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Most of these embroidered items were popular in the 30's & 40's, a tough time economically for a lot of folks in this country and other parts of the world. I'd venture to guess the embroiderer ran out of orange thread, couldn't afford to go buy more so she made do with what she had on hand.

My mother did cutwork embroidery, not one piece was passed on. All my aunts embroidered during the war years. I learned from my grandmother who bought little cross stitch kits at the dime store (Woolworth's) for me that I can remember embroidering when I was about 7.

When Red Work embroidery enjoyed a resurgence in popularity about 8-9 yerrs ago I did a ton of that, all gifts that I gave away. We had a Red Work club at the local quilt store. That was lots of fun. At the moment I'm embroidering a set of tea cups with flowers in them, squares that will then be put into a tea cup tote for all the friends in my knit/crochet group. I found the pattern in an Australian quilting magazine years ago. The ladies in the quilt guild would meet at their church to make quilts and each would bring their own tea cups in order to have tea during the quilting bee. I thought that was such a novel idea I had to make one of my own when I found the embroidery patterns with the tea cups.

I love old linens. I have collected several pieces over the years. Old hankies are another favorite item.


Great finds, and love your writing as always. That butterfly is begging to be recreated in an art journal or sketchbook-with your own artistic magic thrown in!


I LOVE vintage linens and hankies and have a ton of them. Even torn and tattered, one day I will make an awesome bunting!


I have a good linens collection myself, so I appreciate your great finds. I have several of those stamped tablecloths but none with color schemes so lurid as yours. Did that actually go with anyone's kitchen, I wonder? So fun to wonder about the makers and I'm glad there are a lot of us who treasure the work of those past women who loved to create a little beauty for their homes.

Chris Oliveira

I hope someday someone just like you rescues my art!


I also think about who did all that work and wonder if they were used. Sometimes they look brand new and unused. Great hunting reward.


I love embroidery...feeling that she ran out of the particular color of orange. They were always making do with what they had. I think that was a great find, how fun.

Leslie J. Moran

When my grandchildren arrived for a while before moving into their new home, I pulled out all my vintage table cloths and made sure there were days when linens graced the tables. They are now in their own place and I have a pile of ironing waiting :) Hope one day they will remember where they saw vintage linens.

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