With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Vintage Crocheted Tablecloth

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vintage Crocheted Tablecloth

My mother's mother crocheted this lovely tablecloth probably in the mid-1940's

I have mentioned before that I never met my grandmother. She died at the age of 44 in 1950 leaving eleven children.  The youngest was just 6 years old and the oldest three (in their twenties) raised their younger siblings.
 During my genealogy research, we searched intently, but were not able to locate my grandmothers official birth record.  My mom says her mother was born either in Quakertown or Perkasie which are both located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She was raised in Philadelphia.  The youngest of thirteen children, Catherine Mary was born to parents that arrived in America from Germany in the late 1870's.
A trait I see passed from my German ancestors is a strong work ethic.  I have heard many stories and see it continued in my mom and aunts.  Even into their 70's (they are slowing a bit in their 80's) they were very hard workers and what they put their hand to, they did with perfection and intensity (almost to a fault).
I appreciate this tablecloth not just because it is so beautiful but because it is the hand work of someone I would like to know.  As you can see from the background in the photo below, my grandmother lived in very poor conditions.

I am not sure she had a very happy life living with so little,
a mostly absent but nasty when present husband,
working so hard to raise her many children
and dying so young.
I always hoped to find her birth record so I could give it to my mom.
She speaks of her mother often and I know it would mean the world to her.
Catherine Mary
holding her baby, Minnie Rose
(named after her aunts Wilhemina and Rose)
my grandmothers crochet hooks post


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

What a beautiful keepsake your tablecloth is, Lorraine! Your grandmother's life story is very touching. I hope you will one day be successful in finding her birth record. I know how hard a search that is because my brother and I are trying to do the same for our paternal grandfather who was only 31 years old when he passed away. Records for him are hard to find as his name is avery common one.

Laurie said...

This is just a beautiful piece, and I can only imagine how she was able to crochet this and many other items with eleven children and a life that wasn't easy. It must have been a comfort for her, if not a necessity. What a treasure you have, in more ways than one.

marie said...

That beautiful tablecloth is such a sweet treasure. I think it's wonderful that it has ended up with you ~ someone who holds it so dear.
I'm going to be praying that you find your grandmother's birth records ~ what a sweet gift that would be.

Thank you for sharing another lovely post.

Mildred said...

What a lovely piece. I just imagine the time it took to make this. She would be so thrilled that it means so very much to you. I'm glad to see you displaying it. It's beautiful with your decor.

Susan said...

Dear LDH...Oh, that tablecloth is STUNNING. I hope one day you can find more information on that dear woman, your Grammie. I'm sure she has a special place in heaven, just for her! Susan

Kathleen said...

What a treasure that cloth is. Absolutely beautiful!
I never knew my gparents. Gfathers died before I was born, and gmas when I was young.
I hope you can find your gma's bc. Maybe a blogger who does geneology could help. I hope!

Olga said...

This tablecloth is a real treasure! What a beautiful keepsake!

...............Michele @ Portlandia Vintage said...

The tablecloth is a tribute to your grandmother and I expect one of your dearest treasures. All the things we have, but those like your tablecloth are the ones that really matter. Your grandmother must be pleased! Portlandia Vintage

Ann said...

This is a lovely heirloom, shouldn't be used so that it can be passed on to many more generations.

I would be horrified if someone spills coffee on it.

NanaDiana said...

What a beautiful tablecloth...and a beautiful story. It would be wonderful if you could find that birth record. My mother's mother was a foundling..Actually left on someone's steps in a basket in 1894..unbelievable, huh? The people that adopted her never knew her roots. Hugs- Diana

Carol said...

What a beautiful tablecloth, Lorraine, beautiful! And a lovely keepsake of you grandmother. So young. That is some story.

Regina said...

Hello LDH. Such wonderful story. And her creation is truly a treasure. I hope you can find her birth record.
Thank you for sharing.
Enjoy your weekend.

keri said...

Ah! What a lovely post. The tablecloth is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the history. God is so gracious to reveal the things that enrich our lives! May He continue to do that as it blesses this circumstance!

Ann said...

A wonderful post about your grandmother. Too bad you don't have more information on her. The tablecloth is absolutely gorgeous, your grandmother did excellent work.

T's Daily Treasures said...

I am 44 years old now so this hits home. I can't imagine having 11 children but then to not be able to raise them is so tragic. The tablecloth is an absolutely gorgeous family keepsake.

I love the mosaic hearts you made. I've always wanted to try doing some sort of mosaic project. I bought a little frame kit many, many years ago but kit still sits undone.

Your paper flowers are very pretty too! Hope you are having a great day. Tammy

Walking on Sunshine... said...

What a sweet story! Well, sorry that she died so young but so sweet that you have something that she worked so hard on. I know they're hard because a few years ago I tried and started one on my own, but NEVER got further than squares!

My grandmother, who was also from Germany, her name was Wilhemina.

A Quiet, Gracious Life said...

That table cloth is BEAUTIFUL! What a treasure.

Suzy said...

What a precious thing to be able to put on your table. Its hard to imagine when she found the time with all of those children to crochet such a large piece. Maybe stolen hours after the kids were in bed? My grandmother was a crocheter too. I always thought she had taught my mother how..but recently I found out that my mother learned in Home Ec and taught my Grandmother how to crochet!!! I have a few of her patterns and pieces too. And her crochet needles - they make me smile.

Sue said...

What a beautiful treasure you have, and I love reading about your grandmother! It would be so nice if you could have found her birth certificate for your mother.

Your paper flowers are so pretty!
I also read your Valentine's Day post, and it was such a delight.
Thanks for sharing your beautiful home, and thoughts.
Enjoy your weekend.


Tink's Spin said...

the table cloth is just beautiful. My grandparents were also part German,,but I thought we were all just work aholics maybe that's were it came from instead.Busy all teh time. Lv all your pretty things.thanks so much for sahring. Tink

Maggie Ann said...

How precious! The tablecloth is beautiful...my Mom crocheted me one also and I gave it to my daughter...I hope she values it as it should be. Catherine Mary's story touched my heart. Life was so much harder back then for many women for different reasons. She looks so nice...and I love her baby's name...Minnie Rose. I would like to have known her. What a shame she died so young. Wouldn't she be thrilled if she could see your post! Thank you for visiting my collage blog...that was nice =)

Deb said...

That is gorgeous!! I have some quilts that belonged to my great-grandmother...but I did have the privilege of knowing her!

withpenandcamera said...


The tablecloth is beautiful. I am privileged to have both a bedspread and tablecloth that my grandmother crocheted in the 1940's or 1950's.

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. My mother was named Lorraine. Lovely name.


Mary said...

What a lovely tablecloth. I love handmade most anything but especially the beautiful linens. I am sure your grandmother would love knowing you have the tablecloth and it has a special place in your home and heart. Found your blog from Maggie Ann's. Beautiful blog, I have added your blog to my blog list so I won't miss a post.

Kathleen said...

That is a beautiful tablecloth and even more so because of it's history. I can knit but have never mastered the art of crochet. When I see works like yours it really makes me think I should give it another try. Thank you for visiting my blog today. I'm sure I'll be back here for another visit, Kathleen.

Paula {Salad in a Jar} said...

How very interesting! Gorgeous tablecloth but I love the chairs even more and the way they don't match.

crochet lady said...

What a beautiful thing to have! So much time invested in that lovely creation.

I never knew my paternal grandmother. She died before I was born, but I am blessed to have her eyeglasses, a butter churn and a few other kitchen utensils that she would have used. I like to use them and think of her and wonder what her days where like when her hands were using those tools.

Clara said...

Impeccable work and such a treasured heirloom.

Vivienne said...

that's so precious and love the story behind it! i cant imagine how long and how much effort it takes to make a cloth as big as this. your grandmother was def a strong woman...her circumstances in life were similar with my grandmother's..living with soo little and an always absent husband..and raising 7 kids.

Lallee said...

The tablecloth is a work of art! I appreciate it all the more, reading of your grandmother's hardships and short life. What a beautiful legacy lives on in through family, especially you!

Petra (Zoom Yummy said...

Wow! That's a wonderful piece of art. It has to be amazing to look at it and know that every stitch has been made by someone so special to you. Thanks for sharing both the photos and the story. Love it! :) Petra

Boo-Bah said...

The tablecloth is beautiful. The story of your Grandmother touched my heart. I am sure she is looking down from heave, so pleased that you cherish her handiwork.
I never knew my Grandparents either. I would love to know more than I do about their lives.
As I said in my comment on your paper flowers post, this is my first visit here and I have really enjoyed it.


Pink Roses and Teacups said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandma. I wonder when she found the time with so many children. I hope you can find her birth records.


Debra said...


What a beautiful tablecloth. I come from German stock as well and find that work ethic statement of yours to be oh so true!

I was just taking pictures this weekend of some older heirloom pieces from MY grandma to do a little story for my blog so I could not resist clicking on this post. I love the pie safe too. I am going to read some more now...:)


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