I went shopping on Ebay and found THE most amazing linen ever...a find of a lifetime. I knew this would be my special piece for myself. I won it with a winning bid that matched my spending money.
The picture on Ebay had to have been doctored up quite a bit as it appeared pristine white in the photo. When it arrived on my doorstep it was a nasty rusty brown and more damaged than what I had anticipated. No worries...I've dealt with worse!
With something this delicate and this damaged I was very concerned about washing it as I was afraid it would disintegrate during the soaking but I was unable to use it as it was. So I held my breath and soaked it overnight with Retroclean.
Wha La!!! It came out absolutely beautiful and white. I was extremely careful during the hand rinsing and drying...I barely held it and then it let it air dry on a towel for a full day before touching it again.
This piece has the most exquisite white padded work, embroidery and Irish crochet I have ever seen. It is drop dead gorgeous. I contacted the seller to see if she had any further information or history on it and she didn't. She did say, though, she thought she had purchased it from a large estate sale maybe 20 years ago and she had a "banana box" full of linens that she is selling bit by bit. It is probably the fact that this piece has been stored in a cardboard box that resulted in the discoloration and damage.
It would be very easy for a "normal person" to just give this up and toss it due to the fact that it isn't perfect. I'm thankful to not be a normal person! I would rather have this piece die as a beautiful quilt than be tossed as an imperfect linen.
Many years ago I purchased another linen off of Ebay that was also badly damaged. It had several tears and holes and the whole outer edge had been chewed by mice. I placed this damaged piece on top of a piece of cream colored Dupioni Silk and quilted it to death.
Yes, the damage is still there but hardly visible and this piece, too, will die as a beautiful quilt. I don't travel with this particular one very often as I'm trying to hang on to it as long as I can.
I also had just the right piece of a beautiful French General fabric for the back.
I managed to finish the quilting on my "Provence" piece this afternoon and will post photos in a future blog. I wanted to get it done before leaving for Paducah...another long flight that will be perfect to get the beadwork done!
Thank you, Darlene, for my beautiful Dubai souvenir. Hugs, Cindy :)