Wednesday, June 29, 2011

102 Years Old and Looking Good

I have very little in the way of material things from my maternal grandmother. One of the items that is with me is a crocheted piece which I think was meant to be used as a bed spread.  It doesn't cover my queen sized bed, it might work on a full size, but I love it as a tablecloth.

It was hard to get a decent photo of the entire table.  Here is some of the detail.  I placed a red placemat for contrast.

My grandmother crocheted this circa 1910.  It was part of a trousseau she started to make for my mother's oldest sister, who was born in 1908.  This was a very common practice then.  Any items such as sheets, towels, pillowcases, napkins, etc. were made in  sets of twelve or more.  This piece was kept in a wooden trunk that my mother referred to as the 'cedar chest'.  My aunt lived with us and kept this in her bedroom.  When we were packing up my mother's house, years after my aunt went to be with Lord, I opened the trunk for the first time to see what was inside. 

I don't know if the cotton thread used was originally white or cream, but it has been this color  for as long as I can remember.  The method used is filet crochet, using very thin  cotton thread and a very fine hook.  My camera and skill made it difficult to get good photos.  The photos above were taken before I washed it in a product called Restoration.  I was introduced to it by Susan, of the lovely blog My Place to Yours.  You can get all the details there.

Here are photos after a nice, long (7 hours) soak in Restoration.  The biggest change I noticed, which you can't really see in the photos, is that the 'shine' is gone.  It is also lighter in color.  I was not happy with the shine.  It also has a fresh, not a perfume scent.

The chubby baby in the middle was my aunt.  My mother came along, as an unplanned surprise, fifteen years later.

Here is another "vintage thingie" - this decanter is 107 years old.   It was a wedding present my grandparents received in 1904.  

I tried to get a photo of some of the handpainted detail.  There are no markings.  I had an antiques dealer appraise it but he said it was inexpensive.

I feel a tablescaping adventure coming on.  I think I will wait and do something as a tribute to both my parents and grandparents when it is their wedding anniversary time in September. 

I will be joining the Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingies Thursday.  Thank you, Suzanne.  Please be sure to stop by.



  1. Hello Barbara:
    What a wonderful piece of crochet work, and with a history attached. We are so pleased that you do have a use for it as a tablecloth for it is such a pity if such things languish away in cupboards or drawers never to see the light of day.

    'Restoration' clearly works well. We shall look forward to the tablescape.

  2. Barbara, your tablecloth turned out beautifully! You had told me "crochet tablecloth," but I had no idea it was such an intricate pattern. What a treasure you have!

    Part of the reason I am "sold" on Restoration is that there are absolutely no bleach or optical brighteners in it, so the color you ended up with after the soak is the original color; all of the discoloration caused by oxidation (while stored) is now a thing of the past -- and you can enjoy your family heirloom for many years to come ... along with your lovely little decanter and family photos.

    I look forward to your September tablescape. I've done a few family tribute 'scapes myself, and they brought back many wonderful memories. I hope you'll enjoy doing yours as much as I did!

  3. O my Goodness I love this post, and you are so blessed to have these treasures and mementos!!
    Thanks for sharing!...just thinking about and seeing this warms my heart!
    I am checking out your first giveaway!Count me in my friend!

  4. Beautiful items, I love the tablecloth! Crochet is amazing-enjoy:@)

  5. Very beautiful and meaningful. My grandmother also crocheted lace, she crocheted some lace for me and my mother sewed it on pillow case and sheet... also the decanter is beautiful !!

  6. How lovely!!! All the heartwarming story behind this your granmother's work. Well, "good old day" had wonderful custom. I can feel how precious these must be for you.
    Oh, the picture is really cute as well.
    Looking forward to the tribute thing in September♡♡♡

    Your Japanese friend, Orchid.

  7. Barbara, what an incredible treasure you have!! That is just amazing and so beautiful!! I can't wait to see a table!

  8. Wow, that tablecloth is simply amazing! When you think about the amount of time put into it I simply can't relate! I am in awe.

    I think it is wonderful that you have such fine heirlooms from people that you love. Little by little some things are beginning to leach out in our family. I used to think that there were no real treasures since my modern granny had them put away. I'm still not sure there is anything as grand as your tablecloth but I'm excited to see what cherished memories are hiding in our families cedar chest!

    Blessings, Debbie

  9. Barbara what a beautiful treasure indeed!You can see the time and love that went into the making of this beautiful work. I know your special angels in heaven are smiling!

  10. I can't begin to tell you how much of a treasure you have. First of all, I love things that have been passed through the family and have a history. I would think those were beautiful even without knowing the history, though.

    Thanks for the endorsement of Restoration. I have been meaning to get some myself. (Isn't she a wonderful blogger?)

    I think a tablescape featuring BOTH of your vintage family treasures would be beautiful, and I hope you include the photograph right on the table.

  11. Wow Barbara...these are stunning. What a special thing to share with us today! Hugs

  12. Thanks for sharing all of this. I loved the old pictures and the beautiful handwork..what treasures for you! :D

  13. Look at the detail in that pretty. I'm glad to know about that product, I'll check it out. I brought home an old piece from my in-laws and it has a few yellowed stains. I wouldn't care if the blue piece is "inexpensive" to you it is priceless!

  14. What an enjoyable visit going back in time with you. That is truly a very vintage piece of handwork that is to be treasured.

  15. What wonderful work in the crochet piece! Love the blue glass ware too, so delicate!! Happy VTT!

  16. Barbara- wow, you have a wonderful piece of family history in that crocheted piece! I've never heard of this product to clean- I've been using the Colorado Lady's recipe for her cleaning solution w/good results. Love your old photograph and decanter, too. Who cares if it isn't worth big bucks- it's special to YOU! Enjoy the holiday. It's hot and humid here and I'm in trying to get organized. It's not working too well... LOL
    ~ Sue

  17. What a great post. Your grandmother was very talented and the crochet details are absolutely beautiful.

  18. I've so enjoyed seeing the filet crochet. What a beautiful piece of linen...a marvelous treasure. It is difficult to imagine all the hours of work in it.


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