There are two books on the market now that will be of interest to quiltand textile historians and collectors, as well as those who enjoy makingembroidered vintage-looking linens and quilts. They are not scholarly, nor arethey intended to be, but they are a useful resource within the scope of patternidentification. They are both written by textile collectors Brenna Hopkins andNori Koenig and published by Design Originals.
LINEN HEIRLOOMS, VINTAGE LINENS
Thebook begins with an overview of the needle arts seen in the first and secondquarters of the 20th century. The authors tell us, “This edition of TheArt Needle will give you a little expertise of your own, because while textilehistorians have been focusing on rarer things, the records and memories of thiswidely popular needlework have been disintegrating right under our noses. If youwant to date your patterns or understand a little more about the general trendsof art embroidery, you may find a bit of help here.”
The 99-page book is chock full of actual-size embroidery patterns to trace and use for quilt blocks, hand towels, pillowcases, dresser scarves, pillows and napkins with a table cloth. They can be used for redwork and appliqué patterns, too. The authors have included brief and general, but nonetheless helpful, timelines on particularly popular pattern themes, such as Sunbonnet Sues, Colonial or bonnet ladies, nursery themes, flower baskets and kitchen and day-of-the-week themes. Floating through the pages are fun quotes, linen care tips, ways to estimate a pattern's age, and glossary terms. There are wonderful color pictures of vintage examples. Instructions and pictures of four quilts popular in the 1920s and '30s are also presented.
VINTAGE TINTED LINENS & QUILTS
Tintedlinens were hand-colored embroidered “novelties,” very popular during the1920s - '40s. The authors tell us, “Collectors today appreciate the charm and unique personality of tinted linens, yet their history remains largely untold. We do know that women used tinting to add color to embroidery, while following this trend.”
Instructions are given for using crayons to tint the embroidery patterns they provide. Potholders, laundry bags, pillow tops, table cloths, crib sheets, and a quilt are the types of linens they picture with the tinted patterns for you to make. Different themes are presented, including Native American designs, children, pets, the Roaring '20s, and florals. Brief historical information is provided, as well as a timeline, and measurements with stitching instructions round out the usefulness of this book.
This is an inspiring set of books that makes you smile, and for some . . . remember. They could be used by both young and old crafters, quilters, and embroiderers, or simply kept for historical reference. There are few books currently available for collectors of such items, that offer as many pictured examples as these books do.
Book publishers and authors: if you would like your bookreviewed on this Website, and it falls within the scope of topics, pleasecontact me.