Stitching, thread and pine needles…

Came across this lovely linen, hand towel, circa 1940s/1950s, hand-embroidered to be a keepsake from Norfolk Island. (The picture frame is circa 1920s that I already had and happened to be a lucky fit!)

As some may know from my books, collecting hand-sewn, vintage linens began for me with pieces I inherited from my Australian and Italian grandmothers. Continuing to collect such pieces crept up on me and took hold after I found myself sorting through a trestle table of vintage linens at a market stall in L’Aquila.

Good sellers of vintage linens will always have them in neat, clean condition, usually ironed and often starched too. I love to wonder about who may have taken the time and effort to have made that item many decades before. Perhaps this one was sewn by someone snug inside on a windy, wintry day on Norfolk Island!

{Linen is from Geordie Lane, Maleny.}


Filed under garden + vintage linens, inspiration + history

2 responses to “Stitching, thread and pine needles…

  1. Thank you for your posts about textile relics with Italian background. I enjoy them immensely. I am an interested textile artist & kept my mum’s embroidered pieces & hand made baby dresses etc.. We knew your dad, Remo from Uni days & Newman Society in Brisbane. Wonder if he remembers? We now live south of Hobart, moved here to Tasmania, for Peter’s work in the then Dept of Agriculture lab – Mt Pleasant, Launceston. Then he went south in 2000 to join the Quarantine Dept. Now retired. Enjoyed your books immensely. Keep up the writing.
    Laurell (Lauree Smetzer) & Peter Brown

    • Hello Lauree and Peter, thank you very much for your message, it’s lovely to hear that you enjoy the posts and also the books. (I’ve finished writing the third book now and am currently doing the edit.) Regarding the hand-sewn pieces, I must admit when I was younger I couldn’t have imagined how much I’d treasure and continue to collect these pieces now! I do understand how you must cherish such pieces too, especially being a textile artist. By the way, it must be quite wonderful to live in beautiful Tasmania these days. And yes, my Dad remembers you both well and passes on his best wishes!
      Kindest regards, Zoe x

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