I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

Sunday, December 2, 2012

In my friend's antique store , stashed away in an old cardboard box,

was this beautiful piece of crewel work on linen.

My friend told me that she has had this piece for many years and had always thought about making herself a pillow from it. As you can see it is heavily stained......
 
the crewel work was stitched, perfectly, by someone years ago

and it has bounced from, being improperly stored, to garage sale item, to my friends antique shop.

The water stain and mildew has completely covered the linen and the stitching.
As I was leaving, she placed it into my hands and told me that she would never find time to make it into a pillow and that it needed a good home with me.
Of course, this touched my heart!
If you have  linens in this kind of bad condition...........
you can make them look brand new...........
by following what I did to this piece..............
 

I took it home and placed it flat on a table surface............

and then I covered it in a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda .
NEVER USE BLEACH ON LINENS
I then carefully placed it in a large bowl and filled it with water just above the surface of the linen.

Then next morning, I took it out of the bowl and gently washed it in regular detergent.................
and look!............
It came out like brand new. The stains and the mildew are all gone.

I then placed it onto the top of a pillow form

added a pretty backing and made it into a beautiful pillow.............to surprise my friend with!
She was so delighted and loved it so much, she hugged it!
The most wonderful reward of creating something, is to see someones reaction to it..........
don't you think??
 

(click onto photo for better view)
 
She also knows how much I love buttons, and found 2 tins full of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen.
There was mother of pearl and if you look at the bottom center of the photo ...........
the plastic buttons with the flower clusters along with the 3 plastic ones above are all from the War time when metal , sugar, and other things were rationed.
I love them all..........
I pretty much took them all home with me.
I am pretty sure there are a lot of button lovers out there...........
are you one?
What is the most unusual kind that you have??
I would love to hear!



20 comments:

papel1 said...

I have cleaned up many linens before but never tried your solution. I have used oxiclean...can't remember the actual name but I soak the linens and it is so much fun to take out and see them look like new (well amost) I have made bags out of damaged linens. Also I collect buttons and love to sit and look through them. I think the rhinestone and glass buttons are my favorite, but I love them all.
Judy

Laurie said...

Thank-you a thousand times over!! I've had a table cloth and dresser scarf in bad condition that I haven't had the heart to pitch. You've saved it!
The pillow you made is absolutely beautiful. What a special friendship and special gift. Thank-you again.

Suztats said...

Wow! The pillow looks fantastic!
and buttons....lovely buttons....I have some white, large MOPs, and some coloured MOPs from when I was a child-- they were on my clothes.

seanymph said...

Wow, Im amazed at how clean that got. Im going to have to remember this because I have a few stained pieces tucked away I hated to part with. Maybe now I wont have to. Thanks for sharing this info.

Cindy said...

Yes, I am a button collector too! (How did you know?:) I inherited both my stepmother's and MIL's buttons and have quite a few really nice ones.
I am so impressed with how well the crewel work came out. I will try that on an embroidered tablecloth I got from my grandmother. I was always afraid to mess with it. Thanks.

Nicola said...

Thank you for the information about cleaning linen. Mildew is very difficult to remove so I will print this off to use when needed.

I love all buttons and seem to have lot of jars full of them.

Hindustanka said...

That's awesome how you made over this embroidery and gave it a second life! It is beautiful!

Preeti said...

Wow! This is very beautiful:) as I started reading the post, I was thinking what will you do with this? This is in such a bad condition; then you turned it so bright and beautiful!! Amazing !:)

Marie said...

I am THRILLED you posted this! Not only is that a lovely piece of crewel-work that was worth saving, you showed how to save such things and for that I am so grateful! Also, you were VERY sweet to make your friend a pillow out of it after she gave you the piece. And I LOVE the old buttons! Just a great post all the way around.

lil red hen said...

Thanks for this helpful information! And the crewl embroidery is so pretty; I actually got out a piece, copyrighted 1979, almost finished, and think I'll work on it again. Giving the restored piece to your friend was fantastic!

I also love old buttons; there is a post on my blog about the ones I have. There really isn't a favorite but the little cards are like art work to me.

GardenofDaisies said...

Thank you for the tip on how to clean these soiled linens. Do you think it would work on burlap too?

Gina E. said...

Isn't it wonderful to be able to restore beautiful old embroidered items from something almost unsalvagable (spelling??) to almost new - you did a fabulous job on that crewel work! I use the Aussie version of your oxiclean on most of my linens, but it doesn't work on mildew, so I usually go for lemon juice and sunshine. What is the trade name for hydrogen pyroxide? I guess I could ask our local chemist, he'd know. Baking soda is easy, always in the kitchen cupboard!

Faith said...

Thank you for stopping over CBTS, and leaving a comment about the dishes you have of your Grandmother..such a joy..this was a really fun post & I enjoyed hearing about the lovlies, and sharing in memories you all had.

Faith said...

this came out so new looking, and crisp & pretty..what a find. I crochet, never could manage the needle and thread to well...so I admire and love the vintage look of this type of work..beautiful.

Celestina Marie said...

Thank you for sharing your formula to clean stained linens. You gave this gorgeous piece new life and it is stunning made into a pillow. I can imagine your friend overjoyed and filled with Christmas love.
I have loved to work in the crewel stitch and created many a project over the years. I too love buttons and search for them when I am treasure hunting. My mother saved buttons from worn garments and old coats. They are my cherished keepsakes.

Have a wonderful day.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

janice15 said...

Helo, o my what a great job you did at cleaning the crewel work..I never knew to use peroxide and baking soda, you learn something new every day..thank you for sharing that...Can I ask you what is the difference between crewel and Embroidery?.. The pillow cover looks just beautiful...with love Janice

Prairie Patch Quilts said...

You did an amazing job of freshing that piece up. I will keep that recipe to try myself sometime. The pillow looks so pretty!

Joanne said...

Wow, it had come up beautifully! And it's nice to know it will be loved and appreciated once again.

Marianne said...

Kathleen, that was a wonderful story!! I'm so glad you gave it to your friend, and yes, I soulfully agree that the wonderful thing about giving is seeing the happy reaction of those who are receiving.

Wow, I love how you cleaned up that beautifully decorated linen. The artwork is so lovely it would have been a shame to have to throw it away...but with your loving touch, it has been redeemed! Thank you for sharing that. I am so glad to know how to remove stains like that so easily. The linen was in such an awful state and now it looks like new.

Did you place the paste on the colored threads also or just over the white linen area? It seems the peroxide did not harm the color at all.

Enjoy a glorious season of love,
Marianne xo

Three Sheep Studio said...

This is amazing and so good to know.
What a lovely piece of embroidery your friend entrusted you with.
Rose