A STITCH (BACK) IN TIME SAVED: Treasure in a Trunk

There it sat.  An old trunk once belonging to my Great Aunt Floe.  My heart raced. I’d been wanting to go through it for years, but it was stored away at my parents’ houseBut last November, when I arrived for Thanksgiving, Daddy had it sitting out in the garage and said I could go through it if I wanted to.  IF I wanted to?  Are you kidding?


There was enough in the trunk for weeks and weeks worth of blog posts, but today I’ll just share with you the one special thing I got to take home:  one of Aunt Floe’s notebooks … an early “loose-leaf” style, no less.  There’s no date, but she graduated in 1923, so it’s prior to that.


Check out the class …  DOMESTIC ART

The topic … the penmanship …
What’s not to love about this?


Multiple stitches to learn.

Multiple chances to make an A+.


No fancy embroidery machine

Every stitch carefully sewn by hand.

Are you as impressed as I am?

Apparently someone else was, too.


Did you ever take a Domestic Art — or Home Economics — class?  Do you remember what you learned?  How many of these stitches could you name?

I’ll be joining
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Blue Monday at Smiling Sally


  1. I just lost another long comment.

    I really love this and think it’s a true treasure. How are you going to display it? (Because I really and truly think it should be displayed.) It’s wonderful!

    I said a lot more about home ec class, but it was lost in space. I won’t repeat. I’ll just say that while I can identify most of the stitches, I sure can’t do them.

    (Copying this first this time…)

  2. What a treasure you have from your relative ~ beautiful post for HBM ^_^

  3. Oh, what a marvelous find and precious family treasure! I know Great Aunt Floe is smiling at your delight in her notebook and stitch samples! Yes, I took Home Ec (while the boys took Shop, back in the pre-Title IX days), and we did cooking one semester and sewing the next. I can’t TELL you how many times I had to rip out the facings on the sleeveless dress I made — and then had to model in a style show!

  4. What a great treasure. To top it off, she used blue trough the entries.

  5. How fun! Love the notebook. I taught home ec and sewing . This notebook looks so much like what I had my students do! always a reference for later in life. from how to sew a button to the basting stitches! Blessings, Debbie

  6. What an amazing treasure! I studied Home Ec one year (freshman) in high school, yet have no recollection of learning all these varied hand stitches or what they were called. I have never been one for doing much handstitching, always dreading when I had to hem a garment I had sewed for the girls by hand.

    Enjoy your Monday!

    xo Nellie

  7. OH WOW is all I know to say!!!!I’m a lover of vintage especially if its a relative. I really love anything to do with sewing also. I’ve been a seamstress for awhile but have not done hand stitching like this. This is a real treasure, you are so lucky to have found it.

  8. What a beautiful treasure and so wonderful you can have it now to go through it carefully. I did all the handstitching on a sampler many years ago but I don’t think I know the names after all that time. Happy BM

  9. Yes, I took several years of Home Ec. I learned both sewing and cooking. However, I never made a notebook. You have a blue treasure, for sure. Thanks for playing Blue Monday.

    Happy Blue Monday, Susan.

  10. What a marvelous find, and I second the notion of finding a way to display the pages! I didn’t take Home Ec until my senior year (1977), and was president of my classes’ FHA (Future Homemakers of America). Unfortunately, the curriculum had changed and I didn’t learn much of significance from the class.

    When it came to the sewing class, my mom was very unhappy with the teacher. We were allowed to pick our own patterns and fabrics with no guidance, and I picked an awful pattern and even worse fabric that would not work with it. My mom ended up telling me to ignore what the teacher said and proceeded to teach me the right way (and she was right, all of my current skills I owe to my mother, thanks Mom!!).

    Thank you so much for sharing your treasure, and bringing back good memories!


  11. What a fabulous treasure; and that PENMANSHIP!!!! So sad that we don’t teach that anymore. Can’t wait for you to post about other discoveries from that trunk!

  12. I took Home Ec and loved it. My mother sewed and cooked, too, so the classes built on the things she taught me. I love the samples of stitches. And the wonderful penmanship – so even. My daughter is in fashion/design school right now and she has to make books with samples very similar to your aunt’s. Some on the machine, some by hand.

    This is such a treasure. What will you do with it?

  13. I LOVE this!!! It’s so great that you were able to take a step back in time to visit an era when things were very different! It’s equally great that you could really FEEL your Aunt through her words, her penmanship, and her stitches. I SUCKED at sewing (still do!) and got a “passing” grade in that subject. Excelled in cooking, so that kind of made up for it, I guess. 🙂 I wonder what my nieces or granddaughter will discover of mine long after I’m gone? I have diaries that might intrigue them. Who knows?

    Soap box comment: Hurts me to the core that many school districts are considering eliminating the teaching of cursive handwriting from the curriculum!!!!!

  14. This is PRICELESS!! I took 8th grade Home Ec and it is my only sewing instruction. I now wish I had taken Home Ec in High School but I was NOT interested in anything domestic back then. Anyone who knows me back then is startled to find that I’m very domestic..
    Back before arthritis and carpal tunnel, my penmanship was exactly like that. I always got A+s for penmanship. It saddens me that it isn’t taught nowadays.
    Gmama Jane

  15. Susan- How WONDERFUL that you got that book. Her writing looks just like my Mom’s did-beautiful penmanship. I could probably name most of those stitches because I did a lot of embroidery for many years. I loved HomeEc. We learned everything from sewing to setting a table the proper way. GREAT post!!! xo Diana

  16. What a beautiful treasure, I really love this post. Penmanship would be greatly appreciated today but they do not teach it any longer. So sad. Thank you for sharing with us, have a terrific week. I love the trunk! SO pretty

  17. Oh that is so cool! How neat to have gotten your hands on that. I’m assuming it’s yours for keeps? Have a great week.