I love to gather old linens I see at thrift stores, garage sales, etc.  I especially like hand-embroidered things and the feel of old linen is heavenly.

I’ve managed to collect some things that have been in the family for a while as well.  For some things I know the history but most are consigned to that vague “long ago” era when women knew how to embroider, do needlepoint, quilt and hemstitch. 

My maternal grandmother’s mother was apparently quite a seamstress.  She made my grandmother’s wedding dress amongst other things.  It’s so small (she was petite) that it fit my sister when she was 13.  None of us has managed to wear it!  I wish I had a picture of it.

For some of these things I have plans in mind, but for others I simply revel in the uniqueness and fold them away.  The quilt top that was found in my grandmother’s attic will be turned into a proper quilt one day when I have room to set up my quilting frame again.  The needlepoint may turn into a couch cushion.  Napkins and tablecloths I use whenever I can. 
I don’t know if I’ll ever finish the “child’s apron”.  It’s actually one of two – maybe someone will have twins. (Don’t worry Rebecca.  I won’t send them to your sons. (c; )
I haven’t been terribly successful in teaching my girls to sew.  Ribby can to a point, but gets frustrated.  The others are scared of the needle.  We’re doing better at crocheting.  Ribby learned how to follow a pattern today and made a granny square.  Flopsy is still doing long chains, but her stitches are pretty even now.  They’ve all just become interested in quilting and I spent an hour the other day paging through a pictorial guide to American quilts with them, explaining the patterns and techniques.  Maybe we’ll try hand quilting next…
Is anyone else learning how to do some sort of needlework or passing it along to their children?

5 thoughts on “Linens

  1. Katherine loves to sew, knit and embroidery. Thea loves to embroidery. It's funny because I am not good at any of these crafts. I am so glad that they are enjoying them.

    We are about to move down the street and I told the girls when we get there and get settled we'll all learn to sew better.



  2. Those are wonderful; love old lines too! I have pillowcases my grandmother embroidered. Also have a wonderful quilt top my gr-grandmother made from the scraps of my mother's and aunts' school dresses. I started quilting it years ago, was much too ambitious about the design, and it's languished in a closet for years and years.
    One delightful experience — attended a function at a home in Jackson. In the guest bath, instead of paper or terry towels, there was a whole basket of starched and ironed antique cotton and linen hand towels. My idea of luxury!


  3. I love sewing and embroidery and hope to pass those skills on to my daughter, though I have done very little thus far. Juliana has helped me layout fabric pieces (or rearrange them on me), pin them together (or to the floor), and use the foot petal as I guided the fabric on the machine. She has had a lot of fun using fabric scraps and pretending she sewed outfits on her dolls by wrapping the fabric around them too. I hope to do more this year with her. How fun to have introduced your children to crochet. My mother attempted to teach me when I was a child, but I didn’t learn that skill until my 30s, so I think that Ribby and Flopsy are doing very well.


  4. I remember the first thing I learned to sew: it was a flag pillow. Mom had some fabric scraps that looked like a flag so I decided to sew them together and stuff it. I got within three inches of the end of the seam when I ran out of thread. I cried because I thought it was done for – I thought you had to start with enough thread to go all the way around or it wouldn't work! I think I was about five (Mom might remember better).


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