March 31, 2013

Heirloom Tablecloth

Today was a special holiday for many of us. It was Easter, and it was a great time of celebration and joy!

It is so wonderful to gather with family and friends on holidays, and at other special times.

I want to share a special tablecloth that I received from my great aunt's hope chest. My great aunt never married, and she passed away when I was a very young newlywed-- back in the early eighties. She was a wonderful lady who loved to read, learn, and visit with her family and friends.  She also really loved to cook, and do handiwork. She could cook up the best meals one could ever imagine, and yet her kitchen was so small one could barely fit more than one person in it. It was tiny, and yet she had the house built to her design specifications. I guess she wanted to do the work alone! I can't even imagine what she would have thought of today's modern women and men demanding large kitchens. Come to think of it, her previous home before the one she built had a rather large kitchen, and yet she chose to build a home with a tiny one. Interesting! 

My aunt also did a bit of handiwork, as she called it, which meant embroidery. I recall she subscribed to a magazine called "Workbasket".   In the mid 1950's, she started a tablecloth tradition in her home. When you would visit for a meal, one would sign the tablecloth, and my aunt would later embroider your name so it would be there for future guests to see and enjoy.  Most guests also added the date after their signature, and some added their address or at least their city.  I wanted to share a tiny bit of the tablecloth with you today.

Here's a few peeks at the tablecloth: 

This one makes me chuckle, as it appears Richard's nickname is "Gravedigger".  I know my uncle (her brother) was employed at a cemetery, so perhaps he truly was a person who dug graves.

This next part was written in 1963, and it includes my late brother's name.  He was in about first grade when he wrote it. My name is to the right, but I am sure my mom wrote it for me as this is her writing. I would have only been pre-school age so I am sure it wasn't from my own hand.

This lady's printing is so nice and clear, and it's fun seeing the year so plainly, too.

Last of all, you can see my aunt's name at the bottom, and the year she started it. I love that the tablecloth is trimmed with rows of rick rack. I so loved rick rack when I was a little girl!
I think I need to go buy another tablecloth of my own, and start this tradition again in our family. Wouldn't it be fun to see the signatures grow over the years. 

As best I can figure, she kept this tablecloth going for just about ten years. What a fun idea!  


  1. What a lovely idea and so special for you to own now. I assume she used it in between collecting the signatures?

  2. That really is a great treasure!

  3. Thanks, Gillie and Monique. Gillie--yes, she did use it as there are food stains on it! :)

  4. I think that's such a fun idea! Very clever and creative!


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