1930s Handmade Applique Tablecloth

November 5, 2015


In addition to the stunning 1940s photograph of my grandparents, Vera also gave me this sweet tablecloth her mother made roughly 85 years ago. It’s applique with a tatted edge. She knows I’m into this sort of thing so she made sure to show it to me during our visit. She remembers her mother sitting at the kitchen table working on it when she came home from school. Apparently appliqué was quite a popular craft at that time.

I guess my admiration was obvious because she told me to keep it, saying she’s happy to pass it onto someone who would appreciate it. I was overwhelmed and so thankful, definitely the first time being given a tablecloth nearly made me cry…



The tablecloth is square, likely meant for a bridge table.








The edge are all hand tatted. I’m not sure how this is done but I’m pretty in awe of it’s detailed simplicity.



As you would expect after 85 years it’s definitely showing some wear… holes, stains, and loose threads. I’m pretty clueless when it comes to appliqué or embroidery, but looking at the underside helps me understand how the pattern was stitched.

That seems to be my immediate reaction when I hold a textile, flip it over or inside out. Find the seams, joins, loose ends to try and piece together how it was made.



Thank you, Vera, for sharing these sweet treasures.

It’s Genetic is a series exploring my roots. I’m often overwhelmed and inspired by the talent that came before me and the creative family I’m surrounded by today. These are some projects and belongings that feel too good not to share. 

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