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Vintage Table Linens: Re-use, Recycle, Re-invent!

with Kathleen Rountree

Do you have a drawer or a basket with wonderful, embroidered table linens ‘put away’ in it? Or handkerchiefs with beautiful lace edging? You know what I mean—too good to use, so they just stay in the drawer. Well, they do not need to hide any longer. We will reinvent them into adorable pieces you can use—or give away as unique, special gifts.


Bring some of those ‘put away’ beauties and we will make something charming. Every student’s project will be individual—a wall quilt, a pin cushion, a journal cover, a mug rug—all embroidered and enhanced with trim and treasures to make them individual. Every individual’s work is completely original. Much time is spent oohing and aahing—and it is GREAT FUN! I will bring some tools to make this much easier than you think!


What will you make? Maybe a table mat, a wall hanging, a table or bed topper—or maybe even a masterpiece to enter in next year’s show! You never know in this class! Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly how to do this—you’ll have fun and probably be surprised. We will use the skills you have—if you can free-motion quilt, great. If not, bring a walking foot. Or, quilt by hand. Or design your piece and then have your favorite longarm quilter finish it up. There are many ways to achieve your goal, which is to be creative and experimental. Even the teacher is always surprised.


Supply List:


1. Several pieces of kitchen or table linens that you can experiment with and/or cut into small pieces. An embroidered table runner, handkerchief, table scarf, tablecloth, or hanky. Little embroidered flowers and animals work well. Wash the piece in Oxyclean or a vintage fabric wash product, and iron. Don’t worry if it has a thin place or some kind of stain—we can work around it.

2. Several coordinating fabrics, small pieces or fat quarters—solids and prints. Many people like 30s fabric with vintage linens, but you can go contemporary, too.

3. Back: a piece of coordinating fabric for the back, fat quarter size.

4.  Batting: a fat quarter-sized piece of low– or mid-loft batting (any type), same size as back. Suggested batting: wool or 80/20.

5. Assorted small bits of lace, ribbon, rickrack, doily, cute buttons, or other adornments. Hand-sewing needle and thread. A few beads or buttons.

NOTE: If you don’t have all these things, sign up for a $40 optional kit. It will have items 1-5, above. You will need to bring thread—white, cream, tan, and gray should do.

6. About a cup of safety pins for basting.

7. Neutral threads that coordinate with your fabric and linen piece.

8. Standard Sewing Supplies: sewing machine, owner’s manual, pins, cutter/ruler/small mat, thread, scissors, walking foot and/or darning foot (if available), ink pen or pencil, a Purple Thang or chopstick, an all-purpose ruler and a rotary cutter, and a washaway marker (I recommend the blue ones).

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