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.
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…
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.