Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Don't be crewel, Anthropologie

I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw this photo on the Anthropologie web site last night. It's an incredible hand-stitched pillow covered in funky colorful birds of all shapes and sizes and backed in luscious orange. Super cute, right? Well, let me show you why I was shocked … have a look at this photo from our old apartment:

Notice anything familiar in the upper left corner? How about a closer look:

Shocker, right? My mom stitched this crewel work piece in the 1970s and it hung in our room as kids. It's one of my most treasured possessions and now here it is at Anthropologie. The web site says it is a one-of-a-kind creation by the fair trade artisans of August Morgan. This apparently is the company of Kate Hersch who transforms vintage needlework into one-of-a-kind pillows and furniture. So is there really only one? Where did she find it? I know my mom's was from a kit, but it's still amazing to see it brought back in this new form.

Update: Kate of August Morgan saw this post and contacted me (she was unable to comment here). She clarified that the pillow is, in fact, one of a kind. She found a vintage kit and had just that one stitched by a fair trade organization in India and then hand-sewn into a pillow in Austin, Texas. Kudos, Kate! 

The crewel birds were the inspiration for my popular Three Masked Birds design.


  1. Yeah, one of a kind is probably not the most accurate description! I have a big collection of needlework from the 70's that has taken me years to collect. I'd be kinda bummed to start seeing them in everyone's living rooms.

  2. Oh that's too bad-they are wrong to claim ownership and one-of-a-kind status. I think you should contact her!

  3. Anonymous11:21 PM

    This crewel kit is from the 1970's- vintage ones just like this have come up for sale every now and then on etsy and/or ebay.
    It is not one-of-a-kind, but probably pretty rare. When they do show up, they get snapped up pretty quick. Pays homage to illustrator Charlie Harper who made these stylized birds very famous. Google images of his work and you will find more of his designs like this.