Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Obsession with Linens

I found this description of tea towels on the Internet: A tea towel is a cloth for drying dishes and is also known as a dish towel. It is very handy and helps to give a neat and clean look to the kitchen. Few tea towels are too lovely to be hidden away. The attractive patterned linen or cotton tea towels are appealing to eyes and also have a high utility. I have had an obsession with linens since I was first married and my mother gave me a few doilies, tea towels, and tablecloths in setting up my first home. I began looking for them when garage sailing or shopping at the thrift stores. They were very inexpensive and added so much to decorating! I made pillows, seat covers, and lampshades with them. And, yes, even used a few to dry the dishes!! ;-) But my favorite way to display my collection is using them as window treatments...

These are pictures of our bay window in the kitchen/dining room. Steve built a shelf over the window so I could display my other obsession (wink).
For a window treatment I used all the special tea towels I've collected, or were given to me by family and friends. I cheated just a little, and used an apron in the very middle of the window!
There is something so sweet and charming about these lovely, embroidered tea towels that makes me smile when I look at them. I love the idea how homemakers years ago took the time to embroider a simple flour sack to beautify their kitchen--or the 'guest towels' that were used in the bathroom...My 90 year old aunt has always had a neatly displayed stack of linen guest towels in her bathroom-- and that's what you used to dry your hands! She said she loves to iron and doesn't think of it as extra work.

These past couple of days I've been cleaning out the guest room closet, which houses all (most) of my linens. I have taken EVERYTHING out and am neatly folding them and organizing them according to function (tablecloths, napkins, doilies, etc). It was a joy just handling them and remembering where I was in life when I acquired it. When I came across a doily given to me by a close friend of my mom's, and I hadn't talked to in months, I just stopped right then and called her to catch up. Today I'm going to write a thank you note to another friend's mom, who's given me some beautiful linens she doesn't use any more, and I just want her to know how much I really appreciate her thinking of me...I've also set aside a stack of linens for my sweet daughter-in-love, Kristen--who loves tea towels and tablecloths as much as I do!!
Well, got lots to do today!! Thank you notes to write and a closet to finish organizing!!
Have a wonderful day!


  1. LOVE your bay window..the doilies, towels and I absolutely want that chair! I have a thing for chairs you know!!

  2. I love the way display your linens. Such a nice collection.

  3. You have a beautiful collection. Brings back memories from my grandma's house. Love and Prayers, p.s. Hope your knee is better. I know your pain. I had surgery on my knee and still healing.

  4. OMGOODNESS Myrna!! I just LOVE LOVE this!!! Linens make me smile and to be able to see them each and every day, what a joy ~ great idea girl! xxoo, Dawn

  5. Myrn, I was so excited to hear that you were making organizational progress with your linens.....You Go Girl! Good for you as I know this was a project you wanted to tackle. Just wanted to cheer you on! Of course I love how you display things. I love seeing how you use things in unconventional ways! Inspired for today......Toni

  6. Hi Myrna... I had to smile when I read your post today. I also have linens in my kitchen window very similar to what you have done and I have a pitcher hanging also... I have all white right now... I have taken a pic a couple times but the window is so bright I can't get a good pic... Your display is sweet and so much your personality...

  7. Hello Myrna~ oooh I love the linens for window treatments...perfect touch! I love going through collected's like new treasures all over again. Thank you so much for visiting my new blog today :) I'll be visiting again soon!

  8. Oh yes! Sign me up as another one who loves linens and dishes. My favorite kinds of yard sales always have plenty of both of those. Love your window and your dishes, of course! :)

    Thanks for your comment at my blog today. Those retro wives inspired me tons and even after Tom read it he said we should aim at going at least 50 percent retro like them. I told him I think we are already there! Now we should aim at 75 percent :)

    So glad you like Mary Jane!! The new issue arrived today and when I pulled it from the mailbox I squealed! What a lovely surprise on this Friday.

    Thanks, Myrna for being such a cool kindred spirit! Blessings, Debra

  9. Clicked on to your blog from The Vintage Journal.I love linens too, and use them also for window treatments. I love to see vintage linens, all washed, starched and ironed and then displayed in piles and tucked away in an open cupboard. Is that weird? I love to iron linens, it relaxes me. I have loved linens since I was a little girl and my Mom taught me how to iron by ironing the pillow cases.

  10. Oh my gosh! I just found your blog through Pink Pomegranates. I love absolutely everything about your bay window and all the pretties you have collected!

  11. Beautiful as always Myrn...puts me in the mood for fall. I love you.

  12. I want it all------love your linens.