Monday, May 12, 2008

Needlework...

"No one can rejoice more than I do over the change that has taken place in the treatment of girls as regards their education. Under the old-fashioned system of what can only be called "smattering" their individuality was ignored; their powers, if any, were disregarded; one monotonous "table of lessons" hung in every schoolroom-one code of rules sufficed for all. Ear or no ear, a girl must learn music; eye or no eye, drawing was to be taught her; two or three languages were to be a sine qua non, whether she has the aptitude for them or not. What was the consequence? The mind was left perfectly untrained and uncultured. The system gave a sort of shallow smartness to those quick at apprehending-a most useless quality when it is all a girl possesses. In fact, to all intents and purposes, woman was considered to have no mind worth thinking of; to be incapable of reasoning; her powers were surface powers, requiring only surface treatment."

That, ladies and gentleman, was the first paragraph to the introduction in a textbook for student teachers, for needlework, in 1914. I wonder how many men got a look at what was being taught in those needlework schools?? :p



That is the coolest book, full of lesson plans, and illustrations, and tests, for teaching needlework of all sorts...this was for the pros, not for dabblers. I got it at a book sale ages ago, and I just LOVE it. Anyway, long way around to it, I picked it up yesterday to have a look for embroidery stitches (of which there turned out to be few...this is more for proper dressmaking, etc, than embroidery), because I had been browsing in Borders, and picked up Caroline Zoob's Childhood Treasures:

Apparently it's been around for a bit, but I've never seen it before. Anyway, it is a GORGEOUS book, loaded with eye candy, and I love the fact that it manages to look old fashioned and very sweet, with nary a pastel in sight. :p So, I was looking through it, and saw these little fabric covered buttons made from linen, with little embroidery on them...SO cute. I had to try them. Except my embroidery skills are moderately rusty, lol. Hence trying to dig through the first book and refresh my memory, which turned out to be a bust, but was so much more interesting just to leaf through. But I perservered, and came out with a couple:

I had a lot of blue and pink threaded on my needles, so I ended up doing a bunch of them....which I regret, cause I love the blue and red ones SO much more..


And yeah...my embroidery skills definitely need some practice, lol...I am capable of WAY better than these sad little examples.


While I am on the subject, this is a birthday card I made for a little girl ages ago....it's hard to see, but it's embroidered on butter yellow linen, and then applied it to the card with spray adhesive. Good stuff, that spray adhesive. :p


My kids have gotten in on the act, and have started their own projects....which, since I only have the one hoop, is kind of frustrating, lol.



11 comments:

Patty said...

I love all of your buttons but the blue and red are my favorite.

Jodie said...

I love those buttons and your skills look great to me!!!

Tonya said...

I *heart* those buttons, especially the red and blue ones!!!!! I think your embroidery skills are fantastic!!!!

I love the first paragraph to that book, it always makes me kind of angry when I am reminded how women were thought of back then and still are today by some stupid men!

Susie Harris said...

Thanks for sharing a bit from that book. I was a tour guide years ago for a plantation home near my house. Back then young girls would start a needlepoint picture called a samplier. Upon completion they would know all the stitches and lifes lessons... They would then be married off. Age... 13 or so. 15 would be an old maid... Whewww. Thanks again , enjoyed your blog.. Susie H

Sharleen said...

They look good to me!!

Liz said...

I had a lovely little package arrive from NSW the other day...you wouldn't know anything about that, would you???

My three year-old son took one look at it and immediately decided it has to go on the Christmas tree... I love the turtle bead! You were right - it is SO me. Thank you!!!

muralimanohar said...

Yay, it arrived?? Now I can post it! :D (Which I need to do...seeing as this is day three of no posts yet in my Post a Day thing...whoops! I've been busy! :p )

Leah said...

Yes, I LOVE those sweet little buttons. And the excerpt from the book--wow. So incredibly subversive!

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

M, you are one talented lady and that 1st book sounds like a fab resource for needlework - my needle point skills are VERY rusty to say the least

Gail :) said...

They are beautiful! And your embroidery skills are great!

Nikki said...

hmmm... yes... You really must read THe SUbversive Stitch.

Love the buttons!

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