Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Love to Iron

     I really love to iron.  I know a lot of women consider it a task to be avoided whenever possible, but I actually love to do it.  Mostly only when I'm ironing cotton, though.  Anything else is not nearly as much fun.  I guess it's because I LOVE starch.  I love the way it smells.  I love how the heat of the iron smooths down the cotton and makes it crisp and shiny.  I love how starch and an iron take a wrinkly piece of fabric and turn it into a thing of beauty.
     This is my iron.  And my starch.
I found my iron in a Goodwill store for $5.  More about that tomorrow.  I found the same iron in a 1958 Montgomery Ward catalog, so it's from "my" era (1935 - 1960, which is, curiously, the year I was born...I'm sure there's some philosophy in that...)  It works like a dream, despite already being at least 53 years old.  Certainly works better than I do, at 50. 
     I was ironing because I have so many wonderful vintage linens, and until now, I didn't really have a way to display them unless I was using them on my kitchen hutch (more about THAT another day, too!)  Then I found this wonderful old quilt holder, on Etsy.

The cat is Socks, my daughter's "baby".  She's four years old and weighs over 20 pounds.  But, BOY, can she love and purr...  Anyway, I found this great piece and decided to iron up some of my linens to display them.

     This is how it came out.  I love it!  I looked for the "Kitchen Parade" towel forever before we found it at a local flea market.  I love all the great designs with faces - the tablecloth underneath is another find and the veggies have faces.  I'm also a sucker for those "days of the week" designs.  You have to really admire all the work that went into this simple things.  And the work ethic behind it - don't spend money on stuff, make it yourself.  Makes sense - not much t.v., you had to go to the movies, and during those days at home while the kids were at school, doing needlework in front of the radio had to have been a special time of the day - get off your feet and take time for YOU.      I found another iron at the same flea market, but this one had a box, so I used it as part of a display.  I got an old wooden ironing board, years ago, and I have a little collection of vintage washday stuff.  I adore the graphics on this stuff.
I thought the "Monday Washday" cloth underneath went perfectly!  I found the Fels-Naptha bars at a garage sale in Indiana for ten cents each.  I also adore garage sales.  Especially back East.  You can still find prices of ten cents and a quarter there.      A wonderful book on vintage linens is this one:

It's not a price guide.  It show lots and lots of wonderful old linens, with stories from the women who made them and the women who collect them.  It is a wonderful resource, but it's also an homage to the women who made our homes wonderful.
     Well, that's it for today.  I hope you'll stroll down the cottage path again another day and join me.

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