Embroidering with my great-grandmother

Embroidered fabric cutlery holder

I am one of those people who loves my “nice” dishes. I picked out a china pattern when we got married and I was grateful to receive crystal wine glasses as a wedding gift. I love pulling them out when we have a family dinner.

Some day, I hope I’m able to add a set of silver cutlery to my “nice” collection.

Even if I don’t have the silver yet, I have a place to keep them.

Rolled cutlery holders

I’m not sure what these are called. They have little sleeves for the various utensils, and then they roll up to tuck in the drawer. They protect the cutlery from scratches and keep them organized.

Rolled cutlery holder

These holders were made by my great-grandmother and me, which I think is so, so cool. (My great-grandmother died before I was born.)

A few years ago I was helping my Mom organize some things in her sewing room, and we found these holders. The spoon and fork ones were done, but the knives was barely started.

I haven’t done embroidery in years, but I liked the idea of finishing the set. I also liked the idea of having a place to store extra cutlery. While we don’t have a silver set, we do have lots of cutlery for those family dinners, and my storage technique was not ideal.

Cutlery stored in plastic cups

I especially liked the family heritage.

I tried to pick colours similar to the ones my great-grandmother chose and mimic her stitch patterns, and I’m really happy with how the set turned out.

Rolled cutlery holders


Do you have a silver, china or crystal set? How do you store extra dishes? Any other embroiderers out there? What craft or organizing projects have you been up to?


10 thoughts on “Embroidering with my great-grandmother

  1. These look very similar to the cases I have for my nice silver, which my grandmother made many years ago. When we first received the silver, I told my mom I’d like to find a nice box to put the silver in. She then sent me the embroidered flannel cases which her mother had made. Mom said she remembered her mother bringing these out when setting the table for Sunday dinner. I never met this grandmother (she died when my mom was 18) but I’m named for her, so the link is doubly special to me. I’ve decided I like these better than a box – they fit in whatever storage space I’ve had in all our various moves we’ve made over the years.

  2. I love this! You did a beautiful job! It’s funny, this post coming along today, as yesterday I spend (in part) emptying, cleaning, and refilling my china cabinet for the first time since we moved in here last December. I’m trying to downsize it just a wee bit, and it’s so hard. The only things I can let go of are the really old antiques that I have fallen for and picked up along the way, and it pains me. But everything else is inherited from my parents, who also loved their good dishes and used them every chance they could, and they all hold so many memories. I’m just not able to let them go at this point. Like you, I also don’t have a silver set. Maybe someday?

    I love the sweet little wrappers, and I think your great grandmother would be very pleased to see her handwork completed, used and loved by her great granddaughter.

    • I got a set of China as a gift many years ago. I had never even taken the stickers off of the bottom of the plates. I also have my grandmother’s full set of china. In a wonderful coincidence the pattern I chose for my china goes along nicely with my grandma’s china. When I moved in with Steve I told him that I wanted to actually use it, even if it gets broken, we have enough place settings for half the town! So I do get it out occasionally but not often enough.

      I love your utensil holders and the fact that you both did some stitching on them!

  3. My mother insisted I needed sterling silverware and started my collection. I ended up with eight place settings and several serving pieces that sat in a tarnish-proof box and rarely got used. Last year I realized I hadn’t used it for 20 years and sold it for melt price. I found my “decent” china in a box in the basement – where it had been placed when I moved her 18 years ago. Sold it online for $20. I’m just not into stuff like that. When I was in my 20’s (?) I ordered a kit with pattern transfers and embroidered a Christmas tablecloth. My mother laid claim to it and I didn’t get it back until after she sold the house and moved to a seniors’ residence. That thing took me months to make, and I’m told the embroidery is very well done. I think that was the last embroidery I did. I’m more into knitting. I hope you get your sterling silverware some day – you will use and enjoy it.

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