Friday, February 21, 2014

Nothing Flowers & Fabric Can't Transform

When making a purchase at a fleamarket I'm often asked, "What are you going to do with that?" Does that ever happen to you? (Probably.) I hardly ever have an answer except, "I don't know yet!", or "I have no idea."

I only know that there are some things that must not be left behind. . . .

These pale pink roses may be from a three piece anti-macassar set. (If you have never heard that word, I am not surprised.) Macassar oil was once used to dress the hair of men in the Victorian and Edwardian age. In order to protect the upholstered furniture from the oil, some clever woman devised a way to decoratively solve that problem.

I'm showing them on my chair for you, but these pieces might also have been a dresser set from the thirties (more likely) that had varying heights for drawers and top. The cloth would protect its surfaces from scratches and cosmetics. That use is more likely because of the materials used (later era) and because the runner is long, and finished on both edges.

But I won't be using them either of those ways. And very few people these days would. . . .

So the question remains. . . .

But there's plenty of time and inspiration out there to come up with something.

Like this book from Kathryn Ireland, for instance. (For some of you right now, thinking of summer might be just as exotic as thinking of spending it in France!) Fortunately I am an expert armchair traveller.

photo from Summers In France

Make or decorate a pillow, perhaps?

I think I'll knock off and dream about it for awhile. . .
 After all it is Friday!

I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead!


Why don't you join me at


  1. Those pieces are so soft and beautiful.
    Wouldn't they be nice to make a soft jacket out of them? maybe ? I love clothing made out of old table clothes and doilies
    just gorgeous

  2. Gorgeous pieces of vintage linen...and to find the set is amazing....great find. HPS Michelle

  3. Most anything can be turned into something pretty if you have the know how. I have a lot of vintage linens, but no talent.

  4. I just love this.. I wish I could see it close up to make one.. very nice with love Janice

  5. Beautiful pieces and such an interesting story about how they protected the furniture from the hair oils. Everyone had such elaborate hairstyles back then, even the men!


  6. Gorgeous linens.. thank you for sharing with us today! Have a great weekend.

  7. Hi Jacqueline,

    These are beautiful. Makes me want to get out my needles and crochet!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Bear Hugs,

  8. Gorgeous...just gorgeous! I have a vintage full size sheet that has something very similar to your set on the top of's one of my favorite pieces! Great find! Hugs, Penny

  9. Your linen finds are so lovely. I know you find fantastic uses for them. Right now, they look so pretty as you have them displayed. I wouldn't have passed the up, either.
    I never heard the term "anti-macassar set" but I remember my grandmother and mother making similar, three piece, linen and crochet sets to use on their chairs and sofas. I am also familiar with dresser sets and have some from my family. I don't use them. Maybe I should.
    Good look finding more of these special pieces.
    Have a blessed weekend, Ginger

  10. These are so pretty, I can see why you would not 'leave them behind'! I do love the pillow idea, but that leaves more to find a use for. A curtain for a small window or door? Isn't it fun to think about! Lovely inspiration today - the book looks wonderful. xo Karen

  11. love love what you've done with the darling
    fun finds):)

  12. These are lovely, Jacqueline. I think they would make beautiful pillows or just draped on the sofa as you have done. Of course you couldn't leave them behind.

  13. I love the pieces you've shown - they are beautiful. Enjoyed reading and viewing your post. Happy Pink Saturday!

  14. Jacqueline, I have heard of all of those things, I am an antique after all! And I must admit to having one on the back of a Victorian sofa right now, but your's are such a good find and so pretty, Wouldn't it look gorgeous as a sheet edging or just peeking out over a quilt on the bed..Have a wonderful weekend..Judy

  15. Love those pieces, so pretty and feminine, very nice condition too!!

  16. Watching your blog every time makes me very happy - everything is beautiful and pretty colors - I cordially greet

  17. Such lovely pieces and should be treasured just like they are. Imagine all the time and work that went into these lovely linens.

  18. That is so beautiful! Imagine all the hours of work that went into that lovely needlework.

  19. They are much too beautiful to leave behind. I am so glad you shared the beauty with us for Pink Saturday.♥

  20. Whatever they were meant for and whatever they will become they are beautiful!! They would be lovely on cushions or what about to embellish a duvet (comforter) cover - just a suggestion. xx

  21. Hi J,
    Well... I knew what the were for (kind of) but, I never knew what they were called! I would never have left them behind either, and I may be one of the few, but I LOVE them on the back of the chair top!! They now need a fancy name for all the fabrics I drape on my couch for pet protection:-) Lovely pieces, lovely work.... ahhh France.. AHHH summer... I am dreaming with you!

  22. I love your beautiful blog; would there be any way I could pin them? If not, I'll just try to keep their beauty in my head! This is gorgeous what you've done!

  23. These are beautiful, and look like they're in pristine condition! When I'm at an antique or consignment store I feel I have to adopt these pieces -- someone put so much time into making them that I feel they should be used and enjoyed.

  24. also meant to say I'm following you now! Lovely blog.

  25. OH much beauty! I wouldn't be able to pass them up either...

  26. Que magnífico!!


    Lígia e =^.^=

  27. These pieces are gorgeous! Yes, I have heard that word before. Believe it or not, it was one of my daughters vocabulary words, and that is how I found out what it was. I can't imagine putting such a pretty piece like this on a chair for the grease in mens hair. lol! But, I know just what you mean. Even hair today without that can leave grease spots. I love how you have displayed them!


  28. This is interesting...I've never heard of this before! For now your 'linens' look gorgeous draped on your chair! And I'm dreaming of spring/summer, too (sigh)

  29. Jacqueline,
    So~o~o beautiful are these rose crocheted pieces, dear friend!
    I can vividly remember my beloved mother~in~law covering the backs of living room chairs and her couch when I was a new bride. Until I entered the family, she was the only female. All the men used hair tonic. . .need I say more?
    Always inspiring me with new ideas when i visit.
    Thank you and have a wonderful week ahead!

  30. I'm sure you will dream up some wonderful ideas!
    Thank you so much for your comment over at my little blog. Always so nice to hear from you, Jacqueline!

  31. Jacqueline, these are so sweet and feminine ... what a treasure! There aren't many in this day and age who would have the patience and skill to make these, which makes them all the more precious. They are perfection! Blessings, Bess

  32. so charming, and in such wonderful condition, jacqueline!

  33. Great find Jacqueline. Sometimes you don't have to have a plan or even know what you'll do with something so beautiful... it just needs to come home with you.

  34. HERMOSO!!!!

  35. Jacqueline,
    Just beautiful. So sweet and pretty. Love this.

  36. How delicate and dainty. And how ingenious of the woman that came up with the idea. That book looks very interesting. I have to get myself a copy.



  37. They are gorgeous, and personally I'd hate to cut them up, but if it doesn't bother you how about some vintage linen hangers:
    After seeing that blog post, I began looking for vintage one-off pillowcases and graduated from that to old linens wide enough to be used on hangers. (I try to use only imperfect pieces.) I've made a number of sets as gifts and have several cases, etc., waiting. Those would make magnificent hanger covers--if you could steel yourself for it! ;^)

  38. Those linens are so pretty, Jacqueline, and I love the way look on the more tailored pillow ticking. If you folded them over and sewed the sides they would make sweet cloth "pockets" or lingerie holders. So many possibilities!


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