Thursday, September 8, 2011

Little pieces of history, part eight

This is the last piece in my series of fancywork that I inherited.

Hand made beauty

This piece is actually from Poland, and I have no idea as to its original source.  My mother explained to me that these were traditionally made to hang on walls.  You can see that this one spent some time on a wall somewhere, long enough to develop dots of rust from whatever was used to tack it up.

Hand made beauty

The central design is free style cross stitch with a bit of stem stitch for the arms and legs, and stem stitch and straight stitch for the facial details. Including the border, it measures about 29" x 21 3/4"

The border is a long strip of bobbin lace that has been back stitched to the hem.  You can see how it was folded to turn the corners in the above photo.  In one corner, there is a bit of repair to the back stitch - in a brown thread!

Aside from the dots of rust and a bit of wear, the embroidered cloth is in pretty good shape.  The lace, unfortunately, has quite a lot of damage. 

Personally, I find the design rather unattractive, and the skill it was worked in isn't very good.  The cross stitches are quite uneven, with some looking more like V's and Y's than X's.  At the back, you can see knots were tied at the start of the threads, while a lot of the ends don't seem to have been anchored at all.  I'm rather surprised they haven't come lose at the front, but I guess being a decorative wall hanging rather than something that saw use, like a table cloth, has saved it.

Though I don't particularly like it, I find it an interesting piece and imagine that whoever stitched it must still have been pretty proud to have it decorating their wall.

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