Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Can One Ever Have Too Many Napkins?

I'm participating inThree or More Tuesday hosted by Tam at The Gypsy's Corner. Please visit and see what other "threes" there are for this Tuesday.

At Linderhof, paper (other than newspaper and magazines) are in short supply. We don't have paper cups, napkins or even towels. We use "real" things. And at each meal, we use napkins -- real napkins.

Like the Victorians, we reuse our napkins for several days (although not for a whole week like the Victorians did) and like the Victorians, we slip them into a silver napkin ring after each meal and the napkins are then put in a drawer -- awaiting the next use.

I also like antique linens and napkins (as well as tablecloths and pillowcases) are some of my old linen treasures.

Our "everyday" napkins are white Hotel napkins which can be washed, bleached and when ironed have a great feel.

But for company luncheons, teas and dinners -- I like to use my antique ones.

I'm always on the lookout for "new" napkins and this weekend, I came across the following treasures. THREE treasures actually -- at THREE different Estate Sales.

Thus, my new antique napkins (and tablecloths) are my THREE OR MORE TUESDAY.

The first are tea napkins, ironed and starched and what I paid was obscene. Six in one bundle and 9 in the other. I love the needlework on them and although I have several sets, I will certainly enjoy these new ones and can't wait to have company for tea so that I can use them.
Luncheon napkins -- a bit smaller than dinner napkins (as luncheon plates are smaller than dinner plates). Eight of them. They will certainly be part of the tablesetting when the Lunch Bunch comes for lunch in August.
A "Luncheon Set" -- to be used on a card table -- a cutwork tablecloth and 4 matching napkins. Ladies knew how to entertain with elan -- even if the ladies came for a game of bridge and a lunch.
I found another at the same sale (for the same ridiculous price) -- with two sets, her bridge club must have been at least two tables and perhaps three.
There is something about nice linens especially antique ones. I get pleasure in laundering the linens and even in ironing them. Carefully taking care of linens reminds me of the slower pace of years gone by -- when washed, ironed and starched linens graced tables.


Sherry said...

I'm a napkinaholic too. My mother was in the antique business for quite a while and gifted me with a couple of nice sets of napkins and some ladies handkerchiefs.

I'll take photos one day and let you know so you can come look.

Kathleen said...

Me too, I love them!
But I don't have too many vintage like you pretty..
Some of them are vintage in that they have been with me over 30 years!
I have some of my mom's, pink linen that we got on sale in Gimbel's for 10 cents! A big bin of them, and we picked through till we found all the pink linen!
Love your pretty napkins and look fwd to seeing them in a tablecape..

Blue Creek Home said...

Lovley post - gorgeous napkins. I love linens, too.
I adore your old ones.

Southerncook said...

I love vintage linens as you do. I am not fond of ironing, however, you always inspire me to a different way of thinking. Martha,,,,,you are a kindred spirit that makes me a better person as you know.


Sharlotte said...

These are beautiful. Being vintage makes them very special!

Gemma Wiseman said...

I must sadly admit that I don't have napkins at all! I eat too much on the run! (I know! Bad!) But, on the rare occasions that I go out for a meal (like last Sunday ~ first time this year) I love the soft feel of napkins on the lap!

Your collection is utterly beautiful!

Poppedijne said...

With a beautiful tablescape you need a crips white napkin and if it is an antique one with beautiful embroidery thats even better. Love your collection. At least it is a collection that not only sits in your cubbard but one you can use and enjoy.

The Blushing Hostess said...

Seriously, right on, sister, real is best thing on the planet.

Peg said...

Your vintage linens are beautiful. I have a couple of matching bridge table cloths that were my mother's. Those must have been very popular. I also have several sets that she embroidered; she said she could buy them for a quarter and work on them in the evenings before there was TV to watch. If you have linens that need to be whitened, you might try the recipe I posted here
It really does work!

Unknown said...

Thank you for stopping by to visit me today. You have a lovely blog here! I have just spent an inordinate amount of my day enjoying past posts. Lovely!

I took advantage of copying your blackberry cobbler in a tea cup recipe. I plan to use it with peaches in the very near future, as we are more than a year away from the blackberries ripening once again.

And I have to tell you that we, too, use all cloth napkins in our house. We use them for a couple of days before washing, unless we have had a dinner with red sauce or a breakfast of maple syrup :)

I have not used a paper napkin for many, many years in our home. The only exception is huge parties, like our open houses where we have 60 people come and go. But alas, they are rare, and only when we have a BIG event like a graduation.

I buy new napkins all the time. I have many garage sale finds. Not too many antique ones though. Lovely finds!

It is very nice to meet you.

Dawn said...

Your antique napkins are beautiful. I would love to see them in a tablescape. I bet you have many wonderful dishes to use with them.

Bill said...

Hi Martha,
Your new estate sale finds are wonderful! First the table and now these heirloom-quality napkins!
Whenever I go to estate sales (which is as frequently as possible!), I always make a point of checking out the table linens.

The ones like yours take us back to a more gracious time, don't they?

Thank you for your fascinating comments on my flatware post. I too love the odd pieces of silverware. I have some "chipped beef" forks that are wild looking. Imagine ... forks just for eating chipped beef!

Hope the rest of your week goes well.

Very best regards,

ItaJeff said...

Hi Martha...
I love them all...they are just darling.
May the rest of your week be filled with joy

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

These are wonderful. My mother always used (and still does) cloth napkins. You are right, beautiful linens are a reminder of slower, gentler times.


La Bella Cooks said...

Vintage linens are one of life's great indulgences. Your collection is lovely!

Mary Bergfeld said...

How lovely! Your napkins are gorgeous.

Gypsy aka Tam said...

OOooohhhh what a great idea for 'Three Or More'. I also have many...maybe too many...uhmmm naaaaahhh...napkins...LOL.
Most of mine are new though, I'd love to have some vintage ones and have been on the lookout for them at the thrift shops.
Thank you for playing along and have a wonderful evening,

Deanna said...

Lovely vintage linens!
Fun to see and admire.

Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

I just started collecting vintage cloth napkins.

fitty's pinky rose cottage said...

who doesn't like vintage linens?! especially if they are pretty as yours! lovely!