Monday, October 24, 2011

A fun sewing project using vintage hankies

For months I have been meaning to share photos of this "teatime table runner" I made from vintage hankies this summer.  I have quite a collection of vintage hankies, and had thought I might make a quilt with them.  I decided to scale back and make a table runner instead.  I used a white-on-white print for the backing, then cut the hankies in half and hand-sewed them on to look like a folded napkin or doily.  Then I found or tweaked applique patterns of tea-themed items and placed one or several items on each "napkin or doily".   I chose to use some children's cartoon-type hankies that had been mine as a child.  This meant that my appliques had to be in rather bright, crayon-type colors to complement the hankies.
One half of the runner

The second half of the runner

A teapot and teacup motif on a 3 Little Kittens hankie ~ I found inspiration for this motif on a child's vintage metal tea set.

A simple cup and saucer motif on a Donald Duck hankie

A cupcake on a small plate motif atop the second half of the Donald Duck hankie.

A stack-of-teacups motif on a Daisy Duck hankie ~ I found inspiration for this motif on a greeting card.

A steaming-teakettle motif  on a Daisy Duck hankie

A simple teapot motif on the 3 Little Kittens hankie ~ the knob on top is a  button!
Hope you have enjoyed this look at my teatime table runner!  It was encouraging to me that I could figure out a project on my own like this and have it come out quite nice.  I know some people would frown on cutting up vintage hankies, but I found this a nice way to display and use them, especially these with the juvenile motifs that are not quite as pretty as the usual vintage hankies one sees.


  1. You are SO creative! I love it!

  2. Thanks so much, Susan, for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment. This was a very fun project to do. The time flew by as I worked on it.

  3. Fabulous idea! I have some of my grandmother's hankies and have been wondering how to best use them. Seems a shame to leave them stored in a box out of sight.

  4. What a great idea. I have a bunch of my husbands grandmothers hankies (embroidered and/or tatted). I've often wondered what to do with them. This inspires me. Thanks!

  5. That was a really good idea.It is too bad to just have to have things like that put away and not used.You will get to enjoy them this way.Nikki

  6. Thanks for the sweet comments, ladies! It is so nice to see all of you here around my kitchen table! I'm glad some of you found some inspiration here for using your own vintage hankies. My mother always kept such things stashed away in boxes or bags, which is a huge waste in my opinion. Why have these items if no one can see them?

    Stop in and visit again!

  7. Just beautiful Mrs T....I just had time to look at the computer. Our dear friend passed away yesterday and I have been busy coordinating out SS class to bring food etc.

  8. That is adorable! What a treasure and what creativity, Mrs. T! Thanks for letting us see--it is so fun to gather around your kitchen table! :)

  9. Arlene and Mrs. Smith,

    So nice to see you here! We have quite a group around the kitchen table admiring the table runner. Perhaps I will have to make some tea and serve some pumpkin muffins I baked yesterday!

    Arlene, I'm so sorry to hear of your friend's passing. I'm sure this is difficult for your entire church family as well as for your friend's family. Will keep you all in prayer.

  10. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Oh, this is such a lovely idea!

    Weekend blessings,

  11. Thanks, Sharon! It was a fun project to do and very rewarding to be able to display these memorable hankies from my childhood.

    You have a wonderful weekend too!
    God bless,


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