Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Vintage Quilt and Embroidery Patterns

Quilters and Embroiderers have used patterns for a very long time. This is the way they shared designs and passed them on.  In 1974, my husband and I visited his Aunt Rubye. She was a remarkable "needleworker" who made a living at one time by embroidering monograms on shirts for Neiman-Marcus! (There were enough oil millionaires back then for her to do that!) She was also an accomplished quilter and seamstress. She was born before the turn of the century and learned as a young girl how to sew and embroider. On this visit, Aunt Rubye showed me her "workshop" - a creative jumble of project areas for crafting, sewing, and quilting. She pulled out her embroidery patterns and when she saw my jaw drop over the old patterns, she gave me a few. (I was only 24 at the time and these treasures seemed ancient to me!) I have treasured them over the years. They are extremely special to me, not only because they are old, but because they were hers.

 These embroidery patterns have been transferred to old brown paper grocery bags. They have designs that appear to have been from around the turn of the century. The paper appears to be waxed or oiled, which I'm sure has kept it from falling apart.

 I have no idea when these patterns were produced, but they are Butterick Transfer Patterns and I do know that Butterick made transfer patterns between 1863 and the early to mid 1930's..They are pattern #10436. I was unable to find out anything more than that.

The  patterns below early examples from the Joseph Walker Co. These patterns are from  the late 1930's. The first was designed to iron onto children's clothing, crib covers, pillows, aprons, etc. to "give an embroidered effect". The second was an iron on transfer meant to be embroidered.

The Vogart pattern below was from after 1959, since it included Hawaii and Alaska as states.

Below are some Laura Wheeler Designs. These were sold through newspapers. The first one below is from 1946. The second one (with the baby design) is from 1960.

The last one I will show is also a pattern ordered from the newspaper. The address label on the envelope has been cut from the newspaper and filled out by the person who ordered it. This is from 1976. That was the year when quilting here in the United States had a resurgence. This was the Bi-Centennial year for this country and many "old" crafts were being revisited for fairs, school projects, demonstrations, etc. This soon carried over into home decor. I remember a popular wallpaper  I wanted that had reproductions of old Sears & Roebuck catalog pages from the 1800's. Quilt patterns came out in magazines and many women started quilting again because there was a new appreciation for old crafts. The pattern here is one for a State Bird quilt. 

I really love OLD things like this! I don't know if it's the history behind them that intrigues me, or the "romantic" ideas I form in my imagination about the people using them and the times they lived in. Some day maybe I'll make a quilt with some of these embroidery patterns worked up in the centers of blocks. If nothing else, I feel inspired when I look through them and that's worth a lot to me.

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  1. What a wonderful collection of history. How nice to have such wonderful memories of your Aunt - the talent has stayed in the family!

  2. how interesting Linda,thankyou for sharing.

  3. WOw... what a treasure! I love finding "old" wonders in hidden and almost forgotten boxes! :)

  4. What wonderful treasures you were given. Wouldn't they look really nice to have some of them framed for display in your sewing room?!

  5. They really are a treasure! I wish I had some of the old quilt magazines and embroidery patterns that my mom had. Enjoy!
    Quilting by the River

  6. Fun treasures and a great story, thanks for sharing!

  7. Oh my goodness what treasure. I too have some vintage patterns in my stash, and I just love them! I've been trying for a couple of years to get them all traced [for preservation].

  8. Linda,
    I look forward to each of your posts because you offer such interesting and useful info....thanks!!
    Have a good week, Kathy

  9. Those are really neat...I have some that you might love too! I hope it's as nice where you are as it is today here...
    Miss talking to you...
    Hope all is good.


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