Quick links around the blog!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ideas for using vintage linens...

I love vintage linens.
I have an obsession with them I think. 

These are just a few I've collected over the years. Once upon a time they would sit neatly inside this plastic tub, but now they spill over and find themselves stored in all sorts of hidden nooks and crannies...

I enjoy finding uses for them.
Some have been been revived in baby quilts made for friends. Both the blue and the yellow quilts below were made in 2008 so I only have a few photos and they're not the best - however you can see the use of vintage linens among the patchwork, applique and embroidery....

The quilt below is one I made last year but it's been hidden away by Blossom for 'one day'. She's not letting me give it away to anyone but her...

It's quite nourishing and comforting to the soul when using aged linens by unknown hands to create something new - to know that their handwork is once again 'on display'. It carries forward a gentle promotion of their skills, often times with appreciation and awe!

A few years back I shared THIS tutorial for making little journal covers and soap sachets from embroidered linens. They are so easy and perfect for gift giving at this time of the year...

As I gently folded a small pile of white doilies the other day I thought how lovely it would be to use one as the background for a new design which will feature in December's Stitchery Club set.
Isn't it sweet with the blue floral 30's fabric?

The new design has been traced onto the centre of my pretty doily, and the threads are waiting for me to bring this project to life.
A stitchy theme seemed 'just right'...

I thought you may like some more ideas for using vintage linens?
Here are some that made my jaw drop they are so beautiful!

Found on Pinterest...

Is it time you made a cup of tea and sat with your vintage linens for inspiration?

2022 UPDATE - need more ideas?
Have a look at these projects I've made!

A second version with crochet edging!

What about using vintage embroidery linens (especially if they have some damage) for the centre of patchwork blocks?

Need even more ideas for using Vintage Linens?

Bless you heaps,

Visit my Etsy pattern shop HERE for a wide variety of hand embroidery patterns, all available as instant downloads!

Don't miss out on any Elefantz news or free patterns. 
Subscribe to my blog posts HERE and receive them direct to your email inbox.  

Or sign up HERE for my free newsletter which often has extra benefits, freebies & tutorials!

2023 update - join me this year to stitch my new FREE block of the month!
You'll find all the info, plus the first few blocks already shared HERE


  1. The Vintage linens are very pretty, Jenny and look so lovely in your quilts.

  2. The quilts with the antique embroidery's are gorgeous, what a great way to use them *stores this idea at back of brain for future use*.

  3. Once again, just so beautiful Jenny. It is wonderful to have the vintage embroideries appreciated once more. Maitland Regional Art Gallery had an art extravaganza recently and one of the exhibitors made really sweet handbags, children's bonnets and clothing from old doilies and tablecloths. Love the theme for December stitchery. Happy stitching! xx

  4. Thank you for all the wonderful vintage linen and lace ideas. Such beautiful photos and inspiration. You must have known ...... Xxxxx

  5. Thank you for the wonderful ideas. I always look at the linens and stitchers when we are at antique and second hand stores. I just never buy any for lack of knowing what to do with them.

  6. You have done some wonderful things with your vintage linens Jenny. I can understand Blossom putting one away. A lovely post. hugs.....

  7. I too share your passion Jenny, I have gathered quite a sum over the years, I take them out sometimes just to look. Love the baby quilts you have created with them. Thank you for the inspiration. xx

  8. Hi Jenny such a lovely post my friend.xx

  9. What a gorgeous post. I adore vintage linens too and like to use them in projects

  10. I'd never have thought to use any of them in these ways! And the December stitchery peak is lovely!
    Have a lovely weekend x

  11. Thanks for sharing, the baby quilts are darling.

    Patricia C

  12. You are not alone in your obsession, lol! I have a couple of huge totes filled to the brim with them. Love your ideas and your sneak peek!!!

  13. I sometimes use one on a crazy quilt block. I always think they add so much! I love the new design teaser there, and it is GREAT against that blue! What a collection you have.

  14. Thank you Jenny - lots of lovely ideas and I especially love your soap sachets. xx

  15. I know what I'm going to look for estate sales! Such pretty ideas!

  16. Oh thank you! I have an abundance of vintage linens Some too ragged to use in for the origanal use. Included is an embroidered apron for my SIL who doesn't want it. Her children are too old. I hate to use it, and don't want to losse GGM's work!

  17. Beautiful work, Jenny. I love your Holly Bird designs! I am also quite taken with your idea for the journal covers and hope to find time to make several this season with saved fragments - I can never pass up old linens or laces.
    Since I have avoided Pinterest, thanks so much for sharing ideas you have found there.

  18. I have used vintage linens as labels for quilts. I love them on your quilt...may have to give that a go :)

  19. Дженни! Мне очень нравятся ваши работы! Это прекрасно!!!

  20. Beautiful vintage linens and great ideas of things to do with them

  21. I like you just love old lacce and linens - I feel I rescue it. I buy from auctions,car boots and charity shops and spend hours just enjoying them. Best of all is when I upcycle them. I make lavender pillows at the moment which I sell at Craft Fairs, so I am always looking for Inspirational ides like yours thanks very much Trishx

  22. I have soooo many - family heirlooms and want to keep them in the family. No babies being added at this point -- any other ideas? would so appreciate any ideas. I don't want to keep them in a box -- they are so beautiful!

  23. Katherine, have a look at these -
    http://www.elefantz.com/2017/05/tutorial-applique-with-lace.html (you could cut a piece from vintage linen)

  24. Wonderful ideal, dear Jenny!!!!!

  25. So beautiful! I was wondering how you attached the lacy part of the doilies to the quilt?

  26. Jeanne, they were sewn onto the individual blocks before being pieced as a quilt.

  27. Thank so-o-o very much! I've been collecting vintage for years but haven't repurposed any yet.

  28. Thank you Jeannie! What great ideas, as I can't think of a thing in DIY. I too, have my Grandmother's linens. Now I can do something beautiful and pass on to family and friends.

  29. I am wading through the house of Mum and Aunty (both in their 90s and now in aged care) and have found an overwhelming amount of vintage linen, hankies, scarves, craft supplies etc. Now I believe that God has led me to this site with so much information and ideas - thank you!!

  30. As always I appreciate your spirit of generosity, Jenny... and I love beautiful linens and the stories they hold, the dinner parties they've been to... they are truly special. Any one have tips for washing as I've noticed the rust marks reappear on some while they're stored? Someone mentioned Borax but I'd love to hear any great solutions for keeping linens soft and snowy clean. Thanks Syndy

  31. How lovely to look back at these earler posts. You have such wonderful ideas for designs. It is great to see such lovely fabrics and items on display once again. Than you Jennifer for sharing these.


It's always nice to receive feedback on a blog post, so *thank you* for taking time to comment!
I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...