Monday, February 27, 2012

Jane Austen Month, Day 29: Needlework

History lesson: Jane Austen was accomplished in needlework. The museum at her home in Chawton has preserved a quilt she made with her Mother and her sister, Cassandra:

 Isn't it absolutely charming!?

I made a cross-stitch when I was thirteen or fourteen years old. I don't remember much about it, except that it involved bunnies, sheep, and a wheelbarrow? Anyhow, I made it about 85% through the project when I realized that the right side of the project was one stitch off from the left side. Totally ruined. I gave up the hobby then and there. I wonder if someday the museum to me will have my lopsided bunnies preserved for tourists to enjoy. Perhaps they will place it next to the 'spring-necked' Teddy Bear sculpture I made for my mother that she refused to display. "Miriam, even a mother couldn't love that bear. Besides, I kept that bird up that you made in Kindergarten." Thanks, Mom. You make me feel like a star. 

(She was right, by the way. It was one UGLY bear.)

Anyhow,  I have needlework craft to share today that's more suited to the "I don't want to count anything, and I would like to have a project completed by the end of watching the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, not so much the 1995 Pride and Prejudice" kind of crowd.

"Vintage Embroidery" or "Handstitching"

 So my amazing (Like somehow keeps afloat with 4 small children, and crafts constantly, and always has a clean house, and cooks like Martha Stewart kind of amazing) Sister-in-Law taught me how to do this, and it is awesome. For the technical side of it, I am going to refer you to a site that does a great job explaining the different kinds of stitches: Craftnomicon

Now let me show you a couple of my SIL's projects:

Sorry, Blurry pic. But the colors on this are so cute. Here are some close-ups of some fun stitches:

 These are not complicated. I promise because she taught me.

Now, I can guarantee this one took longer than Pride and Prejudice. My advice: start smaller.

This hobby is nearly free. You just need muslin (Like 2 bucks a yard), embroidery thread (Insanely cheap- like 15 cents per color), and an embroidery hoop (Maybe a dollar.) And then you are set to make as many as you'd like. Best of all: You can use a pattern, or just make your own. I will show you something I am starting (A Jane Austen quote), and I will show you when it's done, but feel free to use this template yourself in the meantime:

Happy Stitching!


  1. I love embroidery and needlework, especially from the regency era. So elegant!

  2. I'm afraid you've given me WAY too much credit. :). The pictures turned out great! The colors look so bright and fun!


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