Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Vintage Gifts: Apron and Potholders

Really, they are more the size of coasters. 
Was there ever a need for such diminutive potholders?  Maybe to be dainty with while drinking tea. I made three additions to my treasure trove of family needlework this Christmas. Two potholders six and a half inches square, and a fabulous apron with a distinct 1940's feel. My mother wrapped these up and handed them off to Santa to leave under the tree for me. I have never seen them before as technically they aren't really related to me. My Aunt's husband's mother had these! The apron was machine stitched on a sewing machine, but the potholders were hand made at a gauge of 8 stitches per inch. Did Helen make them? Somebody did. They were crocheted out of cotton thread in white and a color of blue I find particularly beguiling as it is the flat baby-blue color I associate with the 1930-1950's and perhaps into the 1960's. Helen was a lawyer, unusual for a woman of her generation, the wife of a lawyer and the mother of a lawyer. She died some years ago but the recent death of her daughter may have turned these up when things were sorted through. When people in my family come across textiles to be dealt with they know where to send them. Nobody else in my family gets excited about old baby clothes, table runners or crochet potholders the way I do. It's a relief for them actually. Grandma's needlework isn't something they feel comfortable getting rid of, but on the other hand if it isn't what makes you squeal and jump up and down, what do you do with it? That may be the dilemma my own children will face someday, unless I can convince some grandchild otherwise. Though they don't even exist yet I'm already working on how to convince my grandchildren beyond a shadow of a doubt that hand made doilies are treasure. Judging from my own children's general lack of interest in the subject it may be a verdict I will need Helen to intervene on from above using all her lawyerly skills to help win the case on my behalf. Miracles do happen. 

      How would it be possible not to fall in love with something like these two cuties!

What you can't see in this photo is the charming little pocket in the skirt of the apron. I love the slight wear the machine made lace shows along the lower rim. This apron had a life and a story to tell. That is what all wear and tear on an item tells us. It's the hint of a story. 

The fabric is buttery soft and rather like a sturdy flannel. The print is adorable. 

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