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July 17, 2012

This IS Your Granny’s Crafting! McCall’s Needlework Motherload Edition!

By Betty Crafter

I’m on a cross-country vintage buying trip – so fun! On this particular trip, I’ve had the good fortune to come across LOADS of fantastic craft booklets, magazines, and books from the 1930s to the 1970s. I’ve found so much awesomeness it would take me a full year of posts to scratch the surface! But what I’m definitely most excited about out of the whole haul is this:

McCalls Needlework and Crafts magazines bound in books by year, years 1964-1969. I can’t tell you what a treasure trove this is for a needlework and craft loving gal like me! There are such wonderful examples of mod stitchery inside that my fingers are already itching to try out some of the projects. For example, check out this incredible interior:

How amazing is that wall hanging?? I love needlework as an art form. The textures provide such a folksy yet worldly look to a room- kind of what I would imagine my favorite anthropology college professor to have in her house.

Or how about this earthy, woodsy piece? So attractive and artful.

There was also a story about the amazing Erica Wilson. Check out how she personalized her rocking chair with random appliqued and embroidered flowers. Genius.

It featured four projects she designed for the magazine, including this adorable raccoon.

There were also piles of great craft projects, like these sewing room decor items. This girl wall hanging sewing caddy is now up at the top of my to-make list. Must have. In fact, I feel my sewing room needs the picture and throw pillow too. Why not?

And isn’t this kitchen cute as a bug’s ear? This would be a great idea for someone who rents a boring white apartment kitchen. A few colorful handcrafted accessories and you have a stylish mod kitchen for next to nothing!
There was so much more in these books – this is only a snippet. But I can already tell I’ll be pulling these out for inspiration or to find patterns for anything from children’s toys and clothes, sweaters, home decor, gifts, even woodworking projects! There was a project for a really great deck including privacy screen, and a Brutalist inspired cabinet. My head is spinning!

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12 Responses to This IS Your Granny’s Crafting! McCall’s Needlework Motherload Edition!

  1. Andrea Reply

    July 17, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Wow, what a score, I am jealous! As you can tell by some of my previous posts, I love McCalls needlework magazine, heh.

    • Betty Crafter Reply

      July 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      Yes, Andrea, after I posted this I saw some of your previous posts about these mags. They’re the best!

  2. Sara In AZ Reply

    July 17, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Wow, looks like you hit the jackpot! Can’t wait to see what you make!!!

  3. Valerie Reply

    August 12, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Hi there!
    I saw a post from December of 2011 of This IS your Granny’s crafting about Christmas ornaments.
    Specifically, I’m REALLY interested in the felt mobile ornaments. My Mom made those when we were kids and now all that’s left is the snowman. I’ve been searching for the magazine for years and have spent a small fortune because she can’t actually remember which magazine they were in. Would you be willing to tell me what magazine and issue they’re from? I would be so grateful!

    Thank you!

  4. Gloria L. Corbin Reply

    October 19, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Years ago I started an afghan pattern published in the McCall’s Needlework & Crafts Magazine. The afghan was woven on a 4-inch loom using a variegated yarn which produced a plaid 4-inch square. The alternate squares were made of black yarn. The squares then had to be corcheted together to make the afghan. I LOST the book and, of course, the pattern. I want to finish the afghan and have been searching through vintage McCall’s magazines with no luck. The best I can figure it had to be anywhere from 1967 through the 1970s. Is there any chance the indexs of your collection might reveal the source of the pattern?

    • Valerie Dunn Reply

      October 21, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Hi there,
      I will gladly search through the mags I’ve purchased and see if there’s anything in there. If I see anything that sounds like what you’re talking about, I”ll let you know!

  5. Beverly Reply

    November 14, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Hello: I recently lost all of my mother’s McCall’s Needlework & Crafts magazine due to the Hurricane Sandy flooding in Hoboken. As you can imagine, I am heartbroken and am trying to replace some of them. Could you please tell me if any of your magazines contains Barbie doll furniture (a sofa and a screen) made out of plastic tomato trays/containers? There was a redheaded, short haired Barbie wearing a knitted yellow two-piece outfit (shell and skirt) in the same magazine. Thank you very much. Beverly.

  6. Marlene Reply

    February 7, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I have also been looking for the magazine with the Christmas mobile ornaments I use to make these when I was young and I would like to make with my granddaughter . Please let me know if you find . Thank you

    • Valerie Reply

      February 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Marlene!

      I do indeed have those patterns and will happily send you copies! I’m really glad to get to pay it forward- Betty from Betty Crafter sent me the magazine a year or so ago. Just e-mail me your mailing address and I’ll pop them in the mail to you.

      Have a great day!

    • Valerie Reply

      April 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Hi Marlene!

      I am so sorry- I lost this post and have been digging and digging through my e-mails and finally found it again. Could you send me your mailing address to my personal e-mail address listed above? I’ve made color copies of the mobile ornament patterns. The original magazine is falling apart. 🙁 But I’ve got the patterns and pics ready to mail to you.

      Sorry again for the delay,


  7. Helen Hicks Reply

    March 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Love, love the flower wall hanging!! Would really like to know the McCalls Needlework & Crafts issue that has it.

    Also, I did a wall hanging from a late 60s or early 70s issue of the magazine and want to know the copy of McCalls Needlework & Crafts that featured it on a double-sheet spread or, at least, that’s the way I remember it. Two horses, a cottage or barn structure, a fence, and a foreground of flowers are featured in the 20 x 26 inch yarn needlework project, rather large and striking with its bright colors.

    Since 79 or so, I have had the picture hanging in my home and would like very much to have the 60s or 70s magazine that shows it. I’m wondering if you are someone else is familiar with it.

    I really enjoy all things Mid-Century including 70s and have recently been using yarn needlework in particular in decorating.

  8. K D Armstrong Reply

    March 28, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    Hi, I’ve spent a day looking for a particular pattern in a McCall’s magazine that I was sure I kept, but now can’t find and am beside myself that I can’t find it. I knitted a yellow stuffed lion for my son in 1982 and now have a grandbaby on the way. I would so love to recreate that lion is there any chance you have the pattern? I think it would be in the May/June 1982 or July/Aug 1982 edition. any help would be greatly appreciated!

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