Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sorting and Soaking

Soaking, washing and ironing

Preparing old linens  for use is a bit of a process, depending on how they have been stored and cared for.

 I have a friend that is frequently given various quantities of vintage items, as she has a knack of being at the right place at the right time, and can't say no. I am so grateful for all of the inventory that she has given to me, adding to what I have been able to pick up on my own.

Very often, the items are stained, or have become extremely discolored with age;marring an otherwise lovely piece. As a result, I have to put them through a soaking and washing process before I know what I will be able to use. Many have some damage due their age, but I am able to utilize the lace trim or embroidered area that I have my eye on.

If there is a nice piece that I decide I won't be able to use, I put it up for sale in my store. I have come by many nice tea towels that might be made into a pillow cases, but sometimes I don't have the heart to cut them up, so to the shop they go.

There are quite a few combinations of recipes that can be used for soaking the stains from linen. Oxy-Clean brand, sea salt, white vinegar, Borax, lemon juice to name a few.

 I usually treat about fifty or sixty items at a time.  It can take  from a couple of hours to a couple of days or weeks depending on the severity of the aging or type of stain. There have been times when I have said to myself, "good luck with that one" and been rewarded with something that looks like the day it was made. Love it when that happens!

I will post some comparison photos soon, so you can see the process. Looking at
this picture from a past summer makes me long for the spring. We have another eighteen inches of snow on the way!



Friday, February 13, 2015

New Life to Old Tapestry

                                                                                                                                                I love being called to do custom work for folks. I usually involves finding someway to utilize some old family heirloom that may be worse for the wear, or some needlework project that was never quite finished.

In this case, I was asked if I could make three unfinished pieces of needlepoint tapestry that started to eventually made into decorative pillows.

The background color was a beautiful burgundy, with bouquets of flowers in the center. the customer wasn't quite sure what she wanted to compliment the pieces to finish them, but as they were going to be used in a formal parlor area it was decided to use a matching burgundy velvet for the back, with heavy roped piping for the edges.

The hardest part of the project for me was that the pieces had never been blocked when they were set aside, so I had to go through a bit of steaming and re-sizing to make them square enough to work with.

I actually went quite a lot smoother that I thought it would, and the end result was quite stunning.

Though the picture doesn't quite do it justice, the customer was very happy with the results. They now sit in her lovely formal living room at their summer house.

Old things made new!

Thanks for stopping by,