Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mail Call

This week I've gotten some of the most delightful mail! First, I received a huge package of ribbons from Lula of Woolydream with lovely card with a fan on it. This photo does not capture the variety and abundance of the ribbons (and this is the second of two packages of ribbons she has sent this month! I forgot to get photos of the first.) Most of the ribbons are wire edged. Some have lovely crinkling and texture. My favorite is hiding in this picture--it's cream velvet with a diamond pattern stitched in thin gold thread. Many of the ribbons had me thinking Elizabethan costume.

The first batch of ribbons she sent went right into my journal pile--I want to use them to add texture and cloth to the journal pages. These have me a bit overwhelmed and I'm not sure what I will do with them. Right now I'm in the fondling stage.

The very next day I got a lovely box from Jenny. In addition to this box of treasures she included some oatcakes, dried apple pieces and, to me, the most incredible thing. In photographs it just looked like a I need to rethink it and get a better photo. She send me the second of a pair of linen pillowcases. The pillowcases come from her mother. The first came at Christmas.

I understand that linen bed linens are not uncommon in Europe, but here in America I've never seen them. Tablecloths, yes, but not pillowcases or sheets. I have seen them listed in high-end catalogs but not in real life (most likely because I don't shop in high-end stores), but not even at some of the posh antique shows I've been to. It's always cotton for the bed.

The cases are old, probably early 20th Century. And they look brand new. So, now when I say I'm changing the bed linens, it will be true!

The fabric piece from the box of goodies is fascinating. It is a lovely, soft twill weave with a calico print. (I've only seen these prints on plain-woven cotton.) The note says it was used for doll's house furnishings.

The package included some lovely laces. The top piece is very fine crochet-I think it's half of a collar. This charming button was in the bottom of the box (take a close look at it--it's really cool) along with the knitting row counter. The button is pressed metal.

As I explored the box, I found more treasures. These little crochet flowers were stuffed inside of the ball of thread. There are many more than shown here (they were really packed in there!) I love the blue sewing thread. I didn't photograph them but there were several pieces of fabric marking chalk. I say chalk because that is what I'm familiar with in this size and shape for marking fabric--these pieces, however, are more waxy than chalky.

Tucked in the box were several sets of "wartime packaging" snaps and some eyes but no hooks. There was also a small bundle.

The bundle was wrapped in a piece of an iron-on transfer design. A mass of threads were wrapped inside, along with a threaded needle (which held it all together). Most of the threads had been opened and cut to stitching lengths.

As I untangled the threads and laid them straight, I had visions of a lady finishing up a large design on a table cloth using her favorite soft greens, peaches and blues. It wasn't a large table cloth, but one for the breakfast table for her and her husband. She set aside the threads with two of the motifs from the table cloth to use on napkins.

But perhaps I'm wrong. There was a small scrap of silk fabric with the bundle. Perhaps she'd stitched herself a new chemise using these feminine colors. (or one of the new combinations!) And she planned to stitch these last two motifs onto the sides of a nightcap? the toes of slippers? onto dainty handkerchiefs for her trousseau? Dreams of an embroiderer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What lovely treasures! I love the old lace.