I have a real problem. I hoard linens. My closets are full. My chests are full. You'll even find them stuffed underneath the beds.
It doesn't matter what they are, as long as they are early German handwoven linens (called Bauernleinen in Germany, as they were made by the farmers' wives for use mainly in the kitchen and the bedroom).
I have sheets and duvets and pillow shams and kitchen towels and nightgowns and table runners and napkins . . .
. . . and rolls and rolls of linen woven well over a hundred years ago still waiting to be used for a project.
So when my daughter added a master suite addition to her home this summer, I told her she would be decorating with antique linen.
Our first project was redoing her contemporary wicker headboard, tearing it down to the frame and sending to our upholsterer to have it covered in antique natural-colored flax linen. He did a beautiful job.
Since the looms in the 1800s were very narrow, we had to make the narrow rolls of linen work for this project. Our upholsterer divided the headboard into three even sections and covered cording to combine the strips of fabric. The little bit of detail it added to the king size headboard was perfect.
Our next project was using the same bolt of handwoven linen for the Roman shades. This time we had to run the bolt from left to right in the window. You can see a seam only when the shade is closed. Our seamstress is used to my projects using antique linens . . .
. . . and she had also made Roman shades for the twins' bedroom windows out of blue and white ticking from an old mattress cover.
Another project last year was covering an old chaise with a German grain sack.
Although I have dozens and dozens of grain sacks, I was especially happy to be able to use this one as the name , Fritzsche, is an old Amana name and makes me think of home.
The next project is my bedroom. I have three bolts of gray flax linen that I can't wait to cut into!