...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Forget me not - Heirloom textiles

Forget me not

I have another passion other than God, dishes and family. Textiles. Old, new, pristine, imperfect, it matters not, I love to care for them. If there is a monogram or tidbits of lace involved, so much the better.

Hand embroidered on linen by my mother in law.  Only four napkins and it appears to be a bridge cloth? I was able to remove all the stains from the piece with a 4 day soak in Oxyclean.

 Now really, hand crocheted, is there any other way? But such a darling pair of young lady's gloves. 

Is this a sleeping bonnet? It sure seems like it. Anyone know? 

A closeup of the bonnet. It's clean, just wrinkled. Were I to wash this with the condition it's in, I'd lay it on a piece of screening so that the total weight is supported in and out of the water. No rubbing together of the fibers during the wash, just gentle movement with my fingers. Dry flat. Iron with a puff iron. Click HERE for information on the egg shaped puff iron.

This absolutely darning children's dress belonged to one of sister's in law. The stitching is magnificent and all by hand. Did you keep any of your baby clothes? What are you doing with them?

Shadowwork embroidery and bullion roses. All done by hand. Delicate lace and entredeux. There is nothing better in life!

A few more dresses. This second.with Madeira work.

This piece is very old and the entredeux is done by hand. Entredeux is simply said, an insertion between two pieces of fabric. Most is now purchased as it's a bit tedious to make, but should you be interested in making your own click HERE

What a lovely camisole! The top of the piece has eyelets so that a ribbon can be inserted and the piece drawn closer to the body. The waist, well it's pretty tiny!

 Too big to be a hankie, only one so not napkins. Doily? Silk thread embroidery. To see this piece up close and personal will make you gasp! The silk threads have such a beautiful sheen, they are hard to surpass!

A beautiful linen dish towel, belonged to my husband's grandmother's grandmother. The only one living in that group is my husband and he's about to retire. So it's very, very old, and in beautiful condition. Love the heart shaped leaves on the vines!

This piece had my husband's grandmother's name on the slip. Did she do the embroidery, as it's quite exquisite? And why is there a piece of batting sewn into the now square envelope? Such mysteries.

Where I still teaching at Martha's School of Art Fashion, my class would be recreating this darling little overdress! This example is wool, but would look especially adorable in pique, a very fine corduroy or silk. 

I have no idea what this was as it folds out into a long piece. However only one half has the delicate antique lace attached. Perhaps a ring bearer's pillow? The lace needs to be removed from the backing (it's just hand tacked on) and soaked in some Oxyclean with very delicate care!

Lace runners and doilies no one wanted. Aren't I the lucky recipient? 

This is a laundry bag for the nursery. I can remember my mother washing baby items separate from the rest of the wash. (Or course I don't remember her washing mine! I had some siblings.) What beautiful stitching and so easy to make. This would make a lovely gift for a newborn!
I hope you enjoyed your trip through the Heirloom world. It's good to breathe the dust from old fibers. I found THIS wonderful file on line to help you take care of your heirlooms so that they may be enjoyed by several more generations!


Kuby said...

These are so spectacularly beautiful! The embroidery is so perfect. The crochet is also wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing these.

Scribbler said...

What treasures! I have a lot of pieces from my grandmother Thompson. I bought some Oxyclean to try. Most of them do not have stains, but I did find some on one of the tablecloths. Thanks for sharing.


Oh my, what a beautiful collection of such gorgeous lace, embroidery and crochett. Each piece was probably made with angel hands and sweet loving care, I can imagin the people that made the infant's cloths. Really wonderful treasures Marly. I have pretty things from my grandma, and mom, made by them, specially in crochet and inherited from my Mil's. I take this old and fine things to a convent of nuns around here to wash them, they're experts on crochet and linen wash.
Thank you for coming by and for the always so lovely and generous comments. Have a nice weekend...whatever it's left of it!
Lots of hugs.

Dianne said...

Marlis, The baby dresses are so beautiful. You are so fortunate to have so many wonderful pieces from your family's past. Dianne

A Hint of Home said...

I love all your pieces but those gloves and baby dresses are my favorites.
I have one dress that was mine as a baby but it is not fancy at all.
I have it hanging on a small wooden hanger in my grandchildren's play area.

Miss Char said...

Marlis, we certainly have the same insane collections. Your linens are beautiful and are so diverse. I'm a believer of Oxyclean for stains. It may take a few days of changes of water and OC but it almost always removes the stain eventually. Thanks so much for sharing you lucky thing you.

Janet said...

stunning embroidery! Love looking at the beauty of the handiwork. I only have a few pieces that have been passed down, but I treasure them. Janet

xinex said...

These are so pretty, Marlis. They are so dainty and so delicate especially the children's dresses....Christine

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

I too LOVE heirloom linens, laces and needlework of all kinds. I LOVE all the details and stories you have shared today with us. I look at each piece as a priceless work of art. The women who stitched these treasures put so much love into them. I do have some family treasures...AND I think you are right about the ring bearers pillow, that's what I thought of when I first saw it.
Thank you for sharing all your pretty things with us. I need to go back now and STUDY each and every picture...
Have a wonderful week,

Jacqueline said...

What wonderful pieces you have. I just adore the baby things and that they could still look so good. They are all so delicate and fine. Just a treat for the eyes!

I only have one little overjacket that my mom saved so I saved a lot more of my children's baby things although I don't think they are such treasures like these, but some of the clothes my mother made them, and now she has been gone for 20 years, those are treasures to me at least.

Rettabug said...

Such delicious eye candy, Marlis! Thank you so much for taking the time to photograph them so we could enjoy them, too. I can't help but want to read out & touch them, turn them over & examine the tiny stitches.

I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you when I went to Martha's *Lace Camp*! Niener & I attended together a few years ago & we loved it. We both want to return someday soon.



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