Vintage Textiles: Looking for Loving Homes

cowboyI love vintage. I especially love vintage textiles–table linens, quilts, blankets, and such. I have loved them for so long and so well that I created quite a problem for myself. I lived in a house that was overwhelmed with textiles. I was the stereotypical “crazy cat lady” of vintage linens. I wanted every embroidered napkin or tablecloth, every crocheted afghan, every hand-stitched quilt to have a good home. And I thought I was the only person who cared enough to provide a good home.

The fact that I had two houses to fill didn’t help matters. For years we had a “real” house and a summer house, both with lots of storage space. When we moved into the summer house full-time a few years ago, I was forced to face my linen-hoarding tendencies. I found boxes and boxes (really!) of linens that I had completely forgotten I had. I had wanted those things to have a good home but what kind of home was I giving them, packing them away and forgetting them?

And, so, I have become the Humane Society of vintage textiles, the SPCA of linens and quilts. I started my Etsy shop, KerryCan (, to find good homes for my collection of vintage textiles. And I have found that many, MANY people love them as much as I do!

Here are some of my favorite items that have recently found “forever homes.” The dish towel at the top of the page was one of a set of three “day of the week” towels, featuring the cowgirl trying to get her chores done, with the “help” of a flirtatious cowboy

A beautiful hand-crocheted afghan, in fall colors.

A beautiful hand-crocheted afghan, in fall colors.

A pair of linen pillow cases; the drawnwork was done by hand, by a woman preparing for her marriage, in 1910.

A pair of linen pillow cases; the drawnwork was done by hand, by a woman preparing for her marriage, in 1910.

A hand-crocheted tablecloth, with a beautiful star motif.

A hand-crocheted tablecloth, with a beautiful star motif.

Another spectacular afghan, in black and brights.

Another spectacular afghan, in black and brights.

Aren’t they wonderful?! I miss all of these beautiful things! Sometimes I wish I had kept them but then I remind myself of the pleasure others are getting from them . . . and I look around and take stock of all the other special stuff I’ve kept for myself!

Do you find it easy to accumulate things and hard to let go?

23 thoughts on “Vintage Textiles: Looking for Loving Homes

  1. Aesthetic period transferware had me for a while but I managed to wean myself off it. I have all of it displayed in the dining room and I don’t think I could possibly fit one more piece in there (unless it was very very special)!

  2. Hi Kerry!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hi! I am a vintage linen hoarder as well. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one. Maybe we should start a support group. 🙂


    • I could give many, many things away and never have to worry about running out! But that black blanket really was pretty–I hope it has a good home . . .

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Pretty!!! Whenever I go to thrift stores or antique stores, I tend to gravitate to the textiles first, then I walk around to see the rest of the selections. I especially like that black afghan with the bright colors! I’m trying to teach myself embroidery, like the one in the first photo, but I wasn’t too successful on my first attempt! 🙂 I’ll keep trying, though. Practice makes perfect, right?!

  4. I do not have a lot of extra storage space and I have one closet used for my yarn and knitting supplies. Your vintage items are so lovely 🙂 Annie

  5. I think part of the love of vintage textiles for me is knowing the amount of work that someone put into each piece. My grandmothers and my mother all created pieces from embroidered pillowcases, afghans, quilts, to smocking on my hand-sewn little girl dresses. Their handiwork has ingrained in me a love of vintage linens.

    That hand crocheted tablecloth is spectacular. I love, love, love the one my great grandmother made and I am blessed to have. I especially cherish a bread basket liner she crocheted with the word bread misspelled. I think I love it more so because it isn’t perfect.

    • I love those items that have little mistakes! In fact, I just wrote a blog post last week that touched on that! To see evidence of a real human being behind a handmade piece always gives me a thrill! You’re so lucky to have family items in your collection.

  6. Fantastic pieces! I *love* the cowgirl dish towel. I have very limited storage space so my vintage linen collection is small, but I can definitely see how my interest could get out of hand. My mom has a large collection (as in a wall of Tupperware boxes) full of antique & vintage linens so I know collecting them is in my genes!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog – I look forward to seeing more of your posts (and more of your lovely vintage linens) soon!

  7. Pingback: Stray Needs “Forever” Home: A Vintage Giveaway | Love Those "Hands at Home"

  8. Pingback: “It’s All About Me” Monday: The Balsam Pillows | Love Those "Hands at Home"

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