Embroiderers Guild Victoria Collection
The Collection began soon after the Guild was formed with a donation of an Ayrshire Christening Gown. Today the collection has over 1700 pieces, fully catalogued (on museum sheets and electronically) and photographed. The Collection aims to be representative of all types of embroidery -this means English, European, Ethnic and Australian. However, the Collection is primarily concerned with the conservation rather than the restoration of embroideries.
In general, embroideries are donated with very few being purchased. We encourage people donating embroideries to check with family members before donating the embroideries to the guild.
We are happy to look at embroideries on the first Wednesday of the month from 10.30am to 2 pm, and provide advice on appropriate cleaning, storage and general conservation of pieces. An appointment must be made with the Guild.
We are not able to provide valuations for embroidered pieces.
Items in the Collection are regularly on display in the Guild and taken to country branches. Pieces are also available for major exhibitions in the Guild, and for reference and study by teachers and students. Members of the Collection group are available to give presentations about embroidery to other organizations.
In addition to the main collection, the Guild also has collections of Lace and Historical Tools, which are listed separately on the EGV website.
Examples of Crewelwork
Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Crewelwork
Grey/fawn linen panel. Tree of Life design of leaves, pomegranates and flowers worked in bright colours. Long and short and filling stitches. Mounted under glass, in a dark wood frame.
Fawn cotton gabardine basket with design of clouds and raindrops and butterflies on curved lid. Tree and rabbit on front. Tree and rabbit on back. Lid finished with twisted cord and dorset button.
Mid 20th century
Made in Australia
Panel with a design taken from a mid 18th Century Bed Hanging found in the American collection of the Metropolitan Museum or Art. Typical crewel design in shades of blue on cream linen. Mounted on blue fabric covered board.
Mid 20th Century
Curtain of natural linen twill. Three bands of crewel (wool) embroidery, each in slightly differing designs of birds and leaves. Wools in a variety of greens, yellows, browns and blue. 1900-20 Australia
Natural linen Cushion piped in cream. Design is floral, in pinks, blues and greens.
Picture of hydrangea flower heads and leaves. Long and short stitch, stem stitch and French knots in soft pinks, blues and green.
Bedcover (3 images)
Linen Bedcover, beige with floral crewel embroidery. Floral spot motifs, with blue leaf pattern border.
Late 19th century
This is a typical Royal School of Needlework Jacobean Crewel Sampler showing different stitches and techniques in shades of pink, gold, yellow, green and blue/green crewel wool on linen twill.
Examples of Hardanger Embroidery
Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Hardanger Embroidery
Fine natural linen panel with an intricate design worked in natural thread. The design is reminiscent of Hardanger and could possibly be a reproduction of an early form.
Collar with classical Hardanger design on Hardanger fabric.
Early 20th century.
567 Blouse - Ladies
Cream linen blouse with high collar and full yolk, long sleeves and back opening. Two wide tucks down the front and pin tucking on the front and back. Yolk, high collar and cuffs embroidered in Hardanger embroidery.
568 Blouse (Ladies)
Cream linen blouse with an upstanding collar, long sleeves and back opening, with wide tucks front and back. Collar, front panel and cuffs are decorated in Hardanger embroidery.
620 Table Mat
White cotton table mat with a 6 cm border worked in a simple Hardanger style.
Mat on a grey-green evenweave double threaded cotton fabric, with classical Hardanger in matching thread.
841 Child's costume with several pieces:
A. Skirt: Black cotton with 2 green braid bands
B. Apron: White machine embroidery not Norwegian
C. Jacket: Red bolero (wool) edged in woven braid
D. Belt: Red wool, beaded in stars design
E. Vest: Red wool, black velvet edge, beaded with stars
F. Hat: Red wool, black velvet edge, and beaded in the traditional style of the Hardanger area.
Late 20th century
White cotton Hardanger fabric with a Hardanger design at each end in white perle cotton. Of interest are the patches of drawn fabric work, combined with the Hardanger. The edge is hemstitched.
Square needlecase in cream linen. Hardanger design in centre in fine ecru thread. The needlecase is closed with a needle woven button.
Hardanger mat stitched in white cotton perle on very pale green evenweave linen, using kloster blocks, buttonhole edge, picots, eyelets and satin stitch motifs.
Late 20th century.
Square Hardanger mat on white cotton/linen evenweave fabric with traditional blocks including dove's eyes, woven bars and woven Maltese crosses. Crocheted edge.
A piece of embroidery, designed by the donor, using traditional Hardanger designs. Worked on beige linen. Traditional edge.
Examples of Assisi Embroidery
Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Assisi Embroidery
Assisi work - natural evenweave linen with double running in black round the design then filled in with blue cross stitch, leaving the design 'voided'.
Mid 20th Century
1071 Tea cosy
Evenweave cream linen, pattern in Holbein (double running) stitch. Bird design voided and cross stitch, double hem stitch.
Cream linen sachet with design of rabbits. Blue cross stitch and hemstitching and black
backstitch, with the traditional 3 tassels in each corner. 2000
Panel depicting a vase of flowers in a technique resembling Assisi work (with back ground
embroidered and pattern voided). The piece is on evenweave fabric embroidered with two strands of stranded cotton - 1 brown, 1 orange.
1469 Table cloth and napkins
Cloth and napkins (6) in cream evenweave linen. Cloth has a traditional Assisi pattern of birds in blue and black. Hem stitched edge and traditional triple tassels on the corners.
Mid 20th Century
Square mat on ecru linen, embroidered in Assisi style, with a square centre and wide border of animals. Orange cross stitch outlined in black.
Examples of Blackwork Embroidery
Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Blackwork Embroidery
On fine white linen, the design of flowers and butterflies and leaves are worked in blue thread with some lurex also used. A variety of traditional blackwork patterns.
Cream evenweave linen with a number of patterns in borders and squares. Border of a diamond design.
Mid 20th Century
Cream evenweave linen with rows and groups of blackwork designs. The lower groups of stitches are highlighted with gold.
Mid 20th Century
Square glass paperweight with a traditional piece of blackwork set in base, embroidery is on
evenweave linen using a single strand of stranded cotton.
1428 Panel (Blackwork)
The piece is worked on white lugano in dark blue thread (one stitch in red). The design is a
modern abstract using a variety of stitches.
1512 Chess Board
64 squares, 32 embroidered, each with a different pattern. Framed in a gold frame, with inscription "To celebrate the 50th Anniversary from the Blackwork Guidance Group".
Three Lavender sachets in white evenweave linen, stitched in blackwork designs in cotton thread embellished with black seed beads and narrow black satin ribbons.
Two are backed with black wool fabric.
The third is beaded, with black synthetic textured satin fabric and edged with a cord.
Late 20th C
Cream evenweave linen mat with 8cm hemstitched edge and 64 outlined squares set out as a chessboard. Alternate squares are filled with the same blackwork geometric design. Narrow border.
Late 20th Century
1547 A & B Samplers
White linen stitched in a variety of stitches in blackwork. Edges are fringed.
Chicken-shaped pincushion (Henny Penny) Blackwork designs on white linen, stitched in Perle 12 and cotton sewing thread. Black and gold beads and tiny gold sequins.
Early 20th C
1692 Bag and Needlework Accessories
Linen bag, stitched in a single strand of pink cotton in traditional Blackwork designs. 4 pockets on outside of bag, fine cord with tassels to close bag. Accessories -needlebook, pincushion, scissor keeper, pincushion, and scissors.
Examples of Schwalm Embroidery
Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Schwalm
1380 Needlework roll
Beige linen needle roll decorated with Schwalm embroidery in a floral design and a heart. It is lined with a floral fabric.
White linen mat with hemstitched .25 cm hem with mitred corner. Cream cotton thread in traditional Schwalm design with central large heart, 2 birds and 3 flowers.
Late 20th C
1563 Work bag
Deep pink linen bag with drawstring of handmade cord finished with tassels. Monogram 'L' on the back of bag, inside an oval of embroidery. Edged all around in scalloped buttonhole stitch.
Late 20th/early 21st Century
Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Alphabet Samplers
52 and 53 Samplers
Elizabethan alphabet letters A to Z worked over two samplers in cross stitch on natural even weave linen. A variety of coloured stranded cotton and metal or lurex threads. Two sizes of letters. Hem stitched edge.
Beige linen embroidered in red. The alphabet is worked with alternate squares in a variety of patterns.
Date: Mid 20th Century
Very tiny sampler with complete alphabet embroidered on very fine canvas in cross stitch
with a satin stitch edging and a very narrow silk ribbon bow.
Traditional style sampler of alphabets and numbers, done by a young child on a coarse linen fabric.
Date:Mid 19th century
Small sampler on natural linen. Cross stitch in grey thread. Design is a simple alphabet and
numbers, with the name E. SMART 1800. 3 sides are hemmed and one end has a selvedge.
Examples of Chinese Embroidery
Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Chinese Embroidery
Small bag made to suspend from a belt. Floral design worked in twisted silk and gold thread, using satin and Peking knot stitches. Large tassel of antique gold thread over wooden foundation.
Length of cream silk with panel of cream silk embroidery depicting butterflies.
142 House Flag
House Flag with Chinese writing at the top. Floral design with birds, butterflies and fruit on pink damask. Peking knot stitch in a great variety of colours, and much gold couching.
274 Fan case
Canvas embroidery on both sides of the case in silk thread of blue, green, gold, beige and mauve. The handle, purple with green bead each end, shows the finish and decoration that the Chinese traditionally use. Probably made for the tourist market.
Date: Late 19th century
Off white silk shawl, with the entire area embroidered in self coloured twisted silk thread. All over flower design which includes some birds. The edge is decorated with a 42 cm deep fringe of silk.
Date: Late 19th century
320 Framed Panel
A coastal scene worked in coloured silk on a satin background. Willow trees, 2 boats, bridge, people and mountains. This is a modern version of an old Chinese style. Narrow green and gold frame.
Burgundy silk fabric embroidered with birds and flowers in silk thread. The remainder of the design is in gold thread couched with red silk. Lining – burgundy silk.
Modern Chinese designs of lotus flowers and birds worked in a satin stitch in a variety of colours on white satin. Chinese script and monogram of People's Republic of China. Gold frame.
Date: Mid 20th century
339 Sleeve Band
Classical Chinese design. The wide band of pale green satin is partly decorated with a band of embroidery. Peking knot stitch outlined with a very fine white cord is worked in shades of pink, blue, yellow and green. Subjects chosen are flower vase, bats, sea creatures and peonie roses.
508 Sleeve Band
Turquoise blue silk with delicate embroidered design of flowers, birds, butterflies and insects, in classical Chinese style. The edge is bound with black silk worked with a bright blue design and the lining is a magenta brocade.
Classical style of garment in red silk with coloured embroidery. The symbols belong to a high ranking official - symbols of two white doves embroidered on the back, and also the long sleeves with their decorative embroidered bands of turquoise, blue, pink and yellow. The front opens in an interesting way at the side with the small decorative buttons also used in a decorative fashion.
Date: Circa 17th century
Panel made from a pair of unfinished embroidered slippers on a black satin background. Classical Chinese floral design worked in Peking knots in many colours, edged with white stitching, mounted and framed.
Date: Early 19th century
763 Sleeve Band
Fine white satin edge with bright blue silk flower embroidery. A fine example of Peking knot
stitchery outlined with gold thread showing traditional Chinese motifs and figures.
770 Robe band
Front/band for a woman's robe. Royal blue satin embroidered with Taoist and Buddhist emblems in Peking knot stitch edged with couched gold and white or black thread. Braids along inner edges. Reverse applique butterflies in four corners. Gold-cast button and roulette cords and loops on front. Lined with blue, woven patterned silk.
Date: Late 19th century
779 Fragment - slips
Six floral motifs and one butterfly. Floral slips, worked in Peking knot and couched metal
Threads, are glued to a rectangle of paper. The butterfly, mostly in satin stitch, is loose.
790 Chinese gown
Black satin with very bright colourful embroidery - large circles of flowers and Taoist and
Buddhist emblems in profusion. Pale mauve sleeve bands.
Date: September 1930
944 Jacket Pieces
Three pieces of an embroidered Chinese jacket. Black silk fabric very thickly covered with rows of couched threads, both gold and silk. Design contains traditional Chinese symbols. Lined with blue silk.
1013 Pin cushion
Fan shaped pin cushion in off-white silk, with Chinese style blue embroidery, finished with cord at base. 7 pins inserted.
Small purse of traditional Chinese design - surface embroidery in polychromatic silk thread.
Design with citron, melon, bird and flower – black silk lined with blue.
Cream silk blouse, with a high Chinese collar, decorated with self coloured floral embroidery with cutwork, eyelets and punchwork. It is fastened with 'frogs' made of the same fabric.
1222 Table cover
Cream silk satin, embroidered in coloured silks, depicting flowers, butterflies and a central
peacock. Each corner has an elaborate silk tassel in pink, green and grey.
Date: Early 20th century
Large silk and gold embroidery on green silk. It has a number of symbolic motifs including a large dragon which denotes a person of high rank. Piece is bound with black silk.
Date: Early 19th century?
Cream silk mat with blue silk embroidery in a traditional Chinese design with peonies, bats and plum blossoms. The border is made of two rows of woven braid.
Black silk uppers, lined in blue cotton, and stiffened with a small amount of quilting. Lower edge embroidered in silk with multi-coloured flowers, leaves, 2 birds and ribbons. Shoes show some wear. Maybe they were for a child, or an adult with bound feet.
Date: Early 20th century (?)
1333 Chinese embroidery
Part of a 7 metre long strip of silk gauze bought by a group (including donor) which was visiting China. One end was embroidered as a sample for the rest, which was printed with the remainder of the design. Probably intended as an obi for the Japanese market. Embroidered in an all over pattern of flowers and shells in softly coloured flat silk and gold thread in counted satin stitch.
Date: Late 20th century
Embroidered dragon on pale gold silk in shades of green in a variety of stitches.
White satin cloak with grey satin border and pale green lining. It is embroidered in grey and ivory silk threads and silver metallic thread in a trailing floral design.
1414 Chinese Panel
Large Chinese panel in bright yellow silk with embroidered lions and palm trees.
Date: Before 1904
2 gourd shaped Chinese purses made from a gold fabric, possibly felt. Both are decorated with gold and green embroidery, pink and green tassels, and some sequins. Blue lining.
Cream silk background, depicting people in various activities, a bridge, and dragon boats on the river. Colours are browns, yellow, oranges and reds. There is a wide border of braid, edged in black, and a black wooden frame.
Silk and gold metal thread embroidery on green silk, showing a large bird (crane) centrally among pine trees. Mounted on a dark green board with a lighter mount board, and framed in a light brown frame.
Date: Mid-late 20th Century
1617 Handkerchiefs made in China
1. White, rose and bows, satin stitch, drawn thread.
2. White, flower sprigs, grecian design
3. White blocked design with flower sprigs
4. White blocked design with flower sprigs
5 braid pieces
A. Machine made, woven on cream background, dark blue centre with gold work, diamonds at regular intervals
B. Green woven oriental lady in garden.
C. Black silk ribbon, hand embroidered with Chinese figures, trees, flowers, pagodas etc.
D. Blue crepe, machine embroidered flowers in a repeating pattern
E. Black crepe, machine embroidered flowers, pansies, roses etc.
White heavily embroidered Chinese made handkerchief. 25 circles are embroidered with Chinese symbols, and 16 small drawn thread circles. Fine scalloped edge.
Date: late 20th - early 21st Century
Examples of Japanese Embroidery
Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Japanese Embroidery
Natural evenweave linen with an overall design of Kogin pattern darning using red stranded cotton. Lined with same linen. Front flap tapers to a point. Edged in red, knotted and wrapped stitching
Navy blue woollen material with Kogin pattern darning in blue, green and white.
224 Wall Hanging
A rural setting with cranes by a lake and floral and leafy background. Top part is couched in
solid Japanese gold thread while the lower half has the design in muted coloured silks of blue, white, beige and green. A border of grey and brown brocade with wood poles top and bottom for hanging purposes.
Date: Late 18th century
Japanese scene with mountain, temple houses, trees and water. Background silk painted in water colours and enhanced with surface stitchery. Straight stitches in white, red, orange, green and yellow. Worked with silk and some silver metallic thread also used.
Date: Early 20th Century
Cream silk fan (possibly Japanese) with painted cherry blossom design. Some blossoms are
embroidered in silk. The frame is cream ivory/bone/plastic?
1362 Three piece Japanese screen
Black silk kimono embroidered in silk and gold metal thread. Design has trees and white blossoms. Lined in orange silk, and heavily padded hem. Very poor condition.
Traditional style Japanese embroidery on cream textured silks, embroidered in silks & gold metal thread. Subject - A Japanese lady in pink kimono. A phase piece from the Japanese Embroidery Centre Course of work. Signed.
Japanese design of ribbons outlined and fixed in dusky pink stem and satin stitch and filled with various stitches in cream and also pink flowers. Double mount gold frame.
Examples of Patchwork
Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Patchwork
Made from 1cm hexagons. Traditional style using paper templates with variety of plain and patterned fabrics from c. 1830. Browns, fawns and red/pinks.
Traditional hexagonal patchwork worked over paper templates (1cm) - some still remain.
Predominantly pink, red, fawn, brown and mauve.
Small cover, unfinished. Hand pieced hexagonal and diamond patches sewn onto rectangular base with applique hearts, stars and shapes around the edge.
Date: Mid 19th century
260 Patchwork bed cover
Hexagonal patches 3 cm in size have been used in a great number and variety of cotton fabrics in muted colours and fine printed designs of the Victorian era.
White cotton bands of quilting between bands of diagonal squares of printed cottons. Made in the American style.
316 Tea Cosy
Large padded tea cosy in crazy patchwork in silks and velvets. Joined with embroidery stitches in heavy cream. Both sides of cosy feature a central large star. Heavy cord around edges and over the top.
Date: Mid 19th century
Log cabin patchwork in black and white machine stitched rectangles. Framed in black.
Date: Mid 20th century
Unfinished patchwork bed cover. Diamond and cube-shaped patches arranged in box design. Brocade silk satin and velvet, together with darker colours, are used to form the tumbling block design.
395 Tea cosy
1.5 cm hexagon patches placed diagonally. Brown and chintz rose design used. The lining is brown and hand quilted. Inside is a piece of the chintz to show original design.
Date: Late 19th century
506 Bed cover
Partly patchwork, partly applique with 1840-60 design. The central area and sides are in
colourful triangles of printed cottons. The only border is made of floral cretonne and back is of plain calico.
526 Tea cosy
Crazy patchwork with large irregular patches of coloured brocade and velvet joined with feather stitching in suitable colours.
Date: Late 19th century
Crazy patchwork with some superimposed designs of animals and birds, all worked in coloured silks. The edge is bound with blue ribbon.
Date: Late 19th century
Ball made of complex patchwork shapes in varied pastel fabrics.
578 Table cover
Large diamond shaped table cover, made up of 2.5 cm hexagons in printed cottons, surrounded by cream hexagons as background. Edged with red buttonhole stitch. Some papers and tacking are still in place.
Date: Late 19th century
The square is made up of brown, dark blue, blue and white piecing, some reverse applique and applique. Some stitching showing on back which is cream cotton.
Small circle of Laotian patchwork in 2 blues, tan, pink and black, edged in beige.
A Mola panel from the San Blas Islands. Design is black on white to represent five cats with red and white eyes, and delicate running stitch and stem stitch on the cats' faces. Panel is framed in plain wood and then set on another wood frame with a hessian mount.
Yellow cotton background and lining. Design is crossed canoes, which are made up of coloured prints.
745 Sewing Aids
Set comprises round needlecase, pincushion and emery cushion, all of hexagons, in a blue and white floral fabric and plain blue fabric. Pincushion is edged in blue velvet ribbon finished with a bow and a loop.
Strip patchwork in various blue florals, with occasional plain dark blue and bright pink strips
angled to each other. Lining and binding are a small dark blue line floral on a white background.
Apron made by Seminole Indians. It is made of bright yellow cotton with bands of seminole
patchwork in bright colours, trimmed with ricrac braid.
Date: September 1980
Central area of quilt made up of long hexagonal patches (5.5 x 10 cms) and smaller diamonds. Patches in a variety of cotton and wool mixtures of fabric which looks like it came from men’s nightwear and warm shirts. Outer border badly damaged. Lining, pink cotton with navy lining in squares. Wool batting.
788 Cushion front
Log cabin patchwork in a variety of velvets and silks in creams, reds, purples around a central square of crazy patchwork, also silks and velvets which are heavily embroidered in a variety of stitches.
Date: c. 1900
822 Patchwork quilt
Crazy patchwork using a wide variety of materials and colours. Centre panel is deep red velvet with some surface stitches. Red cord edging and cream synthetic knit lining.
Date: Begin 1892
Red cotton background, with applique and reverse applique, and embroidery in bright colours.
Date: c. mid 1990's
Red cotton fabric predominately with black white and green strips. Blue grey centres. Red straps to tie round neck.
Date: Circa 1970
Bag of bright red, green and white cotton fabric and with white and blue fine ric-rac braid. The patchwork top is attached to a basketry base made of grass and fibre.
Date: Prior to 1987
914 Cushion covers
Alternating squares of red and navy linen. Each square is embroidered with an identical motif in red, white and blue machine chain stitches. Squares are joined with rows of double feather stitch, by hand.
Small hexagons, white with black apples on front, back is of stripes in yellow, black and white. Back and front are joined with black velvet ribbon, and finished with a bow and loop for hanging.
Date: Mid 1960's
Square bag made of silk patches with the joins covered in feather stitch. Drawer strings through plastic rugs.
941 Wall hanging
"Into the Shallows"
This triptych is the final piece in the "Reef Series". It is a celebration of the colours, complexity and fragility of the Great Barrier Reef. Each piece is tapering from the top left to bottom right in predominantly blues.
Multi coloured crazy patchwork quilt with maroon border.
Triangle of yellow silk cigar bands joined together with rows of feather stitching, backed
with fine yellow cotton.
Blue border with grey and white narrow strips, then a grey and blue inner border of triangles and a centre square of naive embroidery in the Hmong style, with brightly coloured people and animals. Colours of reds, pinks, greens, yellow and black.
Pinks and grey/green in star of Bethlehem design, pieced and quilted.
1295 Wall Quilt
Design of men's and women's Amish clothing, rows of bonnets, hats, trousers and dresses. Outer border is black and the inner blocks are on white background. 5 blocks x 6 rows in construction. There is minimal quilting (hand).
Date: Early 21st century
Log cabin style quilt. Multicoloured strips of silk and some cotton. Arranged in dark and light areas to form diamonds. Backed with cotton in natural colour.
Date: January 1894
1368 Patchwork Jacket
The jacket is in crazy patchwork in shades of mauve and purple decorated with machine
Date: late 1980's
1407 Tea cosy
Crazy patchwork tea cosy with a great deal of hand embroidery in a variety of threads.
Cream, 2 shades of peach, 2 shades of terracotta, and 2 of blue. Rectangular pieces in a modern version of log cabin patchwork. Quilt sleeves and rods top and bottom.
Suiting fabric made into a Wagga. Lined with cotton.
Date: Early 1900's
1620 Anzac Quilt
Cotton fabric, red and green squares embroidered by members to commemorate family members of returned soldiers.
1652 Patchwork band
A "Geyi Miao" panel (band) of tiny stitched squares of silk fabric, with alternate squares of
embroidered and folded fabrics, all enclosed with dark blue ribbon. Colours - dark blue, green, pink, yellow and cream. Back shows it was made on paper.
Made by the Guild's patchwork group in 1981. Each block has an embroidered name by the member who contributed to the making of the quilt. Some sashings also have embroidered names of flowers. Multi coloured blocks, and sashings cream and calico. Hand quilted. Backing - small floral.
25 quilt blocks in various techniques including applique. Sashings of a greeny fawn cotton . A number of the blocks are signed.