I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Vintage Linens~ Recycled

The flea market yesterday wasn't just rained out, it was flooded to oblivion. And no market now til mid-May! I stayed indoors quilting and sewing hearts and watched a very sad TV show about people who hoard things....(TLC: Buried Alive- The Hoarders). They made one woman, an active knitter, throw away her collection of good wooden knitting needles! I was so sad for her, not to mention it will cost her lots to replace them. And one woman loved to go to the thrift shop! Ooops....buying used treasures made her, well, happy.
We know how that feels, hmmm?

I like to think my shopping is a form of recycling. I love finding neglected vintage linens, so musty, dusty, and longforgotten, seeing their beauty and giving them a makeover that lets them live a new and cherished life.

This is the white matelasse' coverlet, all washed and pristine,

ready to adorn a summer bed!Here is an intersting website that tells all about Marseilles spreads like this: http://www.oldandinteresting.com/marseilles-quilts-marcella.aspx

And here is the big white euro sham, washed and bleached and now starched and ironed.

"Christina" must have been someone very special, very loved! Look at this trousseau piece with her name in art deco lettering.

Around her name are hand embroidered butterflies, a pansy, and the finest of white cutwork and drawn-thread work.
Don't you wonder why this was never used? Did Christine marry and give birth to a dozen kids who kept her too busy for fancy bed linens?

Did she call off the wedding and elope with a bad boy cad instead?
Sometimes I can make these large euro dust (single layer) shams functional by adding a cotton backing so that a pillow will fit in....this one is really large! Needs a king-size pillow or a large square.
And here is a flea market/ thrift shop mainstay, vintage hankies. They always make me feel like end-of-school-year gifts for Teacher.

My mother and I collected hankies each summer at the big flea market in Wellfleet http://www.wellfleetdrivein.com/flea_market.htm. She particularly loved the ones that had pansies and violets, but we bought all kinds, as long as they were pretty!

We'd wash and starch the hankies, fill them with Cape Cod lavender---often from her own garden. Or Cape Cod Lavender Farm http://www.capecodlavenderfarm.com/...and tie the little bundles with fine satin ribbons from The Brewster General Store http://www.brewsterstore.com/.

Here is a set I made for other daughters to give their moms. They will be on my etsy site and eBay.

And when the linens or fabrics or old quilts are ragged and worn but still have faded glories, still have tattered remnants of their original charm, I love to carefully cut out the good parts and use them for my lavender-filled hearts.

Is this recycling?

                                       assorted white tea towel, quilt, and barkcloth scraps

I hope it is...

                                            Japanese kimono remnants and quilt pieces

that's my excuse and I'm sticking to my story!

PS No! my beach cottage does NOT look like one of those hoarders' homes!
But still..I guess I felt their pain?



                      ...gone to the beach!