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Thread: Linen napkins and table cloths

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    I have linen table cloths and matching napkins that belonged to my mother and both grandmothers. Has anyone repurposed these into a quilt or is that a terrible idea? All seem to be in wonderful condition but who uses linen table cloths and napkins in our day of simplicity?! Our foremothers spent hours starching and ironing these. Seems I should come up with some idea that will preserve the fabrics in a more usable way.

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I haven't done this, but I love the idea!

  3. #3

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    I just got a book on Scandinavian handwork. Many of the wallhangings and quilts, etc., use linen and applique or stitch on them. Now I want some linen!

  4. #4
    Senior Member lindagor's Avatar
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    I know what you mean when you talk about this day of simplicity. I set the table for dinner yesterday with the fine china, including the bread plate, and no one knew what it was for! Oh well, it looked pretty anyway. Your idea is a good one though if you don't plan on using the linens on the table. They will probably be beautiful in a quilt.

  5. #5
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    I wouldn't use the old linen in a quilt just because of the bleaching, starching and pressing it went thru. I used some older linen to back a table runner recently and when I washed it I discovered some small holes. It would still be good for other projects just for backing.

  6. #6

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    I have been collecting and using vintage linens, doilies, chenilles, doilies, etc. in wallhangings, collages, pillows, purses, etc. for years. Love the look and the idea of repurposing.

  7. #7
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    This struck me really funny this morning. Last night I got to thinking of the huge white linen tablecloth I have that was my mom's, thought I should give it to my DIL as her table does open larger than mine. And then I thought, I could probably use it in a quilt! I had several smaller linen tablecloths that mom used all the time, they were worn in spots, and I am not into using tablecloths , except for special days, so I cut them into dishtowels. , Even had some nice pattern ones that I had for a wedding gift, did the same with them. That was before people got on the vintage kick, or I could have sold them! Anyway, they sure have had a lot of use since. Some of the linen I saved to use as window wipers, that worked great! But, back to the subject, I am probably going to ask DIL if she wants it, and if not, I'm getting that one and a damask one I have, and they will be used in quilts. Mom's is large enough for a backing on a queen size quilt. I also have about 12 doilys mom made that I have attached to dk. green velvet, intended someday to make a quilt top with them, but not sure how to set them as they are different sizes.

  8. #8
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    I have several linen table cloths and all the matching napkins, as my sister in law says they're a curse. I'm too old to want to iron them any more, though cutting the damask set isn't ever likely to happen.

    I did get rid of one that was in poor shape, but later realised I should have cut it up for pressing cloths, dishtowels and the like.

  9. #9
    Junior Member scrappycats's Avatar
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    I have a battenburg lace table cloth that gets taken to the cleaner for washing and ironing. So it hangs in my closet and has only been used once. :oops:

    I would hesitate to use linen in a quilt. When folded again and again in the same place, the fiber will break. It will slip off the bed easily. And, there is the wrinkle factor. When washed, it has to be ironed unless it is an old, old piece that has been through the washer a bunch of times.

  10. #10
    Senior Member grammy17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illinois
    I have linen table cloths and matching napkins that belonged to my mother and both grandmothers. Has anyone repurposed these into a quilt or is that a terrible idea? All seem to be in wonderful condition but who uses linen table cloths and napkins in our day of simplicity?! Our foremothers spent hours starching and ironing these. Seems I should come up with some idea that will preserve the fabrics in a more usable way.
    My daughter buys them is sales and uses them everyday on the table without starching and ironing. Wash dry fold and use. She loves the feel and not throwing paper napkins into the trash.

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