Since we started talking about McCall embroidery patterns yesterday, I thought I would showcase the one 1940 McCall transfer pattern I have made so far...
McCall 789: Transfer Design for Embroidered Picture. Price, 35 cents. There is an amazing wealth of color in this enchanting garden scene of the famous old House of the Seven Gables at Salem, Mass. The flower masses are worked in simple everday stitches and stand out brightly in contrast to the dark tones of the house. Here are the larkspur, daisies, snapdragon, foxglove, etc. Work on smooth, closely woven linen in a warm, medium shade of gray. For strand cottons. Full instructions. Size of picture, 8 x 10 inches.
-from the 1942 November McCall Complete Needlework Catalogue
Any one interested in Americana will recognize here the Salem home made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of the best known and most admired men of his time, both for his character and for his delightful books. This picture of the House of the Seven Gables is a nice piece to hang on the wall of an American home. The colorful garden is done in simple stitches everyone knows, and the scene is charming when worked on light gray linen. Transfer design, 35 cents.
-from the Winter 1940-41 McCall Needlework Magazine
This pattern was such a joy to embroider. I love the clusters of flowers, each with a different style or type of stitch. My favourite ones have to be the ones done in tiny french knots:
This pattern came with an iron on transfer of the design. You can see the faint grey marks on the house and in the flower patch in the photo above. All of those turn into embroidered stitches to give the house and it's garden a warm palette filled with colour.
Illustration from the 1940 McCall's magazine
The best thing about embroidery patterns like this (at least for me) is that there are very distinct sections or clusters of flowers--making it easy to pick up the pattern and finish a cluster in one go. I feel like this pattern went quickly because it was so easy to break up the work without feeling overwhelmed.
I think the fascination with the House of the Seven Gables in 1940 was based on the movie starring Vincent Price that came out that year.
The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I read the novel and really enjoyed it but I must admit that the embroidered house looks nothing like the real house that is the subject of the book.
Illustration from the 1942 McCall Complete Needlework Catalogue
I finished up the picture in time to mail to my mom as a present for Christmas but it got lost in the mail!!! Seriously, weeks and weeks later it finally showed up. I was so nervous! Lesson learned...always get your embroidery/sewing presents with postal tracking!!
I am super excited to tackle some of the other embroidery patterns from 1940!