You guys, I’m an embroidery-aholic.
I have a bad case of needlepoint-itus.
It’s a crewel, crewel world.
I just can’t shake my current obsession with vintage embroidery! (And apparently, bad wordplay.) Pulling together The ABC’s of Gathering: E is for Embroidery simply fanned the flames of an already kindled love affair, so I just had to keep feeding my infatuation with today’s post…
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the reason I enjoy embroidered finds so much and here’s what I’ve concluded:
They have an inherent whimsy to them – whether it’s the color choices, the three-dimensionality of certain stitchery, or the pixelated effect inherent to needlepoint – and I get an especial kick when traditionally serious subjects, like classic paintings, are rendered in thread for that reason.
They embody the patience and diligence of simpler times, and this rings true for contemporary embroidery as well. I truly marvel at the labor and time sunk into an embroidered piece, all the while experiencing separation anxiety if I’m not checking my phone’s notifications every few minutes… I have to respect the discipline and commitment to vision required! That’s certainly something I could always use more of in my life.
They are a tangible and relatable way to connect with the past. One of the reasons I love buying vintage pieces is the feeling of connection with kindred spirits in the past – loving something they cared about too, enjoying their good taste, carrying on their stewardship, appreciating their investment. Do I sound too “out there”? Or have you felt the same way before too? In a world where so many things are disposable, I just get warm and fuzzy and excited about legacy, you know?
*Today’s post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I may receive a small commission. You can read my full disclosure here. I hope you all know by now that I do only share things I really truly love!
Vintage Embroidery Favorites
I had WAY too much fun pulling these together. Truthfully, I could troll Etsy using the keywords “embroidery”, “needlepoint” and “crewel” for hours. As usual with my “Gather This” posts, I’ve only included pieces that that grabbed me, called out to me, and filled me with inspiration!
I hope you’ll enjoy browsing these pieces, whether you’re looking to shop or just enjoy the experience of beautiful things – I certainly enjoyed finding them all!
1. Springtime Gazebo Crewel Embroidery. I can’t get enough of that stitched lattice work on the gazebo! It’s worth the price of admission alone.
2. Victorian Garden Needlepoint. Very elaborate, very fancy and classical, yet so fun with those rich colors. This one is such a showpiece!
3. Bjørn Wiinblad Needlepoint. I was first introduced to the whimsical work of Danish designer Bjørn Wiinblad through my sweet friend Julia of Cuckoo4Design. I’m absolutely taken with this embroidered piece inspired by his work!
4. Wooden House Crewel Embroidery. Well, I guess you could say that I’m constantly inspired by my blogging friends… Cassie from Primitive and Proper’s “Dollhouse Therapy” challenge has me giddy over miniatures lately, so this embroidered dollhouse basically combines all of my current obsessions into one perfect piece.
5. French Nobleman Needlepoint. If you’ve ever pulled together a gallery wall, you know how valuable a tall, thin piece can be to achieving a balanced composition. Add in some bright, primary colors and an adorable French gentleman, not to mention a very respectable price point… What are you waiting for?
6. Lombardy Poplar Crewel Embroidery. Can’t you just feel the wind blowing through these beautiful poplar trees? So evocative.
7. Swedish Floral Pillow. This little black floral needlepoint pillow is as similar to my beloved needlepoint pillow as I could find. I’m halfway tempted to snap it up as a backup, because I could seriously plop one of these in every room of my home!
1. Mini Framed Needlepoint Pair. These bitty round needlepoint pieces are another life-saver for common gallery wall dilemmas, as well as just being plain adorable anywhere you choose to display them! See above re: my love of miniature things.
2. Bonsai Crewel Embroidery. Yes, just yes, to everything about this. The faux bamboo frame + the embroidered greenery? This is just as current in 2016 as it was forty or fifty years ago.
3. Cactus Desert Needlepoint. Another piece that’s just phenomenally on trend, because, as you’ve probably observed, cacti are hot, hot, hot right now. Because basically, they’re prickly and adorable and they are the hedgehogs of the plant world. And here they are in vintage embroidery for your walls… Dang, girl!
4. French Pink Flamingo Needlepoint. I mean, you guys – what’s hotter than cacti right now? Flamingos. Weird-necked, bow-legged, but oh-so-pink flamingos! The colors in this vintage French needlepoint are just divine!
5. 1970’s Leopard Needlepoint Pillow. Oops… I didn’t mean to include this one! I had it bookmarked for me because I just need to have this kind of fierce fabulousness in my life. But I’ll totally understand if you need some in yours too. I’ll race you for it… Ready… Set… Go…
6. Arial Suzani Pillow Cover. There’s just no point in talking about embroidery if suzani doesn’t make an appearance! The colors in this pillow cover are very reminiscent of the vintage Swedish needlepoint above, yet the surface embroidery takes an entirely different approach. I’m absolutely loving the black background!
7. “The Souvenir” Needlepoint. Apparently, the painting this needlepoint is based on is very famous and fancy – “The Souvenir”, by Jean Honoré Fragonard, 1778 – and actually a bit somber. So I especially love the limited, bright, color palette chosen for this needlepoint (completed 200 years later in 1970). I’m always a sucker for interpretations that turn the original on its head a bit!
So now I must hear… What’s your favorite piece I highlighted today?
Pin it if you love it!