Saturday, May 29

Old linens bring a new treasure...

Good morning, sweet friends!
Yes... that is another picture of my
growing whisker collection!
Sweet 16 didn't have school yesterday because
they didn't use all of their allotted snowdays
this past winter. Grumpy that they had to go to school
with winter winds whipping... but thrilled to have a
warm sunny day away from the classroom!

The two of us set off to find more sugar/flour sacks.
I'm never let down...
We were not able to find the cotton treasures~
But this little sweetie was a find!
It is the same style as my strawberry piece.
I soaked it... rolled it in a cotton towel... pressed it!
Please click on the photo for an even closer peek~
I don't know anything about this style of stitching...
The thread is fine and shimmery.
I LOVE looking at the beautiful stitch work
so many of you do...

We found oodles and oodles of old linens for
new pen and ink illustrations!
I soaked them for a few hours...
I don't mind that 90% of the stains are set.
Each linen piece is a treasure in its own.
I finished pressing them at midnight...
When I put my head on my pillow~
So many beautiful patterns get
SO MANY fun ideas floating around my brain!

There is something about being surrounded by
old things. Walking through booth after booth of
worn surfaces...
Who used these treasures?
I'm thrilled that they're available to us...
But wouldn't it be sweet to give a young child
an old handkerchief that her great-great grandma
stitched forget-me-nots on?
The perfect summer blanket for her little doll...

I'm excited to have time to catch up on special orders
over the next few days...
Excited that I will have new treasures to list, too!

Each piece so very different~
I see many of my favorite subjects on them...
...I see loads of new themes, too!
Nautical... sea shore... shore birds...
Garden tools...

Hope your weekend is off to a great start!


Brynwood Needleworks said...

Hi Michelle:
What a treasure trove of old linens and needlework you found! They're all beautiful. I can't wait to see what you do with them.

Also, I don't know what you use to clean your antique lovelies, but I'm adding this link in case you don't already know about Vintage Textile Soak. I used it on linen hankies from the 40s that were really dingy and they were white as new! I used them for my commissioned bridal hankie project last fall. (

Have a great weekend, my friend.

The French Bear said...

Michelle, you will come up with something beautiful, I just know! I am so glad that you have repurposed the old linen...I just love holding an old piece of lace and wondering about where it has been and what kind of life it has known......weird I know!!!
I can't wait to see what you come up with!!
Margaret B

Michelle Palmer said...

Thank you, Donna~ I will follow the link and try it. Some of these pieces deserve to be restored and framed. Breathtaking details...
You're so sweet to share!

Margaret, yes! Tears that were blotted on the fine linens from stories told in happiness and sadness... The time put into each piece~

Hope you both have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend~

Booklinks said...

You are amazing!Having always such
beautiful ideas!I know you are going to make something wonderful!
Have a great weekend,

Twiglet said...

I bought some lovely old linen from our local car boot sale to cut up for crafts - but then I looked at the beautiful embroidery and the fragile age of the piece and decided I would just treasure it instead - mad or what!!

BumbleVee said...

lovely finds indeed! It's wonderful that artists like you try to restore or re-purpose some of the vintage goodies...

Unknown said...

The way you have piled the linens, mmmm they look so gorgeous xx

Leanne said...

I came to ask what you use to soak as I came home with a sadly stained piece, but I saw Donna's comments and I'm off to buy and try it! Yes!

Sarah said...

You found a treasure trove! I've used the linen soak with great success.
Hope you have a terrific weekend. ~ Sarah

Monica said...

Can't wait to see them finished, Michelle! I have to play catch up with your posts, when my headache permits ;) I've been such a bad blogger lately!

Vicki Boster said...

Oh my Michelle - your linens are so lovely. I just know that you are going to turn them into something so very beautiful with your added artwork!


Marilyn J. Rock said...

Michelle; I adore your work here with pen and ink! Your little drawings are precious on everything.

When you get more stock of those little dresses, I would be interested in purchasing one with birds and nests on it. You can email me at:

Happy Memorial Weekend...Marilyn

Cheryl @ Bingle Bears said...

Omigosh! I am NEVER disappointed when I come to visit your blog. Wonderful stuff! I can't wait to see what you do with them.

Heaps of Hugs,

P.S. Where do you find whiskers? I'd love to find out--they may come in handy on some bears.

Joolz said...

Oh the old linens are so lovely and I love what you do with them. I'm off to try out the soak recipe on some of my recent purchases.
Happy crafting.

Cora said...

What beautiful finds!! Lucky you struck gold! Can't wait to see what you do on/with them

Verdigris Vie said...

I love this ! How interesting to add these wondeful illustrations to old linens..

Cant' wait to see ..


Anonymous said... much fun in the hunt, in the find and then in the sketching! I can see your head spinning with new ideas! :-)
XXOO Diane

Unknown said...

Hi Michelle....just stopped by for a quick visit and read this older post. The "shimmery" textile you have is silk embroider and are usually from the Victorian era. Some pieces were from the "Royal Society" and should be stamped somewhere as such. These are very sought after, so you have a wonderful treasure! Just beautiful.

Bird on Wire Studio said...

Hi Michelle!

I love that you have a collection of whiskers! I have four cats and I find whiskers all the time! I once had a whisker from one of my beloved cats who has now passed on, but it got lost. I always regret not putting it somewhere really safe. If you don't mind, I'm going to copy your idea and start saving them somewhere sacred and safe.

I can't wait to see what you do with those linens!!!

PocketsOfInspiration said...

That's a LOT of whiskers! You must have many, many cats.

I have searched your blog for your email address and cannot find it.

I have a question about your artwork. Can you email me?