Book Review: The Kitchen Linens Book by EllynAnn Geisel

on March 30 | in Products | by | with 176 Comments

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks!

EllynAnne Geisel follows her well-loved The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort with her recent The Kitchen Linens Book: Using, Sharing, and Cherishing the Fabrics of Our Daily Lives. Kelly from Modern June was one of our very first pattern reviewers and today she’s back with a review of The Kitchen Linens Book. Kelly was inspired by the book to create a tutorial for an oilcloth picnic mat on her Oilcloth Addict site, so be sure to check it out.

We hope you’ll enjoy Kelly’s review below, then comment on today’s post for a chance to win your own copy of The Kitchen Linens Book! Tell us about your favorite vintage linens or your most special kitchen memories… We’ll announce the winner before our Spring Sewing kick-off on April 1. EllynAnne also has a big giveaway on her site (you’ll find details and the link at the bottom of today’s review).

From Kelly: This is a book after my own heart. What could be better than great vintage table linens? For me, the answer is not much!

When I was given the opportunity to review this wonderful book by EllynAnne Geisel I was honored. I was honored because I too have adorned my home in vintage linens. I’ve placed embroidered tea towels in my kitchen windows, and a small vintage tablecloth covering the backdoor window, both serving as curtains. I also have drawer full of beloved tablecloths and napkins.

When I began reading this book I could see that EllynAnne knows the true value of the table linens she has spent years collecting– she sees each piece as a memory. And in this we are kindred spirits. Like her, each piece I found, or inherited, is a story. For example, every time I use my first vintage linen purchase, I am flooded with memories of being a newlywed, cruising the flea markets with my new hubby and dreaming of all the great meals we would eat at that tablecloth.

The Kitchen Linens Book covers them all, from humble workhorses like pot-holders, trivets, and towels, to casual dining linens for picnics and tailgate parties, to more elegant linens for gatherings like garden parties. Trust me, after reading this book you will be making that PB&J your kids eat an occasion to remember. You’ll start to use the treasures that have you have tucked away, because within them are new memories just waiting to be made.

EllynAnne even gives nod to my fabric of choice, oilcloth! No backyard BBQ should be without an oilcloth tablecloth. And she gives instructions for combining a beach towel and oilcloth into a handy beach rug– I’ll be making four of these for the summer! (I have a tutorial for an extra large picnic mat on my Oilcloth Addict blog.)

This book is loaded helpful tips, recipes, projects, and the history of linens. Did you know that bright kitchen linens began in the Depression? You can see that trend happening again as our economy has brought us back to the home once more. Women, then and now, need a bit of loveliness to perk up our daily chores.

In the back of the book you’ll find a real treat, a reproduction transfer of a vintage Butterick pattern. EllynAnne gives you detailed directions for adding these cute teapot charactors to napkins, tea towels and tablecloths for your own use.

EllynAnne scatters “From the Linen Closet” stories throughout the book, detailing the stories she has collected from others and their lives with linens. My favorite is the story of a woman that has always given tablecloths as gifts for every occasion. Many years later the same woman’s daughter surprised her with a grand birthday party, each table set with the tablecloths she had given as gifts to all of her friends and family from over the years; each guest brought back their favorite tablecloth to share in this special event. What memories that must have conjured. I believe I’ll adopt that tradition, but my tablecloths presents, be them new or vintage, will have a copy of this book tucked in side along with a note insisting that nothing is too good to use.

Tonight, join me in setting the dinner table with your best linens and make a memory. Hey, even take-out looks great on vintage linens and nice plates! Bon Appetit!

You can find more details about The Kitchen Linens Book and enter to win EllynAnne Geisel’s big giveaway on the Apron Memories site… Six winners will win this wonderful selection of prizes!
Pin It

Related Posts

176 Responses to Book Review: The Kitchen Linens Book by EllynAnn Geisel

  1. kelli says:

    great picture on the cover 🙂

  2. Dana Toy says:

    My favorite kitchen linens are the aprons my mother-in-law made when she was a young woman and oil cloth from when I was a young child. They evoke memories of making pies and cookies with my grandma. I would love to try to make the oil cloth picnic mat and aprons for my granddaughter Olivia. I would be ecstatic to win the selection of goodies above!!

  3. Katie says:

    My favorite kitchen memories are from college – I lived in a woman’s cooperative at The University of Texas it’s in that kitchen that I learned to cook foods well beyond the mid-Western, German rooted foods my mom cooked. They were great, don’t get me wrong, but they were only one way to cook. I learned to cook vegetarian, Mexican, Middle Easter – for a Muslim not eating pork. Learned to cook three meals a day for 16 girls on $2.13/day/girl. It was hard, but it was amazing – and in large part where I learned the most valuable life lessons. I still miss those girls, and that kitchen. Although it got really hot in a Texas summer .. w/ no A/C.

  4. Stacey says:

    neat book!

  5. Jessica F says:

    This looks like so much fun! My favorite kitchen memory is when my Mom and I would make snicker doodle cookies together!

  6. Judy Heinen says:

    I totally love embroidered things! My Mom passed away this past year and when going through her things I found many things she and my grandmother had made. They are all so beautiful. Sadly, they laid in a drawer for many years and never used. I’ve washed and startched them and now, use them all the time. What a joy!

  7. read2sew says:

    It looks as if it will be as wonderful as the author’s apron book. Can’t wait to read it.

  8. Kelly Jo says:

    Ooh, I would love this book! I’ve been wanting to try working with oilcloth for some kitchen items, and I just bought some vintage linen to make napkins! Now I just need some inspiration!

  9. Pam says:

    I love vintage linens and some of my best finds have been at estate sales. A lot of time they are pristine condition because they were being “saved” for a special occasion. I now use what I have and enjoy them on a daily basis.

  10. Christine B says:

    This book looks so wonderful. I have been able to save some of my grandmothers and great grandmothers linens and I treasure them and use them. They each tell a story. During the depression, my g-gmo would sit at night after all chores were done, and make beautiful table linens out of old flour sacks and embroidery floss. When I am at a tag sale, I always look for old linens because they are the best, most abosrbant towels in the kitchen. Thanks for having this blog – it is amazing with all the info and helpful folks that are on here.

  11. kathy h. says:

    Even though I own a bjillion embroidered tablecloths and towels, I still look for more.
    I also use my stash of kitchen towels to wrap food when I give it.
    Sounds like a great book.

  12. TammyR says:

    I love vintage linens. This book looks great!

  13. Terriaw says:

    This book looks fun!

    My fondest kitchen memory is my family’s annual Cookie Day, where all the cousins and aunts and uncles get together the Saturday after Thanksgiving for a Christmas cookie baking marathon. We have one recipe book full of the good ones from over 30 years. One year the city newspaper featured us in their family section. We made 26 kinds of cookies that year! Always a fun family holiday to look forward to.

  14. Stacy says:

    My favorite vintage kitchen linens are a set of dish towels that I call “bread towels” because they are the thin towels that I always remember my mother using to cover her loaves of bread while they were rising. I use them myself for the same reason.

  15. Jana says:

    I love vintage kitchen linens! Well…proudly admitting being the obssessed linen addict that I am, I actually love any kind of vintage textiles. But kitchen linens are special! They just don’t make them like they used to! I have a few drawers in my china cabinet filled with wonderful treasures for gifts and for myself! They make me smile everytime I pull them out to use. I would love to have this book to curl up with under my old quilt!

  16. Jan says:

    What a cute book! I bet it is full of great projects.

  17. Heather says:

    Vintage kitchen linens are a huge weakness of mine, and I’ve just started sewing vintage-style aprons for friends’ birthdays this year. I think the addiction is partially due to my grandmother, who saved so many she’d done, and passed them along to me. My favorite is a pair of potholders Grandma made with my dad and uncle (who died as a teen) when they were small–she traced their hands and embroidered the outlines and their names on them. So sweet.

  18. Liz says:

    I have so many great kitchen memories I don’t know if I can choose just one…but going to my grandma’s house and simply stepping foot into her kitchen is definitely one of my favorites. She always has things bubbling away in pots, is constantly stirring sauces or stews, and always has fresh home made rolls baking in the oven and a pie resting on the kitchen counter. It has been that way ever since I remember and has never changed. It is something I cherish very much (and the food is always fantastic!).

  19. Tammy :) says:

    I had never even heard of oilcloth before, but I am really inspired to find out about it now! And that book likes like just what i need to do that! 😉

  20. Meridith says:

    Lovely! Maybe I should clean off the “sewing table” and dress it with my grandmother’s tablecloth.

  21. Amy Sp says:

    I do not embroider, but I am making towels to hang on the oven door handle. Those really remind me of home!

  22. Shelley C says:

    I have a few embroidered things from my grandmother and don’t know how to best appreciate them. THis book would help give me ideas and put wings on some lonely linens! THanks.

  23. Samantha says:

    Sorry! I forgot to also say, my favorite linens are a precious little “bridge set” from my husband’s grandmother. They are fine linen with hemstitching. So pretty!

  24. Samantha says:

    I love love love linens! I have a stack waiting to be washed and pressed so we can start using them. Looks like I need this book!

  25. J.J. says:

    I LOVE that someone took the time to recognize the special nostalgia and sentimentality associated with the linens used in the kitchen. As a small child, I can remember sifting through DRAWERS of my mother’s and grandmothers’ linens – embroidered tea napkins (we always had afternoon tea – with special pots and cups & saucers, and of course the hand-made linens that made it extra special.) I have “repurposed” many of these things I remember from my childhood that have garnered stains or holes or what-have-you and I’m SO glad EllynAnn has put out this book!!!

  26. Kara says:

    My favorite kitchen memories has got to be making sugar cookies with my mom and siblings for just about every holiday growing up. It was a fun tradition.

  27. Jess says:

    My mom had a beautiful piece of embroidery on our kitchen wall growing up. Amidst the beautiful french knots and vines were the words, “When two people agree on everything, one is unnecessary.” Tee Hee.

  28. kristine hanson says:

    I have some vintage fabric that had been a dear neighbors of mine, when she had to move out of her home they had an estate sale and I snapped up some of it and her rolling pin…it is one of my prized possesions.

  29. Steph W says:

    Such a nice alternative to the paper-towel, throw-away lifestyle.

  30. Heide says:

    What a great idea for a book! I was raised by my dad, so I don’t have any family heirloom linens or anything… I am amassing a collection of aprons now myself, though, that I hope will mean something to my daughters one day. And maybe I should start making some kitchen towels to go with them…. Hmmmm…

  31. Nancy Mc says:

    My great-grandmother lived with my family til she was 100 yrs old. She lived from covered wagons to men on the moon,. She was always doing hand work-embroidery, corchet, tatting. My sisters and I all have some of her work as our personal treasures. I always loved the dish towels she embroidered. so cute and so charming. This book loooks like so much fun and brings back some wonderful memories.

  32. Deanne says:

    I was fortunate enough to grow up with three great-grandmothers…not bad for being only 30 myself. The oldest of my great-grandmothers was born in 1896. Granny would tell us stories about the turn of the century, or at least what she could remember of it. When she passed, things were divided out and I managed to get some of her linens. A couple doilies, some handkerchiefs, and my favorite, a towel that has a small basket of flowers embroidered on it. It fits perfectly into my bread basket and reminds me to tell my little girls about their great-great granny.

  33. Megan says:

    I can’t wait to read this book. I have some great vintage tablecloths that I use for special occassions.

  34. amy says:

    I love vintage linens! Unfortunatley my sister got most of our great-grandmothers linens….Wonderful book review!

  35. Carrie P. says:

    What a fun looking book. It would be fun to win it. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak to our quilt guild meeting last year. She was delightful.

  36. LoisTr0607 says:

    I love vintage table cloths and towels. I have quite a few in my collection including a green and white large gingham check that I use on my sewing table. It is from the 40’s and was used by my grandmother and a few aunts before me. The book looks lovely

  37. Wendy says:

    I’ve collected vintage embroidery patterns for a long time . . . I would love to win this book!

  38. Kristen says:

    Embroidery is one of my new passions, it would be a great thing to have a book that highlights some. Thanks

  39. MaryP says:

    For my wedding my husband’s aunt gave us loads of beautiful vintage linens. We have used them at various parties to dress up our not-so-grown-up furniture. It provides so much character to any party!

  40. Sonja says:

    I have always been interested in those cute patterns.

  41. Sally Schaffhausen says:


  42. Jo Anna Mollman says:

    I love having grown up *in the kitchen* with my mom and grandma. I would never trade it. I don’t have a lot of kitchen linens but I do love them. I have some doilies and dresser scarves that have been handed down. I am always looking for kitchen linens and aprons and thrift stores.

  43. Lindsey says:

    I have always loved kitchen linens and aprons, even way before they became the “in” thing to collect! 🙂 I remember my mom always had a nice selection of vintage linens in our kitchen growing up, I think that is where I got my love of all things practical and beautiful.

  44. Trina says:

    This looks like such fun- what a great way to use some of the vintage linens left to me by my grandmother, that are currently just sitting in my china closet!

  45. Donna says:

    What a wonderful book 🙂 That would make anyone want to collect linens. My favorite kitchen linen is an apron that my mama used every holiday for the family gatherings. It is made from a very pretty calico with pockets of course. And yes, my mama made it. It is the perfect thing to take me back in memories each holiday when I put it on………………such a treasure to have.

  46. Tonya says:

    Reading this review brought tears to my eyes. It brought back wonderful memories of my grandmothers’ kitchens and countless meals: some on oilcloth, some on embroidered cloths, some printed with 1950’s and 60’s motifs, and of course, the red and white checked cloth. I can see the summer wind blowing the parade of curtains over the years at the window in the kitchen. I can see the clothes line outside the window with her linens drying in the sun. Thank you for bringing these memories back.

  47. Angie says:

    I love vintage linens. The stuff made today is so boring and blah. I think that’s why I go gaga anytime I see vintage (handmade) linens at thrift stores, garage sales, etc. There beautiful and each piece has an untold story to them. I found a box full of vintage linens at a garage sale for $3 last Summer. Beautiful hand embroidered and hand crocheted doilies filled the box. Needless to say I quickly grabbed it up and there now throughout my house.

  48. Kaye says:

    I loved the Apron Book. I still get it out just to flip through it and look at the pictures and read others memories. I know this one will be wonderful as well. My favorite kitchen memories are from my grandma’s kitchen on their farm. Big family get togethers with lots of dishes to wash and dry always using embroidered tea towels. In the summers we would get to go and stay for a few weeks. Tea towels were used to cover rising bread, fresh baked pies and even to strain the milk fresh from the cow. I am one of those who hate to use my “good” things for everyday use, but I think I am now inspired to get them out and start making memories for my son.

  49. Ramona says:

    This book looks so interesting. I have many favorite memories in the kitchen, from helping my mom and grandma bake and then having my own kids bake with me. So of my favorite memories of my late husband are of him in the kitchen giving samples of blue cheese and other goodies to the 4 kids all lined up waiting for a treat. I also have some vintage linens but am always on the lookout for more.

  50. Ms. Cleaver says:

    I loved her apron book and I’m sure the linen one is just as fabulous. I love finding older items that I can use with love.

  51. Michelle says:

    Oh my! This is a book after my own heart! I love stitching, and I love collecting vintage kitchen linens. Will have to keep a lookout for this book.

  52. Anne says:

    Oh I have been wanting this book – love vintage linens and wish I had some to call my own!!

  53. Tammy says:

    The kitchen has always been the ‘gathering’ place in my family. I will certainly pick up a copy of this book.
    Thank you for reviewing the book!

  54. rebecca says:

    i love kitchen linens. i a my grandmothers’ kitchen towels framed on my kitchen wall.

  55. Silvia says:

    I love vintage linens! My favourite memories are from last Christmas at my grandmother’s home. The linen we used had been embroidered by my mother and one of my aunts when they were just girls, about 40 years ago!! and after so long time, it was the first time I saw it!

  56. Laurel says:

    My favorite kitchen memories are of making blueberry muffins on Sunday mornings with my grandma. My love of baking came from those mornings, and I hope to pass my grandma’s love of baking on to my children and grandchildren. A few of my grandma’s vintage orange aprons are at my mom’s house, and I love wearing them when I’m over there baking.

  57. erin says:

    I would love this book!

  58. Pam says:

    I have actually embroidered the cover image onto a tea towel, along with her friend, the dancing teaspoon. My mother taught me to embroider when I was in high school. I wish I had more time for it!

  59. Devon K says:

    This book would be wonderful to own. My favorite kitchen memory is a tie; watching my mom baked chocolate chip cookes and getting to eat the cookie dough before the eggs were put in, and now that is my favorite thing to let my 2 year old do, is help me make chocolate chip cookies and share in the fun of eating the dough before eggs.

  60. Tina Mackey says:

    I would love to get into embroidery. I’ve always loved embroidered linens and even got some for my wedding…so special!

  61. Meg says:

    My mother had some napkins that were darling blue and white gingham with white and yellow flowers embroidered in the corners. I loved that she would let us use them for our tea parties or clothes pin them around my younger sibling’s neck as a bib. It seemed so beautiful to me.

  62. craftytammie says:

    Kitchen memories – I have a ton of them. I taught myself to cook when my boyfriend and I bought our first house. There are funny memories, like when I added cinnamon instead of chili powder to both my chili and salsa – I was multitasking, and grabbed the wrong spice jar – and happy memories, like when I made our wedding cake, or frosting cookies with our kids. Last Christmas I was thrilled to get two sets of embroidered kitchen towels from my mom. Her sister made them years ago, and now they have their own drawer in our kitchen!

  63. Katie says:

    This looks like a fabulously fun giveaway! I have some embroidered tea towels that my grandmother gave me for my wedding…her mother had made them for her, for her wedding…such a special gift. Embroidered linens have such a beautiful history.

  64. Kate M. says:

    I have too many favorite kitchen memories to pick– from chocolate chip pancakes on “sick” days from school, to making Christmas cookies with my grandmother (who required that scant teaspoon-fuls of dough be roled into perfect balls), to the first meals I cooked with my fiance when we started dating…

    I have a few kitchen linens from my grandmothers, and even my great-grandmothers. It’s no coincidence that one of my first projects after getting my sewing machine was an apron with matching potholder and tea towels!

  65. Sara says:

    My love for vintage table and house linens comes from a combination of my mother’s love of tablecloths, napkins and place mats (they were used at every family gathering) and my father’s love for thrift stores, never throwing anything away and reusing the old in new ways. Thanks for the great review!

  66. I love vintage linens. This book looks like an awesome read. I have many vintage pillow cases my great grandmother made. Each is unique and special in there own way. They are still beautiful and new looking even after being passed down from daughter to daughter!

  67. Carmen says:

    I have been collecting vintage linens for a few years now, and have finally talked myself into actually using them in my everyday life. I don’t know why I thought I should “save” them in a drawer! This book sound lovely.

  68. glenna says:

    I don’t have any vintage linens, but I love, love, love using cloth napkins at every meal. I cut up an old cream colored sheet and made a large stack of cloth napkins for our every day use. I look forward to getting some new fabric soon to make some for gifts.

  69. Michele says:

    I wish that I had vintage linens to admire. I do own some old quilts that my grandmother had made and we cerish them. My most favorite kitchen memories include that same Grandmother who loved to cook and would always let me help. She could make anything from scratch and often didn’t follow a recipe (she had it all memorized). She loved her aprons and was always wearing one. It really broke everyone’s heart to watch her suffer from Alzitimers later on in life. She was truly a remarkable woman who loved to cook, bake and sew!

  70. Liz says:

    the last Thanksgiving my grandmother was alive, my family went down to spend the holidays with her and my grandpa in Florida. my mom and i spent hours excavating the condo from all the stuff that had accumulated over the years, among it stacks of hand-embroidered linens. my aunt has first pick of all the linens, many of which were embroidered beautifully by my great-grandmother, but i hope some trickle down to me!

  71. Karin says:

    I would love a copy of this book . Some of my linens are in the book and it would be a treat to have a copy. 🙂 I collect all sorts of linens, but the pieces that are a bit tattered and worn have to be my favorites. You just know that someone loved them to bits.

  72. Libby says:

    A kitchen linen story would be my first embroidered project, a pair of tea towels when I was eight. I have no idea what happened to those tea towels or why I did not request more embroidery projects when I enjoyed it so much. Since that was 36 years ago it should signify as “vintage”.

  73. Rebecca says:

    I have some great vintage linens from my great grandmother, for both the kitchen and the bedroom. I love them! Thanks for reminding me of that. One is a unique set of dishcloths with birds appliqued on using only bias tape…

  74. Elizabeth says:

    I love my mom’s vintage table llinens that she has from her mother and grandmother. I also started embroidering tea towels for the vintage look.

  75. Anne says:

    Wow this book sounds so great, I would love to give my kitchen a vintage touch!!

  76. debby wolff says:

    i forgot to add that at the international quilt show last year in long beach i found some embroidery patterns of SNAILS doing household chores! amazing
    debby w.

  77. debby wolff says:

    i love linens just like everybody else, and make my own from vintage or aunt martha’s patterns, which you can still buy! anyway, would love to win the book, this is right up my alley.
    thanks for the review,
    debby w.

  78. Kelly says:

    The book sounds so wonderful. I have been lucky; my mother is a wonderful embroiderer and for each kitchen I have lived in, she has embroidered lovely curtains, dish towels, and other special treats from vintage patterns. (My grandma helps her do the french knots!) Each time I move, she helps me figure out how to re-use my special linens. I love making meals, doing dishes, and surrounding myself with these treasures.

  79. carolyn Weil says:

    what a fun Book!

  80. Erin says:

    This book sounds wonderful. I love vintage linens and have a collection of both inherited and purchased linens. They are so bright and cheerful, and who doesn’t need a little of that these days?

  81. all8 says:

    I love embroidered kitchen things. One of my grandmothers was into chickens, so everything was embroidered with poultry. My other grandmother liked animated pots & pans or fruit and veg.. I always lovingly finger the kitchen fabrics at the antique shops but haven’t succumbed to a purchase, yet. Both of my grandmothers have died but my mom was sweet enough to send me a box with their embroidery (and Artex) patterns. My favorite are the days of the week and I’ve done a set of Raggedy Ann dishtowels but haven’t had the moxie to put them into regular use.

    I would love to add this book to my well loved collection.

  82. Jenn says:

    This looks like a fabulous book! It reminds me of my grandmother’s house. I am very, very new to the embroidery world and hope to learn more.

  83. Sara Hemmeke says:

    How fun! I have a set of vintage dutch girl iron on transfers to make my own set of vintage looking linens. I love the kitschy designs – I think our moms and grandmothers had a great sense of humor!

  84. Molly B. says:

    My favorite kitchen memory is when my Mom would set up my easy bake oven on the floor near our stove and let me bake some cakes. I’ll never forget the warm, cozy feeling of sitting by my oven waiting for my cakes to bake. Those were the best times ever and I still love to bake to this day. We had an olive green kitchen (of course!) and I love to find vintage material that reminds me of our old house.

  85. Leah says:

    How inspiring! What a great way to enjoy and value the everyday. It would certainly help put a little more pride and care into the kitchen, don’t you think?

  86. mamafitz says:

    ooh, i will have to look at this book. i have been wanting to embroider a set of linens for my mother, with the days of the week on them, in spanish. her mother-in-law gave her a set probably 20 or so years ago, and they are so threadbare now. i have all the materials, just need to get going on them!

  87. Elizabeth says:

    All these designs remind me of my great-grandma and her red formica table that was her workspace in her 1910 kitchen. She would always have impeccably white, embroidered tea towels draped over the table for drying dishes as she always had a big smock over her house dresses. I loved being in that kitchen as a kid.

  88. Francis Moore says:

    My kitchen memory is the time spent making a cake each week for the weekend. This was before the convenience of cakemixes or the nearby bakeries. Francis Moore

  89. Dawn says:

    Awesome giveaway!! I have several of my mom’s vintage fabrics along with table cloths and pillow cases. I cherish all of them!!

  90. Laura says:

    I’m not sure if this counts as kitchen linens but my mother had (maybe still has) a cloth that she used to knead her bread dough on. She never washed it and over the years, it developed this incredible feel from all the little bits of dough that had been left behind. I’ve been wanting such a cloth for a long time now!

  91. Kelly says:

    I think that heaven must smell like line dryed sheets with hand embroidery on them. I can remember staying the night at my grandmothers and going to sleep on embroidered pillow cases that had been line dryed and then ironed. My girls cherish the doll clothes with embroidery on them that my aunts made. I think I need to get busy with some embroidered pillow cases for my own nieces. Pass along the family tradtion

  92. Kathy says:

    This is a book that I truly would love to have. Vintage linens are a deep love of mine – ask one of my sisterchick buddies! Three years ago my aunt died and at that time I inherited a number of beautiful embroidered tablecloths. After taking them to my mother’s home I found out she had made them all!!! These were embroidered at the time she was pregnant with my brother who died at a very young age so you know that these are so super special to me in many ways because of who they belonged to, who made them and the time of life when they were made.

  93. Hope says:

    I have always loved vintage table linens. I was always impresses that my grandmother changed tablecloths and dishtowels regularly in her own kitchen. All were beautifully colored or embroidered. After she passed away last year, I was lucky enough to receive her linen collection of tablecloths, towels, aprons, etc, and each time I use a new one, I think of her 🙂

  94. Erin says:

    I have a set of days of the week tea towels embroidered by my late grandmother that were given to me as a wedding present. They have spoons and irons and other household chore items designed in a cute way. I would love to display them in a frame in my dining room, instead of having them in my drawers. I think all of my family members have different embroidered tea towels from my grandma, she was quite the crafty lady.
    The book looks lovely, what a fun prize!

  95. Sherpa says:

    My linen memories are from my childhood. I grew up in very rural Utah, and hand-work linens were always around. My earliest memory is a handkerchief with beautiful blue flowers on it my grandmother always carried around. When I was very little(and had trouble sitting through church), she’d do origami with it, and make a “birds nest” and we’d count the birds, and she’d show me how to make the bird’s nest. Needless to say, it kept me quiet for a few minutes at least.

  96. Jen V says:

    My aunt recently made a quilt of the embroidered napkins that my grandmother made over the years. Grandma would surely approve.

    I recently had a kitchen memory moment with my own son who is almost 2. I was cooking Sunday breakfast in my new apron – a birthday gift from a dear friend – when he came in and requested an apron as well. I pulled out a half apron, my own creation, and tied it around his chest. He usually “helps” in the kitchen but he seemed to be more committed to his stirring with that apron on!

  97. Mrs. Pear says:

    I am a die hard for beautiful kitchen linens! I would love to win a copy of this book!

  98. rosie says:

    Oh how I would love this book! I’m so into my (and everyone elses) kitchen that I can’t wait to get started on a few kitchen projects!

  99. Emily says:

    Interesting book! I LOVE linens. I’ve inherited a good quantity of them from my great grandmother and my grandmother, but I can never have enough!

  100. Bette M. says:

    Truth be told, my family never used linens of any sort, when I was a child. We were too poor to be able to afford such “luxuries”. I could not wait to be and “adult”, to have my own place, and to purchase table linens. When I lived by myself, I always had a pretty table cloth on my table. Once kids came along, that changed. At that time, the only time you saw any linens were for a holiday dinner or when we went on a picnic. Now, I’ve got a house full of boys (I am the only female in the house), and on occasion, I just Have to have a pretty table. The kids of course, protest, that it’s not a holiday, but we make it our own holiday.

    Recently, I’ve took some weaving classes, with the hopes of someday, weaving my own fine linens.

  101. Oh, this sounds like a lovely book!

    My favorite vintage linens are those embroidered by my grandmother and my husband’s great-grandmother.

  102. Jannimary says:

    What a gorgeous looking book. I’ve always loved vintage linens and pick them up whenever I can. Mum had one embroidered tea towel which was always my favourite to use. She also embroidered table cloths including a lovely blue and white check chicken scratch one which I now have and use.

  103. Raellyn says:

    What a wonderful book! My grandmother and two of her cousins all gifted me with their vintage linens before they passed away. I love thinking of all the family history that those beautiful things witnessed: the good, the bad, and the in-between times too. Each piece has a special place in my heart.

  104. Cindy says:

    I have day of the week kitchen towels with southern belles on them. My Grandmother gave them to me years ago and I had tucked them away, not wanting to get them dirty and ruin them. At some point, I realized I’d get more enjoyment out of the towels actually using them. So, now they’re in the kitchen looking a little worse for wear but lifting my heart each time they’re used.:)

  105. Brooke says:

    As I’ve gotten turned onto all thing crafting, I’ve cruised through crochet, knitting and am currently am obsessed with sewing. I feel that embroidery must be next as I have been thinking about it more and more recently. This book looks like so much fun!

  106. Keri says:

    OMG I’m totally NEED this book! I love kitchen linens. Especially embroidered ones, but anything vintage-y makes me happy. The best thing was when my mom sent a whole trash bag FULL of linens that were my grandmother’s. I didn’t keep everything (some of it was scary) but what I DID keep will be loved forever and ever. The rest went to Goodwill for some other vintage-linen-lover to find. I’m so excited about this book!!!

  107. Andrea says:

    I only have a small collection of kitchen linens (@ vintage table cloths and napkin sets) and to be honest have never really thought all that much about them. But reading this review has shed new light on them for me because now I can see the memories that are held within them and this has changed my thinking. One is antique and was a bridal shower gift from a treasured friend, the other gifted from my mothers glory box and used on the register signing table during my wedding ceremony. The review alone makes me want to collect more..goodness knows what would happen if I bought the book. I may need to get that book…

  108. Katie says:

    I got a small collection of vintage linens, mostly tablecloths, from my grandmother after she died and a few years later started to realize how much I value them. I’m now on the search to get more of them from relatives. I love to repurpose them into new pieces (placemats, small bags, etc.) when I find one with a stain or large hole. And of course they make setting a table really fun.

  109. rebe says:

    One of my favorite wedding gifts was a set of vintage linens with penguins embroidered on them. I find that flour sack linens make great gifts. People enjoy the effort put into them and they functionality is great. There are so many great embroidery patterns now that you can personalize them to anyone.

  110. Kat says:

    I just started embroidering, and I am hooked. I can’t wait for my library to aquire this book!

  111. Flibby says:

    I LOVE The Apron Book, and it seems that this one needs to be the next on my list! After I was born, my great-grandmother embroidered gorgeous floral patterns onto a tablecloth for me, and put it in a hope chest for me to use later. It’s so beautiful and I will always treasure it! She made tablecloths for all of my younger sisters that followed. ^_^

  112. Tamara (AK) says:

    Sounds like a great book! I like the fact that vintage linens seem to absorb water so much better. They just don’t make things like they used to…unless, of course, you diy. 😉

  113. Rochelle says:

    My grandmother sparked my interest in vintage linens by embroidering “flour sack” dish towels with vintage transfers for me every Christmas since I was in college, one for each day of the week. I have used each towel until it developed holes. I saved the embroidered portions of many towel for a special cumulative project “some day.” I’m using the last few towels of my last set now. The cover of this book looks similar to one of my towels!

  114. midge says:

    Vintage linens………….They are beautiful and bring back so many pleasant memories. i would love to get this book

  115. MaryAnn says:

    I have some beautiful vintage linens from my great aunt who was born in 1900. She had a lovely collection that I was very fortunate to inherit. I really should set them out more often! Thanks for remimding me.

  116. naomig says:

    Oh, what a neat book! I’ve recently become obsessed with using only cloth in my kitchen, cloth napkins, no paper towels, etc… I only have one vintage tablecloth from an aunt that I love, but I’m working on building a collection of homemade napkins, and tablecloths as I find fabric that suits my fancy.

  117. Christa says:

    The book looks great, it makes me want to start sorting through all those linens at the second hand store and start finding some treasures. As an embroiderer myself, I treasure the work that goes into these linens.

  118. Lynn says:

    I do not own this book, yet. I saw it at Barnes & Noble the other day and knew I was going to have it some way, some how. I do vintage embroidery on all sorts of things, especially items for children. I do t-shirts, rompers, onesies, quilts, and whatever I can find to do the embroidery on. I am making my kitchen curtains right now with the vintage rock and roll vegetables embroidered on them. I am so drawn to this type of embroidery. My grandmother’s first husband died in the influenza epidemic way back in 1918 and was left with 2 babies to feed. She made and embroidered baby clothes and linens for wealthy families. All of her linens in her home were hand embroidered by her and I cherish the few I have. I have accumulated quite a lot of vintage linens over the years. I have made children’s clothing with some of the linens.

  119. helena says:

    What a sweet book, I’ll have to get it. Reminds me of visit with grandma she always had nice linens. I even stuck one in a turkey for thangsgiving when I was three. We found the missing tea towel after the bird was unstuffed. They still laugh every year when I help. 🙂

  120. Jenn says:

    I have a box full of my Great Grandmother’s table linens, doilies, ladies handkerchiefs and arm chair covers. I love taking them out and displaying them and playing with them with my 2 year old. I think this book will be making its way to my bookshelf soon.. even if I don’t win it here.

  121. Tricia says:

    I have a vintage German lace tablecloth that’s just itching to be used for… something! Anything! But it’s white. And, you know, vintage. So I have this terrible fear of ruining it or wasting it somehow. So, it just sits. Sad.

  122. Diane says:

    Ooooh! I hope I win…I love vintage linens….tablecloths, napkins, and especially tea towels

  123. Jessica T says:

    My favourite kitchen memory is the night before my wedding my aunts and cousins and grandma and I prepared the food for the wedding in my grandma’s kitchen. It was a lot of work but so much fun, and a great way to keep the prewedding jitters at bay. 🙂

  124. Allie says:

    What a lovely, lovely looking book. I’m always at thrift stores and garage sales, rescuing vintage linens – I can’t bear to leave them behind. So many patterns I remember from my childhood, I’m loving that new generations are appreciating them!

  125. Jennifer says:

    I just bought some of these really cute patterns a couple weeks ago, and have been working on some tea towels 🙂 I’d love to win this! 🙂

  126. Dawn says:

    I adore kitchen linens! I was married in the 70’s and received two sets for shower gifts! One is the sunbonnet sue days of the week variety and the other set is also days of the week, but with embroidered images such as a coal shuttle, a oil lamp…things like that…commonplace in kitchens of long ago.

    I have some of my grandmother’s and my mother’s linens. My grandmother was married in 1920…so you can imagine how old they are!!

  127. sherri s. says:

    Wow–I officially have a linen “problem.” I go to a lot of estate sales and often simply cannot resists buying linens. Sometimes, if they’re stained, I’m MORE inclined to buy them because they seem so forlorn! I also have a prodigious collection of iron-on transfer embroidery patterns. Thanks for this giveaway!

  128. Melanie says:

    This looks like a great book! I love vintage linens, and have found some reproduction embroidery transfer patterns that I’m going to put on some kitchen curtains. I love anthropomorphic dancing vegetables!

  129. Joanna says:

    Wow! I recently visited my mom and we spent a whole day browsing thrift and antique stores for linens for her new kitchen. What a great read this must be!

  130. Mama Lusco says:

    Vintage linens are a part of my household as well…I collect them while “junk shopping” as my hubby calls it. My favorites are passed down from my grandma. They remind me of holiday dinners shared around the large farm table.

  131. alison says:

    My grandma always made ginger cookies and when we “helped” her make the cookies we got to make the gingerbread men. I can remember Grandma telling us stories about when she was a girl while we waited to get our gingerbread men out of the oven. We got to decorate our cookies anyway we wanted with whatever goodies Grandma had on hand. Even if supper was just an hour or two away we got to eat up our cookies with a big glass of milk. She always said ‘You kids are growing and having a little cookie or two won’t fill you up too much for supper.” They were pretty big cookies, but I remember even if I wasn’t that hungry at supper time I would clean my plate for Grandma so my Mom wouldn’t know what we’d been up to.

  132. knitteresq says:

    This book looks like so much fun and it reminds me of all the great vintage linens my mom has been collecting for years. My favorite from the vintage kitchen are those awesome 1950’s aprons. They’re so cute and colorful, if only my waist was that tiny!

  133. Lorrie says:

    I love kitchen linens. Some of my treasured pieces include Irish linen brought from Ireland in 1912 by my husband’s great grandfather, and a pale-blue damask linen tablecloth and napkins given as a wedding present to my mother-in-law over 50 years ago. I love using it outdoors in the summertime, with candles and lots of greenery.


  134. Carrie says:

    Memories of kitchen linens..such a beautiful thought. I adore going back to the family farm for holidays and opening the old chest full of vintage tableclothes. Some even have holes in them, but what wonderful traditions to carry on!

  135. Stacie says:

    My grandma would always set the table, a lost art in our busy worlds today! She handed down a few well used table cloths to me, and they are treasured indeed. I am new to sewing and live in the rural midwest (former city gal!). During the summer months it’s easy to find auctions all over the area, and I plan on hitting as many as I can to fill my new-found desire for vintage fabric. Can’t wait to see what wonderful creations are inside this book….

  136. Maria says:

    Wow – the memories. These take me straight back to my grandmother’s house and using the little ink embroidery pins on pillow cases. What a great looking book. I’m going to have to add it to my wish list.

  137. Stephanie says:

    My favorite kitchen memory is helping my mom measure out her ingredients for a pound cake. And because that was the cake I helped her with, its still my favorite to this day.

  138. tricia says:

    Oh vintage linens. My husbands grandmother has them throughout her house, and I am always admiring them. I always think of the memories and the past that must come with these linens.

  139. maryanne says:

    Growing up I spent SO much time in the kitchen – helping with dinner, dishes, and just talking to my mom. I find that I do the same with my own kids now, as a mother. I would love to win this book, as I want to make some beautiful kitchen linens and don’t know where to start.

  140. Hanna says:

    As a wedding present, my grandmother gave us the sweetest embroidered kitchen linens that I will cherish forever. I know I should use them, but can’t bring myself to getting them dirty! This book looks great and I would love to have a copy. 🙂

  141. Aimee says:

    Would love a copy of the book! I love vintage linen and cotton dishtowels with bright colors…esp. reds and yellows…stripes are my favorite!

  142. Queen of Procrastination says:

    When I see vintage linens I can’t help but think of the women who made them and used them in their homes. I grew up in the 1950’s and spent a lot of time on my grandparents little chicken ranch. I have so many happy memories of my grandmother and her old kitchen. When I was 6 years old I got to stand on a chair at the sink and dry dishes with the pretty embroidered towels. The apron came down to my ankles but that was pretty too and I was thrilled. Oh, to be 6 and back on the ranch! Still love vintage linens.

  143. KaeleyAnne says:

    This sounds like a wonderful book. I’ll have to put it on my list of books to be read.

  144. Teri says:

    My favorite vintage kitchen linen is an apron that was my Grammy’s. It is a pale blue and on it she painted a woman busily working with the caption “what do you mean what did I do today?”

    Every time I see it, I am reminded of her, her love for her family and working in her home, her sense of humor, and how much like her I am.

  145. Leslie says:

    That looks like a book that would fit right in at my house. I now have the urge to go through all my vintage linens.

  146. katie says:

    how cute!! I love it:)


  147. Megan says:

    This book is after my own heart too!

  148. corina says:

    This book sounds fantastic. I don’t have childhood memories of table linen — I grew up around disposable napkins and plastic place mats. As I got older, I started to see the beauty of using lovely linens for everyday meals. In our home, we use cloth napkins and place mats for environmental reasons (reduce waste) and because I find that it makes every meal extra special. I feel that these linens give our kitchen a home feeling. Hopefully one day my children will have fond memories around the kitchen linens.

  149. Erin says:

    I wish I had some of the linens my great grandmother owned. She had some lovely embroidered aprons and tablecloths…….I just hunt my own down in antique stores and flea markets. Love bright yellow and thirties prints……

  150. Melissa says:

    How wonderful…I love vintage kitchen materials!

  151. Camela says:

    I have a ton of vintage napkins and tablecloths. I’d love to read about more . . .

  152. Betsy says:

    The story about the tablecloths is beautiful!

  153. Amy Rochelle says:

    Patterns such as these are such a reminder of my childhood. My Mom had patterns such as these in an old antique cabinet. I used to love to get them out and look at them and I recall the tea cups walking and doing things specifically. I recall those that were for one day of the week. Such comforting memories to recall. When life was simpler, at least for me! I don’t recally Mom having much time for handwork and such. So, the circle of life continues. . . in a crafty sort of way.

  154. Annika says:

    Oh my, this is a book after my own heart. I love vintage linens!

  155. Cami Paul says:

    These look just like the ones I loved at granma’s house when I was a girl. It would be so much fun to have this book and do some of the projects!

  156. Ellen says:

    My mother-in-law just gave me a set of cross-stitch tea towels this weekend that her mother-in-law made. They are the days of the week/kittens (you know, the chores kittens)! They are awesome, I may put them into a wall-hanging to display in the kitchen. My grandmother did the same thing, but she found the 50 state birds embroidered on tea towels and made them into a quilt. It is AMAZING!

  157. Diane says:

    This sounds like such a fantastic book! I have some vintage linens that my Mama made. I just love them! I once made my brother a doll out of some of them using a pillowcase doll pattern so that he would have a keepsake of our Mama’s embroidery. He and his wife both loved it.
    Have a Blessed Day,

  158. Amie W says:

    My favorite linens belonged to my the lady who cared for me in the church nursery. She gave them to me at my wedding shower…she is 97 years old.

  159. Valerie says:

    I never thought much about vintage linens until my grandmother passed away and I inheirited her hope chest. Inside, among all of the other beautiful things, I found a set of gorgeous embroidered napkins, the hours that went into the embroidery (which was as stunning from the back as it was from the front) the delicate edging, they’re just so beautiful. I was struck but how terrible it was that these beautiful little pieces of artowrk spent their lives tucked away in a hope chest.

    They’ve since been rescued and 4 are framed on my kitchen wall. They make me smile every day.

  160. Ellen Ban says:

    I love the old kitchen embroidery designs and am blessed to have a couple of hand embroidered linens my great aunts made!

  161. Mary on Lake Pulaski says:

    I know you are supposed to use your linens, but I have a set of seven embroidered flour sack dish towels done by my Grandmother and given to me for a wedding shower 37 years ago. I take them out, pat them, refold them and remember my lovely Grandmother, but can’t think of wiping dishes with them. I will try to find a way to display a few of them at a time.
    The book looks awesome.

  162. Kathryn says:

    I inherited a number of embroidered linen tea towels from my Mother. I adore them for their whimsy and brightness. I see them as decorative items, not functional.

    What a great book.


  163. Leslie says:

    I just want to start by saying that this book looks like it has a lot of fun projects awaiting! My favorite vintage linens would have to be the kitchen towels I got passed down from my Grandmother. Love having them in my home! I hope I win but if I’m not so lucky, I’ll have to go snag up this book somewhere! 🙂 Thanks!

  164. maggie says:

    I was just thinking about embroidering some linen napkins. This book looks great!

  165. Kristen says:

    Aunt Martha’s transfers! I haven’t seen those in ages.

  166. Ellyn says:

    Oh wow! I love love love EllynAnne’s first book…. love that she spells her name just like me! YAY! & love vintage linens. I love to hunt down brightly colored tableclothes at flea markets & antique shows, the ones that have a hole or two, some stains…. the ones nobody loves anymore. I take them home & make them into little girls dresses, aprons, dollclothes…. they make me smile!

  167. Esther says:

    Looks like a great book!

  168. Marlana says:

    I love vintage linens and the look of vintage linens. When I am at yard sales or thrift stores it is impossible for me to pass any linens without buying/rescuing them! My cousin and I think linens have feelings and deserve a second life. She rescues in PA and I rescue in TX. If they are tattered or torn we repair or repurpose them. I would so love this book!

  169. Whistlepea says:

    This book looks amazing. I don’t really have any vintage linens, unfortunately, but I do have some amazing embroidered tea towels from a sweet former student and from Early Bird Special.

  170. Marissa says:

    What a wonderful book! Kitchen memories to me means grinding up our own wheat to help our dad make yummy homemade wheat bread—all while wearing our special “daddy’s helper” aprons.

  171. Hannah says:

    My favorite kitchen memory to date happened this past Valentine’s day when I was making chocolate cupcakes. When I was finished, I gave my two 11 month old girls their first chance to lick the batter off of the mixer. They got filthy, but they had a blast and I got some great photos:

  172. Jane says:

    This sounds like a great book. I have many vintage linens that have been given to me over the years. And I use them.

  173. Mirza says:

    What a cool book! I have a few vintage tablecloths picked up here and there. They are tucked away safely and I have not used them. This book makes me want to pull them out and start using them.


  174. Megan Lazzar says:

    My favorite kitchen memory has got to be from my childhood. Every Friday my mom would put my younger brother, Matthew, and I down for a nap in the living room so that she could prepare Shabbat dinner. The living room connected to the kitchen through a large open doorway. Matthew and I had finally decided one day that we were “Much tooooooo old for naps.” Stealthily, I slipped out from the blanket and tiptoed to the doorway and peered around. I just caught a quick glimpse of my mom and then scampered back to Matthew. “She’s chopping carrots,” I reported back. We lay in silence for a minute more to give the impression that we were still napping. Matthew went to spy on her next. “She’s still chopping carrots.” Boy, did we feel brave and grown-up. No more naps for us… we could be spies instead. But, not very good spies because we did get caught. Instead of getting in trouble though like we thought we would my mom just said, “I guess you’re too old for naps.”

  175. Marguerite says:

    That looks delightfully fun!

  176. Debra says:

    I love this book. I am an embroider. I have collected woman’s needlework magazines from the early 1900’s etc when I can find them. What a delight it would be to know the history of the designs.

« »

Subscribe to the newsletter

Sewing inspiration, projects, events and offers delivered conveniently to your email.


Get the latest news via