Friday, February 26, 2010

What kind of project will this be?

I have this vintage table runner that I've been hanging on to for God knows how long. I've never used it for a couple of reasons. 1. Wasn't really in the place in my life where I had occasion/desire to put it out 2. It has a somewhat unsightly stain in a conspicuous spot.
Now that I have my little girl and Easter is just around the corner, I have lovely notions of putting out my little bunny figures and sweet, festive decorations. I pulled this out by chance and felt it might be just the thing.

I've hand washed it in Woolite, using Grandma's Secret Spot Remover on the stain, and hung it to dry. This did wonders for generally livening this little linen up, but did not do anything for the stain, and has made me aware that one end of the runner is a shade darker than the other.
With the prospect of simply not being able to do anything about the stain, I'm entertaining camouflaging it with coordinating embroidery motifs. I've found some really good candidates/inspiration here. If I were to do this, I'm also considering tea dying it so that the color fade is not so obvious.

It's vintage, but I don't know where it came from and have no sentimental value to attach to it other than I think it's very sweet.

Is it passe' to add your own embroidery to a vintage piece? Are there stain removal secrets I'm not aware of that are suitable for this task? Should I tea dye the whole thing, or will the discolored end just dye darker than the rest? I'd love to get some input!


  1. i always use oxyclean for spots on old linens. try mixing up a strong batch of it in a bucket and soaking the piece outside in the sun for a few hours and then wash as normal and hang to dry.

    tea-staining is an option and does sometimes hide stains, sometimes not. depends on what the stain is. and tea-staining fades over time (and i think it's a waste of good tea!)...try using Rit dye in can start with a little bit and add more to get it darker if you want. it really does look like tea-staining but it's permanent.

    when i first saw the piece i immediately immagined it turned into a tiny apron or pinafore for little D. maybe even just cutting out the portion with the embroidery and appliquing it to a little dress. i sort of worry that adding new embroidery would be really obvious and different from the old....but it might be a fun challenge to see if you could try to recreate the look of the vintage with fancy techniques or some how distressing the floss beforehand.

    could you applique some little doily flowers or fleurettes made of gathered lace to cover the stains (sort of scatter them around the whole piece strategicly)?

    sounds like fun!


  2. hmmmm...Good suggestions!
    I had the exact same though about the little apron dress, just have mixed feelings about the idea and am more comfortable keeping it safe as a table linen that I can enjoy for years more. Plus, I don't have any table runners, so it's appealing for that reason. If I'm not happy with my attempts at salvaging it, it will totally become a part of a D ensemble though!
    I think style-wise I can match the embroidery, but hadn't thought about distressed thread being an issue. Will have to examine these variables closer.
    Hadn't thought about applique...I even have some doily bits I don't have plans for yet...hmmmm...interesting thoughts...Thank you!

  3. well, if you did go for the apron/pinafore idea, you could always have it framed in a shadow box once she outgrows it...♥

  4. This is also true. I hadn't really thought of that, fortunately I have crafty pals like you for brainstorming such things! If I made it an apron, it could last for a long time too, she could wear it with lots of different outfits...hmmm. This option is sounding better and better...

  5. SELAH! Oh, Selah. Hooray for this blog!

    A) I like the idea of tea-dying it. I am also digging people's suggestions of turning it into an apron.

    B) You would be extremely proud of me because I finally watched Mad Max a few weekends ago. And it is amazing. Also? Harold and Maude. That one I actually watched a few years ago, but it seems like a Selah movie. And it just might be my favorite.

    C) I am going to go Facebook stalk pictures of you and your little baby. :) Right now!

  6. Tolly!!! Thanks so much for reading! I totally see you loving Harold and Maude. It's a goodie. It's about time with Mad Max! Thrilled to have some Tolly flavor back in my days!