Boudoir Pillow: 30 Days of Heirloom sewing Annie Laura Sews Day 3


I digitized the embroidery using Digitizer MBX and sewed the pillow in
one hooping on the Janome 15000 using the largest hoop

I love opening my great grandmother’s cedar-lined hope chest and examining the delicately embroidered baby clothes. Because I love the embroidery, and because I have neither the time nor the patience to recreate it by hand, I like digitizing similar designs using my MBX software.
Today, I wanted to recreate what the September 1916 Needlecraft magazine calls a “boudoir pillow.” It looks very much like the pram pillow embroidered by my grandmother in 1916 for my uncle:
Pram Pillow embroidered by my grandmother, Esther Stewart
(in my novel, Annie Laura’s Triumph, her name is Viola Lee)

My version is a bit sturdier and is embroidered on a heavier weight cotton. (Click here to read full article). By using a wing needle in the machine embroidery process, I was able to emulate my grandmother’s hemstitching. 
My grandmother’s lovely hand stitched french knots and hemstitching 

Of coursenothing can replace the lovely look of hand stitching, but the embroidery machine does a pretty good job.

My pillow was embroidered on the Janome 15000 using the grand hoop. The pillow was embroidered all in one hooping. The .jef download and instructions are available  here

By the time I came along, neither my grandmother nor my greatgrandmother were sewing. I think they had put their eyes out with the delicate white on white embroidery. For them, crochet was a competitive sport in which the contestants vied against one another for the tiniest stitch and laciest result.
As evidence, I have five white on white finely embroidered baby dresses, one white on white equally finely embroidered baby pillow, five baby bonnets: one crocheted, two tatted, and one a lovely silk with intricate heirloom stitches, puffing and silk satin ribbonwork, a crocheted bedspread, a crocheted tablecloth, and five sets of crocheted booties and a green and white quilt. All of this handiwork created by either my grandmother or my great-grandmother for babies, grandbabies, and for the pure love of creating beautiful things. In the next few weeks, I’ll be working to create replicas of most of my grandmother and great grandmother’s needle work. Stay tuned 🙂
You can read my fictional account of the lives of my grandmother and great grandmother Annie Laura’s Triumph published by Mercer University Press.
pre-order here at Amazon, or here at Mercer University Press.

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