Friday, March 18, 2011

The Pioneers of Pillowcases

Long before blogging and the liberal use of the words vintage and retro, there were women who had the desire to save and collect things.  Somewhat out of necessity I am sure, for useful things like buttons and cookie tins but perhaps also due to genetics that inexplicably show up within generations of innocent families.  That gene can make you do something strange like collect  pillowcases until the back room of your house is full of boxes of carefully pressed and folded pillowcases.  My husband and I went to a  sale yesterday and the house was pretty full of various collections.  But when I made my way to the back room and realized the whole room was full of pillowcases, I kind of felt a kindred attachment.

The woman that had done the collecting and folding had been gone a while and her 70 year old daughter was selling them.  First I started looking slowly then realized my want pile was pretty big.  So I made an offer on all of them.  And then brought them home to my screen porch where I have spent hours going through them.  I love many of them, but will sell the majority.  Because really after this experience I realize you can have too many vintage pillowcases.


It’s funny how when you “inherit” someone’s collection you can kind of figure out who they were.  And in this case (get it?) I know I would have liked her.  I admire her for living in Texas before air conditioning, for wanting to save pretty linens, for keeping her treadle sewing machine looking nice through all those years.


And then when I got to the bottom of the last box I found a bonnet.  It feels old and delicate but I washed it and got the musty smell out.


Maggie tried it on and it made me think of how much times have changed.  If it was pre-1900 Maggie would surely be married, not because she is boy crazy but because my husband loves cows and would certainly trade her for good stock.

Oh dear, can’t a tired mother joke about trading her kids for cows? I love my baby Maggie but she is 16 and who ever coined the phrase “sweet 16” most likely never had a 16 year old living with them.

Which brings me to say I am really tired, that part is not a joke.  Though admittedly not from my 16 year old but from washing and hanging out all those pillowcases!


I hope you had a sunny day wherever you are…g’nite!


Andi said...

We went to an "estate sale" over fall break. Read here: a trailer house where everything the family knew not what to do with was being sold by the box full...You picked a cardboard box and crammed as much as you could in it for prices ranging from $2-$10, depending on the size. I bought scads of rick rack and I don't even craft...I just couldn't walk away from all of that pretty unopened rick rack!

Dawn said...

I can't believe your husband let's you bring home all that stuff if you regularly move! I'm afraid I would have been wanting all those pillowcases too--I've got a whole hall closet shelf full of them that we will never use!

Paula said...

I love love love things like this...and clotheslines. So are you going to have a blog auction to get rid of those pillowcases? If so, count me in.

LB's Sewing Sanity said...

Such a delightful pick me up post. Thanks for sharing.

GardenofDaisies said...

Gorgeous crocheted pillowcases!! I just love vintage linens!!