Great-Grandma’s Stash

A few months ago my aunt moved from her rather large house into a small apartment. She has been divesting herself of various family heirlooms which, being the oldest sister, had somehow found their way into her home. I was lucky enough to receive a fabulous library table that needs to be refinished (it was once my great-grandmother’s dining room table, but was cut down), a fairly rare commode set, and a fabulous collection of embroidery patterns and other crafty papers.

Commode Set

Commode Set

My mom and I have only taken a quick look through the box, but it is the proverbial treasure trove. The patterns are delightful, and many of them have notes in my great-grandmother’s hand. Even more charming are the patterns from The Canadian Countryman, which feature articles and recipes on the back. Some even have dates going as far back as 1913.

Great-grandmother's stash of patterns

Great-grandmother’s stash of patterns

Unfortunately, I am useless when it comes to hand embroidery. I need my detailed patterns, fabric with little holes, and all of the organization and exactness that goes along with cross stitch. Hand embroidery seems so… free-form, so chaotic. But, I really want to honour my great-grandmother’s things and learn to embroidery neatly so I can make things from the same patterns she used.

canadiancountrymanI plan to share some of the discoveries from this box over the next couple of months, along with my attempts at hand embroidery. I’ve already signed up for Craftsy’s embroidery class, which I hope will give me a good foundation. I may even give some the old recipes, knitting patterns, and other tips a try.

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