Monday, April 19, 2010

Vintage 80's & 90's!


Remember when all there WAS was VIP and Cranston prints (And some Peter Pan or others..) for quilting with in the "early days?" If you've been quilting for nearly 30 years like I have, chances are these fabrics will strike a chord in your memory.

The year I graduated from high school, 1980, I spent the summer involved with Musical Theatre. I was in the chorus for Music Man. I had to make COSTUMES! My costume was a very full gibson girl kind of outfit, with a very mutton sleeved blouse with lace, and a very full flounced skirt, underskirts, petticoats, etc.

These were the kind of fabrics that were available! And when I was done......guess what I had left? SCRAPS! Oh, I loved that outfit....I loved being in musicals! But not long after that in 1981 I moved away from San Jose, headed to Idaho, got married, started a life.

The SCRAPS from my clothing sewing came WITH me when I moved....and many of my first patchwork projects incorporated these scraps from things like my costume sewing.

When I presented a couple trunk shows at Tiny Stitches in Marietta, GA a few weeks back, I was gifted with a large brown paper sack with handles...CHOCK FULL of these kinds of fabrics, 80's & 90's....which bring back so many memories to me! Just look at these! ONE OF THESE...is the exact same fabric I used for my skirt in that play. There are a couple of yards of it! I feel like someone has gifted me with a piece of my young adulthood....that 18 year old girl who had no idea which way her life was going to go, just on the brink of "too scared to choose any path lest it be the wrong one". Remember being that girl?

Sometimes I still think I am that girl....and this brings me all the way back to her, and I can look at her in the mirror and now say, so many years later...LOOK! Look how far you've come! Look at the path you've been on, you never dreamed this was possible, did you?

I'm sewing some of these browns into the brown/blue quilt I'm piecing on. It's been a great journey. I'm glad that young girl is still along for the ride.

23 comments:

bingo~bonnie said...

how neat that someone was cleaning out their stash and gifted you with such special fabrics - and to have one of the exact same as your musical costume - Fate! ;)

Looking forward to one day seeing that special quilt and to hear what you name it. ;)

Love from Texas! ~bonnie

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Oh wow Bonnie, I do remember those fabrics. It used to be so hard to find 100% cotton fabric back then. I actually still have some scraps from the fabrics I used for garment sewing (before quilting days). What a sweet memory. Thanks for sharing.

NeverBored said...

I can't believe how many of those fabrics are still in my stash or scrap bins! They date to my earliest days of quilting when finding 100% cotton wasn't easy at our "regular" fabric stores, and there were few quilt shops around. Not only can we look back and see how far we've come, but also how far the quilting world has come!

Chris@Cats On My Quilts said...

What memories you brought back just hearing "Cranston" and "VIP"! I am a long time quilter too and that was what was out when I started quilting. I look at some of my early quilts and cringe. I'm pretty sure I still have some of these fabrics stashed somewhere! Thanks for the memory jolt.

julieQ said...

I actually...like those fabrics! Very pretty calicoes, and I have some of the brown print still.

Quiltin' LibraryLady said...

Oh my!! I had, or still have in some cases, most of those brown prints. I made a lot of patchwork pillows to sell at craft shows back in the '80s & early to mid-'90s and the earthtones were the most popular. Brings back memories, that's for sure.

Barbara said...

What a bittersweet experience, Bonnie. This little anecdote made me (and probably many other women) feel a moment of mutual understanding and recognition of the strange ways of life. Thank you for telling us about it and I hope your happy musical memories surround you when you use these fabrics.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Pardon the pun, but I reckon you and I are cut from the same cloth. I started in costume making too and it was the scraps from the dresses that lead me to patchwork! I still have a bit of those 1980's fabrics in my stash too :o)

PattiCakes said...

Some of these are not unlike some of the current Civil War repro prints. Itsy calicos. Do you remember when the fabric was so full of sizing/formaldehyde that your eyes would start to water when you walked into a fabric store?

ssmith said...

I hesitate to say this...but I am too young to remember those fabrics. But I DID clean a bunch of those out of my grandmother's fabric closet when she passed away. So I "inherited" some. I'm so thankful that there are so many great options now to choose from!

Laura said...

I definitely remember that fabric! I made my first quilt in 1980... I may have some of them in my stash, hmmmmmmm....are you saying they are vintage now??? Help!

Sandra Henderson said...

Brings back lots of memories for me also! I remember in 1976 my mom began quilting. My greatgrandmotheres were thrilled with the revival of it!~I put a photo on my blog a few days back of an old frame like the one I remember them quilting on, it raised and lowered from the ceiling. Anyway, I remember bonnets being made out of this for me and my cousins! Like Holly Hobbie. Little House on the prairie types of bonnets and frocks. That's what these remind me of. Our were mostly blues and yellows....

Kerri said...

Even though my mom, a long time barbershop singer, was getting more and more forgetful near the end of her life, we would seat at least once a week and watch Music Man, and she would be her old self, beaming. I love all those songs from that show. Did you get to dance the shi poo pee! Those fabrics look like they were straight from our Home Silk Shop in Garden Grove, CA. Those days are a warm and happy memory for me too. My sister made me a quilt for college out of baby blue calico's that look very similar. My son still uses that quilt.

cozy quilter said...

I made a quilt for my husband-to-be and I before our wedding in 1989 from VIP prints. It was a navy, red and cream log cabin quilt which I made at a quilt in a day workshop at a local quilt store. The store is no longer in business. The quilt is no longer on my bed--some of the fabrics faded terribly and rotted. I am still married to the same husband though! We have a batik double Irish chain quilt on our bed now.

Karen said...

Several months ago I cut up my entire stash of 80 and 90's calicoes into 2 1/2" strips. I recognize some of those fabrics. I've already made 2 quilts from them. They really do bring back the memories.

quiltmom said...

Hi Bonnie,
I went through some old drawers and boxes of fabric this fall when we were cleaning out some things in our house. I found some of those same fabrics in my stash. They were from some early sewing days- I did a bit of quilting in the mid 80's and then did not quilt again until 1996.
There are so many choices now - it is hard to choose which fabrics to buy.
I am working on a new quilt this weekend and have chosen a couple of pieces from when I was clearing out last fall. So what once was old can become new again..Such is the way of life of a quilter.
Regards,
Anna

Beth said...

I wasn't quilting then, but I have run across some VIP fabric along my quilting journey.
Thanks for sharing your fabrics and your story.

Quilts and Cats said...

I surely do remember all those prints...having worked in fabric stores for many years. A true blast from the past!
My journey has been wonderful with many paths taken and lots of sewing growth and challenges. Lynne

Marti said...

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who saved every single scrap from 'way back when.' My first quilt was a modified nine-patch. I have fabric from the first real dress I made when I was 16! That is over 40 years ago. The fabric, while not 100% cotton, has held up well and whenever I look at it, I remember why I made the dress and when I wore it. I love reading your blog.
Miss Marti
mprespentt at gmail dot com

Mary said...

I am still using those fabrics. I have lots of them. Last year I made a lot of pillowcases (63) and used up a lot of those fabrics. I have just started to save salvages, and they look way different then those of today.
I love your blog. I made Carolina Christmas, but put the green blocks together in a different way. I did not realize it until I had 3/4's of the quilt put together. Decided I was not going to take it apart. I used all Christmas fabrics. I am still pleased with how it came out.

Dora, the Quilter said...

VIP, Concord, Peter Pan, Wamsutta...that was about it. If it was 100% cotton and a decent thread count, I bought it. Then I was sooooo disappointed when 2 or 3 years later the manufacturers insisted that if the fabrics held their colors for 14 hours or so of sunlight, that was plenty.
I remember wishing some of the antique designs would be reprinted and being told by people like Barbara Brackman that that would make dating quilts a nightmare.
Love, love, love the choices and quality we have available today.

Louise said...

Bonnie: Thanks for the memories. I have scraps like that too. While sorting my scraps recently, I found a small piece of a dress I made in 1972 or 1973! I have a picture of me wearing that dress (a maxi dress!) so I'm going to keep the scrap with the picture. I wish I would have appreciated and made better use of those teenage years. Louise

YankeeQuilter said...

I ws just "gifted" several boxes of 1980's era fabrics! What really struck me was how many were printed in the USA...try finding that today!