Monday, May 31, 2010

Rescuing Vintage Linens

About a month ago, I went to a neighborhood sale with a friend. It was a very cold, very rainy and gray day and when I say cold, I don't mean a little chilly, it was layered-clothing-plus-winter-coat-and-mitten weather!

It was buy-coffee-at-the-first-sale-you-stopped-at-weather.

It was numb-nose-and-toes-and-freezing-your-fanny-off weather.

It was find-out-if-you're-a-hard-core-garage-saler weather.

One of the first few sales was a loaded garage.

It took quite a while to look through all the tables.
After I'd made a couple selections, and before I paid,
I spied some boxes sitting on the floor.

I decided to take a peek.

You do find some of the BEST stuff in boxes, under or beside tables....

Do you EVER.

I sat down right on that cold-freeze-your-fanny cement floor and made myself at home...looking through that box.
My friend helped me.
The box was full.
(She's a good friend.)
And she didn't want any of them.
Can you believe it?
Not one.

And wow...what a treasure trove of vintage embroidered linens.

All unmarked.

I asked how much and the lady of the house said "A dollar apiece!".

Well, let me tell you, I looked through every single piece, and these shown here were just the pick of the litter--I left plenty for the other shoppers that day.

I took some photos to show you one late spring afternoon just before sunset so you could see the beauties I nabbed.

I am particularly in love with the pieces that are just loaded with french knots.

As well as the tiny, crocheted edging.

And this southern belle, is she not gorgeous?

And the cut work, get OUT!!!!!

(I've got something special planned for this beauty! Read on!)

And I already have someone in mind as the recipient for a special birthday gift which will include this sweet little embroidered dishtowel.

(I just can't wait to give it!)

And this little one...yes, I have someone in mind for this sweet linen number, too.

I could not have done all this finely done and perfect embroidery in an ENTIRE summer....and for ten minutes and a few dollars....I did alright.


I am on a mission:
to rescue vintage embroidery,

one piece at a time....


I'm having a GIVEAWAY for the

I rescued her just for someone who reads my blog and enters my drawing.

ANYONE can enter.

There's only ONE rule:
Tell me from where you read my blog.
Just your state or country.

be sure that if you do not have a blog that you leave me your email address within the body of your comment.

If you have a blog, please make sure you have your email enabled on your blog so I can email you if you become the winner!

The drawing will take place June 15th!


Unknown said...

What a beautiful piece! I have two pillowcases my grandfather embroidered for me and I treasure them.
What a fantastic giveaway! (no blog)

Lisa~A Cottage To Me said...

I love rescuing hand made pieces like that! The time someone put into all of the work saddens me to find them shoved in a box and sold for pennies. You sure picked some beauties!

Connie said...

What a find! Someone put a lot of time and love into those linens. It's good they found a home with you.It really does pay to dig around in those boxes. I've found some of my best deals in the bottom of a box. I'm in Ontario Canada but I left my heart is in Charleston SC when I visited in 07 and love all things Southern so I would LOVE to win this :)

Mac n' Janet said...

Love the Southern Girl. I read your Blog in Richmond Hill, Georgia, that's near Savannah. My Blog is My e-mail is, I don't know if you can e-mail me at my Blog.

Faith said...


These are are all beautiful...what a find....they all could tell a story..don't you wonder when you look at them, who, when, why. I suppose someday maybe our things will be looked at that way too...I hope at least some of my things will be wanted and cared for as these beautiful linens. The southern bell is really loverly, I have a few pieces that my dear MIL gave me that she made, they are treasures, and reminders of her beautiful handiwork when she was once a young girl. My particular favorite is a round cut out with baskets and flowers, with a crochet trim..exquisite handiwork..
My oven is ready for the pie crust
gotta run. Thanks for the beautiful post.

I am your neighbor to the Ohio....

Jeanette said...

Those are some very pretty pieces. I have a ton of stuff made by my mom, grandmother and mother-in-law! And hey, I'm a fellow Michigander!

Unknown said...

I just found your blog today and it is enchanting. I've enjoyed my stay so much.

From one country girl to another...have a wonderful day.

Vicki's Bit-o-earth said...

What a fun give-away Joni! Count me in (:

Don't you just love making finds like this!? I've just recently gotten hooked on flea markets and garage sales, but I can't say I've ever been so brave as you were in the cold! LOL ...But my heart races when I make a particularly amazing find! LOVE your vintage linens... they remind me of seeing my beloved grandma sitting in the livingroom hunched over a new piece of handwork... the next thing is the lump in my throat because I just lost her a year ago.

Elyse said...

what a fun post! i'm commenting from rhode island. :)

happy june ~*~


PBKISSES said...

What a beauty! Even though I live in the heartland (Kansas), there is a special place in my heart for all things Southern. That little belle fits the bill!

mornings322 said...

Both beautiful and priceless. I have a few of my Great aunts linens and I cherish them to pieces. I am following from the state of Pennsylvania. I just love reading your blog. The southern belle would be a great addition to my aunts collection..

Have a great week and thanks for having such an informative and joyous blog to follow.


Elise said...

You did GREAT!! I, too, fancy myself a rescuer of vintage linens. I recently got a quilt top at an estate sale for $10!! Love it!! I live in the Peach state and hope some day to live in the country of said state!!

Laura said...

I love when you show us your special finds! Love the needlework. I'm a fellow Michigander or Michiganian (what is proper these days? :))in St. Clair County.
jlwelser at ymail dot com

Brenda Evans said...

I love your blog - I read it everyday. Yes you got some amazing bargains in this find. I have looked and looked for a round table center hand made but I can't seem to find one. This would look beautiful on my table. I'm so jealous of your finds. They are all just beautiful.

Recycled Cottage & Garden said...

And I thought I was the only one who rescued linens! I am in Porter, TX, USA, though born & raised in Grand Rapids, MI. Here's my email just in case... lady.hawthorne(at)yahoo(dot)com
Love your blog!

Tammy said...

Oh my goodness how beautiful they are. I am so looking forward to get out and yard sale again. If the rain ever stops and it warms up here in Washington state. I love everything vintage. I am a quilter and it makes me wonder why people sell the things they do for so little money. All the work that goes into doing these is amazing. My e-mail is please pick me I love her. Also hope all is well with your daughter. Being a nana is very special. :)

Sunshine Mom said...

oh, those are just gorgeous! what a find!!!
St Cloud, FL

Unknown said...

Oh the joy of a good find! It thrills me. You can read about the quilt I recently found at I read your lovely blog from The Green Mountain State.

Unknown said...

Oops, Snoodle.typepad.COM (it's like the modern-day p's and q's!)

Tanya said...

What a great giveaway!!! I'm a Kansas girl and love vintage! My email is and my blog is
Crossing my fingers!!!

Troop 1309 said...

I love pieces like those too. My grandma makes us all kinds of embroidered things like pillow cases, baby blankets, etc. I love them.
Northeastern Cailfornia, way up in the middle of nowhere!

Happy@Home said...

What fun it must have been to discover all of those beautiful linens. I imagine it made the cold day a bit harder to take. Somebody did a lot of work on them at one time and would most likely be so happy that you are rescuing them :-).
How nice of you to share your treasures with one of us.
I read your blog from North Carolina. However, I was born and raised in Michigan so I enjoy hearing about my home state through your blog.

Unknown said...

Im in small town Ohio, where we are surrounded by corn fields and tractors. I love your blog and hope to one day buy & renovate my own "farmhouse". Thanks for the sweet giveaway. It keeps things fun! Im excited to make freezer strawberry jam this year. My patch is only 2 years old.

My email... (Im a photographer)

Check out my family blog...

Unknown said...

Great linen finds, lucky you. Reading your blog from michigan.

Angela said...

I think that little cutie might feel at home here in Rome, GA! Angela

Carmen at Old House Homestead said...

Oh! Those are sooo pretty! And that southern belle would look great even up here in northern Indiana! Enter me, please!

Mrs. Cherry Heart said...

Howdy neighbor!
I am visiting from Michigan {you knew that}

I love embroidered linens..... you struck gold when you went to that sale! Lucky duck

Hugz, Dolly

come visit

Unknown said...

Oops I forgot to say where which is Marietta, Georgia

Linda Stubbs said...

Just loveeeeeee the pictures and what a wonderful find! I am like you, boxes have so many neat things in them especially in old houses!

I am reading from my little farm in Kansas and I am ready to go out to garden! Please sign me up! and thank you very much for this fun giveaway!

I am also having a giveaway. We are one year old.
Blessings, Linda

Helen said...

Love your blog, Joni! I read it every morning over coffee from right here in California. My little town is on the banks of the mighty Colorado River - bordering Arizona and Nevada. We're desert folks out here, and I'm afraid I've been guilty of coveting some of your cooler weather. It's already over 100 here! Love the vintage linens, btw! What a find :)

aunthoney at frontiernet dot net