Sunday, April 08, 2007

Tea Towels

I did very little of a productive nature yesterday unless you count napping and reading as being productive. *G*. I did, however, get the laundry done so I can actually wear clean clothes today.

But I digress. Because I want to talk about tea towels. When I was a youngster, those terry cloth kitchen towels were not in the stores. At least not in the stores in my town. Everyone used flour sack tea towels. And, unless you were way out of it, your tea towels were whiter than white and had little embroidered decorations on them.

These were in the laundry yesterday. I don't use them for drying dishes any more, but they made a nice place for the washed fleece to rest while drying (and disguised the baby gate 'drying rack' on the dining room table LOL) The one with the cherries on it was actually made from a bleached out flour sack. The others were probably purchased blanks from the dime store. The cherries used to be very, very bright but age has mellowed them. We go well together *G* Unless I'm missing a stash, these are all that I have left from the bazillion my mom made for me. My favorites were the fruit series (of which only the cherries remain) and this series that had laughing plates and dancing silverware. I remember making some myself but those also have been long worn out.

The women of my mom's generation, by and large, were stay-at-home moms. Even though my mom worked after my dad's death, she still had that image in her mind. And our house was filled with afghans and tea towels and pillow cases and all sorts of other embellished items. The kitchen certainly wasn't left out as a lot of time was spent there. And, if you have to dry dishes, you might as well do it with a dancing fork and a laughing plate.

I know as creative people we still add things to our homes that speak of our love of the place. And I think tea towels may be next judging by some things I have read on blogs lately. After all if granny squares and aprons are popular, can tea towels be far behind?

Oh, and you can go here and see a newer pic of me...and this one wasn't taken in a bathroom mirror!


Anonymous said...

Susan how awesome to get to see you. Oh I so love embroidered tea towels. I have a set that someone made but I want to make some also. I did an embroidered pillow in roses and stars and am working on the second one.

Sara said...

OMG, have you been to my house recently!!! In all the spring cleaning I ran into several items that I have been in the middle of embroidering...a set of pillowcases and tablecloth and napkins. No tea towels - but my friend, Mike, used to insist that those were the only towels that dryed worth a damn.

Cookie said...

How cool!

I remember those. Never could figure out how you use them and keep them so white. *L*

Devorah said...

I love the tea towels but am with Cookie on this one. How do you keep them white while maintaining the color of the embroidery?

Susan said...

And Cat, you ARE going to show me a pic of these pillowcases, right? Were they pre-stamped or did you iron on your own pattern? When you get ready to do the tea towels, look for the bigger sized ones if you can. The little ones, to me, are annoying LOL. And, if you find any transfers of dancing silver or laughing dishes let me know *G*

Sara, they do dry well. How exciting to find new/old projects. I have a couple of tablecloths my mom made for me and I wish I could figure out something else to do with them. I'm no longer a dining table person. Well I am, but it's more likely to be covered with projects and cats.

Cookie and Devorah..first of all, you were to only dry dishes and glasses and pots and pans. Mama swore by Tide, hot water, occasionally adding washing soda and always some bluing in the rinse water. Oh, and she hung them outside in the sun. I'm not sure if you are familiar with bluing, and I don't know how to put a link in the comments but the addy to the bluing place is

Sheri said...

I remember those dish towels. My Mom too, was a stay at home Mom and every day of the week had a chore she would do. She had towels that had that chore on it. Monday-wash, Tuesday-dust - My Grandmother used to hook rugs (we called her the Happy Hooker) and she has a huge rug that she did for the chores on each day of the week. It used to hang over her stairway.
Memory Lane, such a nice place.
Sheri in GA

Susan said...

Oh yes Sheri...every day had it's special reason but the only one I can remember is Monday, and the clothes were supposed to be on the line early. Otherwise, folks would be checking to see if you were ill...or slovenly LOL What a special rug that must be!