Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I need some advice...

So last summer I embarked on a kitchen update project. It sure seemed like it would never be finished...and you know what? It's still not done. I do believe that painting those cabinets destroyed a tiny piece of my soul.

At some point I'll show "before" and "after" pics, but we haven't gotten quite far enough in the "after" process for that to happen.

My family tells me it looks like a Granny Kitchen. And while I'm not a Granny, I'm pleased with that description because that's sort of the look I was going for. I would have preferred "farmhouse kitchen" or "charming kitchen" but I'll take what I can get.

The painting is complete and now it's time to add the fun fabric stuff. You know, pillows, new chair cushions and valances for the windows. The kitchen opens onto the family room, so the new look continues in that room as well. So we're talking a lot of windows. Five, to be exact.

I've been agonizing over my fabric choices for several months now. But "agonizing" probably isn't the right word...more like enjoying considering my many options. Because I didn't have the brackets or poles in place to even hang the valances and I knew it would take my husband months to get around to taking care of that part of it for me. And it did. Take months. MANY MONTHS. So why rush anything?

But now, they're up. And he's wondering why he was asked to cut and hang poles and brackets when there's nothing to hang on them.

So now, I'm agonizing. And here's where you come in: I've been collecting vintage tablecloths for awhile now. Because that's what I want to use for my projects. Most of the tablecloths were purchased very cheaply on eBay because they've got damaged bits. I did get a trifle carried away on a couple of auctions so they're not all bargains. I think they'd make WONDERFUL valances, etc. but I can't seem to cut them apart.
It's just like when you have a piece of quilt fabric you love and can't use.

On the plus side, these projects would allow me to enjoy those fabrics every single day. Why keep them locked away? On the minus side, they're vintage tablecloths!

So seriously. What do you think? Hack them up and enjoy the results or only use new fabric?


Blogger Sandie said...

How much pleasure would you actually get from keeping them stored away in a drawer? Now, how much pleasure will you get from looking at them and re-purposing them into something you will get to see everyday? I say use 'em! ( I know, easy for the one who has her stuff all stored away for "someday" to say!) Seriously, what else is going to look so perfect on your windows?! Can't wait to get my own "granny" kitchen! (Think pink retro appliances!)

3:00 PM  
Blogger Jewel said...

Use them! THey are perfect... I would invest in some UV protector for them though... oh how lovely they will be.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

use them and enjoy them Elizabeth. What is the point of keeping them where you can't see them .

4:27 PM  
Blogger Jayne said...

I understand your dilemma. I would be agonizing, too. I wouldn't me so quick to cut 'em up, myself, so I perfectly understand the agony in your decision-making process. They are beautiful, and they match those pitchers oh-so-perfectly. Well, good luck with your quandary. Either way, you have some treasures.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I once saw a photo in a magazine where handkerchiefs were casually draped over a pole to make a valance. You might be able to do something similar with the tablecloths, in a way that you could avoid cutting them.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Use them in your newly decorated kitchen! Much more enjoyable than keeping them tucked away.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Thimbleanna said...

Hahaha -- you're going to get opinions all over the board! Personally, I'd keep them and use some of the new repro fabrics (like I see you and PKM use so often -- lecien comes to mind). I can't wait to see the re-do!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Karin said...

I say: Use them! Since I try to stop hamstering (is that a word?) and just use everything I love, instead of saving it for that special occasion that never arrives, I have lots more joy from all of it. I say: soak up all the beauty you can. I am sure you will find more and new beauties.

3:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cut those babies up girl! If you use them as table cloths you could only use one or two, at the most, at a time right? But if you use them in your valances/cushions, you can appreciate bits of them ALL everyday!

6:33 AM  
Blogger suz said...

I'd keep the ones in best condition for your table and cut the others up and enjoy them. There is nothing like vintage tablecloths to cheer the soul!

6:39 AM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

I'd use them so that you can enjoy them.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous barbara@quiltsoup said...

I vote not to cut them up! It makes me ill to think about doing that. You are braver than I so maybe you will be able to do it! I'm sure that whatever you decide the result will be charming.

7:52 AM  
Blogger Judy in Michigan said...

Unless you plan on opening a tablecloth store or an auction site, use them and enjoy them! I think we get so attached to antique fabrics that perhaps no one in our family thinks much of, why not use them now! I'm sure there are other tablecloths circling the globe that we could purchase if we became despondent over the cut fabric. I say, "Cut em up"!!!

8:21 AM  
Blogger Chris@Cats On My Quilts said...

My MIL recently invited me and my SIL over and brought us up to the attic to open "the trunk". This trunk had intrigued me for all the 35 years I have been married but she would never reveal it's contents. But now she was ready to empty "the trunk" and give to me and my SIL. In it were all her wedding presents. She had carefully packed them away and never used them because they were special, in her words. I am using everything she gave me and I thought what a shame she never got to enjoy these treasures every day. So cut those tablecloths and enjoy them every day.

8:46 AM  
Blogger PamKittyMorning said...

I say cut them up, and do it soon so we can get busy make valances!

12:36 PM  
Blogger PamKittyMorning said...

p.s. the birdcage is killing me.

12:36 PM  
Blogger bmayer said...

Hack 'em. Thats easy for me to say, because I have a collection of vintage linens and fabric that I just havent been able to cut. Be the pioneer, be brave, do it. someone has to go first. Double Dare ya

7:39 PM  
Blogger Vicky said...

I couldn't cut them.... I get so sentimental about treasures like that!

8:35 PM  
Blogger Kathi D said...

I say cut 'em up and hang 'em. Of course, this is coming from a person who has pieces of fabric that I can't stand to cut up.

11:52 PM  
Blogger mascanlon said...

So pick out few that are in the best condition and save them to use in the kitchen and then cut the rest up and enjoy them everyday.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Nanbon44 said...

please enter my name in your drawing. I love your block, might be one to try. Thank you

7:54 AM  
Blogger SewLindAnn said...

I collect vintage tablecloths as well and have a small metal vintage table that they fit perfectly on. Maybe you could get one to use some with. The others you should cut into large squares and sew them together diagonally for a valance. They will be big enough to enjoy the patterns and you'll still have some left to use as centers for table runners, pillows, purses, etc.

8:22 AM  
Blogger jen duncan said...

Well of course no one can tell you what YOU need to do with them. :-) I too have a box full of slightly damaged cheaply purchased old linens...wanting to incorporate them into the children's clothes I WILL get around to making, but so far...just stored away doing no one a bit of good. Good luck in your decision making!

10:26 AM  
Anonymous D'Ann caron said...

I am using everything I got from my Mom when she died...why keep it and besides, no one else will appreciate it like you do and you can enjoy it NOW. D'Ann

10:41 AM  
Blogger C said...

Someone else "saved" them because they were too good to use. Are you going to do the same thing? I say use them. Put up your pole, cut them on the diagonal, fasten to the pole with your method of choice, and layer them, small points over large points. Make cushions, and pillows, and valances. They are happy fabrics, and very in vogue these days.

9:16 AM  
Blogger TheaM said...

I recently cut up a vintage tablecloth - and I have to admit it was tough - took me two years to work up the courage, but once that first cut was made, it was a LOT easier - so here's my advice - take the one in the worst shape and cut it first - the rest will be MUCH easier once you make that first cut.
...and I can hardly wait to see the 'after' pics!

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Grandma Shell said...

I understand your quandry perfectlty. Those tablecloths are beautiful patterns, but, like others have said, how much will you get to enjoy them tucked away somewhere? I'm thinking you could get creative and make darling valances with them. Or pillow covers, or... Main thing is to have fun!

7:54 AM  

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