Monday, November 21, 2011

Making Linens

There was once a time when most linens were handmade. Women took great pride in creating beautiful linens and household items. No self respecting mother would send her daughter out into the world of marriage without a well stocked hope chest of linens. Pillowcases, tablecloths, tea towels, potholders, bedspreads and scarves all lovingly embellished with crochet, embroider or maybe tatted lace. The hope chest I think is pretty well a dying tradition. My hope chest sits in my closet now and I will probably pass it to my granddaughter. Both my daughters have hope chests and my god daughter. I have kept that tradition alive in my family but I am sure it will die with me.

I look at the dainty pillowcases above done by my mother and grandmother. All will be passed to my granddaughters.
I have started embroidering pillowcases again to go with my quilts. The pillowcases above copy the pink rosebud theme of the quilt backing. Both the quilt and pillowcases hand done.  
But this week it was time just to make those everyday linens. During the winter and especially cold season I like to change my pillowcases often. At least a couple times a week. My husband sweats in his sleep and I can't stand a musty pillowcase. So needless to say I go through lots of pillowcases. I buy white or neutral color sheets and then make lots of pillowcases to match curtains or quilts or what ever my little heart desires. I usually watch for good quality cotton blend materials to go on sale during the year and then buy lots of yardage specifically for that purpose.  
 It was again linen sewing time. I made lots of pillowcases in lots of mix and match colors that will go with both our bed and the guest bedroom.
 Good sturdy pillowcases out of material that doesn't require ironing. 
 With hidden french seams and sturdy stitching to hold up to lots of laundering. 
There are lots of tutorials on the web but easier yet just take a pillowcase apart and use it as a pattern. If you need a tutorial this is a great one because of the french seams.

Try making some of your own linens it's pretty well all straight seams and not very hard at all. A great way to get started if you are new to sewing. Send me some pictures if you decide to try it so I can put them up for everyone to see!

Anyone out there keeping a hope chest for a daughter or granddaughter?

Blessings from The Holler 

The Canned Quilter

Link to return to Barn Hop #37


  1. Beautiful linens CQ!

    I had a hope chest too. I did one for my oldest daughter ... which turned into a hope closet with her. lol I will follow in the tradition of starting if for the next oldest when she turns 13 (which will be in 4 years). I need to get on the ball though and start looking for two more cedar chests for the two youngest daughters (9 & 7 now). That'll give me time to find the right ones, save up for them etc.

  2. I would love to have such beautiful linens from my mother or grandmothers, but I'm content to collect others "treasures" from thrift stores. Great thoughts and post!

  3. I'm lucky to have linens made by Granny too : ) Love your pillow cases-I never seem to have enough!

    (hope your visit with your son was GREAT)

  4. Hmm, you may think this art will 'die with you'- but sometimes it takes years for us women to start recognizing the value of such lost (almost) arts. Don't give up hope! If daughters don't want to follow in a Mom's footsteps then it may be the granddaughters that do!
    (I notice the antique fabrics have flowers-one thing that may be a deciding factor in interest could be that our modern daughters don't want to put their husbands off with a bed covered with flowers. Maybe they simply can't imagine another form of decor they could work the same embroidery arts with).
    I remember us kids were all taught embroidery one year by putting our initials on a pillowcase. Kids seem to love anything that's all about 'them'! One website featured DIY Christmas bags made of pillowcases with a drawstring- decorated of course. If a kid thought their bag might be filled up, it would probably motivate them to get their name on it! (Sometimes you gotta be tricky!)
    Thanks for sharing; we can all learn from such an easy explanation and could use the reminder to consider such skills in our plans to be frugal!

  5. You do amazing work. I never knew you could make your own sheets. (Yes, I am that dense.)
    I don't remember my grandmother making sheets, but she made lots of other things, so I bet she might have known how to do this, too.
    I am going to bookmark this!

  6. Beautiful linens! I have some pillow cases from my Daughters great grandmother and will give them to her some day soon. They are all white with the pretty trim and frilly trim. I'm enjoying them while I can. I like to double my pillow cases, so I put the pretty, frilly ones on first and then another of color over it. The pretty trim hangs out further, so it looks so nice.

  7. My Dad Made Use four girls a hope cheast for our 13th birthday and from then on we got gifts to fill it. I am planning on doing the same for my daughter who is one and even thought of doing one more masculine for my three sons.

  8. Beautiful work, yours and your mother and grandmother's. I'm very impressed and wish like heck I had some of mother's hand work. Well, I do have quite of bit of her crochet work, doilies and such, but so much is missing that I remember as a child. Right now my granddaughters are not interested at all, but I wasn't either when I was their ages, so there is still hope.

  9. You can collect other things for the hope chest also, like favorite family cookbooks. When my daughter got married I bought her copies of our favorite cookbooks so she had all the favorite family recipes. For boys, you can also do more masculine things like buying tools for them. What a blessing for a guy to start out life with a well-stocked toolbox. I had a tradition of having tea parties with my daughter, so I split my collection of tea cups with her when she got married. Now we can have a tea party no matter whose house we're at. So many fun things you can do to make their moving away special.

  10. Yes, I helped my teenage girl Sunday school class start a hope chest. And I have started one for my granddaughter also.

  11. Love your posts! Love your quilts, too! I feel we are kindred spirits! LOL! I live on a small farm in WV...we have a garden, chickens and an occasional goat, horse or mule...I remember killing hogs and having to help carry the meat in the house to my Mom and aunts to cut up to make sausage or whatever else. We are getting ready to make apple butter on 9/28 with our church family...looking forward to that. Have you ever made hominy?

    1. Yes I have and have even thought about doing a post on it. Haven't gotten around to it yet though : )

  12. I make pillow cases for my eleven year old grand daughter. She is so impressed with them and just loves them! They are so easy to make and combining various prints and colors makes for a fun and meaningful gift. Made one for my Grandson too to go match a quilt I made for him.


Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry, but I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever (abusive, profane, rude, or anonymous comments) – so keep it polite, please. Also I am not a free advertisement board if you want to push a product on my comments I will delete you fast !!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails