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vintage craft: good housekeeping needlework

Sitting on my shelf for several years now, I've had a copy of the book Good Housekeeping New Complete Book of Needlework. My grandma gave it to me, and I knew that she used it a lot as a reference for knitting. Since I don't knit very often, the book usually sits on my shelf.
Complete Book of Needlework
The other day I was at my grandpa's house, and saw my grandma's copy of the book. Even though I already have it, I decided to bring her copy home. After all, she used it so much...it's a nice thing to have hers. Here's what I found inside:
The inscription to my grandma
That's definitely a belated gift, as my grandma's birthday was in May, but clearly Florence knew that it was a perfect gift for her.

I flipped through the book and found so many wonderful things, and a very large section on embroidery, which has already taught me things and gotten me wanting to try some new (old!) methods. But then I happened upon the rug section.
Rug Pattern? Or Embroidery...
As you see in the little picture on the right, this is a design for a rug. It definitely has the style of the years this book was popular in, and that style suits me now! Do I want to make a rug? No. But could I embroider this design? Yes!

I took a photo and cleaned it up so that I can work on it. I'm in love!
Rug Pattern
My sister thinks it would make a great table runner with the pattern repeating. I think she's right, and a little crazy if she thinks that I'm going to stitch this a whole lot of times! But maybe, maybe I'm up for the challenge...


  1. I bet I'm not the only one heading right to Amazon to see if I can get a copy, not having been given one by my grandma....

  2. That is such a cool design! I have scored several great vintage books from the library's used bookshop. I am always amazed at how modern some of the patterns are (just skip the sections on macrame and corn husk dolls). One of my faves is BHG Creative Machine Stitchery circa 1985. There is a whole set of Henry VIII and all 8 wives applique pillows!

  3. Seriously? I need to check that out!

  4. I have this book also, but, it is a newer publication date and doesn't have this pattern in it. My lose. But for you, maybe a pillow top or a purse instead of a table runner.

  5. Oooh - so cool!! :) I *heart* vintage pattern books! Stitch it, stitch it - at least once!

  6. lovely! it'll be so fun to see what colors you pick. that could make it a throwback or uber modern!

  7. LOVE it! That is truly a great idea for it. Unfortunately I wouldn't have the patience for it even if I reeeeally wanted to.

  8. How lovely! I love all vintage craft books but the fact it belonged to someone special makes it even more precious. I love the idea of using the pattern for an embroidery! Gorgeous.

    Katie x

  9. I think I may have to try my hand at this pattern...I love it. Thank you so much for sharing. Now, I need to re-think how I look through some of the books in my collection!

  10. that pattern does look like fun to do :) cant wait to see what you make with it x

  11. i love it!! a table runner does sound like a nice project

  12. Anonymous10:02 AM

    Wow, Mollie! What a great book! I just went over to eBay and got the same one for $2.10!! There is another one over there for $3.75 or best offer.
    Good luck anyone looking for a copy!


  13. That's fantastic! I think your sister is right, it would make a wonderful table runner. Would love to see it when your finished.


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