Category Archives: vintage linens

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 vintage linens

from Italia to Australia…

glory-box-calabriaAnother piece from my Italian great-grandmother’s glory box… {Bisnonna Francesca (Cesca in my books)}. This hand-embroidered pillow sham from 1920s Calabria travelled in the hull of a ship across the world to a new life in Australia and remained tucked away for many decades… a keepsake of another place and life that might have been.


Filed under italy, vintage linens

with needle and thread…

Another piece from the chest of drawers containing linens sewn by my grandmothers…  since it was last a picture of my Italian great-grandmother’s initialled linen pillow cover (or pillow sham) from 1920s Calabria, it seemed fitting this time to take out this doily with embroidery hand-stitched by my Australian grandmother, circa 1950s in Brisbane – mezza italiana/mezza australiana….
I currently have it on top of a duchess, as in furniture (now there’s a term that possibly makes me sound Iike I’m about a hundred years old!)


Filed under vintage linens

From the glory box of my bisnonna…

Francesca Carrozza initials

The initials of my great-grandmother, bisnonna Francesca Carrozza, hand-stitched onto this linen pillow cover in 1920s Calabria for her glory box that was to end up in 1930s Australia. I didn’t fully appreciate these linens when I was young but they have since become precious to me.


Filed under vintage linens