Vintage Transfer a Priceless Gift

I love antique malls, especially when I’m on my own and can roam and root about at a dawdle. In the Denver neighborhood where my sons live, there’s the most divine mall. Cavernous and dimly lit, the old wooden plank flooring creaks as you mosey in and out of one vendor’s display after another. Heaven. Two years ago, I was in one such booth, where I noticed a cardboard box tucked into a corner, almost invisible beneath a pile of stuff. What possessed me, I’ll never know, but I set down my purse, cleared the box of its burden, and began removing the contents. And there, at the very bottom (music swells here), was this…

…an original Butterick transfer pattern from 1945. I about wept with excitement and joy, because I knew what I had unearthed from the box was very, very special. Raggedy and lacking a price tag, the staffer on duty asked what I thought the pattern was worth, and I, who loathe bargaining, shrugged and said two dollars. From the look that crossed his face, I realized two cents was the response he’d expected. Ha! on him…for this pattern turns out to be history and priceless.  Not even the McCall pattern company, which purchased Butterick, has a copy! 

Through the largess of Butterick/McCall, “…permission to publish is granted for the use of archival imagery (Butterick transfer pattern 191, Feb. 1945) to EllynAnne Geisel.” And so it is that my wonderful publisher, has packaged this transfer within The Kitchen Linens Book as a gift to you. 

Sixty-three years since the original printing, The Kitchen Linens Book’s reproduction transfer has also been printed in the U.S.A.  
Looking at the torn envelope-almost too fragile to handle at this point-it’s a miracle the transfer sheets aren’t damaged in the slightest. But a greater marvel is the adorable designs were never used, and so could be reprinted in their entirety. Lucky for us. Enjoy! Have fun! Stitch away! 
Tie One On…an apron, of course!


  1. You were destined to find this, you knwo that don’t you? I am saving up to get the book and as soon as I do, I will be buying towels to embroider.
    I did catch a peek at B&N and saw some of my linens in there. 🙂 Thank you.

  2. Hey EllynAnne,
    I can’t say it enough times…I LOVE the Transfers in your book and I also LOVE the texture of the books cover…like touching linen.
    I took your book with me to a recent gathering with some of my friends…I was afraid I was not going to get my book back,,,had to do several “purse Checks”! There will be 5 more books flying off the shelves of our book store.
    What an awesome book!

  3. What an awesome story about the transfers! I have not read through the KLB yet so now I know. I looked at the package in the back with the transfers and thought delicate stuff. Leave it alone. The story of the originals is amazing! Thanks.

  4. Holy Moly … that’s fabulous!
    I too am a fan of following instincts in op shops and bargain places … kudos on the book, will purchase a copy soon – CAN’T WAIT!
    PS Thanks for dropping my blog, I loved your comment! 😛

  5. EllynAnne,
    I am relatively new to blogland and have just found your blog last week, which was a very lucky thing for me! I can’t wait to get your book! I have added the tie one on button to my blog and hope to get more people involved locally here in Cincy. What a great Idea. If you visit my websites and blog you can see, I too, love vintage embroidery. While antiquing with my husband, in Ind., he too found baggies filled with vintage transfers from the 40’s. Never used! He’ll get on the floor to go thru boxes!lol. He surprised me with them in the van on the way home. Your are so inspirational and creative. So happy to have a new friend found thru threads.

  6. It’s sort of late, Friday evening, time to let go of the busy week, slow down a bit and take in “the good.” And I will, as soon as I thank y’all – Billie, madrekarin, katmom, Julia, Kitty BooBoo,and Melody – for being a part of my “good” this week through your commenting on The Kitchen Linens Book and sharing a bit of yourselves in the writing. I’m so very appreciative! xxea

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