March 28, 2013

Adele's Hankies...

 My friend, Adele, brought her vintage hankies to Paneras on Tuesday night to 
show me. She is in her late 80s and has been doing needlework since she was 
a wee girl. These hankies are all over fifty years old and were created either by 
her mother or herself. Of course I grabbed my camera to share with you!

All of the centers for her hankies are linen. She said they cost 10¢ each in the day.
I'm especially fond of this first one with the southern belle in her beautiful dress.
 The edge on this one is still bright and vibrant after all these years!
 What respectable young woman didn't have a hankie with her monogram?
One of the girls teased Adele by saying that her initial is "A", too, so perhaps she
should have this one when Adele was finished with it. Yeah. Adele didn't think so.
 This is pretty clever. A row of linen stitched to the linen hankie, then a lace insert, 
with another crocheted finish along the outside edge. She had a couple like these.
 This was the hankie Adele carried the day she was married. Her mother
made it for her. The linen was pastel blue, and then rows and rows of trim.
 I think this is the sweetest one in the whole assortment. It is a linen hankie that
 was signed by all of Adele's school friends. After the signatures were written
 on the linen, Adele's mom backstitched each of the names in a different color.

As I held and examined each handkerchief, I found myself thinking about the hands
that worked each and every stitch. Hours spent laboring on something that has
been cherished and saved for a lifetime...and will be handed down to her daughter
to appreciate long after she's gone. I reflected on the importance of using quality
supplies when you're creating heirloom-quality pieces, and then my final thought...
"Who could possibly blow their nose in these?"
I'd rather think that they were used to wipe away a happy tear or blot a moist upper lip.
You know, something more ladylike.

I have my mother-in-law's and her mother's treasured hankies and I'll share them with
you another time. I keep them in an acid-free box when I'm not carrying one to keep
her memory close. They're reminders of a kinder, gentler time, and for me a reminder
of an elegant and loving woman. I feel good just having Evelyn's hankie in my pocket.
I'm teaching my quilt class today. I got all this month's blocks sewn; paper foundation
created; supplies pulled together and I'm ready for another great day with my students.

Tag always rides along and sleeps at my feet when I teach at the shop. He greets the 
customers, schmoozes for lunch (unsuccessfully, because it's not allowed), and 
he impresses everyone with his cute corgi-ness. I like taking him along, and everyone 
at the shop (including Marilyn, the owner) thinks of him as an honorary mascot.

I also finished editing the video, and burning all the DVDs so that Handsome can 
deliver them at his rehearsal tonight. I'm feeling pretty darn proud of myself today.

Have a great day and do something creative...even if it's only something small.
If you don't do it for yourself, do it for someone you love. They'll appreciate it, too!

7 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Danice said...

What beautiful hankies. They do seem to be a thing of the past, but are still elegant. These are especially pretty. Thank you for sharing with us all :)

Bobbypin Bandit said...

You are so lucky to have sat with Adele and closely examined these! They are gorgeous!

I still use hankies, mostly after a bike ride, which I guess isn't very ladylike, but I do like to embroider my own hankies just for my own delight.

Karen said...

These are just lovely! Thank you for sharing such delights with us.

Wendy said...

Such lovely hankies. These will be such great heirlooms for her family one day.

Createology said...

I really love the story behind these treasured hankies. I have some of my Grandma's Aunt Flossie's and I cherish them. I do carry one with me at all times...But only for sentiment...certainly not for using...other than dabbing an eye or upper lip. ;o)
You should feel very proud of all you are accomplishing this week. I am so sad I cannot be in your classes. Bless you my dear...

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

I love beautiful hankies and, I don't want to sound morbid, but I like to carry them to funerals and weddings to wipe away the tears. They look so much more elegant.
Looking forward to seeing yours.

Natalie Santini said...

I love these kerchiefs..the name one especially, wow. So so lovely.


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