Sunday, April 29, 2018

Treasures From Mom

A couple of weeks ago, I dropped in at Mom's to check out what she had been sorting through in an effort to donate to her church's annual rummage sale. There were many pretty things, and I think Mom was second-guessing about donating some items. I brought a few things home with me - an old shelf that needs a new paint job, a wine-carrying box, and a box of old fabric and linens.

Yes, those dry goods certainly came to live with me. And oh, what treasures we found buried in that box! Family heirlooms, honestly! Let's take a look, shall we?

The most exciting finds in my opinion were these embroidered pillow cases. The one shown above is a singleton - its matching MR is long gone, heaven only knows where. This case was used and has the softest-feeling cotton ever. Even after all it's wear and laundering, though, the embroidery work is still in remarkably good condition, so dainty and sweet.

A complete pair of MR and MRS pillow cases were also in the box, and these were never used. Mom remembers that they were a wedding gift to her and Dad from her Aunt Alberta, known in the family for being quite a skilled seamstress. Alberta was the oldest sister of my Grandma, Mom's mom, of whom I have written frequently here on the blog.

By contrast, since these have not been used or laundered, the fabric still feels brand new. It is stiffer and sturdier. And, sadly, portions have discolored and stained. I will have to do some research to see if the condition can be restored. I would imagine that experts know how to treat such issues. I might search for YouTube videos (that's where to find all the answers).

The MR case is in somewhat better shape than its mate. Just look at those fresh, crisp colors.

And here is the MRS, looking a bit rough around the edges despite her lack of service. The fold at the top is yellowed, and those dots above and below the basket are brown. From what, I have not a clue.

I am fascinated by these works of art. I would love to know who made the first case. I wonder if people still do gifts like this for brides these days. I did not get any when we were married almost 39 years ago. I don't think our daughter got any, either, in 2014. So, I am curious about that as a gifting tradition.

How shall I use these? Should I create a display? Put them in a frame? Hang them on a rack? I will think on it for a time, but I definitely do not want to stuff them back into that box for another 60 years.

And speaking of the box, I have only shown you the linens in this post. Earlier, you saw the fabric that I turned into a table cloth. Still, there are interesting random fabrics I have not shared. Most notably, there are some stiff canvas-type pieces that seem to have quite a story to tell. Also, there are quite a few scraps from some of Mom's sewing projects. And, table cloths for card tables - these were made by Grandma and used when they had guests for card-playing. Card table cloths were a thing, from the looks of it. I have 3 or 4 from this box to share.

I will save all that for another day. I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Sunday!

I am linking with Kathy at Slow Sunday Stitching since this post features slow stitching of my ancestors.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


  1. Oh my goodness...what a treasure! I have embroidered my own pillow cases over the years, since we did not get any when we were married. Use a color catcher sheet, if you launder them in the washer.

  2. I never embroidered pillow cases but I remember my sister crocheting lace for a set of pillow cases for her “Hope Chest”. I think that was the on,y thing that ever got put into it. Check out Kelly Cline Quilting for ideas of how to display them. She quilts beautiful pieces with old linens and has lots of info about how to clean them.

  3. I have some embroidered pillow cases that my grandmother made for my parents when they got married. They don’t say Mr and Mrs on them.

  4. Love family treasures to have. I used to embroider my pillowcases and dresser scarves back in the late 60' and early 70's when I was a teenager, some were given as gifts to friends and family. I still have many of them today, and I am still amazed at how bright the embroidery threads still look. I have been known to make a few embroidered pillowcase sets for friends that have gotten married now I mostly I make hand embroidered baby announcement keepsakes.

  5. I've had good luck with getting the age stains out of otherwise pristine vintage linens by soaking them in a solution of Oxiclean powder dissolved in hot water. I didn't get any Mr./Mrs. things for my wedding fourteen years ago, nor have I given any as wedding gifts... yet occasionally I will give embroidered pillowcases as Christmas gifts or the like.

  6. Please, please let us know any and all ideas you come up with for these linens. I have many of the same from my mom and grandmother - pillow cases, doilies, card table cloths etc. and I've no idea what to do with them. I would love to hear ideas you are pondering.


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