Monday, 22 July 2013

A Different M & B

Here in the Applewood we have a penchant for a vintage Mills & Boon craft book, yes we did say Mills & Boon. 
Established in 1908, Mills & Boon became publishers of educational texts, travel, craft & childrens books as well as general fiction before becoming better known for their romantic fiction titles. During the 1950's & 60's their catalogue of craft titles, covering topics from lace making to enamelling, had such crackin' first edition covers it's always a thrill if you can find them intact and in good condition. 


Murgatroyd, being beady of eye, is often very good at spotting these books and last week he uncovered an almost perfect, 1959 Mills & Boon edition of, 'Discovering Embroidery' by the fabulously named Winsome Douglass.
Delighted?  We were! 
We shall enjoy trawling through the stitches looking for those which are unfamiliar.


Single & Double Feather Stitch











Upon our shelf of vintage craft books you'll find another tome by Ms Douglass for Mills & Boon, 'Toys for Your Delight', full of black & white decorative drawings, technicoloured plates & guidance on how to create handstitched & embroidered fabric magic/madness such as the felt elephant pictured below. Both amusing & inspirational in equal measure and very much of the period in which it was written. 






















We believe that Winsome Douglass was actively involved in the Needlework Development Scheme (more of that in a subsequent post) during the 1950's; some of her hand stitched work being held in the scheme's archives for future study. However, other than that we know very little about her. If anyone can point us in the right direction to find out more we'd love to hear from you. 

We'd also love to know if any of you reading this have a similar collection of old needlework books? If so, what's residing on your shelf and how have they inspired you? 
Go on, spill the beans...
Decorative bird heads for inspiration from 'Toys for Your Delight'

7 comments:

Gina said...

What fabulous books. I love old finds like that.

The Faerie Factory said...

Oh my what wonderful books, who knew the masters of romance could be so funky ~ Sarah

Murgatroyd said...

Glad you've enjoyed seeing them. It's always fascinating to find a 'hidden' story behind a well known name...
Keep your eyes peeled for more!

Flaming Nora said...

I have so many vintage craft books, though none by M&B. I do however own the most amazing Indian pattern cutting book.

Murgatroyd said...

OoH, that sounds interesting FN - have you posted a picture/written about it? If so, please point us in the right direction to see it...

lilipopo said...

ooh I have the toys for your delight book!! I have never noticed that it's mills and boon, I will have to search it out x

Murgatroyd said...

Hi Lilipopo - excellent! Go & have another look at your book shelf you might find another... :D

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