design ramblings | decorating with vintage linens

by | May 2, 2015 | All Things Home, Decorating, Design Ramblings | 12 comments

When I was first married, I meandered into an antique store that was tucked behind a grocery store in the town where we lived.  I had never been in an antique store as an adult, buying things for my home.  I realized within minutes that I had found my kind of place.  The very first thing I bought was an antique piece of linen and my love for old textiles has never waned.

I now use vintage and antique quilts, pillow cases, grain sacks, tea towels, tablecloths, napkins, coverlets, bedspreads and even petticoats all over my house.




In this episode of Design Ramblings, we chat about buying, using, and decorating with vintage linens…

I love my work, but we’ve been pushing really hard to get things done for Lucketts and I am so ready for the weekend.  I need some good sleep and a couple of days where I don’t feel like I’m having to squeeze something productive into every second.  Jeff’s letting me sleep in tomorrow, we’ll be hanging out at my parents Sunday afternoon and just lazing around a bit.  Just the weekend should be…


  1. Katy B

    My mom is one of those “linen ladies”, and she has a great solution- one cup Biz detergent (you can only buy at Walmart), one cup cascade, and a gallon of water. It seriously works better than Oxiclean, and will amaze you.
    I have sold many linens I regret. I always think they are not a renewable resource and you should hold onto what you truly love.

    • Ginger Marshall

      Thank-you for the Biz location! I have been searching for for a couple of years for the stuff, I figured they went bankrupt when the economy went South. Thanks Katy!

    • Jennifer

      Do you mean Cascade dishwasher powdered detergent?

  2. andrea

    My mom is one of those “linen ladies” with mad ironing skills! She has a knack for bringing vintage linen and handwork back to life, and using it in her house.
    Can’t wait to hear more about those signs in the background, once you get past Luckett’s and onto the sign tutorial! Take it easy and enjoy your weekend.

  3. Rita C at Panoply

    Hahaha, Marian, my sisters and I are the LInen Sisters. We LOVE vintage linens and will buy them in lots, typically from pickers and only occasionally at auction. We take great pains to soak, wash, press, and price them (I’ve even posted on the methods we use to care for the linens). It’s one of our mainstays in our booth spaces, and every time we go in to fluff the booths, the linens always, always look like they’ve been stirred with a stick (which is good that customers are looking, but also drives us crazy when they’re left wadded up. We sometimes even have to take them home again and re-wash if they start looking too terribly bad).

    I enjoyed this segment and your take on linens, and we love seeing them upcycled. We do it too. We grow our own lavender and one sister makes lavender sachets with old linens. I used many doilies and damask tablecloths for my daughter’s casual wedding in 2013. Love Kriste’s mom’s takeaways for her bridal shower, using hankies.

    And you’re right, quilts are depressed in pricing right now. The problem is with dealers having a lot of those old, good ones that were purchased when prices were still competitive. So we hold them. 🙂
    Rita C at Panoply

  4. Jackie B

    I just love staying “tuned” to your Design Ramblings show! You girls make me laugh with your laughter! Keep ’em coming!

  5. Kate

    I love vintage linens, especially embroidered pieces. I have many delicate items, but I’ve also picked up some fun, funky ones, like the 4ft giraffe stitched onto a fabric grow chart. I’ve framed some of my favorite pieces and use as artwork. I must be old fashioned because I still cover some of my dressers, nightstands and piano with embroidered pieces. I’ve taken arm chair covers (they usually come in sets) and sewn them as pockets onto handmade bags/totes. I’ve taken two matching placemats or napkins, sewn them together and made throw pillows. In the summer when I change out my heavy winter curtains, I like to hang square tea tablecloths (one corner hanging down in front) over the bare rod. It looks so light and airy and pretty.

  6. patricia nield

    you gals always have such a fun time and its a pleasure to watch. I have lots of old fabric which I am slowly turning into cushions, slip covers and clothing. Jeans and mens ties also a great source of inspiration.Keep up the fun 🙂

  7. Tina

    I am “staying tuned til next week” . Girl, I love this new Rambings segment. But I have to admit my favorite part are the out takes . Marian when you start laughing uncontrollably it gets me laughing too! I don’t know how Kristi keeps that serious straight face! I hope you have a show in the works like Miss Shauna. Watching her new show today made me think of you and how much I would love to see where you could take a show! Hopefully you are just keeping a secret! –tina


    I know you guys have been working really hard for the show and are worn to a frazzle. I can’t wait to see the photos of the great time and goodies that you will have. It is good to relax for a bit and not have every moment utilized….enjoy you guys deserve it.

  9. Leslie

    I just bought a vintage “Dutch” tablecloth at a flea market/antique fair last weekend. My sister thought I was crazy, but it had “my colors”. I said I would make pillows or window valances, etc for my bedroom. That inspiration came from your website–otherwise I would have loved it, but not purchased because I wouldn’t know what to do with it. Thanks, Marian!!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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