November 16, 2009

My Poor Shrinking Violets...

In cleaning out one of the drawers in my studio this past week, I came across my very first piece of crewel embroidery. (I think I stitched it in 1973 or 74) Oh, my! Those poor shrinking violets! I've learned so much since then.

First of all, never, never use a piece of cardboard to mount your finished work! I promptly removed these sad-looking violets from the cardboard (which had been stitched onto it in the most shoddy fashion). Then I moved into the laundry room where I filled a basin with Vintage Textile Soak (which I told you about here) and cool water. I let the piece soak overnight and when I took it out in the morning, all the age had been cleaned off it. Now, you know that when I say age, I mean the years of dust and soil that had collected on it.

The frame in the photo is the original, plastic, yukky frame that came with the kit. I now know that, if I'm going to take the time to stitch it, it deserves a better frame. (This one does simply because of its history.) So I've carefully pressed the needlework (Always iron the back of your piece. It actually makes your stitches stand out on the front.), mounted it with stainless steel t-pins onto a piece of acid-free fome core and it is now installed into a more appropriate frame.

Even though it's still my "primitive" beginner piece, I think it looks much happier now. Don't you?

Thank you to everyone who has responded so lovingly to my 200th Post Giveaway. You gals are awesome! If you haven't yet responded to the original post, you still can (see how many chances you can earn by reading my original message here), and you can earn additional chances by leaving a comment on each post between now and Thanksgiving!
JoySignatureBROWNSM

18 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

DeeDee said...

what a treasure to find some early works...so you know your practice has all paid off..becasue you work is as beautiful now as it was back then...just more polished..

lovely little piece of art work and I do like the new frame better...

The French Bear said...

Gosh, it looks so much nicer, amazing what some tender loving care does!!! I think the stitches look fine, but I know what you mean when I look at some of the early work I did, ha ha, at least it was finished work!!!
I love how honest you are Donna, it makes me smile!
Hugs and congratulations on your 200th post!!!
Margaret B

Jane said...

My Mom and Dad have a crewel embroidery piece that I made around 1983 still hanging in their house. When I first gave it to them I had it framed rather haphazardly. I reframed it around 1995 and it still looks great. By the way...I never did another crewel embroidery piece after that one! Too much work for me :-)
Have a great day.
Jane

Michelle (Shell) May said...

Fresh, clean and much prettier in the new frame! Amazing what a difference.
bunny hugs,
shell

Christine Edwards said...

Your shrinking violets are lovely...glad you could give them new life.

Katie - My Paisley Apron said...

Nice job! It looks so new now!

I am slooooooowly working on a cross-stitch for my nephew. Good to know about ironing the backs!

Charlene said...

Funny how we stick things away & find them later. I am so glad I found you! Just finished my post about you. Love that you have Labs. We had one (Duke) & lost him 2 years ago. Still miss that big old baby. And my niece lives in N.Carolina & raises/shows Labs. Never has less than 6 at her house. That's a LOT of tail thumping fun. Hugs~Charlene

Twyla and Lindsey said...

It looks beautiful! You should be very proud of it. Have a great day! Twyla

Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

It looks so much better all cleaned up & in it's new frame.

Katie - My Paisley Apron said...

PS, i already follow this blog, and I also became a follower of the boutique!

Loddelina said...

Hello,
just wanted to say I love your blog - and guess what: you are my Ornament Exchange partner!
Damjana

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

How pretty! I love anything that pretty color!

Barbara said...

Charming! And such an improvement in its new home!

snickers4 said...

I can't believe you still had that treasure tucked away. The revival is beautifull. Love it...LAE

The Rustic Victorian said...

thats so neet,,I did alot of crewel sticheries in the 70's,,,everyone got one for Christmas,,I was hooked,,then counted cross stitch and needlepoint was popular too. Those were good days.
Marcie

Denise said...

Very nice regardless of how old...... Kind of like me! hahahaha

It is nice to meet you.......

icandy... said...

Ahhh, new life to a treasured piece of your earlier work... I'm so glad that you found it! I'm very happy that you were able to revamp and protect it... you saved it just in time!! Now, it's a priceless creation that can be passed down in your family for years to come!
Good for you!
Blessings,
Christina

Valeree said...

So sweet!! What a difference a pretty new frame makes. I love the fact that you found something from so long ago that you made in your less experienced days and instead of tossing it or sticking it back in your drawer, you took the time to clean it and give it a happy new home.

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