We’ve all experienced the overwhelming and forceful “I gotta have that!” feeling.
You know it – the feeling that comes over you when you see a vintage item that brings back happy memories, cherished friendships, or just plain good old times.
You see it – and you just have to have it.
I know the feeling. All too well.
Collecting antiques and vintage items for decades, I discovered an endless array of vintage linens, Gunne Sax dresses, and an assorted medley of treasured collectibles that called out to me.
But nothing quite matches the appeal of vintage chenille.
Just What is the Appeal of Vintage Chenille Bedspreads?
Finally – with the help of our big fluffy cat – I’ve discovered just what is so captivating, so enthralling, so irresistible about a vintage item, especially vintage chenille bedspreads.
It’s simple, actually.
The magic is tucked deep inside all those velvety thick, fluffy tufts.
Delicately enfolded deep into the tufts and enhanced by previous owners who loved their vintage chenille bedspread just as much (perhaps even more) than I do is something that is affectionately absorbed into every little tuft: Love.
Vintage chenille bedspreads have always been dear to my heart. My grandmother first introduced me to the wonderfully soft chenille when I was just a small child. Like many children taken by this texturized textile treasure, I’d never felt anything so soft before.
And those colors not to mention the endless array of patterns…vibrant florals, plump rosebuds, stately peacocks, puffy pops and dot-dot-dots!
To say I fell in love with vintage chenille is an understatement…
Over the years, every bed and couch (maybe it’s better to say practically every large surface) is adorned with not one but many vintage chenille bedspreads.
Then came the handmade chenille bathrobes…and later on, quilt squares by the thousands. The vintage chenille robes started as a birthday gift for my mom.
That blossomed into countless more designs over the years. One year I needed a unique quilting facing design for a bathrobe. And that’s how Charlotte’s Cozy Quilt squares were born.
All the Amazing Ways Folks Upcycle Vintage Chenille
At the Cottage Divine, the creativity of our customers has never ceased to amaze me. Fellow vintage chenille lovers craft and sew gorgeous quilts, adorable stuffed animals, cottage chic pillows, one of a kind junk journals & scrapbooks, too cute pet outfits, and so much more.
Even furniture upholstery isn’t off-limits when it comes to the endless creative options that vintage chenille offers. Even when a vintage chenille bedspread had long outlived its life atop a bed, talented crafters create wall hangings to display this beloved textile.
And although I’ve cut thousands of quilt squares, I had never really made a vintage chenille quilt myself even though I long admired them. Over the years, I began to amass beautiful earthtone chenille quilt squares, which I would slowly assemble into an unfinished quilt top.
Beginnings of a Vintage Chenille Quilt
It sat unfinished for years. This all changed when my husband’s worn out rag quilt I bought when we were first married finally gave out. Each evening while watching TV, his beloved cat would perch on that quilt, until it became an evening ritual.
Our second cat wanted nothing to do with the whole routine.
Often aloof and focused on doing his own thing (like most cats), he preferred slumbering on the top platform of his cat tree. He preferred his fleece lined pod over vintage chenille quilt squares.
Or so I thought.
Faced with replacing the old, worn quilt, I decided that I could finally assemble my own that had been sitting unfinished for so many years.
A Few Quilt Squares Grow into a Giant Quilt
It was supposed to be a nice little lap quilt … but over time, it grew into about a twin size. These things happen when you have as much chenille fabric as I do.
With some help from YouTube and other crafty posts online, my daughter & I finally assembled the quilt and hand tied it. For a first endeavor, I was impressed.
So was Fluff.
The evening that my husband started his usual routine, laying out his new but old vintage chenille quilt on his lap. Not only did his older cat take her usual place, but our Big Fluff pushed his way on, too.
And each evening he prefers it to his cat tree.
The Secret of Vintage Chenille
I’ve discovered the secret of vintage chenille – and any other vintage item: it’s all about the energy.
It’s unseen yet felt.
Each vintage chenille quilt square came from a bedspread that was loved and cherished throughout the years. Arriving at my home, those vintage linens were infused in more love. And as I sewed the quilt, my love for vintage chenille and for sewing a keepsake for my husband was fused into my stitches.
My most favorite chenille bedspreads have that special energy, unseen, tucked within their tufts.
And animals, being more sensitive to things than humans, detect our energy. They feel our love. Everywhere.
The famous Dog Whisperer said that if you feed your animals by scooping out the food with your hands instead of a plastic or metal scoop, they sense, or feel your love.
Why We Love the Nostalgia of Vintage Items
We humans are no different. When we see a vintage item that we absolutely must have, it’s because we’re attracted to its energy.
Think about it. We’ve all had favorite dresses, shirts, skirts, or pants that we wore out because we love them so much.
That unseen energy is absorbed into the item.
So when you come across that must-have vintage items, it’s the love calling to you.
It’s an understatement to say I love vintage chenille. And when I sewed my first quilt, I can say that every stitch was sewn with love.
Leave it to an animal to show us what we can’t see.
It’s what we feel, in our hearts.