Friday, May 2, 2014

The vintage linen project

I am happy today! I finished the vintage linen project yesterday.  Here is the finished top, about 30 by 30:

I like it so much! I took this picture this morning in between rain showers. Will we ever dry out? Or warm up?

This is not exactly how I envisioned it in the beginning. I tried several different possibilities for the center, and this is the one I liked best. I tried it first with rounded pieces for the Dresden plate, but they looked too cutesy, if you know what I mean. If you saw the earlier post on this project, you'll notice that I also had to get rid of the lighter purple that the center was originally appliqued to. The center linen piece isn't a perfect circle, and when I cut the original lavender piece into a circle it looked really bad. So I took it off and appliqued the linen piece to a white solid to give it some stability and then trimmed very close to the stitching. Then I stitched about an eighth of an inch outside that line to applique it to the center of the Dresden plate. A small tip from garment sewing if you ever find yourself needing to do this--use your zipper foot. Seriously, if you run the edge of a zipper foot along the original line of stitching you will end up with a perfectly spaced second stitching line.

The other thing I found really helpful was to block the Dresden plate "blades" before I appliqued them to the white background.

Blocking (and some Magic Sizing) made it easier to handle and made the finished product better, I think. A large part of the blades did get cut off after I appliqued the center piece, but I'm not sure what I would have done to prevent that. I used the 5-inch line on my Dresden template and ended up trimming off at least two inches. One side effect of this project is that I now want to make a whole Dresden quilt. We'll see. . .

Just two close-ups of the linen itself. My husband thinks it was stitched either by his grandmother, who died in 1963, or his Aunt Mary, who died in 1968.

Whichever woman from his family worked them, they are beautiful, and now they are out of a drawer and will be used and loved again. I'll be pondering how to quilt this, especially the center. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any.

Looking at this piece, I'm pretty sure every "art" teacher I ever had would be appalled because I mixed blue purples with red purples willy-nilly. I think I'm happy that they would be upset about it!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I am linking up with Sarah, Amanda, and SoScrappy again--I want to show this off!


  1. And show it off you should! What a fabulous keepsake.

  2. The top is beautiful! Thank you for brilliant ideas! I have two large boxes with creations of both my grandmothers dated 1920-1930, and while some pieces I really want to keep for my daughters, the rest can be easily recycled to give these lenen a new wlife.

  3. What a great idea to preserve these precious items.

  4. Gorgeous and a lovely way to get those linens out of a drawer and enjoyed. YOu will just have to document for future generations that someone in the family did the embroidery.

  5. I think your variety of purples adds a wonderful texture to the piece. Congratulations on getting those linens out and put to good use. No insight on quilting though. Enjoy!

  6. The variety in the purples helps to keep the eye moving and noticing all the perfect stitches in the linen embroidery pieces. What a perfect way to keep the work of generations connected.

  7. What a beautiful way to use those old linens. The dresden plate is inspired.

  8. so special, connected to the past.
    Not Afraid of Color!

  9. Such a thoughtful, meaningful piece of art. Well done, dear.


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