The Linens Call Me, And I Must Go

I hear their little voices, calling from the spare room.

Some voices are clear and strong, the voices of the ones on the top of the pile. Some voices are muffled, barely audible—these are the voices of the ones buried deep down in the stack.

The vintage linens are calling me. And they have accusations to make.

They claim to have been forgotten. Neglected. Left to wrinkle.

Their beauty and craftsmanship is going unrecognized and unappreciated, they claim.

They say it’s all my fault.

I brought them here only to ignore them, to turn my focus to chocolates and weaving and blogs and things.

That’s what they’re saying, in their whiny voices. And, you know, they’re right!

I had cause to go into that spare room the other day, searching for napkins to meet a buyer’s request, and was . . . well, a little horrified, actually! I came face to face with gorgeous items I’d completely forgotten about! Many, many of them . . .

I have definitely been remiss. I have all kinds of excuses, of course—I’m busy with other things, it’s “candy season,” it’s too cold on the glassed-in porch to take the photos I need in order to make listings on Etsy.

But, as the linens told me, they deserve better. So, I’ve been making time for them lately and enjoying their company. When they’re not pouting, they are really quite delightful to be around!

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54 thoughts on “The Linens Call Me, And I Must Go

    • My problem is I never stop buying linens, when I find them forlorn and unloved. I buy them faster than I can get them cleaned up and listed for sale–so there’s this never-ending pile(s)!

  1. They were right to call out to you! They are just beautiful. I [proudly] have a set of beautiful liner serviettes very similar to the last photo – also [ashamedly] left to languish in a drawer ……. I have no place for them since the puppy arrived and the cat moved onto the table 🙂

    • I don’t use my own linens as much as I really should. I keep some special things for myself but, then, when I think to use them, they turn out not to be ironed . . . oops!

  2. What do you do, though, with the battenburg lace tablecloth that doesn’t fit your dining table, and the embroidered bridge cloths and napkins that don’t fit a modern card table, even if you played bridge and served canapes afterward? I’ve thought of making baby clothes, or trimming a blouse, but I just can’t make myself cut into these obsolete treasures.

    • Your questions are the very things that haunt me! I solved it by opening this Etsy shop and selling the stuff that didn’t work for my needs. But, for the average person, certain linens tend to just take up drawer space. Even if you love the item and it has sentimental value, it’s difficult to actually use some of them!

  3. HAHA, I have a ‘few’ of those myself and i threw a blankie over them to keep them warm and quiet but will answer the call one of these days. When I send my sister cookies she puts them in the freezer and then ‘hears’ them wailing………..

  4. Those monograms that are illegible drive me nuts. It doesn’t look like any letter to me not even an I or a J! But it is pretty…

    • You must see tons of monograms on your silver items! I looked up Gothic calligraphy on the internet and found examples of the capital letters and I STILL can’t decide if that is an I or a J. It’s definitely one or the other . . .

  5. Lovely,lovely linens..oh yes, things of beauty can have their siren’s songs;0) I love those teatowels with the happy couple drying dishes on it in particular. have a lovely weekend, Johanna

      • I’m not sure about that. I was a typical teen growing up……slept til noon if I could get away with it. Now, I’m up some time between 4:30-5:30 a.m. “Sleeping in” is getting up at 6:15!!!!! Usually in bed, to read for an hour or so, by 9 or 9:30pm. And, now you know the “rest of the story”!!!!

      • Your story and mine are similar! When I was working, I got up at 5:30 but since I’ve been retired, I get up between 4 and 4:30. I love these morning hours and try to pack as much in a s possible.

  6. But! But! They look FAR too elegant and sophisticated and well-behaved to be whiny. I imagine them just giving you a look of quiet disdain as you walk in the room. Thank you (as always) for sharing such beauty with us.

  7. It’s so nice to see people mention ironing. Whenever I mention it in the past few years, I get the feeling a horn has sprouted from my forehead. The thing is, I don’t mind half an hour, forty five minutes of it once a week (while listening to music) and I love the smell that steamed linens give off. But once in a while I go looking for some that…haven’t been ironed yet. This is a nice reminder to add them to this week’s batch of ironing. These linens are such a nice range of pretty to whimsical to elegant. I’m going to have to visit your store–a dangerous proposition, because I always head for the linens in the antique places!

    • I find ironing table linens very appealing–relaxing and meditative and warming on the cold days we’ve been having here. And the difference it makes in how things look is very reinforcing!

  8. I just love your linen collection. I really like the last ones, they remind me of the kind we had at Thanksgiving dinners.

    • It seems like all of our mothers or grandmothers had these linens–but it skipped a generation for many of us. I do seem to sell a lot of them to younger women so maybe they’re making a comeback!

  9. Kerry, the comment section for this post was fun to read … others whose linens call to them (or cookies who call from the freezer!).
    Lovely photos!

  10. I love the most the 6th & last one! So beautiful too! I could see myself enjoying some good dinner parties on it & every one would tell me how beautiful the table linnen is! x

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