A Stitched Souvenir Handkerchief

My mother has a collection of about 150 souvenir handkerchiefs from Canada, Australia, the United States, Europe, Great Britain, and Asia. In the past, when it was easier to find these practical and useful souvenirs, traveling friends and relatives were happy to bring back a handkerchief for her. Occasionally, images were hand-embroidered with silk but most were printed on the fabric. Now, most souvenir handkerchiefs are found at flea markets or antique shops.


The Calgary skyline handkerchief by Anette Dinnendahl. 11½ x 12 inches (29.2 x 30.5 cm). Photo by Joe Coca.

For my mother’s birthday in 2002, I stitched this store-bought handkerchief. I cross-stitched pink stylized roses on the four corners in tribute to Alberta’s provincial flower, the wild rose. In running and back stitches, I stitched a view of Calgary from the southeast, with its skyscrapers, including the two identical Banker’s Hall towers (left), the prominent Calgary Tower (center with red stitching), and the Petro-Canada Building (right). The bowl surrounding the city represents the upper half of the roofline of the Saddledome arena, home of our local National Hockey League team, the Calgary Flames. Mother was very pleased to add this handkerchief to her collection.

—Anette Dinnendahl

Anette Dinnendahl lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Find this and other great articles in the November/December 2003 issue of PieceWork.

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