Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fun With Vintage Hankies!

I've mentioned before that Grandma Zetta taught me how to iron.  The first things she let me iron were her handkerchiefs.  These came directly from the clothesline all stiff with starch.  Grandma had a 7-UP bottle with a sprinkler top to dampen the clothes as they were ironed.  I used to grumble "how could one old lady have so many hankies?"  The answer was that a woman simply did not go out and about with wadded kleenex in her pocketbook.  Each day, before setting out on errands she would select a clean, folded, pretty handkerchief from a box on her dressing table.  It was a more gracious time.  Sadly, none of Grandma Zetta's hankies have survived.  I remember her tucking a new hanky into a birthday card for a friend.  I think it was a charming custom.

A Few Favorite Florals

The love I have for my grandmothers has evolved into a love of things that remind me of them.  I know that I am not unique in this.  But the sight of a sweet floral or a fun novelty print sends me back to the times I spent with them.  Never underestimate the influence you may have on your children and grandchildren.  Who knows what memories of you they will carry with them into adulthood.
Happy Fall! 
Love the Leaf-shaped Hanky and the Warm Autumn Colors.

Some Darker Prints.
The Violets remind me of my Mother who loved them so.

Ideas For Projects Using Vintage Handkerchiefs
I've used a lot of my collection on projects that I neglected to get photos of.   Many crafters use hankies to sew into pillows, totes, tablecloths, potholders, quilts, etc.  I do have a photo of a valance that I made, sewing handkerchief corners onto a ready-made curtain.
Not too impressive, but I have some ideas from other crafters that I'm sure you'll love.

Adorable tote seen on

Beautiful Pillow found on

Wall Quilt from an issue of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion.
I made a similar one some years ago, but I couldn't find it.

A few of my favorite Christmas handkerchiefs are shown above.  Mary Engelbreit also did an article on collecting and displaying the Christmas hankies.  I spent a lot of time looking for ideas online today.  One lady sewed the handkerchiefs into a table runner.  A New Zealand crafter framed a half-dozen or so and grouped them on a wall.  My daughter Missy, made a valance for her laundry room by hanging them on a cord with clothespins.  Really cute!   I saw quite a few for sale yesterday at the antique mall.  The prices on handkerchiefs can vary quite a bit.  Children's designs and novelty/holiday patterns are more rare and will cost more than florals.  Most of mine were not expensive...around $1 to $2 each.  Some were as cheap as 25 cents.  D.I. and Savers often have them as well.  If you have inherited are indeed lucky!
Giveaway Reminder
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Have a Beautiful Fall Weekend!  We'll be back on Monday with the Giveaway Winners!

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