Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Embroidered Dish Cloths

Do you have any of these in your kitchen?

As I was putting away some freshly laundered kitchen towels the other day I came across these dishcloths.  They reminded me of my Auntie Betty.  She was one of my mom's older sisters and she died about 7 or 8 years ago. She was quite the needleworker.

Auntie Betty Gave me these two sets of embroidered dishcloths when my husband and I got married 25 years ago.  For years I didn't use them; couldn't stand to use something that she had made for me - they had to be preserved! Eventually, I did start using them though as that's what they were meant for.

Now, I only have a few of them left -- I imagine that over the years some of them became quite worn or maybe they just disappeared, who knows.  At any rate, I still have a handful of them left.  (This next towel is not yellowed; chalk it up to poor photography!)

Wash Day, Iron Day, Cleaning Day, Baking Day - my Auntie Betty's life was structured exactly that way. And then on Sunday, you would rest!

As I mentioned earlier, Auntie Betty was quite a talented needleworker.  She crocheted beautiful doilies with thread (like the pineapple ones you used to see on top of dressers and tables).  She was left handed, so no one could ever learn from her because she did it "backwards".

Auntie Betty also did the most beautiful cutwork doilies and pillowcases that I have ever seen.  I think I have some of them and will have to share them in another post.  I wish I had learned how to do cutwork from her before she died.

She was a quilter too.  Her quilt tops were embroidered -- either stamped cross stitch or embroidered like these dishcloths.  When the quilt top was done, it was put on a quilt frame in the spare bedroom and she would quilt by hand.  After my uncle retired, he also would sit with her in that room and the two of them would quilt together.

Good memories.


Margaret said...

That's so neat about your Aunt Betty. (I had an Auntie Betty too!) Love the cloths you have from her. And that is so cool that your Aunt and Uncle would quilt together!! There's like no way my DH would pick up a needle. lol!

donnacrafts said...

Thanks for posting these dish cloths. They are very beautiful. Wish I would have known your Aunt Betty as I am an avid needle worker also. Enjoy!!

Karyn said...

Oh, I adore those towels, and I remember my own Ma having them too, stitched by my Grandma...great memories, though I just dated myself ;)

Vickie said...

Isn't that cool that they would quilt together?!?
I have one I embroidered for myself SO FAR. I do plan on making more. The only difference is, mine has a poodle on it. ;)

Mrs. DillyDally said...

Lovely memories!

msmartello said...

What wonderful keepsakes Cathy to remember your Auntie. I bet she could have taught me as I am left handed as well. It doesn't seem backwards to us. LOL! Am I going to see you at the VB retreat this year.


Laura said...

Wonderful memories!!! Beautiful embroidery! Such treasures!!!!

Kay said...

As much as I love counted cross stitch, it is a relaxing change to embroider dish towels - especially if you can do them as redwork. No changing thread colors! Love the retro designs, too.

Nicola said...

Oh that is so romantic the two of them quilting together. They must have loved each other dearly.

Penny said...

Love the dishcloths! Your Aunt Betty sounds like she was a very talented lady. It's nice that she and your uncle could share time together quilting too. :)

♥ Sari ♥ said...

Such lovely memories. :)

Denise said...

I too have a set of these lovely lady dish towels that my great aunt gave to me. But I still can't bring myself to use them. I take them out often and admire them and remember her.
Happy Stitching

Karoline said...

What beautiful dishcloths, what a lovely thing to have.

You've had some gorgeous finishes since I was last able to visit.

Teri said...

Very good memories indeed. What a treasure to have her needlework. The embroidered dishcloths are lovely. I look forward to seeing more of her work and legacy.

WendyJo said...

Oh...what a treasured gift from Aunt Betty! I am sure its hard to use them but as you use them...you can think of your sweet Aunt Betty!

Those are just so lovely.

Alisha said...

Those look wonderfully familiar. That pattern was the same one she taught me to embroider with. I think it was Saturday that she started me on. I don't think I ever finished it and then 15 years later I grabbed my needle and thread and went right back to embroidering dish towels.

I received Lizzie-embroidered dish towels for my wedding last June. Raggedy Ann and Andy. Pretty amazing since she had died 10 years earlier but apparently she'd made my set when I was in high school. They are still in the box they came to me in and I'm sure it will be a long time before I use them.

I wish she had taught me how to crochet those little tiny doilies and make the lace on pillow cases. I want to do that! At least I keep her knitting needles put to good work.