Embroider your Letter

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Northern Portuguese embroidery

Nothing says nostalgia, cozy and warmth like embroidery!  I know, I know… It can be tacky and there was a time when it was considered SO tacky.

Not anymore.  It’s a disappearing art and it’s admired for it’s delicate hand work and  beautiful colors. Something to cherish. I love it.

When I was a lot younger I remember going to people’s houses and seeing little squares of embroidery under lamps or covering small trays and just spread throughout the house. Crochet was also used in the same way.  I loved the embroidered table cloths. The white on white were so elegant and then there were some with just a bit of color that added depth and beauty.

Things change

At one point embroidery along with crochet became out of fashion and downright tacky.  But it’s back. Thanks to all the DIY lovely makers.

My mother never had embroidery in our house. Our house had a very de- cluttered look with pieces added thoughtfully to certain spots.  But we did have white embroidered table cloths and table mats. They were so delicate and the table always looked beautiful.

Going back to Memory Lane and feeling Nostalgic

I don’t know why I feel nostalgic when I see embroidery. It gives me a sense of the past.  It may be the fact that it’s hand made and nowadays everything is machine made.  I love to feel the extra dimension on the embroidered cloth and the sense of delicacy.

Portuguese embroidery

The Portuguese from the north of the country make a gorgeous embroidered letter on scarves that was created by fishermen’s wives.  They embroidered a short message and added little designs such as hearts and flowers.  Some of them were love letters and others express a heart felt longing and there were some that were about friendship.

You can still find them and some are still made by hand.  There are many machine-made so you will need to be attentive when you look for one.

It took me a long time to buy one.  I thought that it was such a touristy thing at first and then one day I went into a store and the right music was playing and the part about the harbor and the boat reminded me of my father…. Nostalgia hit me and I left the store with this embroidered letter.


Marguerite Beaty, Blogger, Photographer & Artist

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