The Fabrics of Our Lives

“I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.”


Many years ago I started collecting vintage embroidery and needlework. I don’t have the patience to create these myself but I truly admire those who do. I bought them at antique malls and garage sales. I loved the hunt when I would find things once in a while but once Ebay kicked off, it was too easy to find things and there were too many, so after a while I stopped collecting. The fun of the chase was missing. I had run out of wall space anyway! I didn’t want to pay to frame them, it was too expensive, so I framed most of them myself with frames I bought at garage sales and on sale at Michael’s and Aaron Brothers. They look like they weren’t framed professionally but I think that adds to their amateur charm. They are vintage, used, and not perfect but I love thinking about someone taking the time it took to work on them. This one is a favorite, it hangs in the master bedroom.


I can’t believe the work needed to do all that tiny stitching on the flowers.


This one amazes me, it is just tiny brown stitches, that’s all, tiny brown stitches.


I can’t imagine anyone figuring out how to do that. It hangs on the wall in our family room.


This one is large, 17 1/2” by 21 1/2”. It hangs in a corner of the living room.


It also has tiny stitches of different styles.

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When I bought this one it had stains around the border. I soaked it in Biz detergent, my standard solution for stains on vintage items (be careful and do a test to make sure the colors won’t run first, Biz is harsh), and the stains disappeared. My husband bought a mat cutting tool and is skilled at resizing frames so he helped with this one. It hangs in the main/guest bathroom behind the door.


This hangs in the guest room with a few others like it. I love the flower border and the green leaves and vines.

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Sometimes if I found a frame that was the right size but the wrong color I just spray painted it.


This one is special because it was my mother’s and it was in the house when I was growing up. It is on the wall next to the front door.


This one and the next one I had professionally framed, they are large. They hang over the beds in the guest room. They were pillow shams originally I think and it’s called red work.

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This is another one that I had professionally framed, it is large as well. For many years the family room was decorated in Americana, red, white, and blue. Most of that is gone now but I left this on the wall. I have several other pieces that aren’t framed that I will share in another post later.

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