Nostalgia Day 25: Doilies

October 25, 2012

What is a doily?

The following definition is borrowed from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English language, Houghton Mifflin Company, copyright 2000:

doi·ly (doil)
n. pl. doi·lies
1. A small ornamental mat, usually of lace or linen.
2. A small table napkin.

I still like doilies, (even though they are not really "in" anymore), and pick them up from time to time at consignment and thrift shops. I appreciate the time and love crocheted into a doily.

My Grandmas always had some "fancywork" to pick up when they got the time to sit down in a comfy chair.

Most of my doilies are white or ecru, but here are some colorful doilies in my collection:
A square mauve doily with white flowers.

A round white doily with green trim and red flowers.

I actually use this one a lot. I have two with mauve flowers and green leaves.

This one is not colored but has a filet crochet word "bread" and an unusual shape.

This one has pink flowers and green trim.

Two small doilies with colored thread accents.

I have never used this one. Kind of bright and wild!

Two more small ones. Cute!

A purple vaiegated square doily and a brown variegated round one!

I use this one all the time. White doily with miniature red beads crocheted into the edges and design.

I still display a few doilies. A doily is perfect on this old style TV set.

This is the ONE AND ONLY doily that I crocheted over 30 years ago. It's filet crochet.

How about you? Do you like doilies?

Thanks for reading my blog, Carlene

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  1. Wow! You have quite a collection of doilies. I love how different & colorful they are! These are not your basic doilies, that's for sure. You can tell that alot of time & love went in to each one.

  2. I do have some doilies, I have one my aunt made probably in the 30's or 40's, and a few years ago I bought two at a gift shop for way too much. I have never attempted one myself. You have a really beautiful collection. xo

  3. The one labelled "Bread" is made to fit a standard silver bread dish, which is a sort of oval, canoe-shaped dish. I have the dish inherited from relatives, and my niece crocheted me the traditional doily that goes inside.
    I think my mom and grandmother must have made all of your doilies! I love them too; can't believe they haven't come back into style.
    Nan - Toronto, Canada

  4. Doilies? Meh. But yours are exquisite!!!!!! I am in awe. (truth be told....I want them all!)

  5. Your doilies are just beautiful. I also collect doilies. I'm afraid it 's going to become a lost art. I really prefer the ones done with the real thin thread.

    Thanks for sharing your treasures.


  6. I "oohh'd" and "awww'd" at each picture....your collection is so cute! I have just started my collection and admire the work these ladies put into them too. :)

  7. What a cute table napkin...especially the purple one.

  8. You have some beautiful ones! I still buy doilies when they're reasonably priced. I seem to be afraid I'll run out. LOL With boxes of them? I don't think so. But, I can't pass them up. . .

  9. I'm impressed that you crocheted that last doily! It looks very time consuming to me. I still like doilies and crocheted dresser scarves. I've got a few that stay out all the time. You've got a nice collection and I think the one with the red beads is my favorite.

  10. I just can't get over all the intricate patterns, and the one you did is beautiful! What talent! We always had these in our house growing up. My mom is a needleworker from way back. Every surface had some sort of needlework on it. I like some of the projects people have come up with to decorate with doilies nowadays. There are some good ones out there that have been helping these sweet bits of nostalgia make a comeback.

  11. I love doilies! I have several that I inherited and many that I have found in antique stores. I use them everywhere!

  12. I have started a small collection of dollies! I love the work that went into them and the vintage feel. I mostly find mine at the thrift shops but some of my special one's have been found on the World's Longest Yard Sale and they are very special to me. I love your collection and the variety you have!!
    hugs, Linda

  13. Carlene, you have an incredible doily collection,and I can't believe you've even made one yourself. I have a few, but none as pretty as yours. I'm like you. I'm so impressed with the work that went into making them, and they aren't appreciated. I use some here and there. Glad to see you on Blogtalk. laurie

  14. Love your doily collection. Especially the one with the red beads; what a beautiful pattern! Now, I wish that I would have saved those my mother had (either made by her or her sisters). Wasn't very interested in them when I was a young woman starting housekeeping, but lately finding them to be quite pretty.

  15. I love doilies! I have one almost exactly like the one with pink flowers and green trim. I think they all came from my Mom's neighbor who was always making doilies. She used to starch them and hang them on the clothesline to dry.

  16. These are all so beautiful. It is amazing the amount of work that went into these. The last on is my favorite.


  17. Love this post!! I have two or three exactly like the one you use often, under the clock. I have rescued quite a few from thrift stores. I'm always amazed at the delicate work that was done often by lamplight. Love the filet crochet you did too!

  18. I love doilies! When my granny square project is finished, I'm going to make some doilies.

  19. I'm so glad you posted all the links to these vintage collections of yours.
    I loved seeing your doilies. I collect them too.
    In fact I was recently at a yard sale...(believe it or not- way out in the country) the ladies asked if I was looking for anything in particular; so I said 'doilies'. She said, "What do you do with them? I didn't think people used doilies anymore!" I told her I collect them...(thinking to myself, FROM PEOPLE LIKE HER!)
    She told me about 2 she thought she had on a table. She was surprised when I turned them down. They were tagged MADE IN CHINA.
    I don't want made in CHINA doilies. I want good ol'
    MADE IN THE U.S.of A. someones grandma doilies!

    Loved this post. You've inspired me. I may do a post of my own.

    P.S.-- I really like the PINEAPPLE patterns. :)

  20. What beautiful crochet, carlene! Your grandmother did such lovely work. I enjoy seeing vintage doilies with color added.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful collection!

  21. I just found your blog via Pinterest and have fallen in love! I could spend hours looking through your posts. I love love love doilies! Every time I am at an antique store or thrift store I spend forever looking through piles to find my favorite. I am actually using some for my wedding. I absolutely love the red, white, and green ones for Christmas decorations - gives it a vintage and rustic feel to me. Thanks for your posts and I look forward to seeing more!


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