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Posts Tagged ‘The Workbasket’

Today one of the books I’ve been editing, Redwork from The WORKBASKET, went to production, another step closer to being published, although the book doesn’t come out until next spring.

I’ve had a special place in my heart for this book, by contributing editor Rebecca Kemp Brent, from the start. Although it’s really a machine embroidery book, the designs are taken directly from vintage embroidery transfers from The WORKBASKET, a great old magazine I remember my mother getting back in the 60s. Twenty years later, I started buying vintage copies in antique malls for the wonderful crochet and tatting patterns. I won a lot of ribbons making projects from old WORKBASKETs.

A little over a year ago I learned that Krause Publications, an imprint of the company I work for, F+W Media, actually owns The WORKBASKET. That means we have all that content at our disposal, including those fabulous embroidery transfers.

The designs were redrawn directly from the original transfers and digitized for machine embroidery. Since I’ve always been into hand embroidery (well, nearly always – I started doing needlework regularly when I was about twelve), the part about this project that excites me is that all 100 vintage designs are in JPEG and PDF formats on the disk that comes with the book. That means anyone who’s as crazy about embroidery as me can print these designs right off the disk and create a fresh embroidery transfer.

I did the hand embroidery samples for the book, which was fun. I stitched a redwork horse head, which is an unbelievable design, on a dishtowel and two pillowcases with morning glory designs in hand-dyed and variegated thread. Rebecca has some wonderful projects in the book, but since I don’t do machine sewing either, I won’t be attempting the bed quilt very soon. But my fingers literally itch to tackle more of those embroidery patterns!

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UPDATE: Free cross-stitch patterns are no longer available on MyCraftivity.com.

The free cross stitch patterns this week at MyCraftivity feature some cute cow characters. The charts are to make refrigerator magnets, but there are lots of things you could do with them. Go see for yourself.
While you’re there, visit the Cross Stitch and Needle Arts blog. I just put up a post yesterday based on an article I found called “Winning Tips for Fair Exhibitors” in an old issue of The Workbasket (July 1953 — the year before I was born)  I provide a few quotes from the article as well as my own perspectives on entering needlework in fairs. I miss my old competition days.

I’ve been scanning years and years of The Workbasket this week, going back to 1948 and forward to the 90s. It turns out my company owns the rights to this beloved old magazine and its contents, and we’ve got some interesting projects ahead drawing on the treasure trove of embroidery transfers, crocheting and knitting patterns, and even recipes. Should be fun! (I have to say that glancing through those volumes of The Workbasket in succession is like watching my life pass before my eyes. My mother did some of the craft projects back in the 60s, and I delved into old Workbaskets myself over the years for great doily patterns — won quite a few ribbons with them, too. More than that, it’s fascinating to see the styles, hairdos, ads, and changes in culture and craft/needlework trends as the decades pass.)

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