Thursday, 10 September 2009


A chance conversation at my monthly craft meeting resulted in a gorgeous bag of vintage tablecloths, runners, cushions and napkins making the journey home with me. I was overjoyed at this free bounty, which was on it's way to the charity shop/ local tip, depending on which came first! Nearly every item was in pristine condition, and of those that had a few marks on them, most of the stains came out in the wash.

I am amazed that there is still so much of this precious treasure stashed away in peoples cupboards, lofts and attics etc, when you consider how much of it is thrown away or finds its way into a bargain bucket in a charity shop or boot fair maybe, ready to be snapped up and loved again but us vintage collectors.

This fabulous haul came from a friend, who in turn acquired it from her mother-in-law. She simply didn't want it herself, and by her own admission, it had sat in a chest for ages, unloved and unappreciated.

Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing that says that she has to like this kind of thing. I just feel immense sadness when I think of all the work that has gone into producing these wonderful linens.

It got me thinking about the ladies who, in times gone by, had taken the time to make these things. Who were they? What were their circumstances? These beautiful items were lovingly made and embroidered by someone for their homes and probably as gifts for family and friends. Each piece would have taken a lot of time, each piece would have been washed by hand, scented with lavender and kept in a special cupboard perhaps. They were probably arranged on furniture in the parlour, or maybe brought out for special occassions, like afternoon tea taken in delicate china cups and using tea tray covers, silver sugar tongs and dainty porcelain plates.

And day......they end up discarded, labelled "old fashioned" and "stuffy", and ultimately, thrown away. Terribly sad when you think about it.

Someday in the future, when I am in my dotage, will my family clear out my cupboards and drawers, and deem my precious collection " a load of old tat". I sincerely hope not. What items of our modern day living will be covetted and collected by future generations I wonder?

Will our lovingly made patchwork quilts and granny blankets and cushions elicit the same response by a future generation, and will there always be people out there like you and I who will give them a new home and love admire them as we do today... I sincerely hope so.

Dev x


Just be happy! said...

that is fabulous, the treasures found a home to be loved and appreciated!

marigold jam said...

How fantastic a haul! I too often wonder what will happen to our "treasures" but perhaps we shouldn't regard them as such and just enjoy them for ourselves and not worry too much about what happens to them when we've gone. After all a treasure is only a treasure if it is valued by someone and if it's not it really is just a load of old tat isn't it? Shame though as those bits and pieces could surely tell some interesting tales.


pinkfairygran said...

I was recently given a little haul of treasures like this, minus the embroidered pieces. And like you I wonder what will happen to all my lovingly made and collected bits and pieces. Or I did, until I made provision in my will for my husband/executors so they knew precisely what I wanted to happen to them, and more importantly perhaps, what I didn't want to happen to them! Your embroidered treasures are so beautiful aren't they?

Sarah said...

What a fantastic collection, a true haul!

Pomona said...

How lucky you are to rescue them! I think those textiles have had a little time in the doldrums - I do remember grannies in my childhood having all that stuff, but I think mothers wanted something more modern. But what goes around comes around, and now they are being rescued and appreciated again.

Pomona x

Tabiboo said...

I sincerely hope so too and I'm loving your haul!!

Have a lovely weekend,

Nina x

gwengoods said...

Wonderful treasures, and definitely somethings to consider. I know my grandmother does knit or crochet anymore so what she has made are certainly treasures to us.

A Bun Can Dance said...

Hello Dev
Gloriously lovely linens and lace! Lucky you.
It is sad to think of them being 'out of fashion' and unwanted. But I'm sure there will always be people like us who admire beautiful things whether in or out of fashion. I've always admired this kind of thing even amidst the brashness of the 80's and 90's fashions... but then I guess I've always been attracted to anything old or homemade.
Have a fab weekend - lots more sunshine I hope
Denise x

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Lucky? I should coco! what a brilliant treasure chest of lace and linens, wowzers trousers!

Have a lovely weekend,
Sarah x