exploring, preserving: past, present


Saturday Upside – More Closet Cleaning Treasures

I’ve written before about how Saturday cleaning time has helped me rediscover hidden treasures.

Today, I will share three more pictures of the gorgeous embroidery that my grandmother (Dad’s mother) did. All of this is still on old flour bags cut into tea towels. And again, all patterns were pictures in Grandma’s head, spilled out onto cloth in beautiful stitchery. In a set of seven fruit-themed tea towels, I ended up with three:



All tea towels in the set had central multiple-fruit embroidery, surrounded by single fruits and a scalloped black edge on the bottom for framing.



My favourite of the three I have are the strawberries. The French knots are so incredibly tiny, and perfectly placed, to represent the seeds.



These tea towels, and the tea towels in my other post, were all done by my grandmother in the late 1970s. I am taking them all to a framing shop this week to preserve them!

Love finding forgotten treasures – the upside to Saturday cleaning!

Join Bonnie at Recipes Happen and others every Saturday as we find the upsides in everyday life.



#Saturday Upside – #Clean Your Closet for Hidden Treasure!

Cleaning closets and going through storage to organize the space and get rid of unused items isn’t my favourite thing, but occasionally I rediscover items that I had such good intentions of preserving and displaying. Today, I went through some plastic storage bins full of collections of quilts, stitched pot holders, tea towels, and crocheted afghans from both my grandmother and my husband’s grandmother. I rediscovered four tea towels which my grandma carefully stitched on old flour bags. She created a set of seven tea towels, carefully labeling them for each day of the week and stitching the names of the birds above the pictures.

The bluejay – carefully stitched on the Friday tea towel.

The stitchery alone is absolutely gorgeous. Each bird is approximately 3-4 inches tall.  The stitching on the “good side” is exquisite, but the stitching on the “hidden side” is just as careful–Grandma didn’t want the back side of the tea towels to be messy, she wanted them to look just as beautiful.

Monday’s tea towel is the flicker, with a farmer’s field and fence fading into the background.

What is even more amazing about this set of tea towels is that my grandmother created all the images from pictures in her mind’s eye. My mom has told me how she would look at pictures of birds, talk a bit to herself about how to stitch it, spend hours carefully picking thread colours. Then she’d stitch. Amazing.

The owl is carefully stitched on her perch for Saturday.

My grandmother (who passed away when I was in elementary school) wanted to stitch a set of tea towels for myself and for my twin sister. She stitched seven birds (one set), and seven fruit/flower towels (another set).  My sister and I were so fascinated as adults by the stitching that we decided we wanted parts of each set. I ended up with four birds and three of the fruits from the sets.

This is my favourite tea towel – Sunday’s goldfinch.

My sister has already preserved her tea towels by framing them carefully. That’s what I plan to do with these and the fruit tea towels I have. They are beautiful pieces of art (I’d never use them to dry dishes!), and perfect reminders of a woman I did not know well but has left a legacy of crafting that I can only hope to match.

So if you have any storage closets that you haven’t cleaned out in a while, maybe you will find buried treasure! Who needs to buy expensive artwork when you may discover something with more meaning, deep within your storage bin.

Join Bonnie at Recipes Happen and others as we all look at the positive side of situations in life.