Over the years I have collected (and sold) a huge variety of lovely items to use as embellishment on crazy quilt projects, as an item I just had to have, or something I purchased for a project idea. I'm often asked where I get all of the antique laces, embroideries, etc. that I sell and have in my own collection. Over time I will show you some of the special ones. Here are a few that you won't see every day or maybe ever again. Eventually these will be for sale as is on my website, incorporated into a project I am working on, or used as a focal point for one of my "ready to embellish" items for my website. I know a lot of people believe that these should be saved and never used, but I think that using an antique piece if handled carefully and respectably is totally acceptable and the reason they were created in the first place.
This first one is a large basket motif that is hand embroidered using silk thread. I was told it is French, and it is 7 1/2" wide and 8" high. I was lucky to find this on eBay.
Another basket I was fortunate to find on eBay along with four others (which I sold) is this 7" high all cotton lace beauty with dimensional flowers. They don't show up so well in the photograph but the one to the right has three layers of petals and the others have two.
This wide hand stitched lace is French and I bought it at a vintage textile show in May. The main design shown is 10" high and is repeated three times on the piece I have. It is entirely hand done on cotton netting using a tiny chain stitch including the gold metallic area in the scalloped center. The flowers have large beads sewn on top and tiny blue and white varigated seed beads highlight most of the lines. Again these don't show up too well in the photo. I think this piece was on a dress or other lady's garment as it has some hand stitching left along the top showing that it was attached to something in the past.
Last, but not at all least, are two cuts of Victorian woven ribbon. I have these two pieces left after selling the rest on my previous website. I bought the one with the pansy at a vintage textile show and the other at an antique show. Be sure to tug gently on antique ribbon, and some lace, at the ends to see if it has dry rot before purchasing. Key Word: GENTLY
To find these things, you have to know how to recognize old vs new because most people on eBay don't know and call everything vintage or antique. Be ready to do a lot of shopping whether it's sitting at a computer and searching every which way on eBay or digging through boxes at vintage and antique shows. Most of the time, I only find the ordinary but I keep going back. I spent four hours at a flea market yesterday and came away with two small packages of beads. Once in a blue moon, I get a treasure for a song. However, be willing to pay a premium most of the time as these people generally know they have something special. I never look back and am happy to have these lovely items for the time I do. Don't forget, cigarette silks are antique textiles too. Some are extremely hard to find now and others are getting there. I'm selling my collection a few at a time on my website.
Maureen's Cigarette Silks