Is There a Buried Treasure in Your Basement?

Piece of European priest robe dating from the 17th or 18th Centuries.

I love antique textiles and so does Marsh.

Marsh is an antique textile collector and for a long time she decorated her home with pieces from her collection in a variety of ways without actually altering the fabric. Recently, Marsh came to me and with the idea of going in a new direction with her textile collection that she was hopeful would one day turn into a business opportunity for herself. Marsh’s ideas for her textile collection involved the repurposing of some of her textiles into more functional home items like decorative pillows. She really had some fantastic ideas about how and where she wanted her textile collection used but needed some help with execution.

When Marsh showed me her favorite textiles to me I was blown away. These textiles were not only at least over 3 or 4 hundred years old, but they were in excellent condition and were intricately embellished. When I see these kinds of textiles it makes me think about the time and place they were actually crafted. Back then; all detail work was done by hand! Textiles like Marsh’s make me wonder about what everyday life might have looked like. These beautiful fabrics would have been a lot more common. I wonder how many of them were used and whether the artisans who created them could have ever imaged that they would be treated as treasures hundreds of years later.

Centuries old decorative band becomes a throw pillow’s centerpiece atop vintage velvet
Since much of Marsh’s collection were pieces of larger textiles she decided to transform them into decorative pillows that would live all around the house. What I really love about projects like this is not only that I get to manipulate and learn from these beautiful fabrics but that I get to help someone showcase their treasured collection.

Antique velvet drapery panel with matching fringe transformed into yet another stunning pillow

I know, not everyone has a collection like Marsh’s. However, like her, many of us have beloved textiles in one form or another that we would love to display in our homes. Grandma’s cross stitch, your children's blankets, or your mother’s monogrammed linens... all have the potential to take many forms and I hope these pillows can serve as inspiration for you for your next creative adventure!

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