Cindy Talks about Antique Artistry.
The thought for this book has been with me for a very long time. You see, I just love old things...antique linens that Grandma’s and Aunties created with loving hands...dresser scarves, chair sets to protect the arms and back of the upholstered chairs...beautifully embellished table covers, pillowcases and all the elegant touches that women of old crocheted and embroidered throughout their lives.
I have been collecting old linens for years...in the beginning, it was to fill the hole that was left when my own Grandmother passed away. Grandma is the person who taught me how to embroider, crochet and knit. Everyday, she did some form of hand work. She was also an avid quilter and I remember having her living room filled with the huge quilting frame. I am lucky enough to have one of the quilts she pieced and quilted by hand. She made it for my Dad but he passed away before she could finish it. When she did finish it, she gave it to me instead.
When my Grandma passed away, my aunt and uncle threw out most of her precious things. It’s given me a passion for re-creating the beautiful things that Grandma made but by a much quicker method. When telling this story, people have commented that she would be horrified that I’m not doing everything by hand. Not so...my Grandma was the original “Speedy Gonzales” when it came to sewing. She was a driven spirit when it came to creating. Pedal to the metal, so much so, that when I was there while she was sewing, she went so fast that the floor and windows shook. It was such a good feeling. I can’t explain it, but it’s a good memory because I knew she was getting it done. I am quite sure that Grandma would be one of those lovely ladies who are first in line for the latest and greatest machines that sew and embroider. I only wish she was here to see and marvel at what is going on in the sewing world today.
Okay...so why don’t I just cut up old linens that were created by the ladies of old? I know you will think me crazy...but I feel a connection to the people who lovingly stitched them by hand. I just can’t cut them up. They are so beautiful that it breaks my heart to think of destroying their beauty. It is my pleasure to replicate them using beautiful fabrics and authentic looking designs. It is always a joy to recreate the look of those incredible pieces of art. I just love spending time going through my collection and trying to figure out ways to make the new look like the old.
These linens are from a different time...a time when supplies were scarce and the drive to create was strong. The diversion was needed to take ones mind off the atrocities of war and being alone. Creating the linens served so many purposes...to beautify the home, serve a functional purpose, fill the creative need, for gifts and to keep idle hands busy. I have many linens in my collection where the embroidery was started with one color and finished with another. I have sets of pillowcases that have one case that is perfect and the matching one is very poorly done...either the dear soul got better as she worked or she became ill and failing while working on them. The stories no one will ever know and it is up to us to use our imaginations to surmise the stories behind the lasting evidence.
I hope you will enjoy creating some of the wonderful projects here in this book. Lets all have fun creating the “Antiques of Tomorrow”...Today! Happy Stitching!