1914 Flower Embroidery Designs

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

Saturday, April 25, 1914:  Plugging away.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (August, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (August, 1914)

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

Oh dear—Sounds like Grandma was still helping with the spring housecleaning. Did she get any breaks in the work when she could relax, and do something she enjoyed? . . . perhaps do a little needlework?

These selections of designs bring out a very pleasing effect in embroidery done with silks and natural-colored linen. The flowers are worked solid and the leaves in long and short stitches. To develop the beauty of the pattern fully requires a very careful combination of color and shading.

One or two pieces of such distinctive work are sufficient in a room; if more is used the effect is too striking.

Ladies Home Journal (August, 1914)




10 Responses

  1. I love the embroidery. I was taught to embroider when I was young and have some pillows and pillowcases I made. I treasure them..thanks for sharing.

  2. I can still remember my grandmother’s embroidery. Beautiful work. I hope Helena gets to have some fun soon!
    Diana xo

  3. I used to love doing embroidery. I don’t think my fingers and eyesight would be good enough any more.

  4. I also did embroidery years ago. It’s amazing that women had much time to enjoy things like that in Grandma’s day – as hard as they had to work. We really do have life so much easier!

  5. Embroidery seems to be a lost art. I did a lot when I was young and started a huge wall hanging of different stitches and threads. It’s in my cedar chest. I must get it out someday and finish it. But then…what would I do with a huge wall hanging???

  6. Needlework certainly was a common pastime back then. These are lovely examples.

  7. I used to embroider a lot, I really like the flower designs from the magazine.

  8. I like needlework almost as much as playing with paper.

  9. That thistle design is really attractive! I did some embroidery lately, as part of a larger project, and was surprised at how much I really enjoyed it!

  10. I love the thistle design… Jane

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