I still haven't figured out the settings on my camera. I went through my vintage linens drawer to photograph my tea towel collection. I LOVE these things.
First, These Days of the Week towels were done by my Grandma N:
She also did these adorable Sunbonnet girls. Up in the closet, Ihave a Sunbonnet Girl quilt stitched for me by my other Grandma McK.
I can't show vintage family embroidery without telling this tragic story. My dear mother-in-law was visiting us and we were talking about how great it feels to clear out the closets and give away things we never use. She said she finally, just the week before, gave the never-been-used days of the week tea towels stitched by her grandmother for her wedding day to the fundraiser rummage sale at the Basilica in Minneapolis. I couldn't temper my reaction. "You did WHAT? I collect those!" I would cherish something made by my daughter's great-great grandmother for her grandmother's wedding day... Dear Nana, mortified, went white and as soon as she got home, she tried to rescue them. Alas... I hope they raised lots of money for the poor! All is forgiven, Nana.. I'll stitch my own tea towels instead. Now I get all the handstitched family things.
Back to the towels. This adorable set was a gift from my Mom who knows exactly the sort of things I like. There is lots of cute blanket stitching on them. There must be 3 or 4 more towels in the pattern set, but this came with only these three:
Four actually, this one was with them and the fabric is a similar super soft linen:
I'm pretty sure these also were a Christmas gift from my Mom. I love the clumsy girl here. My Grandma N used to brag that she never ever broke anything her entire life. Dear Grandma... that is totally preposterous. Mom and I would always chuckle a little about this assertion.
Mom stitched these (or maybe Grandma N) I remember them, we had them out for years when I was a child:
Here's a detail. The vegetables are all cross-stitched:
This one is another family one. Mom used it for years before retiring it to the keepsake drawer. I love the use of rick-rack. It has a big yellow splotch right above the motif, unfortunately.
These are less interesting, but I did them when I was a teenager. We always visited my Grandparents in Iowa over Thanksgivings. Saturday after the feast was the day I'd do crafty things with my Grandma N. (Friday was shopping day with my Mom. I don't know what the guys did...) This particular year, Grandma taught me stenciling and I went crazy with it. I very quickly ran out of tea towels and raided my dad and brother's suitcases. My brother got a big elaborate stenciled Christmas Goose on his tidy whities and my dad got a little moon.
Finally, someone in the family is going to have to help me remember where these are from. They are possibly from an antique mall...