Tuesday, May 25, 2010

French Knots and Ric-rack

Ric-rack. There's something about it that evokes wonderful childhood memories. Cards of it made their home in my mothers sewing box. It was found on her aprons, embroidered guest towels and pillowcases. Yes, along with those memories come smells...homemade cookiies, lavender soaps, you get the idea. So out came the ric-rack when I decided to do some embroidery projects. I have always loved the simple process of hand embroidery. I was taught one very hot summer when I was about 10, when i was oh so bored. My mother brought out all of her supplies from when she was younger and taught me this lost art. That summer I made many tea towels and pillowcases from the most delightful vintage patterns from her stash. At the time they were so old-fashioned...bumble bees hanging up laundry with  a saying "Be clean". You can imagine how corny that was in the day of flower power and peace signs! Of course after learning the process I went on to create my own designs to decorate my jeans and peasant shirts.
I have so wanted to pick up the hoop and needle again and thought my dress designs would be adorable on these towels. How I love french knots. They seem to add the most feminine touch to any design. And of course the absolute finale touch had to be my beloved ric-rack! I think these may have to become kits on Etsy in coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Oh and by the way, my original tea towels from many years ago are now gracing my kitchen a good 60 years after my mother bought these patterns at Woolworths for 25 cents. How lucky is that?


  1. I enjoyed your article on embroidery and rickrack. i learned to embroider when i was 9 years old. I am still doing it. I also started collecting, some years ago, old embroidery patterns. This has been so much fun for me.You have brought back many happy memories. My children and grandchildren all pieces of my work.it is very hard to find blogs and/or articles on the old transfer embroidery. thanks.

  2. I'm so glad I could conjure up some great memories!