Nolichucky West


Monday Wash Day-Repurposing Vintage Tablecloths

When I look at this photo from 1958 I see so many things and have so many questions. My dress, my pixie hair cut (I still have the same hairdo.), Brothers’ cowboy shirt, the booth in the kitchen, the food on the table, (What in the world we were eating?), that smiling mother (How often did she wear lipstick?), and that lucky little girl that got to grow up in that family.  But I am also noticing the table cloth. I don’t really remember that one, maybe it’s because a family with two toddlers gathered around it for meals. Mother took very good care of her treasured linens but sometimes the inevitable happens and a stain stays, or a hole appears.

I have already repurposed a few tablecloths, for bags, dolls, banners, and throw pillows.

When I made my “library” quilt I used a vintage tablecloth for the white portions. The fabric had a lovely embossed design.
This doll’s body was made from a beige vintage tablecloth. I learned a valuable lesson from this little one’s face. After I had her features embroidered I discovered a stain right near her cheek. I hadn’t noticed it in the artificial light indoors, but it was very obvious in the sunshine. I had to start all over again. Now I take care to check for stains in a variety of light and mark a stain as soon as see it.

I have been saving a couple of tablecloths, thinking about attempting to try new cleaning techniques or planning a future project, but have decided to let go and give some one else a chance to create a masterpiece from this charming vintage fabric.

Here are three tablecloths that I have decided to go ahead and repurpose. My end goal is to cut and package these as squares suitable for a variety of sewing projects.
First they are cleaned once again.
In the bright sunshine on the porch I examine the cloth and mark the stains with a pen. I mark it in such a way that it will be hard to ignore or miss when I begin cutting. This fabric is a lovely color, and a bit heavier weight than traditional quilting fabric.
This tablecloth will be cut into four-and-a-half inch squares. I’m using my Sizzix Big Shot which works so well when cutting fabric. I cut out and discard the pieces I have marked as stained.
Here are the squares in a neat little bundle ready to be listed in my Etsy Shop. There are forty-two squares in this little bundle.

We have had record breaking heat in this part of the southwest recently and our poor little overworked air conditioner grinded to a halt yesterday. So as I write I’m underneath a fan, with a glass of ice water, patiently waiting for our hero, the AC technician to arrive. I think I hear them now.

Thanks for listening. Take care.










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