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 then.......one 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.