Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Handkerchiefs

Isn't it lovely?  Ok, so its' not the best photograph.  I need to work on that.  Semi translucent handwork is not the easiest thing to take photographs of.  I think I do a better job with two year olds.  At least I have more practice at it.  

This is my favorite of the three.  It's English silk and was a gift to my great great grandmother (I got the greats wrong on a previous post) from her sister.  Aunt Louisa lived in England and did not emigrate when my great great grandmother did.  Louisa still kept in touch with her sister and came out to visit on more than one occasion bringing lovely handkerchiefs with her as a gift.  
 Here's a slightly better look at the detail.  This particular handkerchief is all machine made, but I really think it's still lovely and I love the story of the sisters who didn't let thousands of miles separate them.  Imagine how difficult it was for Louisa to come out west with trains barely coming through and having to cross the ocean in a steamer ship?  It must have taken weeks.
 This is my grandmother's tatting work.  She liked to purchase premade hankies and put lace edging on them. They were designed for this with tiny little squares all around the edge of the hankie so the lace maker could work the lace directly onto the handkerchief.
 As you can see this particular hankie is Irish linen.   Get a gander at that tatting.   Can you imagine tying that many knots?  My grandmother loved to tat and she did beautiful work.
 This hankie was purchased with the flower machine embroidered already on it.  Grandma used colored thread for the lace for the contrast.  It worked well didn't it?  It's a striking hankie.   This one is a polyester blend.
 As you can see the lace here is crochet and mixes white thread and red together to form the design.  My mom said that when she was a girl they would often make a special trip into the next town to a sewing store there.  That particular store carried a good variety of colored crochet thread and my grandma loved to work in color.
My mom had so many of these.  It was so hard to choose just three.   I can't wait to get them framed and hanging on my wall.  They'll all be framed on a colored mounting cloth.  I'm thinking velvet or velveteen.  The frames will give me fits because I need at least 14" square frames.  We'll see what I can get figured out.  I do know that if I make my own I can have glass cut for them quite cheaply at the glass stores in the next town over.    They will be framed with their stories attached.  The story is what makes them more than just a pretty piece of fabric.

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