Thursday, January 28, 2010

Embroidered Tea Towels And Pillowcases- Bluebirds, And Puppies And Sunbonnet Sues

My Grandma loved to embroider.  She a tin of embroidery floss sitting on the lamp table next to her living room couch and in her spare time she would sit and make tea towels, pillowcases and all sorts of other pretty items.  She made hundreds of sets of tea-towels for church bazaars and friends.  And she made a set for each of her grandchildren.

I think I was about 11 or 12 years old when I picked out this cute embroidered and appliqued Sunbonnet Sue pattern.  The next time I came to visit, she had them all made up for me.   (I display them in the kitchen, but I don't wipe dishes with them, because I want them to last forever.)

This is another set that she made. These have yellowed a bit and I need to clean them up using some of Gails tips at Faithfulness Farm.  (how to take care of vintage linens.)  Isn't the muddy puppy adorable?

My Grandma embroidered these pictures too.  They hang on my family room wall.  I just love them.

So it's no wonder that I grew up loving embroidered items.   I picked up these next two kitchen towels online.  I do not know if they are vintage or not, but the patterns sure are.

I collect embroidered pillowcases, especially bluebirds. (Bluebird starts with B.)  I use these on our beds all the time.

Today I am joining Suzanne, The Colorado Lady,  for Vintage Thingies Thursday.  C'mon over and see what other fun vintage items have been posted.

I am also joining Jenny Matlock  at Alphabe-Thursday.  Come and visit all the other B's.


71 comments:

  1. How very special to see and read this! Thanks for sharing. Your grandmother's works are beautiful and I LOVE the Sunbonnet Sue towels ...

    Greetings, Carolien

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  2. these are really great. I happened upon some vintage patterns for embroidery, but haven't had the time to try them out yet. The ones your gran made for you are a real treasure!
    stopping by from alphabe-thursday!

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  3. I would have loved to have known your Grandma. Her embroidery work is beautiful...especially enjoyed the Sunbonnet Sue pieces...and the one of the kitten.

    I also wanted to thank you for stopping by yesterday and answering my questions about the Betsy McCall paper dolls. I haven't had a chance yet to check out their website, but I will. I had a lot of paper dolls when I was a kid...wish I still had them. Back then the thought was, "oh...they are just paper" and out they went with other sundry things that I wish my mom would have had the insight to hold on to...including several of the bird books from the Audubon Society. They had a beautiful print with each description and each print was covered with a piece of (rice like) paper to protect it. Anyway...thank you for the information.

    I surely do enjoy your blog and appreciate getting to know you through it.

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  4. I love them. My mom used to embroider. When she went to the nursing home, she had one pillowcase that she made left. It has two little bluebirds on it and flowers. Just precious. Although the embroidery is in good shape the pillow case is more off white now. She used them all the time on the bed. I don't know what happened to the other stuff. I imagine they weren't that great anymore and she threw them out.

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  5. Oh those tea towels, both sets, are just adorable! What a special memory to have.

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  6. I just love your embroidered linens! Those Sun-Bonnet Sues are the terrific! I too like Bluebirds on my pillow slips. Thank you for the link and sharing your special memories and things :)

    Blessings!
    Gail

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  7. How wonderful to have things made by your grandmother and to have others that remind you of her!

    The bluebirds are my favorites!

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  8. Oh they are adorable!!, so, so cute.

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  9. Your Grandma made so many beautiful things, and I bet you feel so lucky to have them! Those Sunbonnet Sue towels are gorgeous, and I love the fabrics that she chose for each one. And those pictures with the sayings, oh my goodness! Absolute treasures, beautiful heirlooms!
    Happy VTT!
    Carol

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  10. I love embroidered things, too. Your grandmother's Sunbonnet Sue towels are so lovely. My grandmother did work like that, too and I am so glad I have some it. You must love the bluebird piece.

    xo
    Claudia

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  11. How special to have these beautiful things that your grandmother made. I love the pillowcases too, such pretty vintage linens. What a fun and pretty post. Kathy

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  12. I love the embroidery! It is so special and sweet to me! I think it is wonderful to have the Sunbonnet Sue towels from you Grandma! I have been picking up embroidered pieces when I find them for a good price.

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  13. Oh how i love those! My grandma would make us sets from time to time, and make us promise to USE them. How I wish now I would have disobeyed her, just a little, and saved some back to keep. My mom did make me a wonderful "chicken" set of days of the week towels a couple of years ago. Those are 'display only' for sure :) Thanks for sharing those treasures! -Tammy

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  14. So many lovely embroidered things -- lucky you!
    Blessings,
    G

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  15. Sunbonnet Sue has always been one of my favorite patterns. I like the material she added to the towels it really set off the embroidery. It is so nice that you have something your grandmother made.

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  16. Just gorgeous!! I love that first set of towels your grandmother made. How lucky you are to have that memory of her sewing. We have the same taste in vintage linens :)

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  17. My mother still embroiders those tea towel sets. Several ladies at her church embroider them and sell them at the annual church bazaar. They are always huge sellers! I have one set that she made me. They don't get used either....they're too special.
    Loved seeing your collection of your grandmother's pieces.
    Jane

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  18. What wonderful vintage treasures you have. Those are very familiar to me. My family and friends had those back a long time ago. I still have a few of them. Very nice post.

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  19. Love the bluebirds! Thanks for linking to the B post for the week!

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  20. I love all your things..specially, specially..love,love,love the Sunbonnet Sues. She is my all time favorite pattern and I love any and all things with her. Yours are just adorable..as is all the embroidery. Happy VTT, have a most wonderful day.

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  21. Beautiful treasures and I love the Sunbonnet Sue towels!

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  22. I love embroidered pieces as well.

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  23. I love that your grandma added the trim on the tea towel to match Sue's dresses. Very nice collection.

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  24. Wow, what a nice collection of linens. I ♥♥♥ the Sunbonnet Sue towels, just beautiful.

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  25. All of them are so pretty, and how wonderful that your grandmother made some of them. Love the Sunbonnet Sues. laurie

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  26. those are wonderful...real treasures!

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  27. Your embroidered pieces are wonderful. Reminds me of my Grandma O who sat her evening hours doing the same as your Grandmother. You have some very special pieces, each and every one. Good of you to hang onto these treasures.
    Bless You

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  28. I adore the tea towels! So pretty. What a talented grandmother you had! Her work is wonderful!

    Thanks so much for coming by for Monday's Method. Sorry it has taken me this long to visit.

    I look forward to seeing you again soon!

    My new link party starts Feb 2nd ~ Timeless Tuesday. The theme is all things classic. Your grandmother's talent would fit right in.

    Here's the link to learn more about it. Hope to see you there.

    Paula Grace ~

    http://paulagracedesigns.blogspot.com/2010/01/timeless-tuesday.html

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  29. Oh my goodness. I could have written your post. I swear we led parallel lives. I too have many from my grandmother and mother. I love those old graphics. Such great memories.

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  30. love these, the pillowcases are wonderful.

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  31. What a lovely link to your grandnmother these are. I too have some pillowcases stashed away. My mother made them when she was a girl - probably in Domestic Science class. Some of the patterns are very much like the ones you showed - I have a set of napkins with ladies with parasols, all different colours. I love the idea of youe grandmother always having her embroidery floss at hand.

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  32. G'morn ~ What wonderful treasures of your G'ma & Mother, to cherish forever. I wouldn't use them either.

    TY for your sweet notes. They are appreciated.

    Have a beautiful weekend.
    TTFN ~Marydon

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  33. You have a beau-ti-ful collection of vintage linens...my fav is the SUNBONNET SUE towels...that pattern has been my fav for years now. Thanks for coming by for a visit and I hope to see you again:)

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  34. You have a lovely collection of embroidered linens, especially the ones your grandmother stitched. I remember my grandmother doing pillowcases. I wish I had a few now.
    Jennifer

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  35. Hi,
    The church bazaar that mom makes the embroidered tea towel sets for is always mid to late October.
    If you are interested in a set I'll let her know so they could put one back for you.
    I'll follow your blog and know where to find you :-)
    Jane

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  36. What a wonderful keepsake from your grandma!

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  37. Your embroidered items are fabulous! And I can see why you'd want to keep the towels in the first photo as pristine as possible!

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  38. Oh so sweet! I would be thrilled to find some in my travels.

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  39. I like the vintage embroidery too. Thank you for sharing.

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  40. these pieces are all gorgeous! I love the puppy set.

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  41. The basket of flowers towards the bottom looks a lot like the work my mom used to do, but the kitten at the very ottom looks so cuddly, I just want to pick it up and snuggle it.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Troy

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  42. Darling you grandma was so talented, she did an amazing job. They truly are precious, I am so in love with the Sunbonnet Sue ones. Simply divine. Enjoy them in good health darling and have a blessed weekend.

    Love & Hugs
    Duchess

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  43. Beautiful, Gayle! This is kind of legacy I want to leave my granddaughters someday.

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  44. This was lovely, my mum used to embroider and I did a few bits when I was younger - nothing as fine as yours tho'. Used to cross stitch when the boys were younger but can't focus properly now to see the threads :(
    Thanks for the message you left on my post -I appreciate the time you took!

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  45. Such wonderful heirloom treasures to cherish.
    Sunbonnet Sue is adorable but that pup stole my heart of course!
    ~Maggie~

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  46. These all are so charming and sweet. I love embroidered items..reminds me of my sweet Grandmother. She did a series of Sunbonnet Sue towels too. Happy weekend.

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  47. Well this is great you have this gorgeous set of Sun Bonnet Sue dish towels. I've never seen them done like this. I love the old pillow cases too and last night slept on one I bought at a vintage shop we have here in Homer Alaska my friend opened just this last Fall.

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  48. i just started embroidering vintage patterns!!!! do you know where i can find color suggestions for them? yours are perfect ---

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  49. How special these linens are! The patterns remind me of my childhood (someone must have had similar linens)

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  50. Loved seeing all of the beautiful embroidery!

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  51. Sorry to arrive late. Lovely post! I've done some embroidery in the past and certainly appreciate the work. Your towels are precious, and how special to have work that your grandmother stitched.

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  52. Goodness me what a lovely lot of embroidery! Your Granny was very talented. I have never heard of Sunbonnet Sue before, what a brilliant name, she reminds me of Holly Hobbie.

    Thanks for your lovely comment,

    Sarah x

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  53. It is lovely to see these works of art of your grandmother's. I seldom see people doing embroidery anymore. Many years ago, I used to do cross stich and crewel and made so many things that gave me much joy...I never sat that I didn't have a project in front of me. I haven't done that in years, though, and I have kits and fabric put away and skeins of thread and yarn ( it's probably rotten now! ).

    Thanks for the memories.

    Check out my "B is for Barcelona" - my favorite city in the world - at
    http://rnsane.blogspot.com/2010/01/b-is-for-barcelona.html#links

    Somehow, McLinky didn't work for me!

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  54. Hello!
    Just found your blog and notice you love to collect china...me too!I'm collecting a chintz tea set at the moment.
    Love all those beautiful embroidered pieces you have.

    Bellaboo

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  55. Hi,
    I read your comment about gingerbread on houses today and decided I need to tell you that their are new subdivisions in Ontario that have many house with gingerbread trim. :) I'll have to do a post about them someday!

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  56. You have a wonderful collection. I like to use old linens that are not in perfect condition, but I'm in total agreement with you about not using your grandmother's towels. She made them for you and they do need to last forever. I love bluebird pillowcases, too. My favorite bluebirds are the chubby 40's pattern. They're so cute!
    Thank you for dropping by my blog. It's always a pleasure to meet a fellow vintage linen lover :o)
    Patricia :o)

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  57. I used to love to sit an do needlework when I was much younger...and had no kids. lol
    Your post today was full of pretty things!

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  58. Oh my your dishtowels are beautiful, such treasures I would only display them.
    I think the pace of life was somehow slower even though they didn't have all of our modern conveniences & that's how they did all that lovely handwork. My Grandmothers were stately ladies not at all like me, rushing hither & thither & yon!

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  59. Oh your linens bring back memories for me. My grand mother made many a set of pillowcases and tea towels. Sadly I didn't treasure them when I was younger. I don't know what happened to them. But seeing your pictures made a little bit of her come back to me. Thank you!

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  60. Oh My Gosh! You are so blessed to have all of those wonderful thing from your grandma! IThis is my first time looking at your blog and I just love it! Thanks for coming by and seeing my craft room project. My advice for spray paint...First of all Krylon has a new nozzle tht you can turn two ways and it goes on so easy!!!! Be sure to not get too close to the item, and take your time! A few thin coats work much better that 1 or 2 heavy ones. Spray paint will run if you put too much on and are too close to the object! Also, a lot of people lightly sand an item before painting, I haven't had to yet....I think that can cause it's own can of worms. If the wood is in good shape I find leaaving it alone works well. The table took a little over 1 can, so it cost me about three dollars in paint! You can't beat that with a stick! I am going to be coming by more often!

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  61. These are all so very beautiful! I love the tea towels best! What a treasure to keep forever! ♥

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  62. Oh my goodness, so many beautifully embroidered pieces that I don't even know where to begin. How sweet to have pieces that your grandmother embroidered-- I just loved the Home Fires etc... pictures. All of the pillowcases were beautiful-- I am so into birds right now. I also have some really pretty embroidered bird pillowcases. Love them! I have just started my first embroidery project ever (pillowcases). I am finding it much more challenging than I thought that it would be. I guess I'm just going to have to keep practiing!

    I am definitely inspired to keep at it by your beautiful embroidery!

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  63. Oh my - I love your blog! We have the same tastes in dear old things! I adore vintage embroidery - such sweet happy creations! Those are the cutest Sunbonnet Sue towels I've seen! Love the way the fabric applique is combined with embroidery. How precious to have some of your grandma's handiwork!

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  64. I love your embroidered pieces. I have one of the same bluebird pillow cases that you have, must have been a popular pattern.

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  65. Darling your blog is bursting at the seams with creativity, colour and beauty. I just spent a nice time looking at all your archived posts.

    Love & Hugs
    Duchess

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  66. Hi! I just love every single vintage piece you've shown here! I love the softness of a vintage pillow-case, nothing beats that. And all the yummy embroidery work makes it so fun! I hunt those down at thrifts & g/sales! Thanks for visiting my blog! ~Hugs, Heidi

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  67. You have a beautiful collection of vintage embroidery. I've always been drawn to old linens and vintage items but when I moved home I had to let go of some of my collections and miniatures prevailed. Gill

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  68. Thanks for stopping by:) I just adore your amazing linens. So beautiful.

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THANK YOU for your thoughtful comments. Replies to your questions will be posted here, so be sure to check back soon. Have a wonderful day! - Gayle, Garden Of Daisies