Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, 26 April 2014

16 antique patterns to re-chart.

    Look at what I found in my boxes.... 16 antique patterns that need to be re-charted. Maybe it looks easy, but each pattern takes me from 2-20 hours to chart, depending on the amount of colours and whether  or not there is any damage on the original.

    Then there is the job of matching the 100+ years old colours to modern equivalents. At the beginning I use to match the colours as much as possible to the originals, but recently I have tried to make the colours harmonise more... of course, in the Victorian era silks, wools, cottons, linen threads and cloth were not as widely available as now and ladies were a lot more careful to use what they had and make do with what was to be found in their city or part of the world. If you were wealthy it was no problem to order silks from Vienna, and wools from Germany but even then there was no guaranty that the colours would coordinate.

    We might be a little spoiled nowadays by being able to order any thread we want in any hue we please from any corner of the world. But there is still a creative pleasure in taking out the colours and threads we do have and with them to ‘ personalise ’a  design by using different threads, adding beads, or stitching in different stitches.

    When I chart these antique patterns I like to think of our modern needle worker adding her own personal taste to the embroideries she stitches. For example: One of my favourite technique is to stitch flowers in silk with the center in petit point ( or with micro beads ), while working the leaves in cotton ( or wool ) this gives the embroidery a very special feel, with the difference of textures between the glossy silk blooms, and matt cotton, or wool leaves.

Antique patterns waiting to be re-charted.......

Lovely patterns

Beautiful floral patterns.

Briar rose and fuchsia border from Sajou
Here is a chart I made from the pattern, it's available here :
Here I am choosing the colours for Briar rose.... I have an office, but I somehow prefer to work in the kitchen, I have this long old oak table and I can spread everything there, beside the view from the window is beautiful and the light the best in the house.

DMC colour card with real threads... an essential tool in choosing thread colours.


  1. so gorgeous! My fave is the pink hydrangea. You've done a really great job with the re-charting!

  2. Gorgeous designs -- I love the florals! That's quite an undertaking to re-chart the designs -- I can't imagine the time and attention to detail that it takes!

  3. It takes time, but I feel it is a way to preserve those beautiful embroidery patterns for future generations. Most are well over 150 years old, they were ' mass produced' in the 1800's, but with the passage of time they have gotten lost, damaged, worn and some might be the last one of it's it it worth the effort !