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vintage (embroidery) backsides

Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery

I've shared some of the vintage embroidery that my family has, and I have some more to show you. Some you may have seen here before, but today I'm focusing on the backsides. Yes, you get to see the front, but sometimes the back is just as beautiful! I love that about this stitching. There was real care put into these!

This is a photo heavy post, but before we jump into it, I want to point out two things:

1) You will spot knots on the backs. These are pieces that were intended to be washed a lot (pillowcases and table linens), so knots keep the embroidery from coming undone.

2) Some of the stitches are missing on a few of these. Why? It's not because they came undone (see #1), but rather, the thread actually wore through. You can see that it just plain disappeared. Consider then, how much they've been used!

Now, ready to see some vintage embroidery backsides? (Fronts are included for comparison!)

Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery
Vintage Embroidery

Sometime soon, I think I should share some of the backsides of my own embroidery. Am I brave enough? Maybe. Are you? Post pics of the back of your embroidery work and share a link in the comments!

24 comments:

  1. that's it... i'm going out and buying the goods for this.... I'm trying it!

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  2. Mollie, these are great! Thanks so much for sharing! One of my favorite things about the backsides of vintage embroidery is seeing how economical those ladies were with their floss. Hardly a wasted thread in sight.

    Someday I'll post the backsides of my embroideries. Someday... It feels so personal to me, ha ha!

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  3. Hahaha...the back sides of my embroidery are a mess! To be fair, almost everything I've ever made is made to be used (not hung), but the backs are quite embarrassing. Maybe I'll be brave enough to post something someday ;)

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  4. Wow they are so adorable and elegant. When I was younger, I to make embroidery, Because my mum always said, that front and backside should look the same :-) thank for sharing and have a happy Day

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  5. Hi:
    My mother always said the same: front and backside should look the same. I never made knots on my embroidery or cross-stitching. I supose that what you learn as a child you never forget.

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  6. Wow. They are so neat. My backsides are always a complete mess! I am trying to learn to stitch neater though!

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  7. Were some of these from Aunt Hazel?

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    Replies
    1. Probably. Although, I don't know anymore. I know that some were from Helen and some were used by my mom growing up...so those could be from any number of folks!

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  8. There is no way I would share the backs of my embroidery - it is horrible - never be that brave

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  9. How about a challenge? Work on improving the neatness of your embroidery back for a few projects...keeping in mind that you're going to share the backside. It could be just what you need to get the back almost as pretty as the front!

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  10. Beautiful work.... front AND back!

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  11. Thanks for showing me the backs of the works. My mother taught me that the backs should always be as neat as the front. Until I stopped flipping over their work, friend hesitated to show me their work. lol

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  12. Alisa4:34 PM

    My grandmother first taught me how to embroider almost 40 years ago. I will always remember her telling me that the back needed to look as good as the front. Mine never did. Hers, done mostly on bed and table linens, always did.

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  13. It is so long sonce I have done any embroidery - quilting has taken over. But seeing these lovely, lovely pieces has really made me yearn for it again. Thanks for sharing those beauties. Cheers, Karen

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  14. Such beautiful vintage embroidery! I don't have any from my family, but love collecting it to just admire the skill such women had!! Thanks for sharing such family prettiness, and the backside,too! xo Heather

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  15. Anonymous1:11 AM

    My grandmother always said the back needed to look as good as the front. She said that if you entered you work in the county fair, that was something you would be judged on. I don't know if that was/is true or not. Mine never looks as good. I try to keep it neat, but don't always succeed.

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  16. Mollie, you have some wonderful heirloom pieces there, great workmanship (work woman-ship!). I admire and appreciate all the work put into those, as I never had the patience to finish more than a few. Perhaps I will share some pics on my blog soon. I have resolved to not just lurk anymore, but add comments as I visit around. Come visit my blog Crafting Green with Lily, if you get a chance.

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  17. awesome post! i so enjoy looking at examples of vintage embroidery. i would post a link to some embroidery "back" pics of my own, but pretty much all the embroidery i've got, that's my own work, is part of something that covers the back...like a pillow, or something, so i guess i never worried about whether the backs were good! next time i'll be thinking about it though!
    take care!
    debra

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  18. Nandini b1:09 PM

    I love this post. Thank you so much for sharing these. It makes me want to be more mindful of the backside of my embroidery. I'm always thinking of ways of covering it up with scrapes of cloth to hide the mess. :)

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  19. I'm always excite to see the backs. Thanks for sharing.

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  20. Anonymous7:20 AM

    And I thought I was the only one who looked at the backs of embroidered items. Glad to find out I'm not the only one.

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  21. Anonymous2:15 PM

    When my Grandma taught me to embroider she stressed that the front needed to be as neat as the back - be it a pot holder or a sampler. I've tried to honor that in all my sewing, but I'm not nearly as patient as my Grandma was :)

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  22. Funny how I used to "dream" of expensive looking pillowcases when I was a kid but now that I'm older I'm learning to appreciate those old pillowcases :( I wish I had asked my "Lola" to teach me. *tears*

    These are beautiful btw!~

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  23. It looks amazing, I am crazy about this blog and it works. Really its so good and i am very thankful to you. In very informative and useful for me. Thanks for share.

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