I decided to stop at the antique shop today before picking N. up from school because I wanted to find a doily to put on my black table. I love that the table looks like it's seen some life, but the top is a bit damaged. I don't want to refinish it, so a doily seemed like the perfect solution. Plus, I thought it would go well with the blue vase I bought the other day.
So this is the one I found. It fits the top of the table pretty well and is in good condition other than for a small tear in the upper left corner.
I think it looks good in its new home.
I spent a little bit of time looking at all the doilies, dresser scarves, and pillow cases that women had embroidered over the years. It brought back fond memories of my grandma. She made all of these things and displayed them in her home.
In the bottom drawer of the dresser, there were lots of old pillow cases. And underneath them all, I found this sweet needlepoint on linen. I just had to bring it home with me. It made me feel sad to think that someone put so much time into stitching this only to have it end up being stuffed in the bottom drawer of a dresser in an antique mall.
At some point I'll frame it and hang it somewhere in my house. I'd like to think the person who stitched it would be happy to have it displayed in my home.
When I went to the register, an older lady was there. We struck up a conversation. She told me she knits blankets for her grandchildren and gives them their blankets when they graduate high school. She has 16 grandchildren and is halfway finished with her blankets. Three of her grandchildren will graduate in 2010, so she has to get moving on those. What a great heirloom she's giving them. I told her about the stockings my mom makes and felt pretty lucky to have such a great heirloom myself.
When I got home I was feeling nostalgic and remembered I have a pillow case that my grandma embroidered. It's hard for me to imagine embroidering all of our pillow cases. My mom said the first time she had pillow cases that weren't embroidered it seemed very odd.
While talking to my mom on the phone this evening, I learned that these hotpads I have were made by my great, great grandma. She covered milk tops with aluminum foil and then crocheted over them. That was during the time when the milkman came to your door to deliver your milk. She was probably in her 80s when she made these. She lived to be 96.
I also learned that my great, great grandma came to the United States from Ireland and was later relocated to Wisconsin on one of the orphan trains when she was about 10. No one knows much about her family or how she was orphaned. This was the first I'd heard of the orphan trains. I cannot imagine how hard that must have been.
I'm happy to have these items made by women in my family and other women who worked hard on their crafts.
I hope my beadwork never ends up in the bottom drawer of a dresser in an antique mall.