Print Friendly and PDF With Strings Attached: Throwback Thursday: needlework, 1975

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Throwback Thursday: needlework, 1975

In January, 1975, I was home in Northbrook between Alpha Gamma Delta leadership consultant assignments. I posed for this photo with most of my needlework output.

Here are the details.

* The green cross-stitch quilt was the first one I made. It's a Bucilla kit, double-bed sized.  I made it in 1973-74 when I was in graduate school (embroidery first semester, hand-quilting second semester). I like to say that I got a lot of good use out of both the quilt and the degree.  The quilt is still in pretty good condition, considering that it's been washed quite a few times.
* My mother and her brother Bob hand-pieced the sixteen-patches in the 1930's. Mother said Bob's stitches were neater because he was a year older. Someone (Mother?) set them with blue sheeting. The summer of 1974 I took the top without Mother's knowledge and embellished the blocks with feather-stitching (pastel DMC floss) and hand-quilted a wreath and heart in the blue blocks.  I had NO IDEA what I was doing, so it is very inauthentic.  I presented it to my parents at graduation. Mother loved it. After she passed away I sent it to Bob, who was terminally ill. The report was that he smiled when he saw it. (I don't know if any of my cousins have the quilt.)
* The crewel pillows above my left shoulder and under my right arm were kits.  My Alpha Gam sister Paula and I sent Kleenex or Puffs proofs-of-purchase to get them. (Circa 1972.)
* By 1974 needlepoint was all the rage. It was perfect to take on my Alpha Gam travels.
--The squirrel pillow was a finished-center ("Berlin work") piece. I first saw it at a department store in Ohio, and then again at a department store in North Carolina. It was on sale and I bought it.  (The squirrel is the Alpha Gam mascot.)
-- The red/buff roses picture (small square on the left in the picture) was also finished-center. (Alpha Gam flowers are red and buff roses).
-- The oval-framed picture is the one I don't recall at all.
-- The little railroad cars were gifts to my dad. They were Sunset kits.
-- The lemons-in-a-baset pillow was a gift to my sister, whose bedroom was citrus yellow, orange, and green.
-- The yellow-green bargello pillow was an Elsa Williams kit, made for my mother. (There was a living room chair that color.)
-- The purple-and-white pillow was made from a pattern in The Art of Needlegraph , a book I bought on my travels. I did all the counting by eye--no marking on the canvas.  This was a wedding gift for my Alpha Gam pledge daughter Janet whose favorite color was purple. She and her husband Grant will celebrate their 40th anniversary this month.

In the 40 years since this picture was taken I have stitched many pillows and pictures, sewn a lot of clothing, and of course made dozens of quilts.


  1. Your projects remind me of The Mama. She was doing many of the same things in the 70s. And that was when she took up quilting, as well. Unfortunately she passed away in 79. I have a few of her needlework pieces and the last quilt she made -- a reversible grandmother's flower garden. Like her, your hands must never be idle.

  2. You got a lot done in that time. I used to cross stitch all the time and never have gotten back to it.

  3. What a variety of needle arts. I always though of crewel work as cruel...not too much of it hanging around still. I still have a needlepoint canvas that I should have framed. . .it is quite attractive actually. I've near been much for making pillows but I used to like counted cross stitch. I've gone back to it to make the grands Christmas ornaments every year. I've got a kit on order to actually make a little holiday picture. We'll see if I get it done ever! Nice display.


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