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The Kitchen Linens Book: Using, Sharing, and Cherishing the Fabrics of Our Daily Lives Hardcover – March 17, 2009

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Frequently Bought Together

The Kitchen Linens Book: Using, Sharing, and Cherishing the Fabrics of Our Daily Lives + The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort + Sewing Vintage Aprons: Classic Aprons for Today's Lifestyle
Price for all three: $40.98

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (March 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740777637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0740777639
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

EllynAnne Geisel, who lives at Pueblo, CO, is the author of The Apron Book and the creator of Apron Chronicles, the traveling exhibit. Her apron designs have appeared in Vogue and have been worn by Bree in Desperate Housewives. She's been a guest on both NPR's All Things Considered and CBS News' Sunday Morning. She continues to make nationwide appearances to promote her books and exhibit.


More About the Author

In 1999, I wondered if anyone else felt a connection to aprons. That curiosity led me to embark on an apron journey that unexpectedly and quite delightfully has resulted in the publication of my first book, THE APRON BOOK: Making, Wearing and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort; a national touring exhibit, APRON CHRONICLES: a Patchwork of American Recollections; and Apron Memories', my very own company of vintage inspired aprons that I design.

As a further outlet for my love of aprons, I created Tie One On Day. Annually recognized by Chase's Calendar of Events on Thanksgiving Eve, the 4th Wednesday of November (11/22/06 this year), the designated day celebrates the humble apron and the spirit of women of earlier generations who donned the universal symbol of home, family and mothering as the uniform of their daily wardrobe and helped make America the great country it is today.

The process by which I turn the apron memories of others into evocative narratives is one I presented at the 2006 International Obituary Writers' Conference. I've never met a happier group of writers, and I'm already at work with Carolyn Gilbert, the Conference organizer, on next year's live-ly presentation.

No one is more surprised than I that the apron has brought into my life the most amazing bounty of friend-ship, storytelling and joy. Aprons! Who would have imagined?

At the first writer's conference I attended in 2000, I was inspired by Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Soup for the Soul empire, that "Going for it is the only way to go." Serendipi-tously, my very first writing sale was 2 years later to Chicken Soup for the Parent's Soul. A second essay (and tribute to my mama)- I Never Saw My Mother Do a Sit Up - appears in Chicken Soup To Inspire a Woman's Soul. And my vignette on the book that influenced my life appears in Jack's (!!) latest, You've Got To Read This Book! 55 People Tell the story of the Book that Changed Their Life. While I doubt other contribu-tors like Malachy McCourt, John Gray, Dave Barry, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, eBay COO Maynard Webb,and Jacquelyn Mitchard (Oprah's first Book Club author)are excited I'm one of the 55, I am ecstatic to be included.

I live in Pueblo, Colorado, with my prince charming, Hank. My sons, Noah and Gideon, have flown the coop. Like their Dad, they are excellent husband material, and will one day be someone's prince charming.

September 1, I'll celebrate a 31st wedding anniversary. Last year, we toasted one another in China; this year, we'll be clinking champagne glasses and swatting mosquitoes out back on the patio.

Truffles, our departed pet, was so beloved, we had her memorialized in a life-size portrait. Framed in faux gold, the painting hangs in our dining room, her favorite spot. Years since her puttin' down, we still can't talk about her without tearing up.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The Kitchen Linens Book is a trip down memory lane.
D. Boatright
This comprehensive book not only has information about linens, but is chock full of beautiful pictures, recipes, apron info and MORE!
Shawnee H
EllynAnne inspired my love of Aprons...Now EllynAnne does it again with her Kitchen Linens book.
Deanna Garretson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Lesli Peterson on March 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Kitchen Linens Book is a tribute to the past - to the women who made, used and loved their linens. EllynAnne encourages her readers to embrace the memories these linens hold, appreciate their handiwork, and "go green by going vintage." This is a beautiful book, worthy of sitting on anyone's coffee table. Don't, however, gloss over the stories in light of the stunning photography - they are a must read.

Being from the South myself, I have to tip my bonnet to EllynAnn. I felt like I was sitting in her kitchen and listening to her tell stories of her family (and others). The writing is so warm and friendly, you almost forget you are reading a book and not in her company. Additionally, I love the stories written by other women that she has woven throughout the pages. There are also tips, tricks, recipes and craft suggestion. But the heart and soul of this book, in my opinion, are the testimonies she gives about her tablecloths, napkins, dishtowels, aprons and more. Every word she writes drips with her love and admiration of the times in which the linens were made, the hard work that went into making them, and the lives their previous owners led.

To be fair, there was a disappointment. There were suggestions and ideas that she mention (like layering her linens) that sound amazing, but I could not picture how to do it (and I desperately want to know so I can recreate it) but there were no images of how this was done. It seems, considering how many lovely pictures this book contains, that there would be more pictures of the ideas she discusses.

Nevertheless, I adore this book. I am encouraged to pick up a little embroidery of my own. Maybe, a few generations from now, some woman will use my tea towel and honor my life the way EllynAnne has done for generations past.

This book is delightful and a must-have for your book collection.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Helen on April 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
LibraryThing Book Review - The Kitchen Linens Book by EllynAnne Geisel
Note to readers: This book was received as part of the Early Reviewer's Group on LibraryThing. My thanks to LT and the publishers for a copy of the book. This review can also be found on LT.

This book is a celebration of the everyday textiles which are taken for granted, used, abused and often thrown out. Interspersed with memories from a range of people, a few recipes and ideas for using vintage linens, this is a sweetly nostalgic trip through the author's collection, and by extension, lifestyle. If you find the thought of entertaining friends with afternoon tea, dished up on a table dressed with hand-embroidered tablecloths and linen napkins, whilst wearing a 1950's apron completely alien, this is not the book for you. However, if you are interested in a celebration of an area of handwork that is often overlooked then this may well be of interest. This is not a serious text on textile history or sociology however.

The author gives a range of ideas for making use of vintage linens of all kinds, and many memories are shared of these pieces being used and loved over generations. One minor quibble - the author describes Scottish Terriers as being an English-bred dog. I think an entire nation of Scots may be offended by that one!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jan L. Means on February 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
EllynAnne Geisel in an expert in the appreciation of vintage fabric and this new book is a great treasure. The Kitchen Linens Book, brings new life back to our old beautiful kitchen items. EllynAnne creates a style and art form, with color and texture from antique designs, that will send you hunting for old linens to spice up the elegance in your home. Her recipes will inspire you entertain with a fresh 1950's style and class, from picnics and tailgates to High Tea and Garden Parties. This book will make a lovely gift for a girlfriend, mother, sister, daughter: creating connections through the memories and the fabric of our lives we cherish. This book is a must have, if you love entertaining, very HIP.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marlyn on June 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I received this book through Library Thing's Early Reviewer Program. I didn't know what to expect, but it sounded kind of interesting (despite the fact that I'm not a sewer), and besides, there's a an adorable embroidered teacup lady on the cover.

What it turned out to be is an wonderfully readable appreciation of antique and vintage kitchen linens: tablecloths, napkins, placemats, aprons, and teatowels. Geisel is an expert on the subject, and has also written The Apron Book and Apronisms.

Chapter topics include discussions of the various fabrics used to make the items, different techniques for making them, and a plethora of uses, both mundane and unexpected during the past century or so. Interspersed throughout the narrative are short essays from other vintage linen aficionados describing their personal memories associated with kitchen linens. There are also some gorgeous colour photographs that made me want to run out to the nearest thrift or antique shop to see what I could find.

The book was a delight, and I recommend it to lovers of all things vintage and culinary, and also fiber lovers, including knitters (like me), crocheters, and sewers.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By NotQuiteJuneCleaver on February 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Thank you Ellynanne for another beautiful treasure in book form. You made me more aware of the value of these vintage linens and how timely! I just found some embroidered linens in my mother's things. After she passed away in Oct '08, I have been slow in going thru her things. I decided to do one box at a time and I found these lovely linens (table scarves - why dont we use these any more??) starched and folded just so.

I thank you again for a lovely book!
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