When I married, my mother-in-law made me a sheet set with beautiful handmade lace edgings and inserts across the sheets and pillowcases. We’ve been married 21 years, and this year, I had to finally concede that the lace wasn’t going to last another year.
For those who might say, “What? You USED real handmade lace pillowcases?” Yes they are heirlooms, and Yes. I did.
My mother-in-law told me her philosophy was given to her by her grandmother– “Use your best, and always have your best left!” She didn’t put all those hours into them to just sit in a box waiting for a moth or age spot to mar them. She wanted them used! or she’d take them back and use them herself.
And she would too.
So, yes. I did.
And now they’re too far gone to use any more. The thread wore out fairly evenly with few repairs over the years. Once they decided to go, they really went. There were little holes all through it. I’ve saved a section of the best for posterity— but it’s not much. However! These beautiful lace gifts gave us 21 marvelous years of love and memories, and it was worth it. I learned a lot from Mary about how to keep lace nice, and she’s right. Use it or lose it. Cotton wants to be used, and washed or it turns horribly yellow and loses its beauty.
Mary is currently making altar cloths, and loving it, so it’s my turn. I had my husband choose a new pattern, and we’ll see how this one holds up for the next 20-odd years or so.