Saturday, December 22, 2012

Out Foraging!

I’m in search of a sewing stool to use at the treadle machine.

Rolling office chairs are just NOT the ticket when you are peddling with your feet!

The sky is bright blue – not a cloud in sight, and I just couldn’t stand to be hidden in the basement when I could be out in brisk 50 degrees with the sun beating warmly through the car windows.

I did NOT find a stool.  But I checked 2 antique malls, a Salvation Army, the Good Will, and Mega Thrift --- all packed with people!

And no – I did NOT bring home any more sewing machines ---I did take some photos of some, and I’ll share those later, but I want to focus on THIS quilt!

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I saw this and automatically thought of my friend Tonya!
((And yes, that is my purse off to the right….))

This quilt is made out of CREPE.  Remember crepe?  It was very popular in the 1940s ----rayon crepe found its way into many ladies dresses, skirts and suits--


Vintage 1940s rayon crepe dress
Vintage 1940s rayon crepe dress.

Crepe also came in prints….and from the looks of this quilt upon close examination ---it’s all fabric samples and swatches, or a good part of it anyway.  FRONT AND BACK!

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See the crepe-y texture?  I bet this needled fairly easily.

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Love the fan quilting and the wonky borders!

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Isn’t this fun!?  And because it’s crepe – it drapes.  It’s got a wonderful feel to it.

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The back!

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The back is crepe too ---and this quilt was loved enough that care was taken to repair a hole here ---

And another one here:

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See that red pen at the upper right?

Sample swatches and mill ends are often found marked with lot numbers like this.

The pieces were all joined by hand…see the dimples of the hand running stitch?

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Who slept under this wonderful funky quilt?

Who made it with love and lots of time and care?

Don’t you love it?!

There were a couple of lot numbers on the front of the quilt too – I should have close-uped those, but I didn’t.

There is banging and pounding upstairs from the kitchen floor re-do.  I'm staying as far away as I can -- pictures of that to follow later too!


  1. That banging sound means progress!
    Love the crepe quilt. That is truly making do.

  2. Anonymous2:46 PM EST

    Bonnie, since this quilt is all crepe, do you think the maker worked at a dress factory? Or at least, she might have had access to a factory remnants shop. First one in cpere I have ever heard of...and it is surely a make-do quilt.

    Please send the construction/destruction noises (and crew) over to my kitchen when they finish yours lolol.....do I have a few plans!

  3. I just love this find ! Love the repair patches too, gives it personality :)


  4. Do you use both feet to treadle? If not, what about one of those big balls that kids use in school. It is supposed to be good for your back.

  5. So did Santa buy this quilt for Tonya! :) It's definitely right up her alley..and it IS Christmas, you know. I almost think I love the back more than the front!!!

  6. Even an old amall piano vench would be grewt, as there is storage under the lid normally. You could even pad it. Im sure you will find something. Neat quilt. Loving watching yor renovations, lucky you

    1. P.s., love the old fashions. Thwt green one looks like what i suspect Kate to do with her early maternity wardrobe, little pleatings in front. So elegant.

  7. I think you need a chair without wheels. You could try one of your dining room chair.

    Carole Y from Canada

  8. My mother and her mother used a piano stool ! I have the stool and the treadle but the machine is in a box ! I think there's something wrong here ! :)

  9. Almost all my sewing is done on treadles, and rolling office chairs are what I prefer. I like being able to adjust the height as I work (changes add to my comfort), and I like to be able to move in and out without picking up a chair. (I've tried sitting on a therapy ball; it didn't work because in order to get me high enough, it wouldn't allow me to get close enough.)
    I do have my chairs on carpeted floors, so that could be the difference (although I'm thinking you just replaced the carpet in your studio). I *have* tried other chairs, but always go back to my office chairs (although I had one I ended up taking the arms off because they got in the way of the treadle cabinet). I hope you find something that works well for you. Treadling and cranking these vintage machines adds a lot of ease and pleasure to quiltmaking.

  10. LOL! this made me laugh since I went through the same thing. Every time I would try to treadle I seemed to be pushing myself away from the machine and would have to grab the back of the cabinet with my left hand. That's not conductive to accurate piecing. I finally brought in a dining room chair and haven't had the problem since. I think a nice piano bench would be great if it were the right height and just think: extra storage.

  11. Bonnie, another idea might be the stool that comes with the old singer cabinets.
    Paula in KY

  12. sweetie...just get wheels that have a lock on them. I had DH put locking casters on my quilt frame...moves when I want it to and stands firm when I don't.
    XOXOXO Subee

  13. How much did you have to pay for this Crepe Thrift store beauty? I love the thrift stores!

  14. I love seeing the quilts you find Bonnie. It is nice to see that people made from whatever they could get their hands on. Sorry you didn' t find a stool though.

  15. Ahh the memories...My Granma sent 4 yards of brown crepe from Minnesota to me in Washington to make my own prom dress in my junior year of high school, I loved that dress! So what kind of stool/bench would you be hunting for? Would piano bench or vanity bench work?

  16. I hope you bought this lovely quilt.

    Carole Y from Canada

  17. Reminds me a little of the Gees Bend quilts ... off assortments of fabrics and different sizes = wonky pattern. I like it .... did you purchase it?

  18. What a beauty of a quilt! And the brightness of the colours - fantastic!

  19. I LOVE this quilt! You're right .... who loved it so much? Who slept under it?

  20. I have heard the recipie for the rayon crepe went up in flames in afactory fire. Dupont has been trying to duplicate it tir years . Close, but nothing like the old crepe int that day. Beautiful! I het the impression you dod not bring her home. What were they asking for it?

  21. How about a piano stool for using with the treadle. They are adjustable in height and don't have annoying arms. Maybe check in a music store.
    Just a thought


  22. wheee! love that quilting. Makes me think I need to save all my rayon shirts for a quilt some day.

  23. Bonnie, have you thought of a piano stool for the treadle sewing? They often have wheels which might or might not be a problem.


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