Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Vintage Tea Towels

I still love vintage/retro tea towels in case you're wondering...

Once upon-a-time I used to consider myself the Queen of the Vintage T (bit up myself in this regard - I'm sure there were loads of folk out there with a much more enviable collection than mine!) I was so la-di-da about my tea towels it was funny. Or not - depending on the way you look at things.

Tea towel tragic, that was me.

Anyway even though the days of me buying almost any old vintage t.t. I lay my eyes on in an oppy are long gone 

I'm much more discerning these days - even to the point of trying to flog a pile I'd fallen out of love with at a garage sale we held recently. There were no takers (which surprised me) so back to the oppy from whence they came, they went (I felt a bit mean/sad, but it had to be done!)

I'm still a big fan - and why wouldn't I be? They're just so gorgeous! - especially the Australian souviner tea towels of the 60's and 70's. There is something about a kitschy kangaroo (or is it a koala? sometimes it's hard to tell!), an Aboriginal wearing a lioncloth(?!), or a brightly coloured bunch of wildflowers that melts my heart. That feeling of crisp unused, (often) beautifully ironed linen sucks me in too. As do all those holidays they're mementos of...

So after all this time, why another post about tea towels?

Well because yesterday, squashed into our mailbox I found this

 A present from lovely Lea, too special not to share...

pure linen tea towel, designed in Australia by Neil

It's funny the way things, um, 'go'(?) my thank-you email to Lea I asked if she had any interesting ideas for displaying t.towels (not involving pegs - not a fan!) - I haven't heard back from Lea yet, but this morning I received a note from Zara which included a link to this 

amazing quilt. 

Made by Madeleine Sargant of MadebyMosey, to raise funds for victims of drought in East Africa way back in 2011.

If this isn't inspirational (on many levels) I don't know what is! And now that I can sew...why not?!

Thanks for reading - it's very nice of you x

(and Kate (@decobroad), if by a slim chance you're reading this, thank-you for taking the time to look me up to say goodbye. I really appreciate it x)


  1. So cool - what a fantastic way to use and display some of your collection!

  2. I think I have had that one in my collection too...and hey now that you can certainly sew imagine the things you could create with your collection. Xxxx

  3. I love that era tea towels also and as I can't sew at all have asked my mum to make a quilt of mines I've been collecting, for a moment I thought that pic was what she's done so far and u had somehow got a photo of it!! I think that's an amazing idea (obviously). Also while I'm here I've been meaning to send u a pic on Instagram for ages to show u the original Dallas Simpson painting I bought for twelve dollars from an op shop. It was thanks to your posts from a few years ago that I knew it was an awesome bargain and snapped it up. So thanks for the education as well as enjoyment of reading hyour blog :-) I will also try and remember to send u a pic of it x

  4. Also sorry for lack of punctuation in above comment!

  5. Hoorah a tt post! Love the quilt, a brilliant idea. Check out Modflowers blog. She made a tt quilt by cutting up her tts and patchworking them. I don't know how you feel about cutting them up but hers looked fabulous. Xx

  6. OOh fab idea I have a pile of them looking pretty and was wondering what they could become when they grew up!!

  7. Ohh lovely Lea sending this beautiful t towel. I've had a bit of a run with WA souvenir hankies lately, i'm thinking of stitching them into bunting.
    Seeing as your making beautiful dresses now you'd definitely be able to make the t towel quilt.

  8. Oooh! Love the quilt. You could do that Kylie. I love that you are so self aware Kylie. You'll always be the Queen of Tea towels to me!

  9. My husband is getting sniffy about my collection. I've been trying to get away from places to dogs. It limits the impulse buys.

    tote bags? cushion covers for kitchen chairs?

  10. What a great idea Kylie!! Inspiring indeed. Go for it!! How nice that you were gifted that lovely WA tea towel. xx

  11. I have done something similar with some souvenir tea towels from NZ, I still have more to add. With visions of it becoming a tablecloth.

  12. Love the quilt! I used tea towels for the curtains in my sewing room.

  13. A gorgy collection there, Kylie:) I love vintage tea towels too!!! x

  14. Fab tea towel! And that quilt is amazing. At first I thought it was just one big t.t., till I saw feet beneath it. Duh! I'll be looking forward to seeing what you whip up, now that you're Miss Seamstress Deluxe! :)

  15. That quilt really is amazing!

  16. Tea towel tragic - ha ha! I love them all, bring back your tea towel posts, I say!

  17. I do love this tea towel..the colours, the yellow and the boab trees are my favourite bit. It comes with no strings attached so you can sew some on and make an apron if you like, or a cushion or a quilt. snippety snip the world is your oyster. you could dry the dishes with it. i have been known to do this and have no regret whatsoever.

  18. I have a bed covered (I'm having to get up five minutes earlier in the morning to "style" them now = collect from every corner of room where I've hurled them) in cushions made from tea-towels, mostly Adelaide in theme. I wish I could sew properly so I could make some myself, as all mine are bought. I don't think cushions can be that hard, but I worry that whatever I do would be irreversible if stuffed up. The quilt is a fabulous idea.