Monogrammed Dish Cloth

I am back in New York City for a little over a week, for an academic conference. But I have managed to find a little bit of free time to finally share with you the monogrammed dish cloth I finished last week.

Monogrammed Dish Cloth

I used cross stitch designs from a vintage craft book available online at the Antique Pattern Library. What a wonderful resource! and I love old books…

Cross Stitch R     Cross Stitch W

The most challenging part was finding the “squares” on the cloth I was going to use for the cross stitch. Because the dish cloth is made out of linen, the threads are a bit raw in places and vary in thickness.  It’s just a dish cloth, though, so why worry? Winging it paid off.

Can you believe this is what young girls used to learn how to do in school? I assure you, they also learned reading, writing, and arithmetic. But I find it interesting the way these monogrammed linens carry the memory of women through the generations. They may have changed their names when they married, but their maiden initials remain and are passed down on these everyday objects.

You could probably also argue that they were unglamorous objects, worn away by household chores and later forgotten – much like the (imagined) housewives of yesteryear, but I would have to disagree: you have not felt the durability and quality of these dish cloths! Some women still use their great-grandmother’s linens.  I find the tradition neat, even though 1. I did not change my name when I married Seth, 2. if I had, my initials would not have changed, and 3. I let my dishes air dry. Sometimes it’s fun to create “vintage” family heirlooms, though, and add a little je ne sais quoi to the daily chores.

5 thoughts on “Monogrammed Dish Cloth

  1. Beautiful job, it looks gorgeous. I definitely loved seeing all the stitched linens in the antique store, although it’s sad that they aren’t still in someone’s family. Enjoy NYC!

  2. That’s lovely stitching. Yes, it was difficult finding the ‘squares’ even when the fabric was new. I don’t think I’d want to do it now. I still have not only my grandmother’s, but my mother’s and my own childhood stitchings, and have glass cloths made for me by an aunt from sugar bags when I was engaged. I still use them for wrapping smaller pieces of hand embroidery to keep it clean when I’m travelling around.

  3. I completely agree with you. I don’t have anything that was handed down by my grandma or mom and it is because they don’t really have anything meaningful like that to pass down. Anything they give me would be store-bought. It makes me want to do something special to give to my kids. Next time you are in town, you’ll have to teach me some simple project I can do!

  4. Rachel! I got tagged Caitlin, thought it’d be fun to tag you, you don’t have to play 🙂

  5. Pingback: Crafty Rachel » Old-School Embroidery Take II

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