More to play with..

Portuguese Patterns

Portuguese Patterns

Recently we had a visit from some Portuguese friends, who we last saw when we were in the Azores. They had obviously remembered my delight when I found the embroidery shop in the main square at Punta Delgarda, because for their hostess gift, as well as bringing some coffee and olive oil, they brought a set of vintage Portuguese sewing and embroidery patterns!

Although they look like magazines, each one is in fact a large sheet that unfolds to provide drawn-out patterns for a multitude of types of embroidery, including surface embroidery, appliqué, cutwork and drawn thread work, some of it crisp and simple, some of it bright, colourful and really quite ornate. Suggested applications for the designs appear as well, so next time my inspiration flags (er, and I’ve finished the Azorean Cutwork!), I will be able to leaf through these to refresh it!

Another Pattern

Another Pattern

The coffee was presented in this paper bag, which is printed with a design that our friends told us is inspired by a traditional embroidery pattern from northern Portugal. They said they were disappointed not to have found some embroidery for me, but in some ways, I think this is even better.

One of these days I will be able to play with this design, and maybe reinterpret this traditional style in my own way.

I’m looking forward to that!


  1. What a thoughtful and appropriate gift! I’d love to have a peek inside – if you have time to take a photo at some stage?

  2. Sue Jones says:

    What a great, thoughtful gift. I love looking at old patterns like this, even when they are not my style, and not one of my favourite types of embroidery. Somehow they capture times and cultures and ways of looking at the world. They can often spark ideas and inspirations because they make you think beyond your usual, comfortable ‘design space’.

  3. Lady Fi says:

    What a lovely gift!

  4. Dima says:

    As soon as I saw that bag, I thought it would make a nice embroidery design.

  5. What wonderful, thoughtful gifts!

  6. Carolyn says:

    What a thoughtful gift. Portugal has so many types of embroidery.

  7. Penny says:

    Oh my, you won’t have to be worried about inspiration for quite awhile. Lovely friends that they know you and know exactly what you would love!!

  8. Janice says:

    What a lovely, thoughtful gift. Hope you had a lovely time together.

  9. Love that design!

  10. karen says:

    oh I am green with envy!! Your patterns look amazing….

  11. Terrie says:

    You works are amazing and so inspiring. We got inspired at times. Looking forward to your next design.

  12. A wonderful gift made even more so because of the thoughtfulness behind it.

    And thanks so much for linking up your Grandmama’s embroidery to last week’s Stitchery Link Party. Were you ever able to have it remounted?