Monday, June 29, 2009

Vintage Monday - Embroidered Dishtowels

I think you must know by now how much I LOVE embroidery. I especially love vintage kitchen embroidery. Here are a few of my dishtowels that are in my collection.
I think they add lots of personality to my kitchen. The colors and designs really tug at my heart.
These kind of dishtowels were a must in every kitchen of our Mothers and Grandmothers - and still are.
For those of you who are like me and still use floursack dishtowels you know what I mean...nothing dries dishes better!

















My Mom embroidered these "days of the week" cupids and gave them to me last year for my birthday. Isn't she sweet? She knows that I am especially fond of days of the week things.
Mom still uses embroidered dishtowels in her kitchen, and for as long as I can remember, whenever she is in the kitchen, she keeps one over her left shoulder. I'm sure it is a habit for her every time she does the dishes, cooks or sets the table...just like tying on an apron.
I can still see her standing on the backporch in her cotton dress and apron with the dishtowel over her shoulder. She would be there calling for me when I was out in the back pasture climbimg trees and such.
She would call me in for dinner or usually want me to come in and "put on a sweater"...sometimes it's the little things that make us feel loved by our Mothers.
What are your memories of vintage dishtowels? Please share them, I would love to hear from you...

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23 comments:

Fiesta said...

Lori I have towels, tons since I make most of them but no vintage ones yet.
When I see them they remind me of better days when more things were done at home with the family.

Nanci said...

You and I lived in the wrong era...I love this stuff too. I remember doing these tea towels when I was a kid at my grandmother's knee.
Very cute stuff.

JustCindy said...

Your towels are so cute. I remember seeing some of the designs in my grandmother's kitchen.

Nedra said...

My story is a little sad. When my mother passed away I found some embroidered dish towels my grandmother had made in a cedar chest. Because I was flying home on an airplane, and could only take a few things in my suitcase from my mom's place, the dish towels went to the thrift store. Now I'm kicking myself. What were we thinking?!

Judy said...

My grandmothers and mother also used flour sacks that were embroidered. As a young girl, I took them for granted, but now I realize the work that went into them. In her later years, my mother would crochet edges on tea towels. They are a special remembrance for me of my mother. I'm trying to pass that on to my three daughters. Thanks for sharing!

Mary said...

I embroidered some flour sack dish towels for my hope chest when I was much younger. It was hard to find the good sized ones then and mine have mostly worn out. I loved seeing yours. What a great memory to have! I have some embroidered dressers scarves though and they don't wear out...

Sherri said...

I love the dishtowels. My mother-in-law gave me and each of my girls a set and is upset that I don't use them...but I want to keep them nice! Wondering if you display yours or just "store" them...

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I would love to have some of the vintage embroidered dishtowels. I look for them whenever I am hunting for treasures. The only things that I have that were my Mom's are a couple of vintage tablecloths. They are not in the best condition, but they have the large floral designs of the 40's and 50's.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

I have a set of embroidered flour sack dish towels from my Grandmother and another from my ex-mother-in-law (deceased) that I keep put away and take out to admire once in a while. I just can't bring myself to use them. I do use some other flour sack dish towels every day to dry dishes.
Love the show of your towels.

Dawn said...

Love the dishtowels!! My mom used to throw her towel over her shoulder too! I never thought about it until you mentioned your mom does. Loved the post.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Our vintage dishtowels growing up were always saved for when company came. Otherwise we used cheaper grade towels. And we didn't have a dishwasher. I don't know why but that is how my mom did things so the towels didn't get used much. I don't know what happened to them unfortunately. But I do have some from my MIL (somewhere). My goal is to not applique as much when I am on vacation but do more embroidery. You truly have inspired me.

Counting down the time til tomorrow!!

Piecefulafternoon said...

I put my dish towel on my shoulder too. One day our youngest daughter was in the kitchen with me and she came up to me with a dishtowel in her hand. She said "bend down" and she put in on my shoulder and said - "there, now you can cook".

When I got back together with a cousin that I hadn't seen for 27 years we both noticed that we both put dishtowels on our shoulder - funny how that runs in the family.

I love your towels. I have a couple sets of them and plans to make more. A friend gave me about 20 feedsacks so I need to get started on the embroidery.

Carrie P. said...

Your towels are so fun to look at. I have been trying to find some in the antique stores but the ones I see are in bad shape so I pass them by. I did find some plain feedsake towels that I hope to do some embroidery on one day. I don't think my mom or grandma used towels like yours.

Funoldhag said...

You have such cute vintage things -most of them I remember from my early days. I had embroidered dish towels, pillowcases, etc., but they are long gone and used up. I am starting to appreciate that era for being vintage now, but I have always thought of the more primitive things as antiques. Keep forgetting how old I am! However, I so enjoy looking at the pictures of your great vintage items. :-) Carol

w&v said...

V. here...It is wonderful that you own and use so many embroidered towels. I have two from when I got married. One is fruits made by my mom. The other is a little Indian girl with a papoose on her back and a teepee in the background. I love it since I am Native too and I still have it but I hardly use it and am in the process of cutting the design out and combining it with Seminole patchwork and making it into a doll quilt. v

dqlts said...

I still love the embroidered dish towels. My Mom would iron on the designs and that is how she taught me to embroider. I still have some of them. Kittens and angels were my favorites. I still have them in my hope chest after being married for 45 years. Love to look at them, can't bear to use them. Brings back many happy memories.

Anonymous said...

I just love your blog and especially the vintage dishtowels. About 55 years ago, almost every evening my sisters and I bathed in a No. 2 washtub, put on a clean flowersack slip for a sleeping and set on the front steps where Mother and Aunt Alice taught us to embroider till it was too dark to see the stitches. You've brought back some wonderful memories!
Mary Alice in Birmingham, AL

BUMBLE BEANS said...

It's all I use. I learned to embroider them as a kid. my mother, grandma everyone had them. I have 30 of them in my drawer right now. My best friend gives me new set every year for my birthday, it's my only request!

Lorraine said...

thanks for sharing .....I have some embroidered doileys and a couple of supper cloths from my Mum but no teatowels....Mum always wore an apron but I preferred the tea towel over the shoulder....!! Still do.....have been known to leave the house and get to the front gate only to discover the tea towel over the shoulder!! LOL...

Betweens said...

I just found you through Quilting Daze.. what a great blog and love the vintage embroderie patterns.. I have a few of Aunt Martha's they can become very addicting.. thanks for adding a great giveaway to top it all off.

Micki said...

I love to do embroidery too, and your towels are gorgeous! It is very relaxing to sit and embroider. You do lovely work, and I am enjoying reading your posts, as I just found your blog.
Micki
In Ireland

call me crazy said...

I love to embroider and love the towels! I have one I did when I was maybe 8 years old and my mom saved. Also one my nephew did for me years ago as a Christmas gift... he was maybe 12~ so fun!

Gmama Jane said...

Lori, I've been rumbling around your older blog posts and I'm so enjoying myself. I have only been blogging for about 1 yer and half. These vintage towels bring back so many memories of my Great Grandmother, Big Grandma, who embroidered little towels, dresser scarves, panties (yes, panties) and gave a gift to EVERY family member in her huge family every Christmas. And the towel over the left shoulder??? Oh my goodness, I've done that all my adult life and my girls told me recently it is a memory of me in the kitchen with a towel over my shoulder. In fact, both have found themselves doing the very same thing when cooking!! Yes, it is the small things that make us feel loved. Would you mind if I share some of your embroidery pictures on my blog? I will most certainly give you credit. I have been thinking og doing a post on my Big Grandma and these would be so appropriate to go along with the pictures I already have. Lori, you are my favorite pattern and fabric designer...hands down! Your color combos ans cheerfulness in all your patterns make me feel happy. You have a unique style that is all yours. My favorite fabric line is "Sew Cherry"!! I can't get enough of it. I have made a sewing machine cover recently among other items. Just love all your "STUFF" Lori. Thanks for making me Happy!
Blessings
Gmama Jane

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