Monday, September 8, 2008

Repurposing Old Linens & Miscellaneous

I've begun packing for our Crazy Quilting International retreat in Colorado which starts later this week. In the process - and maybe you're like me - I get sidetracked as I go through things. In looking for a tatting shuttle, I found all sorts of mohair and other fibers to use for my Embellisher (and I eventually found the shuttle); in hunting for books to take along (have to bring Cindy Brick's Crazy Quilting, because she'll be talking to us), I found information on Angelina Fibers that I didn't know I had. And finally, in checking out the camera (and batteries, yadda yadda), I found some pictures I'd taken and not published yet.

So, since I'll be gone for a week between the retreat and DH joining me for a scenic drive home from Denver to Salt Lake next week, I thought I'd share with you some of these pictures. Might as well, LOL, because all the time that I'd normally spend stitching for the last week has been spent in preparation and packing.

I love vintage linens. My great-grandmother, grandma and mom all crocheted and made or collected linens, so I have a fine collection of nice tablecloths, runners, doilies, hankies, and you-name-it. But my heart melts when I see an old, worn and possibly stained piece that was lovely in its day. There is still beauty left, but often it is no longer whole. An embroidered doily may only be partially intact, or a crocheted border from a pillowcase needs a new home, or a tablecloth is badly stained but still has a couple great floral corners. Often these things can be picked up for a song. I've bought them at yard sales, antique stores (including one whose owner retired and I bought almost half her stuff at a great price), online, and had them given to me.

With an eye toward having a stall at next year's Farmer's Market (the sidewalk artists portion) and/or selling things on Etsy, I've whipped up a few things over the summer.

This 14" square pillow features a lovely embroidered lady with a bouquet of flowers. The doily itself was in perfect condition, but the lace was bad. I added fresh (vintage) lace and rick rack, then mounted it on a ticking-like blue and white cotton fabric. It's bordered in another vintage (sixties) lace. Cute, eh? I have one more identical doily and more fabric and plan to make its twin.
I love this vintage image and I've reproduced it on silk several times for different projects. It reminds me of my mom - she looked very similar in her baby pictures! This 6" pillow was given a very simple treatment, but the pink silk and pink rick rack are vintage. The rest of everything is new.

The next three pictures show new (thick cotton) handtowels embellished with vintage doily parts, rick rack and lace.In the red one above, the motif (and one other I have) was all that survived of a tablecloth. On the purple towel, the flowers were the end of a runner, and already satin-stitched around the edges - except part of the purple one where it was covered with another flower. I finished the satin stitching.

The below blue and red hand towels combine both new and old laces and trims on the new hand towels. The crocheted and Battenberg hearts are new, but the laces, yo-yos, rick rack and embroidery are all vintage.

These will be priced at $8 each. Does that seem about right??

Finally, I had some pictures of the horrendous hail storm we got here in Murray (a Salt Lake suburb) on the day before Labor Day.

This is looking out over our front walk and lawn area. DH didn't get to mow that day!!

I took this picture through our back door screen because it was too nasty to even open it! That's HAIL, not snow. It totally thrashed our veggie garden (beyond the grape arbor there). The day before I had been painting assorted little wicker and other pieces white for future use as display pieces for selling my Stuff. Luckily I had pulled them under the cover of the patio. They were not harmed.


  1. Gosh I wish I had seen this before this past weekend. At the corn festival I went to I kept checking out the old linens (way cheap) but didn't know what I'd do with them. Now I know! I did pick up a great crocheted apron for $6!!! Thanks for your inspiration.

  2. Hey Kathy,

    How are you? I check your blog every few days -- a nice way of keeping in touch. Anyway, I love, love, love your pillows and towels. Can't imagine that you won't sell everyone of them. Have a wonderful trip to Colorado. Wish I were going!!!

    Hugs from Rhode Island,

  3. I love your pillows. The one with the little girl in yellow is one of my favorite silkies, too. I got them from Pat Winter a while back for a matching pair of blocks - not yet made.

  4. I love the idea of using a vintage embroidery piece on a pillow. I've seen this before and I love the results everytime I see it done! You spoke of a tatting shuttle! I'll have to explore your blog more for tatting. I love tatting!

  5. Very pretty!!!

  6. Your embroidered items are beautiful!

    Aside from the hail... your arbor is neat looking! Silly Utah weather!

    Lucky you! Off to Colorado! I hope you have a wonderful, creative, inspiration filled time!!!

    Smiles, Cat

  7. It was SO fabulous to meet you! I'm sorry I didn't get to spend mroe time with you gals!

  8. I like the pillows you made. What a neat way to use discarded linens.
    Mama Bear

  9. How gorgeous! I can't wait for my readers to see your creative upcycling. I've scheduled a link to this post to go live on my blog this morning (Central USA time). I hope it brings you a few extra clicks!



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