Monday, July 30, 2007

Annie's Linen

Anna was born in 1862, fourth child of eleven siblings to John and Mary Leish.

As a young girl she went to live with her maternal grandparents. Her grandfather, a prominent cabinet maker, was also a weaver during the winter months. Throughout the summer he would grow the flax and spin the threads that would be woven into various textiles.

Annie sat at the loom in the kitchen surrounded by the warmth of the cookstove and the glow of the oil lamp weaving the wool blankets and linen sheets that would become part of her dowry. The constant thud of the beater bar was oblivious to her as she daydreamed of a future marriage. She would delicately embroider her initials (AL) along the hand sewn hem.

That day arrived, September 5, 1881, when she wed the big strapping man beside her, John McDowell.

Annie went on to live a long and fruitful life, bearing seven children.

I was fortunate enough to purchase some of this linen and hand-sewn pillowslips from the estate of her late grandson.

Having the photograph and researching the provenance makes the fabrics come alive. They are still warm from the touch of Annie's hand upon their threads!

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Passion for Pink

Pink - It comes in so many shades. From the faintest blush of an early June rose to the deep vibrant hue on an Indian silk saari.

We've been fascinated with the color for centuries. Pink was a popular choice for women's silk stockings in the French court of Marie Antoinette.

It was all the rage in America on the ribbons and bows that adorned the gowns of the Romantic era of the 1830s. It brought delight to the women that sewed it into their quilts during the sombre days of the Depression.

Today it is a symbol of hope for our fight against breast cancer. It can be found everywhere from fabrics and dishes, to glorious sunsets, in every conceivable tone.

I have always had a passion for pink. I've gathered a few treasures to share with you!

Queen Anne Doll by Christine Crocker, 2005

Quilt by Emma Sider Gilmore b. 1900
Plate and shakers (Austrian vintage)
Miniature half doll pincushion (German vintage)
Blush pink antique silk brocade (French)