As a new bride, I craved vintage.
Not the Avocado Green and Harvest Gold that was in every rental, that wasn’t old enough to be cool yet.
I started buying red-handled kitchen utensils, vintage tins and doilies when I could find them cheap and I had a few extra dollars in my pocket.
There was nothing in my life to feed my desire for tacky décor, except an occasional well-used Country Living magazine at the laundry mat that I would devour page by page with my poverty stricken eyes. There was no internet, blogging or Facebook. There certainly wasn’t any Pinterest. I rarely ran into anyone who had my same taste for the chippy and faded items from the past.
I just loved, loved, loved me some vintage.
I saved my husband’s pocket change until I had enough to justify pushing the stroller a few blocks to the thrift store. This was back in the day when $1 or $2 could buy several items. Remembering those prices makes my heart pound. When my husband had a dollar for a can of pop, he would use two quarters and leave the two quarters in his pocket for me. It was the only time in our marriage where I supported him drinking something that wasn’t good for him.
I was thrilled to find this beautiful tablecloth in about 1989 and used it for years on my kitchen dinette table. My centerpiece was usually a vintage glass pedestal bowl with fresh pine branches and red glass Christmas balls. I loved creating Christmas magic in my home without spending a lot of money.
The linen was only retired to the closet when we bought a real oak dining room table that was too big. It hung around for years, because I couldn’t part with it. It gathered more yellow stains. After a few years of dreaming about it, I got brave.
I pulled out my trusty Ginghers, not the pair my husband used to cut carpeting, the pair he bought to replace the pair he used to cut carpeting, and began dissecting before I lost my courage.
Two panels were cut from the length of the tablecloth, using the printed pattern in the center as a guide. When I want to “get ‘er dun” I’m not all picky about perfect measurements. For the bottom, I simply folded the seam up to the bottom of the red border, ironed, and sewed. The valance 12 inches from top to bottom. I left 1/2 inch along the top to make a little ruffle and about 1 inch casing for the tension rod to fit through.
If you don’t sew, you need to know about Stitch Witchery. It’s iron-on fusible webbing you can use to hem things. It may make the fabric a bit stiff, so you want to use it with heavier items. I didn’t use it here, but I’ve used it even when hemming clothes.
A memory of Christmas Past became a memory of Christmas Present. I look forward to hanging my valance for all the Christmases Yet to Come.