Sunday, July 11, 2010

Freshening Linens

I can't explain to you the effect that laundering and ironing linens has on me. But it's similar to what a trip to the spa might be for a normal person.

Unlike creating something out of nothing, one BEGINS with an already beautiful article. Plain or fancy. And I tend not to discriminate. I love my heavy natural linen table covers every bit as much as a dainty lace-edged handkerchief.

And then there is the endless variety! Colors, shapes, sizes! Embroidery, lace, vintage prints!

I find linen with the lost art of tatted lace impossible to pass by. Sometimes people confuse it with crochet, but it is made with a tiny shuttle, one loop at a time, instead of a hook. That's tatting on the left.

Another serious weakness of mine is embroidery. I find a tea cloth like this pink worked one and react like it was a baby kitten abandoned next to the freeway!

Okay so that's the visual part. If you are regular, you make your bed with newer linens of a variety of blended weaves. Nice stuff you don't have to iron. But when I get into a freshly laid bed of vintage cottons and linens with smooth ironed pillowcases and lay my head down, it's like floating on a cloud and getting a massage at the same time! Oooooooh! Aaaaaaa!

It's definitely one of the things that makes my kids keep coming back home to visit! HA!

And I bet you love old clothespins every bit as much as I do. Little irresistible shaped pieces of wood with a patina. So simple. So beautiful.

I could have buckets full!

I have yet to restore these delicate sheer handkerchiefs and baby slips, and I probably never will. They will lose their wonderful aged look.

I compare these to the two schools of painted furniture--you have people who want fresh paint, versus those who want it chippy.

This old pillow slip is pure linen with a deep lace edge and has tabs to tie it onto a pillow. Not only do I NOT need things in matching pairs, I PREFER to have a variety of whites all piled together!

This kind of laundry day can wait til forever. That's another beauty of it. It's not like running out of clean socks!

I tend to think of myself at times like B. Potter's Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle--

"Lucie opened the door: and what do you think there was . . .?--a nice clean kitchen with a flagged floor and wooden beams--just like any other farm kitchen. Only the ceiling was so low that Lucie's head nearly touched it; and the pots and pans were small, and so was everything there.
There was a nice hot singey smell; and at the table, with an iron in her hand stood a very stout short person staring anxiously at Lucie."

So thanks for letting me share one of the pure pleasures of my life.

Next time you see me, my hair will probably be sticking out all over like a hedge-hog!

Thanks for stopping by! Ciao! for now!

I'm joining Smiling Sally for Blue Monday!


  1. Oh, you are so making me want to go iron my linens. Yours are beautiful and so nicely pressed! Loved your blog! I am so glad I found it a couple of days ago. :)

  2. I'm hoping all the drool will wash out easily, Just absolutely gorgeous!! Your last post with the courtyard and table is so relaxing and just makes me want to be there!

  3. Oh I just love vintage linens, there is nothing better and thank for sharing those gorgeous pictures of it all!
    Tina xo

  4. Your pictures leave me feeling great! Good Morning!!!

  5. I love all your beautiful linens photographed so nicely,as usual!


  6. Hi Jacqueline... I am always lusting on your linens you have some beauties. I am crazy for them too.. always amazed that they are still sitting there at a garage sale late into the sale, I have to make a bee line for them thinking everyone wants them as much as I do! Nothing better than ironing on a cold night (thats a long way away:-)

  7. Jacqueline, it is so wonderful to read that someone else goes ga ga over linens. I am constantly trying to restrain myself from buying more. I'm sure my family thinks I need help. And just yesterday at an estate sale, in an old brown sack at the bottom were some of those old clothespins. I got a huge bunch for $2.!! Now ironing the linens for me is not quite the pleasure it is for you! But laying my head on my soft pillow at night is still a sweet, sweet retreat. PS We are finally having a summer, and I am lovin' the beautiful, sunny, summer mornings and all my roses. Love ALL your photos, the ones yesterday for pink Saturday again made me want to sit and visit!

  8. i so agree with you - there is nothing sweeter than a bed dressed in clean and crisp sheets. ahhhhhh.....i love the sweet smell of fresh laundry, too.

    lovely post,

  9. What a great post! I too collect & use vintage linens..I had purchased four large boxes from an estate sale three years ago and I am still going thru them and trying to decide what I need (want) to keep. I can't seem to part with any of them..
    Have a wonderful week!


  10. the pink patterns are very elegant,
    fresh and cute pinks...
    Happy Belated Pink Saturday!

  11. Sending sweet greetings from Frog Hollow Farm. I absolutely loved reading through this post, and like you, I can't pass by embroidered peices of linen - there is something so comforting about them, I want to own tons and tons. Do you have any special way of ironing them, or any special sprays or finishes that you use? I would like to have mine look better - looking anything like yours would be wonderful. Ciao, bella!

  12. Oh, and I forgot to thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment - I really appreciate every visitor and comment!! Ciao, bella!

  13. Such pretty linens...and such a pretty light blue.

  14. I love the soft teal blue on the bedspread.

    Happy Blue Monday, Jacqueline.

  15. This is beautiful! I too love the different whites all together. I just dropped by to let you know I featured you on my blog for Pink Saturday, because that little pink teapot/creamer/butter dish cottage was to die for. Keep up the good work!

  16. Oh, Jacqueline! This is GORGEOUS! You are a girl after my own heart. I have some very pretty linens (antique towels with fabulous monograms and embroidery, tatting, crochet, etc.) that I love, love, love, and I love what you've shown us here, too!

    Yes, I love wooden clothes pins, and I always want to buy them when I see them. I love the way laundry smells when it's fresh from the line.

    Is there anything you use special on your linens? How do you take care of yours? I'm always nervous about mine. Please let me know what you use and how you get stains out. Thanks!

    Happy Blue Monday...


    Sheila :-)

  17. Your vintage linens are beautiful! I bet they smell wonderful too! My mom always sprinkled sachet on the percale sheets when they were put on the beds. I can still remember the aroma and the feel of the smooth freshly ironed linens

  18. What beautiful linens and I remember my Mom using those old
    clothes pins. Have a great week!

  19. If you see this, could you please do a post on how to treat old linens to get them beautifully white like yours????
    I have lots of pieces, and have tried good old soap and water, but they don't have the zing that yours have :^(
    Many thanks for any info.
    jbmusik at yahoo dot com

  20. I do the same thing. I collect any embroidered or lace item I find at sales. I just love them hand made. I need to find a way to display them.........I am looking for a way to keep my pegs now as I needed the box they were in. I love the little pail.


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