Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The storyteller and the linens....

Our autumn cleaning has been quite ruthless, and with the first carload of 'stuff' delivered to the local Red Cross store this morning I decided to take a 1/4 hour break and browse the linen section of the shop. I'm so glad I did! Hiding beneath piles of weathered poly-cotton serviettes and doilies I found these delicate beauties.

They are the softest of linen, aged and delectible, just the way I love them. The embroidery is exquisite, all hand made, the work of gifted fingers. I always wonder why such valuable pieces find their way to an op-shop, don't you?
I like to think about the story behind their relinquishment to strangers. Today my story was this: I decided a lonely old spinster, nearing her 90th birthday, had passed away. In her will she had left all her belongings to the Red Cross, and after they sent her furniture and a few (what they would call) 'useful' items off to the Victorian fire victims they tossed these beautiful linen pieces in the op-shop box because 'no-one would want them'. And now I am the grateful owner of some little things she cherished and I should make sure they are displayed beautifully. I wonder how close that is to the real story? :-)
They were only 40c and $1 each (I bought 5 pieces), and as soon as I came home I knew how I would begin to make use of them.

As I've mentioned I am re-doing a large part of the house in a very relaxed, vintage, shabby style. I used one of the embroidered linens in this cushion cover for our bed - it's so pretty!
Another was used as part of a pillow sham, also for our bed. With this one I was also able to use some vintage cotton lace I've been holding onto for a couple of years. Honestly, I am so happy with my work today! These pillows already bless me with peace in my soul as I look at them. I find the whole vintage shabby style to be incredibly stress-relieving on the eyes and thence the mind and heart. Do you?

I had no patterns, just kept making things up as I went along. I'll do more in the days ahead and see how else I can use the linens.

And a parcel arrived! Dear Maree sent me my last two fat 1/4's from the birthday swap! Thank you so much Maree! The pink is already claimed for a cushion, and the spots...I already know how they'll be used but it's a secret.

What have you been making?



Amanda said...

I too have several lovely pieces of linen inherited from my grandmother - there's no way they're going to the charity shop! Thank you for some ideas on how to use them, it seems such a shame to leave them languishing in a cupboard. Can you tell me - what is an op shop? I assume it's what we call a charity shop, but why 'op'?

Cattinka said...

Great pillow cases! Your work is so inspiring, thanks for sharing your ideas.
Katrin W.

Julia said...

Beautiful way to use your op shop finds Jenny..
I love what you made with could anyone part with them.

I have a pair of vintage pillow shams from my Mum, must get them out..

Carrie P. said...

The pillows are so pretty. What a great idea.