Loodylady’s Passion

I’ve already spoken about my love of vintage linen. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing someone who (I think it is quite safe to say) rivals me in her passion for this topic: Wendy Lewis aka “Loodylady.”

L:  So. The first, most obvious question I just have to ask:  Where does the name “Loodylady” come from?!

W:  Loodylady originated long before I decided to sell on ebay. “Loody” was my nickname for my son and I just decided to use it and it stuck!

L:  Can you tell me a little about your family and where you currently reside?

W:  We live in Northern Vermont. I am originally from the Seattle area. I met my British husband in Vermont in the early 90’s and we moved to England, living there for 12 years. We returned to Vermont 2 years ago to raise our children here who are 5 and 7 years old. They are my number one passion in life -and textiles number two!

L:  What else can you tell me about yourself?

W:  I am interested in genealogy and have spent years researching my own family history. I also have a passion for wonderful food…another reason my frequent textile-buying trips to France are always interesting. I am an avid cook and can often be found trying to recreate recipes of the wonderful food that I enjoy there; –not that I always get it right!

L:  So how often do you travel on buying trips and can you tell us a little about how you got started in this business?

W:  When we lived in the UK, we used to take trips to France regularly. We used to adore renting little farmhouses in the country and exploring the area. I began buying little bits of fabric when I could find them and became fascinated with them. When my son was born, I was even more drawn to these pieces of history and it became important to me to surround my new baby with these heirlooms. Unlike new pieces, antique textiles have so much character and history…They fill my soul with joy and I became passionate then about using them throughout my home…making quilts, pillows, etc.

L:  It sounds like you are really intrigued by the history of the pieces you sell.

W:  Oh, yes. As I began collecting, I was very driven to understand the history of the textiles and spent months in museums all over France and England. History has always been a passion of mine. I always look at these textiles and wish they could speak and tell us about all they have witnessed throughout the years!

L:  How often do you travel to France now?

W:  About every 3 months. I source from all over Europe now. I spend the most time in France, though, and I personally do all of the buying. It is important to me that I love every piece I sell. If I wouldn’t want it for myself or my family, I don’t buy it!

L:  I think most linen & lavender readers share our passion for Europe. Can you tell me a little more about your trips there?

W:  When I am in Paris, my favorite way of getting around is to bike. I always rent a bike. I put my map in the little basket in front and I pedal from museum to museum and café to café!  My last trip, the devil-in-me really wanted to attempt the roundabout at the Champs-Élysées on my bike…and I was partially successful. The adrenalin was really rushing!
We have rented many little farm houses all over France. Some at the base of old 13th century castles; others on the banks of the Loire and some in the Pyrenees. It is an amazing way to immerse yourself in the local culture and get to know the local restaurants, cafés and people.

L: It sounds like you are an avid traveler.

W:  Yes. My interest in travel has taken me all over the world: India, Morocco, Turkey, China…and of course, all over Europe. I grew up in a very small town in Washington and always felt there was such a big world to explore —I wanted to see it all!

L:  Do you have a storefront or do you sell exclusively on-line?

W:  I don’t have a store. I wanted to be home to raise my children, so I only sell on-line. However, I do the Brimfield Antiques Show every spring and fall and I can be found there at the New England Motel field!

L: What pieces are your personal favorites?

W:  I have a deep love for the hand-woven antique linen pieces. I so appreciate the work and effort that went into creating these pieces of history. The textures and tones keep me interested every single day. As far as printed textile, I love the French 18th century pieces. They are rare and wonderful and so full of history that I am drawn to them deeply. I recently acquired some of the most astounding pieces from this period from a private collection -one of America’s great early collectors of textiles- and I am thrilled to be their new owner!

. . .

I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Wendy in person, but feel fortunate to have come across such a kind and generous person. It is heart-warming and inspiring to meet someone with such passion for what they do and she could not have been more gracious or forthcoming when I contacted her with the idea of doing this feature. —My thanks and best wishes to you, Wendy!

Following are photos showcasing a sampling of the many textiles she has available along with upholstered pieces, pillows, bedlinens and other items made from her textiles provided by Wendy and some of her clients. –Enjoy! ~L

Old textiles have a way to warm the soul with their timeless beauty. What I love most is the knowledge that they were once lived with and loved by generations before me. And, fortunately for our generation, they’ve aged beautifully. Nothing can create that atmosphere of faded grandeur like the simple passage of time. You can make something look old, but you can never infuse it with a history. There is simply no substitute for a fabric that has had real life pass before it. –Wendy Lewis,
excerpt from her website:  The Textile Trunk  
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Posted in 62Source Sharing, bedcovers, bedlinens, Brimfield Antique Show, dishtowels, duvets, Europe, France, linens, LoodLady, napkins, Paris, pillows, runners, tickstripe, upholstery, vintage linen, vintage textiles.

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