Now, a zillion years older, the pandemic quarantine gave me the time, space, and motivation to stitch some of my best old linens into this new 79" x 82" quilt. Front:
The center is a spectacular linen tablecloth. I quilted around all the white foliage (but not close around every detail.)
At the center, I placed this cross-stitched (by anonymous, not by me) bouquet.
The other two embroideries on the front were found together, clearly made by the same person, stitched on dishtowels. In the lower left corner, I placed this scene of two kittens with a (Chinese?) vase:
In the upper right corner, I set this fabulous urn:
The rectangle running across the top center - with teeny, intricate hand-embroidery on loose white linen - is a mystery. My theory was that it was made for a Greek folk costume, but my daughter thinks it looks more Eastern European - your theory welcomed!
Above that, I set a long rectangle made from an ultra-sweet apron print, from an actual apron. (You could call it meta-apron fabric.)Across the bottom, I set this brilliant apron. It's amazing how much fabric is in a mid-century gathered apron:
Down the right side is another formerly gathered apron.
In the upper left corner, I put this hallucinogenic print, found in a bib apron. I'm guessing it's from the 1940s or 50s (Do you know?)The back is sparser, but features linens that are no less adorable.
Below, the panel on bottom, with the crocheted tulips, was a pillowcase. I covered the crochet trim with monofilament thread zigzagging, so it didn't snag or distort when I quilted the top. The printed blue and green flowers are from yet another apron.There's a dishtowel with a dog embroidery, plus the pocket from another apron that I placed after accidentally cutting a hole in the back (don't ask).
Down the middle are two more aprons.
And a giant linen table runner, mostly white but with one embroidery swoop in the middle, fills out the rest of the space.
This quilt is delicate - Vintage linens, no matter how gorgeous, are also often much less sturdy than new fabrics. They can tear easily. So this quilt isn't for heavy use. (Or if it is used that way, it just won't last forever.)
It was my second large quilt made from American mid-century linens. On my first, I also put a tablecloth in the center, smaller pieces in the borders - and then I scattered new English Paper Pieced hexagon blocks on top.