The Kitchen Linens Book: Using, sharing and cherishing the fabrics of our daily lives by Ellyn Anne Geisel.
I received this book as part 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.