Old Linen and Lace

The house where I grew up, where my parents still live, has been in my mum's family for over 100 years and as a result there are lots of corners full of all sorts of exciting stashes of this and that. A couple of months ago my mum was asked if she had a christening gown she would be willing to loan to an exhibition of christening gowns in one of the local churches. A bit of hunting around produced the family christening gown, but shock and horror it was a little yellow and tired, having last been used at my aunts christening about 50 years ago (in the photo with my granny. Note also the hand knitted shawl, my granny used to whip up these for the babies of friends and relatives, and my mum has now taken over the practice). However, an overnight soak in a basin of Vanish perked up the gown considerably. We didn't think of taking a before shot but here it is after ...

Its not a very old piece, it was probably fairly new at my aunt's christening. My mum, who is the older sibling, obviously can remember what she wore to her own christening, and can't find a photo of the occasion. I suspect she is worried about it appearing here on the blog!

After such a startlingly successful result at cleaning up the christening gown, mum and I decided to send the days between Christmas and New Year cleaning up all the bits and pieces of lace and linen which were in the parcel with the gown.

There were all sorts of exciting things; lace scarfs, afternoon tea cloths and mats, pyjama case and one of my favorites a lace tea cosy (how very practical)

And an a old family sampler giving names and dates of birth of some of my mother's ancestors

It's not the prettiest of samplers, but it is in good enough condition, (it didn't get treated with vanish). From a crafting point of view I appreciate the handwork, if not the moral platitudes, but as an archivists, often dealing with family history enquires, its an amazing record. Although I suspect my brother is glad that some traditional family names have died out, Oneslphorus is quite a difficult name to carry off!


  1. Next time I see someone with a middle initial of "O" I will have to ask if it is Oneslphorus. It looks like you had a busy but fruitful Christmas break.

  2. How do you even go about pronouncing such a name?

    Onesl forus?
    One slfo rus?
    On essle for us?

  3. Haven't been on blog for a while - can I have recipe for afghans?

  4. Hi I find these pieces and if damged I make wonderful baby,s quilts which new parents adore - some pieces ar too good for this but it uses up the damaged and still lovely bits and pieces Liz


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