Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Sampler of Lace, Linens, and Love

If you have been reading the blog for a while now, you will know Teri and I have a great love for all things vintage—especially linens, clothing, or lace. Teri recently shared her story about a special dress in A Vintage Pinafore, Tea, and Friends, and I shared the story of my apron collection in Apron Strings. We even wrote a post together about our quest for vintage treasures in a Hershey, Pennsylvania, antique mall in Vintage Treasures Newly Acquired. We love seeing the handiwork of those who have stitched before us! 

Long ago, hand work was a required skill for many young women all over the world. Whether it was  stitching on everyday items such as bedding, or a skilled craft such as lace-making, creating beauty with one's hands was far more commonplace. Thankfully, my time in Germany has allowed me to find and view some vintage treasures found here in Europe.

On our trip to Wales, not only were we able to see the fantastic Welsh quilts in Jen Jones's collection, but there also happened to be a sampler exhibit on display at the same time. It's a challenge to get good pictures of framed items, but here are a few of the wonderful samplers in the exhibit:

Sarah Evans, 1866

Sarah Jones, 1875

Mary Evans, estimated 1850

Gwenllian Jenkins, age 14, 1836

Anne Edwards, no date

Margaret Davies, 1829

Anne Evans, 1856

M. Reeves, 1883

Anne Williams,  age 15, 1861

Recently, I traveled to Brugges, Belgium, which quickly became one of my favorite European cities thus far. We were there for a beer festival, but thankfully, we were able to do a little window shopping. Belgian lace is a beautiful, bobbin-made lace that has been around for centuries. While I wasn't able to bring any home this time around, I was able to take a few pictures of the shop windows.

Some beautiful examples
I don't know how they keep all those bobbins straight!

I still don't know why one of these pendants
didn't make it into my suitcase!

Fun lace bags

Not all my recent travels have been to other countries. Thankfully, there is a wonderful lady here that puts together antique and thrifting adventures. It has been on a few of these adventures that I have picked up some vintage linens to add to my collection. 

I fell in love with this apron and am excited to add it to my collection!

Maybe they had laundry fairies long ago!
"Good Weather"

I think this might have been a table runner at one time.

A bread bag from the past

Dutch themes must have been popular.

While I do enjoy finding old linens, I love old trims and laces as well. My collection is accumulating, and sometimes it is nice to create with some of them. Last week, I was invited to a brunch with a few of my German quilting friends. They often give little gifts at these brunches, and I have been on the receiving end many times, so I thought I would make something for them. As Valentine's Day was approaching, hearts seemed like a good choice. I ransacked my collection of trims and scraps and came up with a little heart bag that would be able to carry a piece of chocolate. My ladies enjoyed them, and they were very easy to make. I was also happy to use some of my antique trims.

A little bit of vintage trim, an antique button, and some wool

A rosette made with the trim topped by the button
Stitched together with an opening at the top

A little bit more trim for a handle and they are ready to carry their piece of chocolate!

Hopefully, you have enjoyed a little view of the stitching prowess of European stitchers of the past.  From samplers to bread bags, needlework (and bobbin work) is such a wonderful way to add beauty to everyday. Do you enjoy collecting vintage linens or trims? Pinterest is full of ideas for ways to use them creatively. Now, if I just had a few more hours in the day...

Happy Valentines Day!

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