Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vintage Linens

Last week I posted about Industrial Chic.....this week I'm showing my softer side with some Vintage Linens.

My favorite vintage linens are hand embroidered pieces.  I learned how to embroider when I was young and I know the time that goes into embroidered pieces.  I have found some wonderful vintage linens at thrift stores and if they are hand embroidered they probably came home with me.

Here's just a few of the embroidered linens I am using in my home or are earmarked for a project.

This beautiful piece was found as is at a thrift store.
Someone spent a lot of time on this and then left the project unfinished.  Even though the pink thread has bled a little on the fabric, I think it will look great as the front of a pillow.
These handmade knife and fork storage holders were also found while thrifting.
They have an identical embroidered design on the front (looks to be Japanese lanterns in a tree with a sailboat sailing in the distance).
 When you open them up there is a fabric liner inside for storing the knives or forks.

 This is another unfinished piece found at a thrift store.  
Both ends of this length of muslin had a cup of coffee embroidered on it.
They will soon be pockets for an apron.
 No plans yet on how to use these napkins I found (all four for $1.00).
 I really like the flowers made with french knots and all the detail in the edging. 
If anyone has a good project for cloth napkins let me know.
   This last picture is of my "model" for my pictures today.  With the days getting shorter I'm losing the natural light in my house for good pictures.  I headed outside this evening to take my pictures and this recent thrift store find came in very handy to stage my photos.  I have a feeling she is going to get a workout.
I'm linking today with Debra @ Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday,
with a new Friday party,
Air Your Laundry Friday with Jami @ Freckled Laundry,
and with Southern Lady's Vintage for Vintage Love Saturday.
They all look to be a lot of fun.

Jane

47 comments:

  1. I just received some similar linens from my great-grandmothers. I can't wait to do something fun with them. You have some beauties there!

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  2. I love all the embroidery, a lost art!

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  3. I love the utensil holders! What a great find!

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  4. All the linens are beautiful. I really like the little coffee cups. Very sweet. Good idea making apron pockets out of them!!! You'll have to post a picture when done...

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  5. Hi Jane,
    You found some lovely pieces. I envy you being able to embroider. I cannot resist these pieces either and I pick them up whenever I can.

    Love the vintage ironing board too. Such a lovely post and so inspirational.

    hugs
    Sissie

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  6. Beautiful collection. I think I would use the napkins as napkins as they are in such good shape. I use cloth napkins daily as I do laundy all the time anyway. Have a lovely weekend. hugs♥olive

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  7. Hello Jane, You have given me some good ideas! I see these all the time and don't usually buy them but I will now.
    Enjoy your weekend,
    KarenSue

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  8. The napkins are beautiful...I have an idea: use them as napkins :-)

    great finds!! Enjoy your wkend

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  9. Those linens are amazing!! Looks like stuff my mom had around the house when I was growing up.

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  10. It sure makes me wish for the time to be able to sit and embroider....
    When I was first married I embroidered a set of tea towels with the little kittens, I was so proud of them!!! Love the utensil holders, some one was clever.
    Hugs,
    Margaret B

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  11. Very pretty, all of it. Reminds me of the tea towels that my grandmother-in-law gave me for our wedding:)

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  12. So beautiful...I wish I was that talented!

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  13. Jane, you have found some wonderful embroidered pieces. The basket with flowers would make a beautiful pillow cover; the silverware envelopes are really neat pieces, too.

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  14. You know Jane, your posts make me want to snoop... AT YOUR HOUSE! Ha! I would love to snoop around in drawers and closets, I just know you have tons of interesting things tucked away :)

    Is this the scariest comment EVER?

    Tis the Season doncha know.

    All kidding aside, I adore vintage linens and have so many pieces tucked away here and there. I'm limited in my abilities (sewing - ugh) so I never know exactly what to do with them. If you ever get bored or need blog fodder, ideas for ways to display linens safely or use them to create would be appreciated.

    Have a wonderful weekend Jane!

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  15. That ironing board is fab.I picked one up a month ago at a yard sale.I originally thought I would sell it in my booth but I have discovered that it is a pretty and functional display piece instead.It works as a table in the booth and offers all kinds of display options.Enjoy and thanks for sharing.

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  16. Southern Lady Vintage has a blog party of vintage Sat. and is doing linens this week. Maybe you can google her. I bet she'd love for you to link up this post. I do have a fabulous project for your napkins...will post about it soon!

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  17. Your thrift store finds are beautiful. How unique are those silverware holders. It makes me think about all of the time spent making those. I agree with a previous commenter, embroidery on linens is a lost art. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Wonderful pieces. I love vintage linens and you found some beautiful pieces...hugs, Linda

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  19. Hi Jane,your embroidered pieces bring me back to school days and my experience of embroidery which I was never much good at!I had a very patient teacher though and I can only remember the linen would be grubby and well worn by the time I would finish the work,I can see the hard work attached to those pieces ever since!

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  20. Jane...I am such a sucker for vintage linens...especially the embroidered pieces. These are all lovely examples and I am loving your vintage ironing board. I would LOVE to find one of those :)

    Blessings!
    Gail

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  21. Loverly! I especially love those napkins...the colors are amazing...I have a vintage ironing board just like that! I actually use it to iron :) Never thought to stage stuff on it!

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  22. They are all so pretty! I have quite a bit too. Most from my family in Italy. I need to go through them as I have forgotten what I have!

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  23. I love love love vintage linens! I am currently working on a 7 pc days of the week embroidered towels and they are taking a lot longer to complete than I anticipated. Your pieces even though some are uncompleted, have many hours of work in them and they are LOVELY!

    happy day,
    Danielle

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  24. What lovely pieces you've found! The fork and knife holders are wonderful! Enjoy them!

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  25. Jane,
    How lovely, I just love all your vintage handwork pieces! I have many of my Grandma's hankies with beautiful handwork... what treasures!
    Dee dee

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  26. Hi Jane, all these pieces are just beautiful. I love any type of handiwork and have every intention of trying embroidery again. I was probably 12 or 13 the last time I did it. Hope you have a great weekend. :) Tammy

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  27. Jane your vintage linens are so sweet. I love them myself and have a small collection.

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  28. Hi Jane. Thank you so much for stopping by. I LOVE these gorgeous vintage linens!! I have a few that belonged to my Nanna, but haven't done anything with them as yet. Wishing you a wonderful weekend ~ Tina

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  29. Lovely Linens. I love the utensil holders they are so fun.

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  30. I love the embroidered linens, especially the one for utensils! I saw one at an estate sale last weekend but it wasn't in good condition so I passed on it.

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  31. I love the embroidered linens I find at flea markets. Old napkins and hankies are perfect for repurposing into lavender sachets (if you can bear to cut into them!). ::Jill

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  32. I have to smile when I see the ironing board! All linen lovers know about ironing. Great post, I love the basket of flowers!

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  33. Many thanks to Jill for telling you about Vintage Love Saturday! Yes our theme this week was vintage linens and I was so happy that you joined in! I love all of your hand embroidered pieces. What hours of work someone spent! I wish I could find some of the utensil holders. LOVE the old wooden ironing board. I never find those kinds of great finds at our local thrift store! If you don't want to use the napkins as they are, maybe make sachets, maybe cut into strips and use for making small fabric rosettes, a banner or pennant, a table runner, or incorporate into a child's purse, cut and sew onto a pillow as a decorative pocket or even attached to a dress or apron as a pocket, incorporate into a mixed media collage or project like a journal cover. Thanks again for linking in and joining in on Vintage Love Saturday!

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  34. I love this beautiful post. Old hand stitched linens are just wonderful. Taking the photos outside worked out great. I've done that sometimes too. I still have so much to learn though :-)
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Blessings,
    Marcia

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  35. All beautiful pieces, Jane. So happy that you appreciate the work that goes into embroidery. I agree, the flower basket would make a lovely pillow cover. Love your new model, too. Thank you so much to linking up to my first party!

    Jami

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  36. My post today is also about rescuing vintage linen ~ a common thread!
    (pun intended, lol)
    Thanks,
    Anne of VintageAndSuch on etsy

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  37. You hit the jackpot with these! I do handwork, so I know how much time and effort went into stitching these pieces. I'm happy someone like you rescued them. The fork and knife cases are really unusual I think.

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  38. I love these embroidered linens too, and I just cannot leave them behind if the price is right. Great idea for the pockets on an apron. The sweet little silverware holders are a new item to me. Wonderful post Jane, thanks so much for linking up with VIF!
    xo,
    Debra

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  39. Good Morning Jane! I can never pass up the hand embroidered goodness I come across either, I can appreciate all of the time that went into each piece and then maybe it was given as a gift or grace a beautiful bed... so I take it home with me! The silver envelopes are so sweet! Happy Sunday! Theresa xoxo

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  40. Jane, you found lovely things, --I so love this old embroderies too, and often can`t bear to cut into them-I`m wishing you happy houers working with them.
    Hugs,Dorthe

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  41. I love those darling sileverware holders! Thanks for sharing about these parties...I'm going to check them out.

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  42. Gorgeous linens Jane....I can never resist any embroidered item in the thrift store as I can imagine how much time and love went in to making it....I am so glad we are re-loving them!
    Happy day!
    xojanis

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  43. Hi Jane! love those vintage finds! And, we have thwe same model...ironing board that is....I got mine from Jim's Grandma. They couldn't understand why I took it out of the garbage...silly people.
    Those napkins make good pockets too and sachet bags.

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  44. Some beautiful linens. I've never gotten into embroidery, other than a few cross-stitch pieces as a kid, but surely appreciate the effort and beauty that went into these pieces. Vintage or not, I don't think I need another item to remind me of laundry. Have a great week.

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  45. I always love vintage linens, Jane...so charming!

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  46. Hello Jane,
    You found some lovely things!!! When I go to Goodwill I never seem to find such treasures.
    Thank you for sharing! I am a new blogger and maybe I just havent't learned the technique in treasure finding :)
    Suzann

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  47. O, I love vintage linnen.I am always collecting and then turning them into cushions- the napkins I atually use.There is such a lot of charm to these lovely things.

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Thanks for stopping by. I really enjoy reading all of your comments!