Old Cross-Stitch Examples

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, January  26, 1913: Went to Sunday School this afternoon. Besse was out.

Source of Pictures: Ladies Home Journal (May, 1913)

Source of Pictures: Ladies Home Journal (May, 1913)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma’s sister Besse was married and lived in nearby Watsontown.  Sometimes Besse brought needlework or sewing along when she came to visit. For example, on August 9, 1912 Grandma wrote:

We had sort of s sewing bee here today. Besse was out and brought some of her stuff along.

On this January day, a hundred years ago, perhaps the sisters did cross-stitching while they chatted.

Cross-stitch and crochet work using same rose pattern

Cross-stitch and crochet work using same rose pattern

23 Responses

  1. Thanks for bringing back some great memories of my Grandma tonight. I have several of the items that she embroidered over the years. I also have several cross stitch items from my Mom and sister.

  2. Handiwork was such an important part of “leisure” time in those preTV days.

  3. Yes, indeed! My mother always had a crochet needle in her hand when she was sitting (and taught me to crochet when I was a child). My aunt embroidered pillow cases year-round.
    I’m sure it’s nice for you to think of your grandma and her family enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon together!

    • I also had relatives who always seemed to be crocheting, tatting, or embroidering. They always gave the most lovely wedding and shower gifts.

  4. I’ll bet that’s when they did some of their best talking. Sort of like today;s version of discussing something with a teenager, You have to get them while they are in the car and “can’t” make eye contact. Bet it was the same with embroidery needles and crochet hooks flying

  5. I recently started to learn how to cross stitch. It’s great fun! :)

  6. Lovely! This gave my day a lovely start!

  7. It’s so good to see that lately there’s been an increasing popularity among young/old/middle/ and everything in between in different crafts like sewing, quilting, crocheting, etc. Fun!

  8. Do you happen to have anything she made? That would be a real treat!

  9. I admire those who crochet and have several homemade pieces. A hundred years ago I wonder if they knew what great heirlooms they were making for our generation to admire?

  10. Thanks for sharing this. How lovely. I enjoy needlework, when I can get to it. I’m currently working on a replica of a PA girl from early 1800’s. I’m halfway done. Should be done in another year or two;)

  11. I know many people still make beautiful stitched items but it’s becoming a lost art. When we were in Venice, we took a boat over to the island of Buranno, they are famous for traditional lace work, all done by hand. I bought a very very small item. I can’t imagine how long it takes to make the table clothes or bed covers…amazing.

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