07 May, 2006

UWYH – Revisiting my Stash

Vintage Monogram Stencils

Monogram Stencils

In my vintage sewing notion collection I have quite a few copper (as well as tin and brass) monogram stencils. I have a thing for monograms and letter/abcdaire embroidery pattern in general.

One of my Redwork WIPs is an alphabet sampler.

ABC Collection for

I can’t keep from buying monogram stencils and collecting ABC embroidery pattern whenever I come across some interesting or old...

By now I also own a complete set with blue and white fabric ink cakes in little porcelain bowls as well as the proper stencil brushes in it's original packaging with instruction.

Schablonen für die Wäschestickerei

I did use the stencils for embossing or printing on fabric but so far I have only once embroidered a monogram with them.

For this monogram I even took a lesson in a local embroidery school to learn how to do it “properly”. It was fun, very intersting but also a lot of work.

To think that young women would embroider their entire dowery linens with monograms ....

Copper Monogram Stencil and tools

Some time ago I started to transfer most of my copper monogram stencils with red fabric paint on white cotton.

This is one of my non-Redwork UFOs:

Monogram Stenciled Quilt - UFO

The final quilt with alternating natural linen and stenciled white cotton blocks I planned to finish with a white cotton backing and thick batting for a warm and cosy lapquilt. It was planned to be finished by last christmas...but then I am not going to feel guilty as it is my UFO finishing time and I should have it ready to quilt this summer.

Those are not copper but still monogram stencils. It is a little collection of pinprick monogram patterns which I suppose are from approx. 1954 (The envelope they were stored in has a poststamp from that year).

Parchment Pinprick Monogram Pattern

I read about this method of transferring Redwork pattern. And interstingly enough in a tour of an old traditional porcelain manufacturer I saw porcelain painter who used the same technique with pattern pinpricked into metalfoil and charcoal as the painting medium.

From the number of pinprick patterns and the dark blue fabric ink on most of them it looks as if they where used quite often. I will have to give it try just see how it works out.

I also found an older German craftbook - “Das Grosse Buch der Handarbeiten” from 1978 - it has a nice description on how to use the copper stencils in it.

1978 Craft Book Article on Copper Monogram Stencils

In the German magazine Living & More special edition „Country-Träume“ from 2005 (I think) I found a little feature about copper monogram stencils. They even mentioned Kirsch Interior as a current source to buy brand new vintage copper monogram stencils. They can be found under "bei Heidi und Großvater - Etwas selbermachen"

Now and then I found articles and creative how-to projects for embroidered monograms in craft books or magazines. In 1991 the “Brigitte” magazine claimed in one of their “Brigitte Kreativ” supplements that copper monogram stencils would be readily availabe in all craft shops and department stores (Beck in Munich was given as an example) – which unfortunately was not true. It seems that any producer of copper monogram stencil went out of business by now.

A good source for monogram / alphabet emboridery pattern is the Italian embroidery magazine
RAKAM. They regularly have beautiful ABCs also as iron-on transfers in their editions.

A wounderful book – unfortunately out of print – is Eva Maria Leszner “Monogramm Stickereien” (Publisher: Rosenheimer). It is in German and the text is indeed very interesting reading but it also has a lot of wounderful pattern and examples for every letter of the alphabet. Furthermore she gives very clear directions how to embroider them.

An online source for free downloads of vintage “Sanjou” (Frensh) monogram embroidery pattern is
la maison danael. Most of the old booklets are cross stitch ABCs but it has also one “regular” monogram embroidery pattern.

An old German letter alphabet I found on this

And another wounderful Frensh site is
Netmadam with an article (all in Frensh) on “Weißstickerei” / “Broderie Blanche”, don’t know the English translation but it is the embroidery technique / stitches used for classic monogram embroidery

Netmadam offers a few very beautiful vintage Redwork and monogram pattern as free downloads:

Among others two 1912 ABCs:
broderie 1912 riche and broderie 1912 simple as well as an Art Deco ABC

eBay Stores specialized on vintage copper monogram stencils I know are

“Grandma’s Antique German Monograms”
“Antique Linens Monograms and More” and

01 May, 2006

My Month of May Resolution # 2

UWYH - Month of May

Calm and collected I am sitting at my computer and musing about whether or not. But yes, May will be the “Use What You Have” month of mine.

With all the preparation for my Redwork UFO list I looked through my stash and fell in love again with so much of the stuff I collected – and have not been using. Remembering all my enthusiam and motivation when finding that special red fabric tape, the umpteens copper monogram stencil or the vintage baskets that would look so beautiful once I touched them up with a little new fabric lining.... And then it was neetly stored with all the other stuff on my stash shelfs and forgotten.

Now I bought enough of the embroidery thread in that special color I need for Jayne’s quilt on Saturday. Got my last fix of fleamarket “need to have” this week-end and couldn’t help but had to buy two beautiful vintage “Überhandtücher” on an antique market on the last day of April.

Überhandtuch - Dutch Girl with Umbrella - Detail

Überhandtuch - Dutch Girls with Tiles

But this is it. It is May 1st and until the very last day of this month I will use what I have and only what I already have...

I know I will not be able to finish all of my UFO that way. There is not enough batting for the Redwork quilts I want to work on but then I haven’t finished the stitching anyway and with 7 UFOs to work on and off I am sure I won’t be left without something to do just because I wont’ buy anything new this month, right?

And revisiting the long “lost” stash collection will be fun and help clearing “the clutter”. There is so much stuff I just know I won’t ever use so it will also be a month of eBay and this years first fleamarket visit as a “vendor”. Yes, it is time to “release” some things.

Thank you Simple Sparrow for this inspiration.

My Month of May Resolution # 1

The RedworkStitchers UFO Frenzy

“...An UFO is a project that is either 1. started or 2. you have all the necessary items in your home to start and complete the project. It is not an idea you have of something you want to stich with no supplies in your home. The idea is to try and get some of our ufo's completed so that we can start new ones without feeling guilty....”

We have been joking about the Queen of UFO in our group with fellow members admitting 60 + unfinished projects and I was so sure I could come up with only a hand full of UFOs, if at all. Oh boy, was I wrong! When we got serious about this Linda (Listowner) asked us to start preparing an UFO list and at the end I had 18 item on my sheet of paper. And that are 18 unfinished Redwork projects only. Not counting the work in progess or other none Redwork projects... And can you believe it, while going through my stash sorting through material I might need for finally finishing all those UFOs I came across another few like there is an UFO nest somewhere in my appartment happyly producing more guild riding work.

Redwork UFO Frenzy

Now, the Redwork UFOs I am going to work on - to finally finish them - I put down in our group’s tracking database. Linda called for 10 projects maximum, I reduced my goal to 7, keeping in mind that I really do not want to neglect my WIPs – no way I am postponing my work on Jayne’s Quilt in favour of some UFOs! I want this to work and have fun doing it not beeing frustrated by the sheer amount of things I “must” do and in the end giving up .

There will be a virtual Redwork frenzy; everyone is asked to work on their UFOs and post on that day respectivly week-end what they are working on, what needs to be done etc. To keep each other on track and motivated. Once an UFO is completed that memorable date will be added to the track database. Oh and being the wounderful ListMum she is, Linda will send reminders which leave no excuse to forget about a frenzy...

Just as I am writng this my radio plays Gloria Gayners “I will survive” for me, love this song yeah now I know i will succeed... Go now go, la lalala...

Little Girl with Balloon

Girl with Balloon - Jaynes Quilt

One of the "Series-D" pattern from the Victoria Quilt Block Company. She has been a wee bit difficult.

I was almost finished with the first version of that little girl when I saw a small whole in the fabric and all of a sudden "everything" about her seemed wrong: two small, no details in the hand and worst of all facing the in the wrong direction...so I decided to go back to square one.

Now, here you can see on the left my (almost finished) first version and on the right the way I wanted her to look like.... can you spot the difference?

Spot the difference ...

First of the floral pattern

Floral Pattern - Jaynes Quilt

I do not exactly know what kind of flower this is but it was fun stitching it.