July 18, 2011

I'm back and blogging!

This is my hardanger doily made in the early 1990s.
Wow! What was supposed to be a 2-week sabbatical turned into a 2-month leave of absence! I can't believe it's been so long. But, I have been busy and I have so much to share with you! I plan on showing you lots of stuff I've been up to and updating you on all my projects and goings-on over the next couple of months. Then it will be time for the big reveal of the book (which has a name, but I'm going to make you wait for a while longer on that!).

But today, I want to show you some antique linens I recently came to own. Here's the story. My aunt is moving to Arizona from Kansas City and is doing a little purging of her possessions. Originally I went to get Grandma's sewing machine (which has a great story that you'll hear later). When my mom and I got to her house, she had a stack of things she wanted me to have! Well I hit the "family heirloom" lotto that day! Among what she gave me were two handmade tablecloths. She said that my great grandmother, who was born in Denmark and move to the US in the late 1910s, commissioned them from a Danish relative sometime in the 1950s. She gave one to each of her children - my great aunt and my grandmother. My mom has no memory of her mother ever using hers and we assume it's the unused one. The other one, presumably my great aunt's was used and washed. I don't know if I could ever use them. Maybe if they were under plastic!
48" x 84"
This is the used tablecloth, presumably my great aunt's.
It is soft and delicious to run your hand over!

The edge is done very well - something I've always struggled with!

50" x 104" Label: KB 91 (not a date, but I don't know what it means.)
This one appears to be unused and probably was my grandmother's.
It is on a pink background and done in burgundy, pink and white thread.
I have never seen such workmanship. 
The are both impeccable and there are no dropped stitches that I could see.

When I saw them I immediately knew they were hardanger embroidery. I dabbled in hardanger in the early 1990s (see the top photo). I like the looks of it because of the graphic nature of the stitches, but it requires a lot of counting and paying attention, which is contrary to my nature! I did manage to make three doilies. I used mine as a coaster, which now I wish I hadn't. I gave the other two to my parents and my future mother-in-law. Fortunately, she never used hers, and it was the best sample! So, I do have access to a "perfect" one if I ever want to look at it!

So now I am the proud owner of two more wonderful examples of handwork and lucky that a distant family member actually made them. Into the closet they will go, but just knowing they are there make me a little giddy!

6 comments:

  1. Hardanger is so pretty. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. What gorgeous Hardanger!! I also dabbled in it quite a few years ago and keep meaning to get back to it as I still have patterns, fabric and threads. I once saw a pattern for (kitchen) curtains - wonder if I can still find it...

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  3. What great treasures you have - I can't wait to see the rest! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Welcome back...great treasures! I wonder if that could be a laundry label?

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  5. Hi Yankee - it doesn't seem like a laundry mark. I'll take a picture of it an post tomorrow...
    J

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  6. They are lovely and to know they have been in the family makes them extra special!

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