Saturday, 26 January 2013

Vintage Linens and Embroideries - 1

1. Cross-stitch and woven vintage mats

Yesterday I was lucky enough to pick up a HUGE shopping bag full of vintage linens, laces and embroideries from vintage linen dealer Heather at a local market.

I was as excited as a child in a sweet shop, sorting through gorgeous white work linen tablecloths, embroidered tray cloths, intricate crocheted edges and trims, and folk-style cross-stitched mats, a few scraps of vintage floral fabrics, and came away with a great bag full for a good price.

What was particularly exciting for me was a bag of unseen white linens and laces that Heather had bought on my behalf, knowing they were just my thing, and so when I got those home it was like Christmas!  Each item I pulled out the bag seemed prettier than the last, and there were a few surprises in the form of a very fine linen or cotton/lawn nightdress trimmed with lace, and a white work nightdress case or bag for storing stockings.

As there are so many lovely things that I think vintage and textile lovers out there will enjoy looking at, I shall spread the goodies out over several posts. 

I'll share with you the cross-stitch mats and woven mats in this post - most have a folk art feel to them, maybe embroidered in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and some I think may be European, maybe collected on holiday, or inspired by European folk art and embroidery.

Some of these have been embroidered by the same person I would think, as there is one design which comes up three times in different colour-ways. I'm not sure if they all belonged to the same person, but certainly some must have.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, and if anyone has any info on these type of cross-stitches then please feel free to share!

















Although at the moment I feel I wouldn't want to part with any of these as I shall enjoy looking at them for a while, and seeing if I can find a place for some of them in my home (the 50s style leaf runner (above) and the french knot roses cloth (below) are keepers I think!), as I have so many pieces now I will most probably make some of these available either through my Etsy shop or my blogshop.

Many of them are runners rather than mats, some are a little damaged with frayed edges where there shouldn't be, or the odd pulled thread, but most of them are in good condition.

Above all, the handmade pieces are a little snippet of social history, made with care and love by some unknown hand, in an unknown place and time.




As a footnote, I must just thank you all on behalf of Logan (who, as I type, is basking in some winter sunshine on the back of the sofa, whilst keeping an eagle eye on the occasional passer by)  who says he was thrilled to read all your lovely comments about his post.

He's asked me to add that he would be more than happy to do another post in the future.

A Huge "Welcome" to my new followers too!

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  1. Wow - so many fabulous bits and pieces! Must have been the week for vintage linen - I found some too, but not quite as much as you!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  2. That's a great haul - so much prettiness all in one go! (Hopped over from FB to see all the lovely pics.. the Gillian R-W is me!)
    Have fun sorting and admiring, and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest too,
    Happy weekend,

  3. What a great bunch of finds there - lovely!


  4. Wow Gill what a bag of goodies, all just right up your street. So much beautiful handiwork . :)
    Are you planning to repurpose some of them ~ cushions etc., looking forward to seeing what you do.
    Happy weekend,
    Vivienne x

  5. All so gorgeous, lucky you!

    Bee happy x

  6. Oooh, lucky you - some lovely pieces there! Well done. Have a good weekend.

  7. What a wonderful, wonderful collection! It seems to me there's a Norwegian feel about a lot of the red and blue - what do you think? And the French knots roses - yep, they're my favourite, too! Thanks for sharing them with us.

  8. Heaven, what a find Gill! It looks to be all seventies items, perhaps from Austria judging from the details? Each one lovely!
    Keep warm (and safe!)

  9. Some real pretty pieces in that bag of goodies.
    Love the one with the hearts.
    Lisa x

  10. What a treat to have that bag of goodies to sort through! It's so exciting to find treasures in a mix like that! You have some lovely pieces there and I know you'll be inspired by them.
    Have a happy weekend and keep cosy!
    Helen x

  11. Wow! What a haul you made! What is that material that looks like a nice thick toweling yet is cross stitched? I've never seen anything like that but it would be fun to cross stitch on I would think. Yes, the French knot roses towel is lovely! Also, the blue and white...gorgeous!
    Do you like Etsy? I am thinking about opening an Etsy shop to sell off some of my vintage "stuff" before I move. Is it expensive and/or difficult? Just curious. I can't wait to see the rest of your "treasures"!!!

  12. Hello Gill

    What wonderful pieces you have acquired. The handwork and stitchery is so beautiful.
    Enjoy these treasures


  13. What luck to find these. I love that deep blue one with the white flowers. So pretty!

  14. I couldnt tell you what I like the best as they are all so beautiful. Those bullion rose stitches is something I am seeing after ages and that cross stitch reminds of a long ago visit to Finland where the markets had heaps of stuff. I used to go nuts in the markets there.

  15. TH fourth and the fifth pictures is my favorite, what a treasure you have in your home now. Lucky you!!!!!! I sometimes look at the catholic woman association, you can find some beautiful linens there too but they know their prices!!!!!

  16. Ohhh lucky you!!! I love to find such things at the fleamarket, let´s see if next week I am lucky!!! kisses

  17. I love those little red french knot flowers . . .beautiful!!!
    Have a great week.
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x