I Can’t, Just Can’t….

Bedspread from vintage hand embroidery

A few weeks ago a dear friend called and asked if I would be interested in some vintage linens.  She was at a yard sale and a friend of hers was getting rid of her things. My friend, through her phone call, described what her friend was selling.  A pink cotton tablecloth set, containing gold thread accents.  A set of huck toweling placemats with cute little pink and green cross stitch flowers in the corners.  Another tablecloth set, and a few other miscellaneous doilies and such.  Of course, my reply was (and always is) “Sure!”

A couple days later I came to my friend’s house to collect my goodies.  She retrieved a large brown paper bag, brimming with the assorted things.  We sat down on her sofa and went through them together.  When I pulled out the pink tablecloth, it was luxurious.  Soft pink with gold metallic thread lines across the bottom.  Soft, fluffy fabric from repeated washings.  So soft and fluffy, I got the idea of a bathrobe.  (The tablecloth was large enough to be a coverlet for a double bed.)  A warm, terry cloth type, cuddly, soft and warm bathrobe!


The placemats—hmmm.  Bridesmaid clutches.  And the bag was almost empty.  Then I pulled a corner of something embroidered; the only hand embroidered item in the bag.  “Closet safes”, was my thought shared out loud.  But I didn’t open it fully.

When I came home later that day, the embroidered item intrigued me.  So I pulled it out.  Thankfully I was in my guest room, where I have several of my vintage linens in the “modern aspiration” state.  I reached in the bag, and pulled the intriguing piece out.  When I unfolded it, I gasped as I laid it over the coverlet on the guest room bed.  Picture this:  Vintage cotton muslin, hand crocheted edging, and in the center, the most beautiful piece of embroidery I had ever seen.  A Southern lady in a full skirt, complete with a hoop, was dancing with a flower garland.

Damsel lady coverlet

It took me a moment to figure out what the large rectangle was for at the head; then I realized it was for setting the pillows.  So I folded this part forward, then folded it back to expose more of the beautiful embroidery.  Not a broken stitch, no disruptive thread tails, and no stains anywhere. I can’t imagine the age of this beautiful piece but I can estimate that it would have been done sometime around the early 1960’s, mostly because of the colors, the embroidery itself and the delicateness of the item.  The hand crochet trim was perfect; no breaks in the pearl cotton.


This led me to questions:

  1. Did it sit on a teenager’s bed?
  2. What was the bed like? Four poster? Canopy? Certainly not a bunk bed as my guest room bed is a double and it fits like it was made for this size.
  3. Did this belong to a couple?
  4. Was it a wedding gift?
  5. Why was the woman giving it away?  Because I certainly didn’t know about this, and neither did my friend and the price I paid for the linens was such a low one.  So I felt this was truly a gift.

So I’ve decided to abandon my closet safe idea and just keep this piece for years to come.  Maybe I’ll use it in my booth at my next large craft fair.

#vintagebedspread, #vintageembroiderybedspread, #damselladybedspread

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