Book Review - The Kitchen Linens Book

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I am sharing for the first time at Vintage Thingies Thursday. I found this a couple weeks ago and promised I'd be back to post.

The Kitchen Linens Book
Using, Sharing, and Cherishing the Fabric of Our Daily Lives by EllynAnne Geisel

I posted earlier this week on my love of vintage linens……especially kitchen linens. I have found a kindred spirit in EllynAnne Geisel. I reviewed The Apron Book a few months back and loved it…as much as I loved the first book, if I could only own one (thankfully, I own both, lol), I’d choose The Kitchen Linens Book.

I have many memories tied to the kitchen. My Mom and my grandmothers were all great cooks. Early in my childhood, I was drawn into their magical world. I couldn’t wait to take part in the magic they created. I would tie on an apron, drag a chair over to the counter and beg to peel carrots or measure ingredients. Thank the Lord for a patient mother who eagerly accepted my help (I tried hard to be that same Mom for my kids). Attached to those great memories are the fun and whimsical kitchen linens and dishes (we’ll talk dishes another day) from the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. As I’ve said previously, I just loved that the dishtowels had a task assigned to each day of the week. Of course, as a child, I didn’t know that stemmed from an old English Rhyme…I just knew I loved the orderliness of it all.

Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Bake on Wednesday,
Brew on Thursday,
Churn on Friday,
Mend on Saturday,
Go to meeting on Sunday.

Now that I’ve created a home for my family, I collect vintage linens for enjoyment but also embroider *vintage look* towels for use. Years back I ran into a treasure trove….a box full of vintage patterns at a farm sale. Old Aunt Martha and Vogart patterns……Scotty Dogs, Roosters, Baskets of Fruits, Dutch Girls, Animated Kitchen Gadgets, etc., I’ve made them all…at least once. Some have been given as gifts, others sold and most have been the towels of my own kitchen. One of the things about The Kitchen Linens Book that got my attention is that it includes a Butterick Transfer Pattern for “Vintage Kitchen Towel Motif”. I was very excited about that pattern. I carefully cut out the motif I wanted to embroider onto a towel to feature with this review and was very disappointed that it did not transfer well. Below is the towel, but it is obvious to me that the pattern really wasn’t intended for use....much less repeat use like those old ones were.

Disappointing. That said, I still love the book and will enjoy thumbing through it many times and reading of others with sweet memories like my own. If you are not so into vintage kitchen linens, look for this book at your public library and just see if it evokes memories for you. Maybe you’ll be a convert!

I thought I’d share some great information from the book (page 11).

How to Apply a Transfer

1. Set dry iron to “Linen” setting (350 degrees). Allow iron to reach proper temperature or transfer may not work.

2. Place protective cloth over ironing board to keep excess ink from staining ironing board cover.

3. Place fabric on iron board, right side up, over the protective cloth.

4. Place transfer face down on fabric.

5. Place a clean sheet of paper directly over the transfer so that the entire inked surface is covered.

6. Press firmly and evenly in slow, circular motion for 30 seconds, no longer. BE CAREFUL TO HOLD TRANSFER IN ONE PLACE TO AVOID SMEARING.

7. Allow to cool for at least one minute before removing paper.
Are you looking for hot-iron transfers of vintage designs, check out some of these online sources: (my favorite)