Monday, October 5, 2020

The Beauty of Handkerchiefs


I love handkerchiefs.  I use them when we aren't in a pandemic (tissues are suggested now instead).  I have some that I adore and just like to look at:


I've even used some as decor.  Handkerchiefs in a basket is pretty.  This girl was supposed to hold napkins on a dining table (maybe from the 50s or 60s?) but I used her as Christmas decor one year:

Paper tissues were invented in 1924 by Kleenex.  


Originally the product was to be used to remove make-up.  The handkerchief goes back much farther (to about 1377 when King John of England used them).  For most of us of a certain age, we remember all too well those years when we not only wore gloves but had to have a clean hankie in our purse.

But the queen of hankies has to be our friend Sue P. who is an accomplished quilter.  Sue is in our quilt study group.  She is brilliant, quick, and has a wicked and often dry sense of humor.  She is very dignified so when her humor surfaces, it makes us all explode with laughter.  One day someone asked her what she does with all the vintage feedsacks she collects.  Sue deadpanned:

"I carefully lay them out on the living room floor and roll my body all over them."  

I asked Sue to email me photos of some of her quilts that feature handkerchiefs because...well they are spectacular and inspiring.

This is an unquilted top she made and yes, she added fabric to the borders of the hankies:


This one is a clever use of color.  She sent me an email which might be the title:  Blew on Blue, No Tissue:


Notice how she hand quilts each hankie differently!


Her Christmas quilt:




My favorite of her series is the round hankie quilt.  Sue explained to us that it took some time to collect the round hankies; they are rarer.  I know that for this one, she just quilted (not appliqued) the hankies to the quilt.  It's such a wonderful piece!





Think of Sue when you are wondering how to incorporate something vintage you love into a quilt!  She's mastered upcycling to an artform!

Have a safe and happy day!





7 comments:

  1. I love handkerchiefs, too, and I have boxes of 'em to prove it. Thank you for showing Sue's lovely work. Twenty years ago I came across handkerchief quilts by Patricia Long Gardner. Her method was to treat a handkerchief like a fabric portrait [this was years before the current craze for quilting with big fabric panels] and add borders to make small quilts (up to, say, 30 x 30 or so). I loved the idea and I promptly began to collect hankies. I have made ONE quilt with that method. But my collection has grown! some day . . .

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  2. It makes me sad for all the hankies we tossed when my grandmothers passed! (I have a few of my mom's but they are nothing special so they get used!)

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  3. Oh my goodness, those hankie quilts are amazing! I never would have thought to make something like that. Thanks for sharing them!

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  4. Sue is also known in the Netherlands. I took my family to Sue's place where she showed them at least twenty different quilts. My sister-in-law told me that her quilts are not just outstanding but also very original.
    Keep going, Sue. From your friend Johannes.

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  5. Hi, I am Gerry from the Netherlands, and I am the sister-in-law that Johannes named. I admired the quilts that Sue made, beautiful work! It was a pleasure t meet her in 2014!

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  6. Hi, i am Gerry from the Netherlands, the sister-in-law that Johannes took to Sue’s place. I admired her beautiful quilts, it was a great pleasure to visit her! Thanks for sharing these beautiful quilts!

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  7. Hi, i am Gerry from the Netherlands, the sister-in-law that Johannes took to Sue’s place. I admired her beautiful quilts, it was a great pleasure to visit her! Thanks for sharing these beautiful quilts!

    ReplyDelete