Saturday, September 08, 2012

A few old friends ---

I left the restaurant in Columbia yesterday after visiting with Jason and made a beeline to an old favorite haunt. There is an antique mall in a warehouse in downtown Columbia off of Gervais Street that I used to frequent quite often!

How quickly I forget though that old warehouse places don’t always have A/C --- and remember it was 93 degrees in Columbia yesterday? It was about 120 degrees inside that warehouse!

I was drenched with sweat by the time I left, but I quickly combed the aisles to find any sign of any goodies that might just want to come home with me.

I of course had “Civil War” era on my mind after visiting with the docent at the South Carolina Welcome Center earlier in the day -----I stumbled upon this lovely double T quilt, it’s shredded and frayed edges and yellowing fabrics doing little to distract from the beauty. It had GREAT variety in it! I loved the green cornerstones ----

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I spread it out on the floor to get a better view. This wasn’t one I could wash and spruce up, and the border fabric was pretty fragile and disintegrating in areas, but what I love about antique places is that we can gently handle the quilts and examine them up close and personal where in museums and shows you can’t. I’m not exactly sure of the age of this quilt, it could just as easily have been made after the Civil War from older scrap bag fabrics ----but it still had me wondering about the life time of its maker and what she had seen pass in her life.

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Simple outline quilting with an X through the center square. Oh, I love stripes that go in every which direction with no rhyme or reason! Along with this quilt, there was another one made mostly of plaids. At some point in its life it had been stored and gotten wet where it was folded ---

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Rolling Stone Quilt.

The thing I really liked about this quilt was the dark plaid backgrounds and the lighter design foregrounds. I love the effect of just reversing the value placement within the block! This one is on the bucket list to reproduce. Simple and classic, how great would this be in recycled plaids and shirtings?

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A close up of the “best” corner.

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I did find a machine! This is an old beloved Davis – and no, it didn’t come home with me either, but what I found most interesting was the manual and the receipts that are with it:

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June 14, 1918

I can hardly keep track of receipts I got last week! This one has been with this machine for 94 years. Sold to Mr Chas N Herter from N Snellenburg & Co of Philadelphia, PA How did this machine end up in South Carolina?

That was all the time I had to wander, but it sure was a fun way to stretch my legs even if it was about 120 degrees in that warehouse antique mall!

Hmmmm……I wonder where I might find a place open to wander on my way back up to NC tomorrow morning?


  1. I love inspecting the old quilts, too! I feel sorry for them being abandoned like that. I wonder how their makers would feel?

  2. How much did they want for the Davis machine? I have never heard of that brand.

  3. Dee Davis4:13 PM EDT

    I just had a blue and white double T come into my life -- totally handquilted and awesome shape. Wish I knew the history of it but such an amazing gift!

  4. I love reading about your adventures at antique malls. We have nothing like that in CA. Thanks for sharing..it's the next best thing to being there.

  5. Linda LaRose6:46 PM EDT

    Thanks for sharing your quilter travelogue with all of us. I can enjoy so many things thru you!

  6. Oh ist so sad that that beautiful quilt is now so stained. I agree about the reverse value placement. Its wonderful.

  7. My mom is from Philadelphia and she remembers working in a building across the street from the Snellenburg building. The was in the forties

  8. Anonymous9:46 PM EDT

    Bonnie, did you notice the price of $7.50 on the receipt of the sewing machine...suppose that was the cost?

    1. The machine was $37.50 -- you can see it at the top of the receipt. What you saw as a dollar sign at the bottom is a 3.

  9. I love the clues to past owners! I looked up the previous owner of a shirt I bought at Salvation Army last week. (His name was on the label. Google made it easy!) I'll check out Mr. Herter on Ancestry.com when I'm at the library tomorrow.

  10. Anonymous1:43 AM EDT

    I have a Davis like that but mine dates to about 1932. It came complete with the key for the lock and papers from the shop that originally sold it in England. It's my "mom" machine as it was born the same year she was. I also have a "dad" machine (my White treadle) that was born the same year as my father, 1918. I love seeing what you find in the shops!

  11. Bonnie,
    I have to tell you about a quilt I saw this last Friday but first, a little background. Once a year, I head up to my brothers' place outside Princeton Wisconsin. Their place has no cell service, no phone, no internet, so I go to the Princeton Library to use their wi-fi. This is also the weekend for Quilt Expo in Madison.

    For the past two years, I have attended the Quilt Expo and as usual, I checked out the vendor list prior to going, so if there was a particular one I wanted to make sure to see, I would know it and I was pleased to see that the Princeton Library was going to have a booth there. (Princeton is about 1 1/2 hours away)

    When I found the booth, I found out that they are trying to raise money for library expansion (stay with me-I'm almost there) and are also collecting blocks for Project Linus. Their main fund raiser...a quilt raffle but not just any quilt! They were given a Pre-Civil War autograph quilt to raffle! Dates on many of the blocks were in the 1840's! The quilt is in pretty good shape (they had it hanging (cringe!) but it is extraordinary to look at. You can read about it and see a partial picture of the quilt here: http://www.princetonpublib.org/node/511
    Take a look!
    Anna in Illinois


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