For may years I have collected antique and vintage embroidery. I love them. They are beautiful creative expressions of a time past. I have specifically loved the linens created during the early to mid 20Th century during much of the period in which they are described as Arts & Crafts style linens. These linens often have a primitive quality and a directness that I greatly admire. they are graphic expressions which were made to adorn a home. Sometime crudely worked, they seem almost urgent - as if they were made a bit on the fly. Other times they were obsessively needled into the most artful creations. My collection of Arts and Crafts embroidery has some stunners.
I like to utilize these graphic designs in current work. Pictured below is an embroidery I purchased on eBay. Most likely a table top linen - it is decorative, bold and although not labored over as far as embroidery style is concerned, it is effective. Time has not been too kind to it, but that just tells me it was somewhat utilitarian. I am happy it is still alive today in a sense - for it captured my imagination and I used it for inspiration.
A designer came to me wanting pillows for an interior. The room is colorful and features a large antique Suzani embroidery hanging over a fireplace. The colors we selected for the embroidery came from that Suzani. Thus bright and bold - the pillows are on a ground of hand woven antique French fabric.
The pattern is drawn and the colors of colors identified. By using the bright colors of the Suzani, the pattern becomes much less Arts and Crafts and much more in the character of the Suzani. this version of the embroidery was accomplished using hand guided techniques of cording and chain stitch, which worked beautifully on the highly textured ground.