Friday, January 17, 2014

Vintage Linens

I was fortunate to inherit several beautiful vintage linen tablecloths from both of my grandmothers.  At the time, I had just graduated from college.  I didn't own a home much less have a table to put them on.  Fortunately, my mom encouraged me to tuck them away and keep them for a later time in my life when I would appreciate them.  I am so happy I listened to that little piece of advice.

Although I love all of my old linens, one in particular is an absolute favorite. The one below is from my Italian grandmother and her sister, my great Aunt Mary.  My dad's family came to the U.S. from Calabria, Italy to Brooklyn, NY in 1920.  There were four sisters and each of them sewed. In fact, my Aunt Mary was so talented with her hand stitching, that she actually worked for the original NY Macy's in the linen department.  She hand stitched and embroidered beautiful monograms and letters on all kinds of linens.  I remember as a little girl, seeing these huge monograms and crocheted edges on pillows that sat on their beds and remember how gorgeous they were.  I didn't understand what I was looking at back then. You can see the intricate details and pulled spaces on the flowers below.  Look at all of the crocheted edges..... this was also done by hand.  Can you imagine?


The intricacy of the tablecloth is a little overwhelming.  It would take me years....just to crochet the napkins. Ok.....let me take that back.  I couldn't even crochet the napkins, much less embroider one flower.  I can tell you for a fact, that I did not inherit these genes. I imagine after dinner each night, they would sit by the light and work on their pieces.  My mom has a few of their table runners....I'm waiting to get my hands on those. (hehehe)

This beautiful white piece is from my mom's mom - the Irish grandmother.  I think it is Irish lace, which would make sense coming from my mom's side of the family.   It too is a beautiful heirloom with intricate patterns and details.  I'm not sure where it originated from but I love it just the same.

In our rush to always buy new and trendy, we sometimes forget about the treasured old pieces that are handed down and tucked away somewhere.  They are truly gifts not to be forgotten. 

Enjoy the weekend.