Spring has really sprung here in the Portland area- our fruit trees are in full bloom, buzzing with the Mason bees my husband lovingly tends to. Chimney swifts have returned and are swooping thru the sky around our house’s tall brick chimney, catching bugs & making a nest inside for their eggs that will hatch later this summer. The sky is blue and it’s been hot for days. All of this busy Spring activity means my backyard clothesline is again open for business. If you saw the large photo on my home page with bandanas on a clothesline, that’s our place but taken several years ago. The chickens are gone now and a nice green lawn replaces them (honestly, I’d rather still have our chickens but it is what it is.)
Between the smoke from nearby wildfires last Fall and just general dust/pollution that settles on everything, the line gets dirty after months of sitting idle. So I cleaned the grime off the plastic line and tightened it up (saggy clothesline- yes, that’s a thing, lol.) Two washer loads later my backyard was full of vintage floral print or white cotton pillowcases embellished with embroidery, handmade lace or both. It’s a beautiful sight if you’re into homey retro nostalgia.
This retro clothespin keeper, bag or hanger spent the winter on the line and is destroyed. That was careless of me but I’m going to fix this. I’ll make a new bag using the old one for a pattern. Then I’ll carefully trace the frog & flower motif. If I’m really good I’ll share the pattern using a hoop or something but that’s a blog post for a different day.
After all the easy work yesterday, the real drudgery begins today- I have to iron those pillowcases. The cotton used in bedding from 50+ years ago was denser to begin with, and has shrunken with repeated washings over the decades. That makes them harder to iron than modern cotton pillowcases- not that they HAVE to be pressed for use. A regular wash and dry in modern machines works swell and releases wrinkles. But mine are wrinkled from being folded and stacked in a basket so I need to iron them before taking photos. THAT’s my job today. I have about 40 pillowcases sitting on my ironing board, calling for me & my iron. Duty calls! :-) These lovely ready-to-use vintage pillowcases will begin showing up on this site by this weekend.