Vintage I Love You Pillow

I have a real love for fabric, especially any old linens.
Before there was as much machine made laces and linens, many were done by hand.
Much of it was pure necessity, like some of the coarse linen things that are all the rage right now. 
I was fortunate to find some affordable French linen in Paris last May. 

personal collection

apartment therapy

Some were done to teach sewing to girls, especially in convent schools and finishing schools.
It was expected that a “proper” young lady could embroider beautifully.
Finishing school girls may have married into society or royalty and would embroider as a pursuit, rather than a necessity.
Convent trained girls would become ladies maids, or governesses, or housekeepers, or seamstresses.
Their embroidery skills might be put to use for another girl’s trousseau, christening gowns, or household mending.
Regardless of whose hands created these treasures, they remain lovely and special….symbols of another time and another lifestyle. Downton Abbey isn’t a craze JUST for the storyline……the lifestyle is alluring to us….
Today, more often than not, we want fresh, new, modern, perfect and
 most sadly…..disposable.

personal collection

Elaborate, hand embroidered trousseau items were much more common then.
These took years to make and were begun when a girl was born.
Mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters….all worked together to create a houseful of linens for the someday bride.

hip paris blog

I can’t imagine sleeping on some of these gorgeous lace edged and embroidered sheets…can you?

personal collection

Obviously, a houseful of servants was absolutely necessary to soak and iron and mend these items in order to keep them at their pristine best.
These days, we tend to cherish these items and not use them routinely.

I hate that.
Really, I do.

 I wish some of the beautiful linens I have could be seen more.
I often go through my stash and think about the hands that spend countless hours cutting and stitching these beautiful creations. I use bits and pieces for my vintage style clothing but the pieces that are intact are difficult for me to cut…..
Last week, I was looking at a pretty piece of handmade linen and suddenly visualized it on a pillow with some modern embroidery.
I drew “I love you” on the piece with a pencil and then embroidered it using an outline stitch.

Then, I attached it to a piece of rough linen which resembles feed sack material….

I think this helps these beautiful pieces to live on….
don’t you?

I have many more….this is next in line…


  1. I’d better drag some of mine out and make a pillow…I love yours.

  2. I love vintage linens too. They have so much character and I love all the love and care that went into embroidering them, especially the red and white ones.

  3. I love how that turned out. It is just beautiful. I have some very beautiful pieces of embroidery, too, and I have a hard time using them for fear they will be ruined. I use some of them as “sham” pillows topping the pillows that are used for everyday. I sometimes hang one of them over the back of a piece to display it. I, too, think of the long hours of stitchery that went into something and have a terrible time cutting into it-even if it is not in the best of shape- xo Diana

  4. I love that pretty !

  5. Oh my gosh I love this post. I do agree that it’s hard to cut up something so lovely…but if it sits in a drawer and is never used what good is it really? I love your pillow…what a good idea to hand embroider it. I believe we are kindred spirits who adore vintage fabric. :o)

  6. Pinned one. I have an old lacey pillow cover thing that would be great to do something like that I Love You on. I might cheat and paint it instead of sew though.


  7. Lorraine, this is absolutely beautiful and I agree. I wish life now was less disposable. Would love for you to share your lovely pillow at Silver Pennies Sundays – if you have a chance! x

  8. Pinning your love pillow. It is wonderful!

  9. Pinning! Beautiful vintage linens..and I LOVE your pillow! xo

  10. Thanks for linking up. Hope you are well and selling paint like crazy!! Happy weekend – Shannon

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