Friday, April 15, 2011

Linens and lace


1. Cloth woven from flax.
2. Garments or other household articles such as sheets made, or originally made, oflinen.


Noun: A fine open fabric, typically one of cotton or silk, made by looping, twisting, or knitting thread in patterns.
Verb: Fasten or tighten by tying laces

I've always loved linens and lace. Especially vintage. Lace always represented to me daintiness and being feminine. The linens remind me of all the holiday and formal dinners and events we had in our home. I guess too, nostalgia plays a part in my love for them. I always like to know who made it, how long did it take and knowing some of these methods used back then are a dying art form now. When I opened the pillowcase that held all these beautiful "works of art", immediately, the room was filled with the scent of my childhood.

When we had to put my mom in the nursing home and my dad nearer to her, we had to do an estate sale. As much as we would have loved to have kept everything, we couldn't . Mom had a small room she was moving to and dad , a 1 bedroom apt. , so we had to condense as much as possible.

As I was going thru all mom's things, I tried to pick out the things that were extra special to her and had been made by her parents and grandparents.

As a child, I remember all the bridge club nights. All the friends would gather together at one home, (kids included.)All day my mother would iron all the "bridge cloths" to cover the card tables. I can still see her ironing with her green, glass "7-up" bottle, with a cork with holes to dampen the linens before she ironed them. The smell of spray starch lingered in the air.

This lacy dress was worn by my great aunt Mae. She was a school teacher and dressed like this every day.


I think my mother kept everything!! She even had the lace pillow and blanket my grandfather used as a baby. With all it's delicacy, it's hard to believe it survived over a 100 years of several baby generations.

The detail is remarkable and I find it astonishing someone spent so many hours making this bedding.
Other linens she kept were the "tea towels." They were all hand
embroidered and hand sewn.
And yes, all these were ironed too before they were hung. I never really understood ironing something you would be wiping her hands on over and over again , but just did as she asked (sometimes.) Of course there were the bed linens, that had alot of cotton in them and wrinkled very easily. Again, my mother ironed each and every one of them.

I know if my mom could,she would iron all my clothes, linens , and then some. I took it for granted for so long. Even after being on her feet as a nurse for double shifts, she could still stand for hours so we would have smooth sheets and pillowcases to lay our bodies on.

Many of these items have started to tear ,and basically age has deteriorated them to a point, I have decided to create some things from the lace and hand sewn parts of the linens. I have alot of ideas rolling around in my head. I just want to make sure, before I cut into any of them, that I still give all the love and hard work that were put into each one them, the honor they deserve. Hopefully the created items will be handed down to my grandchildren someday.


  1. I remember alot of those Cindy. Thanks for posting.

  2. I love old linens. Thank you for sharing yours. I am new to blogging and I want to photograph and share many of my finds too. I have to learn to display them and make them interesting. There is nothing like hand embroidered or old lace linens. Just one of my many loves.