Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Retro Embroidery: Avocado Green, Harvest Gold, Burnt Orange

The time was late 1960's and early 1970's. Brazilian dimensional embroidery wasn't on my horizon for at least 15-20 more years, but I've been stitching since I was a wee smidgeon (a VERY long time ago) - first those dresser scarves and pillowcases our moms gave us, and later (I have no idea where she found them) the large pictures with deer or landscapes, all long/short stitch with 4 strands of Coats & Clark cotton embroidery thread. 

Fast-forward to the 60's, and colors trending to avocado green, harvest gold and burnt orange. --And a handy supply of McCall's Needlecraft, Woman's Day and Family Circle magazines. 
I pulled out my embroidery threads and started stitching. The design above (inspired by one I saw somewhere) started with lazy daisy stitches. I circled around and around until I ran out of one color, or got bored. Changed colors and continued to stitch.
Then I went to look for more. This was a tiny 2x2" picture (McCall's Needlework, I think) that I saw on an advertisement. I'll bet I can do that, I thought - and I threaded my needle again.
 There isn't any dimensional embroidery here, just basic embroidery stitches.
We lived in Omaha, Nebraska, at the time. One day when I was flipping through the Omaha World Herald, I saw an ad, just a line drawing in black and white. But I thought it was cute. So I stitched it. Here's a picture:
Everything is long/short or other basic embroidery stitches. The sheep is stitched with lazy daisy stitches worked around and around. I did have a lot of fun.
After we moved to Oregon and I discovered Brazilian embroidery in the late 80's, I had lots of fun playing with these newly-discovered dimensional techniques. And when I ran out of things to stitch, I suddenly realized that I could probably draw my own ideas. So I did.
So.  If I can do it, so can you! Just remember: our flowers are circles, ovals or triangles; our leaves are heart-shaped. Animals are mostly circles and ovals. Have fun! Easy as pie.
P.S. By the way, our kitchen appliances in Omaha were Harvest Gold.


  1. Oh gosh you walked me down memory lane....Were we neighbors? lol Thank you for the smile today.

  2. Ha, ha, Mummsie - thanks for your note. My neighbor had burnt orange for her appliances. Those colors were actually pretty nice. At the time.... Have a nice day!