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:
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!