Sunday, November 16, 2008

Whitework on a Chilly Day

It's chilly here today, with the wind blowing the trees this way and that, although the sun is brightly shining....I'm thinking winter isn't far away. My friend, Sherry, and I have had a couple of discussions the last few days concerning vintage garments, laces, and embroideries.....all in white, by the way. So, with it being "chilly" does that mean our subconscious mind is equating our thoughts of Whitework with the possibility of snow somewhere in the future? Well, that's a little far out, but we really don't know, do we?

Do you like vintage Whitework items? My daughter calls it that "old-fashioned stuff," so if you feel that way too, then this post isn't for you. Several of my friends love it....well, maybe not as much as Sherry and I do, but they appreciate all the work that has gone into making beautiful things out of some simple fabrics and white thread. I am constantly amazed by it, in fact, finding bits of it at the flea market is, to me, almost a religious experience. There are many of you out there who share that feeling...I know it.

Being a "hunter/gatherer" of old things.....I thought I'd share some of my beautiful found pieces with you. And, then, there are ones I made myself mixed in here too. Since I'm not smart enough to get the photos on this blog to actually appear in
the order I wish...I shall just tell you about these things and you can find them in the photos.

There is a white dress I found at the flea is made of organdy and quite thin...the skirt is made of an embroidered organdy in a circular flower motif and has a scalloped hemline. It is quite pretty and whoever wore it was very small. I'm guessing it was made in fifties, but who knows.

There is a small doll quilt I's in the background and underneath the baby dress hanging in the right of the photo. That baby dress was made for me by my mother. The only thing I am aware of that she ever made. I'm sixty-four, so that pretty much explains how old it is.

Behind my baby dress is an apron that my friend, Jim, gave me for my birthday. The fabric is kind of a windowpane check (white on white, of course) and the bottom is crocheted lace about six inches wide. I just love that crochet pattern and would like to reproduce it someday.

There are buttons and lace in a frame with a linen background. My husband gave me that and a box of buttons...even the box was old, just a couple of years ago for Christmas. He says I am hard to buy for.....but he seemed to know exactly what I would love!!!

There is a white pillow embroidered in a kind of chrysanthemum design done in satin stitch. I found that at the flea market one day and just fell so in love with it. It was $2.00. How could you leave that in the store?

There is a strip of old, gorgeous lace. I have about a yard of it. It used to be attached to a garment...who knows what...and I also bought it at the flea market. So beautiful!!! There is a bit of old lace on the shoulder of the dress....then there is a dresser scarf in the center that is another floral design done in satin stitch...with a wreath embroidered with little dots that represent some kind of berry. Beautiful! A handkerchief monogramed with the letter "P".....couldn't turn that down either.

Speaking of monograms......there is that button with the appliqued letter "E" surrounded with embroidery and trimmed in crocheted lace. I just LOVE that button! One year when I was at the Houston Quilt Festival, I found that pretty thing in a booth and couldn't walk away without it. It cost way too much....but well, it's only money, right?

There is a doily with an edging that is just remarkable. It looks like it has some kind of wrapped trim used with crochet to create a very complicated it. It's about two inches wide.

There is another framed piece. It is done in Drawn Thread work....spectacular. It was a gift to me from my friend, Susan, who bought it this year on a trip to Chicago. The piece came with proof of age....a note written by Martha Wall Herring, born in 1903, stating the piece was made by her mother, Naunie May Wall, at age sixteen, in 1898. Wow! A sixteen year old made this wonderful work of art! (Imagine a sixteen year old doing this kind of work!!!) It truly is wonderful! And, Susan was dear to bring it to me....I have truly wonderful friends.

Then, lastly, there is that crocheted table cloth. I made that myself. When my kids were four and five, I crocheted it at the swimming pool while they took swimming lessons. Yeah, that sounds kind of weird, doesn't it? As it turns out...I have a very deep fear of water and do not swim. However, I wanted my kids to like being in the insisted they take swimming lessons. ( As it turns out, they both love the water and so does my grandson. I am so glad.) It made me nuts to watch them at the pool, but parents had to be I worked on this table cloth while they learned to swim. Then, after they learned, I continued to take them to the pool for the summer and continued to work on the tablecloth. I think it took six weeks.
I'm sure this is probably the only table cloth made entirely at a swimming pool! Ya think? I have decided that I'm not subconsciously thinking of snow......I'm just reminding myself how much I love hand embroidery, crochet and quiltmaking....and it's actually making me neat is that? Take care, Pat


Unknown said...

Oh, I LOVE vintage needlework! I have collected a beatiful piece of drawnwork that I cherish! Thanks for sharing. You have some lovely things!

Judy said...

Pat what lovely pieces you have. I love vintage linens but always bought the ones that had some color to them. Lately, I've been looking for white. It is so delicate and rich looking. Thank you for sharing yours. My collection will grow I'm sure. said...

As usual your post give me such a good feeling and I love seeing your things, always something new.
Whitework does have and elegance that can't be beat.

Anonymous said...

Pat, after talking with you about vintage linens, it was great to get to see yours! It's hard to imagine women who didn't have dishwashers or supermarkets with cut-up (not to mention plucked)chickens and already baked bread having time to do so much beautiful handwork! You have some wonderful pieces.

Sherry in Little Rock

Christine said...

I'm also a fan of vintage whitework and have quite a few pieces of Victorian and Edwardian underwear featuring whitework embroidery. I hope you continue to enjoy yours as much as I do mine, I take it out for display during my Guest Speaker duties sometimes, and it's always popular.


Tina Marie the Willow Witch said...

Thank you, a much better distraction than the white stuff all over the ground here. I alway go all jello in the knees when I find vintage stuff for my collection. I alway's buy it with the intention of using it in a project and then I can't cut it! How do you handle that?

Gayle said...

These are wonderful pieces...a beautiful post. It was a treat to read this.

Gaby Bee said...

I have been pretty busy and not blogging much lately but I love your latest artwork! You have some absolutely amazing pieces, Pat!


A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
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