Sunday, 7 November 2010

Vintage re-work- adorable embroidery- before and after

I adore embroidery.How much time, love and effort has not been spent on the work above and here below.

Charity shops are mostly my hunting grounds for all these beautiful pieces of work.
In my mind's eye I can see these prim and proper ladies, Victorian, with swept-up hair and a tiny waist in long skirts, or maybe from the 1950's or 1960's with a beehive and multi-coloured petticcoats, embroidering away,on table-cloths, place-mats and napkins, sharing gossip and cups of tea with their friends in happy harmony.
And how pretty it all is ! And what a waste if you would actually use it! You only need one klutz who drops his cake- encrusted fork on the linnen or a tea-pot that dribbles a great splash of Earl Grey on the carefully embroidered roses and you will never be able to get it out again !
So I live in fear of stains by malcreant's hands and the Victorian ladies' work remains in a drawer.
And that is such a waste, really.So I came up with an extreme solution which I will show below.
Before: 1 table cloth, all four corners embroidered with a sprig of Lilac.
After:   4 scatter cushions, all with a sprig of Lilac- to pile on a luxurious bed full of coulours of blue, white, purple, green and lilac. Like this :

And like this:

And like this:
Extreme- yes, I agree. I could almost hear a little Victorian lady cry out in anguish as I put the scissors into the table cloth (  and I did feel a bit guilty.)  But I think she would be pleased with the result, as the Lilac embroidered table-cloth , now turned into Lilac embroidered cushions shine and smile out at me every day .
No longer any dwelling in a dark drawer, only to be taken out occasionally and admired and then put back, but looked at and loved every day.
Did I go one step too far ? Would you have left the table cloth as it was ? Or are you going to look at what you can turn from something unused into something used and loved ??

linking to
Room inspiration master bedroom


Hannah said...

Ooh that lilac embroidery is pretty!
I think whoever spent all those hours working on the tablecloth would be happy that the cloth still gets use after all this time :o)

KimMalk said...

I purchased embroidered runners to do the exact same thing with! Go you. These are so much prettier on your bed, than sitting in a linen closet.

Libbie said...

What a great idea!!! I never would have thought of that!!! I love how you wrote it out too about the little old lady :) cute :)

Farah said...

Fabalous transformation, how pretty and lovely the colour and pattern is.... very lovely
I am going to follow you for many more exciting and creative post like this in the future
Hope you would like to spare a bit of your time for me at

And let me know about it

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dear Country Lady,

Guess our home country is the same...
Love old lace as well and indeed it is a problem for keeping it clean and presentable so your solution is a great one!

Greetings from Georgia/USA


Robin Johnson said...

I'm a big fan of embroidery also. It has been on my list of things to learn but I'm still an novice. Your bravery at cutting up a beatiful table cloth is totally worth it!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a wonderful idea! I have some items I need to turn into something I can use and display! I've visiting from Brenda's! WELCOME! ♥

Kimbra Kasch said...

Sew pretty ;)

KimMalk said...

Thanks for linking, I'm sure you've inspired others (like me!).

Cristie said...

Love vintage fabric and really love the pillows.

Chari at Happy To Design said...


Ohhh...I just adore embroidered linens as well! I think that making them into pretty decorative pillows is a GRAND idea and way to be able to enjoy these lovely pieces! I'm with you...I do fear using them...that they would become stained...eeeks! The embroidered baskets of lilacs...GORGEOUS!!!

Warmest wishes,
Chari @Happy To Design

Jeanne said...

I think you created something wonderful from something that wasn't used often. I like vintage linens as well. We have dishes and linens in common. :) Happy Thanksgiving to your side of the pond - Even if it is an American holiday, it's a great excuse to be Thankful.

Joyful said...

I think this is a great idea for the house and they would make wonderful gift items also.

Debra@CommonGround said...

Your pillows turned out just beautifully, I love them. and hurray that you're actually using this gorgeous piece. Thanks so much for linking up with VIF!

rachel @ Just a Touch of Gray said...

What a great idea! Your pillows look so pretty!! Thanks for joining Roomspiration blog hop today!