In Victorian times, the art of needlework whether it be needlepoint or embroidery, was taught to the young girls. Today, it is sadly a dying art! But you can still find beautiful pieces, lovingly hand stitched during the past 100 years in antique shops and at yard sales and flea markets, and they deserve to be rescued!
My home is filled with needlepoint - dining room chair seats, bell pulls, framed pictures, and decorative pillows - all done by either my Mother or some other wonderful lady from the past. I do counted cross stitch and have many pieces framed and hung in my home. Each item represents hours and hours of patient hand work done while sitting in the evenings maybe in front of the fireplace or while listening to music or watching the television. I believe that this kind of artwork adds warmth to a home.
Hand embroidered guest towels and pillow cases can also be used in the modern home! There is nothing more pleasing than for your guest to lay their heads on a soft, freshly pressed hand embroidered pillow case from the past and to dry their fingertips on a dainty guest towel embroidered with a pretty flower. One way I have used the pillow cases is to purchase an 18" X 18" pillow form and place it down inside the pillow case - then fold over the decorative edge and display proudly on your bed or bedroom chair.
Whenever I see a piece of needlework, neglected and poorly framed - something that took someone hours to stitch - I just have to rescue it! I once found a counted cross stitch bride picture complete with tiny little beads stitched into the dress and stitched onto light blue fabric. It was framed in a cheap gold frame and not pressed and stretched properly. I found a decorative antique frame which had been painted white, took the needlework out of the frame, hand washed it carefully, pressed it, and took it to be professionally mounted and framed in that antique frame. It is proudly hanging in my home today along with others that I have stitched.
The next time you see needlework, take the time to examine it - if it is in good condition and just needs a little TLC - rescue it! Every time you look at it you can think of someone who took their precious time to lovingly stitch it, probably as a gift for someone, and consider it a gift to you and your home! We always have many pieces of needlepoint and other needlework including embroidery, cross stitch, and hand stitched quilts in our antique store that have been rescued and can advise you how they can be used in your home. Warm up your home with some needlework from the past today!