even if I have no idea who made something or why, a piece of that person's hard work lives on.

While out in Manitoba a little while ago, my mother passed on a whole pile of items. Many of them belonged to her late aunt. Others had belonged to my mother's sister. When my aunt had to leave the farm and the property was sold, these items passed through several hands before making it to me, more than a year later! *L*

Over the next while, I'll be posting photos I took of the hand made pieces and telling a little about them. Most of them have seen a lot of years of use and some, sadly, have a fair amount of damage.

At this point, I have not done anything to them. They've been sitting in bags or boxes for a long time, and I've made no attempt yet to clean or press any of them. They are just as I've received them.

Here's the first. (If you want to see larger photos, just click on the image to be taken to my flickr page)

Hand made beauty

This small piece is worked on linen, which has such a lovely drape and softness. It measures about 16 inches square, including the border.

Hand made beauty

The embroidery appears to be done in cotton embroidery floss. The flower petals and leaves are done in Laisy Daisy stitch, with a bit of stem stitch among the leaves and satin stitch for the middles of the flowers. The black border is also done in stem stitch.

Hand made beauty

The crochet border is worked into an edge of single crochet. The edge of the linen has been folded over, and the fold is completely encased in the single crochet edge at the back. The border is a filet crochet finished with loops and picots.

This piece, according to my mother, was worked up by her late aunt, who was prolific and highly skilled. My mother had given me some small boxes of embroidery flosses, perle cotton, needles and tatting shuttles many years ago. Along with the finished pieces I brought back this trip, my mother also passed on a whole lot of crochet thread, some incredibly fine for use with a .75mm hook.

The last time I saw my great aunt, I was very young and barely remember her. I do, however, feel honored to have these items of hers. She was a remarkable woman.

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