Feb 19, 2012

Living A Vintage Life: Sweet Dreams

'Diary Of A Quilter' Gives Old Sheets New Life
Submitted by Three Chicks Vintage
I remember a lot about the sheets and pillowcases I slept upon as a child. My dear Grandma Alice's white sheets were pressed and starched and her pillowcases were lovingly embroidered with flowers and fancy ladies. Even now as I close my eyes I can smell the starch and feel the gentle scratchiness of grandma's freshly made beds. When my Dad remarried, my stepmother had a closet of striped sheets - it was the 1970s and the sheets were white with stripes in fashionable color combinations - yellow and orange, pink and gold, blue and purple. I was especially jealous of my little stepsister's sheets - wild, mod arrays of flowers in bright pink. How I longed to choose my own sheets! When I finally got my chance, sometime in junior high, I picked lime green sheets scattered with yellow-eyed white daisies. Green, no matter the shade, is a calming color to me, and at that time in my life I longed for the calm and the freedom to choose that those sheets represented.
Another vintage sheet project from Amy.

Nowadays it is rare for me to purchase new sheets, (unless I find good, Egyptian cotton on sale) instead I pick up beautiful, high thread-count, vintage percale at second-hand stores. For a couple of dollars I find a sheet that will outlive almost any sheet I could buy new AND I get to pick colors and patterns that remind me of childhood. But I don't just pick up vintage sheets out of a sense of nostalgia or thrift, I pick them up because they are simply beautiful fabric. Holding them at arm's length I can imagine them as quilt squares, little sundresses, hair bandannas, valances ... Of course my imagination is much more active than my needle, so I've a healthy stash of vintage sheets and pillowcases awaiting a resurrection or a sleepy head!
Fortunately, there are folks who actually put their stashes to good use. Amy Smart is one such person - the smiling face on her 'About Me' page suggests that she is a colorful, creative person and the pages of her blog, 'Diary of a Quilter' confirms it. The project I discovered in her blog post 'Vintage Baby Sheets Quilt' looks like my own sheet stash come-to-life. In her quilt I can see both sheets I have and sheets I have slept upon.
Her vintage sheet projects include hangable art and sundresses too!
So ... you have a stash, you have the inspiration, now you have pictures and the instructions to guide you through a vintage sheet project!
Do you need to start your own vintage sheet stash? Or build on one you already have? Search etsyvintageteam bed sheet or etsyvintageteam pillowcase to get started!


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful idea! The florals all look so wonderful together. Thanks for sharing this with us, Deb!

anastasia said...

Beautiful guilt. Love the article Deb!

Anastasia said...

oops meant to say quilt NOT guilt. lol:)

POP goes my Vintage said...

Beautiful writing; I enjoyed it so much!

AddVintage said...

Ahhhh, memory lane! I remember my funky rainbow sheets of the 70s...loved those silly things so much that when I stumbled upon a set a couple years ago, I snatched them up like they were 24K gold!

Anne said...

I've normally passed by the sheet sets at my local thrift. Not anymore! Your description of being able to "smell the starch and feel the gentle scratchiness of grandma's freshly made beds" brought back such familiar memories. Thanks so much for the post, Deb -- I'm off to check out Diary of a Quilter now...

amy smart said...


Thank you so much for your lovely feature! It's so fun to find other people who appreciate the awesomeness of vintage sheets because, you're right, not only are they pretty, the fabric quality is awesome.

Thanks so much!