Gails “Small Yellow Flower” Hankie Story

Gail’s Yellow Flower with Tatting Potholder

“I had to buy this”, Gail wrote me.

I started making scarves with Vintage hankies years after someone sent me the first box of them.  I don’t remember who it was or her story. But since then I’ve gotten hand embroidered and factory stitch hankies from all over the country.

Often they belonged to someone’s mother, sometimes they’re someone’s collection that has been sitting in the back of a closet for years.

It’s only in the past few months that I started using some of the hankies in my potholders.  Often the hankies have stains on parts of them but the embroidery in the corner still calls to be seen instead of forgotten.

Many people have shared their hankie stories with me.  When Gail bought my Yellow Flower with Tatting Potholder last week, she told me hers…

It was around 1959, Gail was in Girl Scouts and one of their goals was a sewing badge. She had no patience for sewing so her mother got her a package of hankies with tatting around the edges and she embroiled a small yellow flower on one.  

“It was really the bare minimum” she wrote, “but it counted towards my badge”.

She said seeing the potholder with the small yellow flower embroidered on the hankie brought her back years.

It was just this past Christmas when cleaning out some bins at her mother’s house that she found the two other hankies that she never embroidered.

Gail said she has no idea what happened to the hankie from her Girl Scout project, but she knows it can’t be the same one that’s on the potholder because “it looks far too neat!”

It’s stories like Gail’s that bring a whole other dimension to my art.  Making it not just mine, but belonging to whoever it touches.

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