I never expect to find vintage tablecloths when I’m thrift shopping, but the past few months have been exceptionally surprising. Would you like to see my newest tiny table toppers?
First up, a bright sailcloth piece with Wilendur-style pattern blocks. (It doesn’t have a pink stain. I took a crummy photo. No one will pin it on Pinterest now.)
I wasn’t looking for tablecloths, honest!
Janeray and I sold so much furniture at September’s Vintage Bazaar that I went to the flea market at a bracing 6 a.m. to see what I could scare up to replenish our meager remaining stock.
You gotta go early to get the good stuff. I’ve seen customers there before daylight, shining their flashlights into dealers’ vans as the poor guys are trying to unload in the darkness!
Alas, I wasn’t quite early enough for a piece I would have snapped up in heartbeat—a vintage wood desk with a single drawer, a big old glass knob, and a black painted finish that just needed a little polishing. The lady standing right in front of me snagged it for under ten bucks. Darn!
You win some, you lose some.
So I lost on furniture this time, but boy did I ever win it big on tablecloths!
A whole bunch of dealers had piles of vintage linens that they seemed willing to practically give away. The reason probably is that almost all of them have stains small or large. If a dealer doesn’t specialize in linens, she usually doesn’t want to be bothered trying to get stained ones back to pristine shape.
I don’t exactly specialize in linens, but I do love them, and I consider stains a professional laundry challenge, so . . . .
Here’s what I came home with!
A card-table size Florida souvenir cloth. I love those blue . . . coconuts? giant dates? in the trees.
Last weekend I picked up four vintage printed kitchen towels at a great antique shop in Ilion, New York.
It’s the colors that got me, of course!
The floral print is pretty.
Though the long edges were raveled a bit, the towels didn’t show any wear or stains. They looked new, actually.
Then I looked closer at the raveled edges.
This week is the annual Yankee Homecoming downtown. It’s a big deal—sidewalk sales, craft fairs, kids’ activities, outdoor concerts–you name it, it’s happening downtown.
So after I’d made my run to the bank and the post office, I stopped by one of my favorite shops: Flukes & Finds & Friends. This shop is chock full of vintage furniture, repurposed finds, linens, art, estate jewelry, and a lot more in really inviting displays. The prices are reasonable, the dealers are friendly.
They’re not paying me to write this, honest!
Out on the sidewalk, Flukes usually has a great display. Today was no exception.
Tiny tablecloths were never on my mental list of things to collect. I have to admit that the moments of discovery (Oooooooh! A tablecloth!) have always been followed by a letdown (Shoot! It’s small!) But that hasn’t stopped me from buying them anyway.
A Facebook commenter pointed out that some tiny tablecloths are merely cut down from larger pieces. Here’s a Wilendur that’s hemmed on all four sides. It was sewn by a perfectionist who made it exactly 34″ square.