Following the lead of Jeannie B. and other bloggers, I’ve boarded the White Wednesday wagon, posting about something white each Wednesday. This is my first WW post. See more White Wednesday at Faded Charm.
Twenty years ago, I was strolling the aisles of a huge antique show when I spotted this extraordinary bed linen. Tied up with a blue satin ribbon, folded neatly with the monogram centered, the creamy white sheet called out, “Janice! Take me home!” So I did I think my husband even heard it, because he declared that it would do for my birthday present.
It is incredibly beautiful, product of countless hours with needle and thread, all the while dreaming of future marital bliss. The padded satin stitch monogram and all the surface embroidery is so raised, so dimensional.
The eyelets are perfectly executed, with not a whisker showing. The embroidery flows from one side to the other on the 84″ wide linen sheet.Below, intricate hemstitching adds another delicate texture.
The sheet’s 2″ hem at the foot is done by hand, with tiny, nearly invisible stitches.
Whether or not it is true, the history of this beauty intrigued me. Of course, this could be one of those “the queen slept here” stories, but I choose to believe it.Â It surely beats a “Made in China” label.
A young Italian bride and her groom, it was said,Â sailed to America for their honeymoon and decided to remain here in the Land of Opportunity. They intended to have the bride’s hope chest sent over once they were settled.
For whatever reason, that never happened and the chest remained in Italy for more than 60 years. After the death of the aged needleworker, her granddaughter made a pilgrimage to Italy. Her goals were to see the land of her ancestors and to claim the chest about which her grandmother had spoken so frequently.
The story goes that the chest was loaded with this sheet and several others, as well as a treasure trove of household linens. None had ever been used. Somehow this sheet and one other (already sold and reportedly far more spectacular than this one!) fell into the hands of the antique dealer. And from hers to mine.
If ever I were to feel a shortage of beauty in my surroundings, I could just pull this out. Some work of the hands is as breathtaking as the work of Mother Nature.