An essential element of Cottage Lifestyle is vintage linen, also called fancy work. A touch of lace or a cheeky ruffled doily under an art pottery vase turns a display into something charming and warm. Sheer lace on a tea table or bright-colored 1940’s linen in grandma’s kitchen speaks to many of us in the inmost reaches of our feminine soul.
I am known at the auction for my predilection for lace and hand-made linens. Just last week, I bought an entire laundry basket of crocheted lace and doilies–and am still washing and ironing each one before they take their place in our shop, Farm Grove Collectables. One becomes intimately acquainted with laundry when each piece is hand-washed, blocked, and pressed. The experience is its own reward as I have time to reflect on the character of each piece, and how each can be displayed or used to its best advantage.
A length of crocheted netting and floral medallions is a perfect valence. That long border of scallops would trim a country pillow nicely. I especially look for large crocheted rounds as they dress small tables in warmth. Most of our grandmothers accumulated substantial caches of such hand work, the result of hours of spare-time toil. We can appreciate these tokens even more for the loving time devoted to them.