New Tips for Old Linens

Tutorial Tuesdays header

The monthly Sister’s Challenge this year is featuring patterns from our Linens and Old Lace Collection.  If you want to follow along each month you can check out the previous posts here and here.  Or watch for upcoming challenges on our blog the last Tuesday of each month. But as it says in the previous blog, first things first.

How to Care For and Prepare Linens

  • Hand wash, using a GENTLE quilting soap (Orvus -8 oz. for $10 or Retro Wash – 1 lb. for $14)
  • Treat stains with mild additives (no bleach) We like lemon juice or the above Retro Wash
  • Use a “color catcher” if washing old reds
  • Line dry (or if it is larger-upside down on CLEAN green grass)
  • Use spray starch and steam as you press and re-square; prevents “waves” on the bias
  • For quilt blocks that will be inserted into a project or have applique applied, it is helpful to iron a lightweight interfacing to the back for stability
  • Use cotton or silk thread to stitch or applique as they won’t break the more fragile fibers of vintage pieces (polyester is OK for quilting, but it isn’t the best choice)
  • Best to have crocheted lace encased in a seam before cutting
  • Fussy cut frames are helpful for a perfectly centered cut (available from Sisters by email request)


    Squares, hexes and triangles

  • Use a basting stitch around edge or diagonal cuts to hold the bias


    Baste before bias cutting.

Truthfully, the linens or laces do NOT have to be in perfect condition to incorporate in a new project.  This bright, happy pillowcase is making a comeback from spotted, dirty linens.  It was seamed and embellished for best use of the embroidery.


Bright & beautiful!


Large tears or stains can be cut around, patched over, or embellished on top of.  You can use only the portion that fits your project.sewing basket s

Once washed and pressed you can store in acid free tissue or rolled on a cloth covered tube.  This antique linen roller was for storing STARCHED laces and linens. If you don’t have an antique tube, think about keeping your starched pieces wrinkle free by using a wrapping paper tube.


Tassles! on your storage items that were hidden in the closet!

Plastic bags, cedar chests, or vacuum sealed storage systems are not recommended as fibers need to breathe.

These special holders were for the ironed hankies awaiting their owner.


Textile fibers that breathe.


Ok, here it is…

Are you ready for our most important, best-ever, wisdom-filled, need-to-know tip for vintage linens and laces?  ENJOY THEM!use-web


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