Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Gay flowers

 stitchcraft magazine 1934
'Gay flowers on a trellis-work background' (detail)

I was delighted when my colleague and neighbour* gave me this copy of Stitchcraft magazine, published in September 1934. It's hard to believe it's nearly 80 years old, especially as the iron-on embroidery transfer is still folded up inside, in pristine condition.

stitchcraft cover September 1934
Autumn modes

Several colourways are suggested for the Gay flowers design, but I'm ever so taken with these bright blooms on black linen, reminiscent of a design by Celia Birtwell.

The Stitchcraft people propose making your finished piece of embroidery into a cushion and runner set, a dressing table set or even a Radio Times or telephone directory cover (it says you need to make two phone book covers if you live in the London area – back in 1934 was there one directory for north London and another for south, or perhaps one for inner and one for outer London?)

stitchcraft transfer
Iron-on transfer, free with Stitchcraft, September 1934

The clever thing about the design of the transfer is that you can use sections, separated along the lines of the trellis, depending on the size of your project. I adore the flower with the sunray (/eyelashes) in its centre.

stitchcraft transfer detail
The 80-year-old transfer (detail)

I'm desperate to put this truly vintage transfer to use soon, but it seems such a shame not to keep it. Think I'd better trace it instead!

 *(thanks Cleo!)

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