Wednesday, May 04, 2016

A Sioux Falls Antique Stop!

Come see what I found in Sioux Falls!

I made really good time driving from Sioux City, Iowa to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to catch my flight.

Who KNEW that you could drive 80 miles per hour in South Dakota?!?!  I was like…holy cow!  It felt like I was screaming at 80, yet people were passing me at nearly 90.

I think this is the ONLY time I have ever gone the speed limit and didn’t push it just above….it was crazy driving that fast!

I had a great time driving my big red Jeep Patriot – how they knew I’d need this for all of my luggage, I’ll never know, but it was PERFECT.

While exiting just before Sioux Falls to fill the gas tank, I spotted a sign for the Dakota Plains Antique Mall, just across from where I was filling the jeep and being about 45 minutes ahead of schedule, I ran in for a quick browse.   The building didn’t look like much from the outside, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I found!

There was, of course, a lot of Plains Native American collectibles.  I loved the woven blankets and the baskets, much like the feel of Wichita.  You’ll also find a lot of Lone Star or other 8 pointed star quilts in this area, also very popular with the various tribes.


Beautiful!  Look at the quilting!


Really fun fabrics in this one!

I’m guessing 1940s?  That yellow makes me so happy!


You KNOW my heart jumped at this one!


Aren’t these great scraps?

Every time I see another string quilt, I want to run right to my strings and crumbs and GET SEWING!!


I love this one!


How bright and bold and modern this looks in solids!

This is another one of those “There IS no such thing as MODERN!” examples that I love so much.  Showing this quilt to Pepper Cory, she stated that it might actually be Iowa Amish, who did use muslin and lighter colors in their work.  The quilting is amazing on this one.  I am so glad I stopped, this was turning out to be a fun detour!


Big Giant Dresdens!


Check out the sweet posies quilted in the sashing!

I love EVERYTHING about this including the very fun hand blanket stitching around the petals.  Who made this?  I want the story behind the fabrics.  Dresses? skirts?  blouses? aprons?  All of the above, I’m sure!


Nine Patch Love!

This was a summer quilt with no batting inside.  It did have a backing, was enveloped with no binding.  I will never never never get tired of simple nine patches!


So much fun!  I want that sashing fabric, don’t you?


Child quilt.

Not perfect, but perfectly loved.


Dolly quilt, 1930s!

Which sweet little girl swaddled her favorite dolly, sweetly singing lullabies with this scrappy little quilt?  Great fabrics!


There were machine sightings -

Wilcox & Gibbs chain-stitcher. PRICEY.


A completely buried beautiful cabinet!

Let’s look inside!

(For the life of me, I’ll never understand how they hope to SELL a machine if it stays buried inside the cabinet piled with stuff!  Let the machine out!)


Hello, beautiful Bartlett Rotary!  Aren’t you pretty!


Glorious decals!



Usually it is the bobbin cover slide plate that gets lost over time.  This one is attached to the machine and just swings out of the way to access the bobbin case, which is present and accounted for!  I don’t remember the price on this machine, but perhaps someone in the Sioux Falls area who reads this blog will want to go check it out.  It is a lovely machine!

And while you are looking at it…please adopt this one:


Pattern by Judy Mathieson, Mariner’s Compass.

This quilt was likely made late 1980s, early 1990s.  I remember when I was so enamored with Judy Mathieson’s designs and I would look at her compass books and dream, not thinking I had the skill to master such piecing.  Her quilts won every award in that time period.  SOMEONE, as in THERE IS NO LABEL ON THIS!!! has captured the Judy Mathieson look with perfection.


Look at the piecing.  Don’t focus on the fabric print.


No room to lay it out fully.

This quilt has a price tag of $90.00.  ALL of this work.  It’s maybe 25 years old.  $90.00??

This is the thing I have been thinking about so much lately as I watch the quilt industry push the new fabric lines out every 6 months, new designers, new styles, new colors, new prints, NEW NEW NEW NEW as if newer is better. 

It’s hard not to get caught up in it.  But the thing is, NEW is always changing.  What is NEW today will be old tomorrow.  And should this quilt lose its value simply because it is no longer made of the newest dictated popular colors or fabric lines by name-brand manufacturers and designers?

ALL of our quilts will reach this point.  No matter how much work we put into them.  No matter how new and great the fabrics were when we first started making them.  ALL of our quilts will become 25 years old and outdated.

I’m looking at my very first Dear Jane quilt that is hanging on the wall behind my longarm here in the studio.  I made it from my scraps, starting my blocks in 1997 when the Dear Jane book first came out.  I put so much work in this quilt.  I hand quilted every stitch.  I loved every bit of work on that quilt.  I finished it in 2003.  But there are fabrics from the 1980s and early 1990s in it.  Over time some are fading.

I’m trying not to think about the fact that this quilt I loved making and put so much into might end up on a sale table for $90.00 at some point.  And it may.

I think because my business is in this industry, I see the push for “Buy the new, buy the latest, the new style is better” so much in every day social media that my brain wants to explode.

But when it all comes down to it – it’s fabric!  It’s color, it’s contrast, it’s value, it’s variety, and it’s going to be outdated at some point anyway.  So quit chasing the newest thing, love what you have, sew with what you have, enjoy the process and quit trying to keep up with the race.



Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage applique quilt found in Wichita, Kansas circa 1930s.

Be like a persistent flower...push through the dirt and BLOSSOM!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!  TOMORROW I head to Mackinac Island!

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  1. Okay...so what did you buy??

  2. Thanks for sharing this post! I sure do enjoy 'visiting' places with you and enjoy your words of wisdom. I MUST not give in to the temptation to buy (new) anything until I use most of what I already own...new fabrics, new pattern books, new tools and notions, or new sewing machines. I already own enough to make this girl happy. Thanks for the humbling reminder. Roxanna

  3. Anonymous10:47 AM EDT

    Well said!

  4. I'm so glad you had an interesting "pass through" my corner of SD. That 80 mph speed limit is a bit crazy. Loved your post - well said. Scrap quilts really help us make something beautiful out of any fabric, new or old.

  5. Best post ever! Thank you!

  6. Amazing finds. I'm always amazed at the Patterns and designers you can identify while Thrifting. I had no clue who designed that star pattern. Have a great day prepping for your Grand Island adventure.

  7. I absolutely loved your message today. I agree with time things get tossed and the value is lost, its so sad to think that all the heirlooms could end this way with the families that get rid of such treasures. If I would have seen this quilt it would have been mine. Its so beautiful and the quilting wonderful. I might have love that sewing machine too, but I'm just starting out with my collection. Again thank you for the wonderful story and thoughts.

  8. I have little idea what is new or happening in the fabric/quilt world. I'm always drawn by color and how I feel when looking at it. I love going to the thrift shops, sorting through shirts. I'll go thinking, I could really use some more yellow, and boom, there it is... I love how the colors work together and the effects that you can create with how they play together, or not. It helps that I've always loved men's striped/plaid shirts. I try not to worry about if any of my quilts end up unloved and for sale cheap. I try to find the value in the joy/freedom/creativity that I put into it and that be the payment enough. (You've shared some of my work on your blog, thank you very much, if you wanted to see what I mean about colors.)

    Thank you for inspiring and sharing your love/creativity with us. If you wanted to do the strippy 8 pointed stars as your lender/ender this year, I'd love it!

    Lorinda in MO

  9. Hi: I also love the scrappy star. I am a new quilter and have not seen that before. I do have 3 quilts in the works but now know I am not crazy, I would like this for number 4. Thanks, Bonnie. Cheers.

  10. Bonnie! I really enjoy your pics from your visits at various antique malls. Thank you for sharing your knowledge about the various ages of the fabric and patterns of the pretty quilts that you find! You give insight as to their ossible origin and history - so interesting and fun!
    I also love the vintage machines that you show!! I really have developed a passion for not only their beauty but for the ingenuous engineering and their capabilities! I like to use all of my vintage machines and wish I had room to collect more! Please remind your readers that if they have a vintage machine that they should never use soap and water to clean up those lovely decals as they will turn silver and forever lose the delicate gold - instead, a very light wipe with just simple sewing machine oil will help restore some of the lustre.

  11. Great star quilt from strings! I agree with you that new is not always better, and more stuff can be less in terms of peace and usefulness. Too many choices do not make any of us richer or freer. Love the quote today too. You are inspirational for me and I appreciate you Bonnie.

  12. Now that's my kind of blog post! Antiquing and quilting all in one swoop. Very entertaining and fun to read and view! Thanks for taking us along on your antique shop visit!

  13. Anonymous8:54 PM EDT

    With straight roads, no hills, no trees, 80 mph is just fine! So glad you had time for some fun on your way through Sioux Falls. I sure wish you had a retreat or class in SD, as I would be there! I even have an old featherweight I could loan you! Boggles my mind that you are booked up for YEARS! Thank you for a bright spot in my day through your blog. :)

  14. Thanks for sharing your adventure. $ 90.00 for all that work. We, in the hand quilting world , know how long it took do this and how many stitches to complete it. Amazing!

  15. I too think this is one of your best blog posts.

    Women's artwork is undervalued that is for certain. Yet create we must in our own ways.

    Some of the Lakota star quilts are so so fine. They were my original inspiration, as I wanted one. (Im from Minnesota.) So many of them have colorways that positively radiate! Nice that you got to see some of them.

    Best wishes. I can never figure out how you do it ALL. You're awesome. And you do it all so well.

  16. Thank you, Bonnie! I have not chased or even followed the new fabric trends in years. If you scrap quilt, they all blend anyway and that is what makes me happy. My adult children appreciate the time I put into sewing and I think will treasure my work. I have a quilt from the early 1900s that my great grandmother made. I wouldn't sell it at any price..

  17. Bonnie, you are always visiting these lovely shops... How do you not buy some of these treasures? You must be buying some special items.... So my questions is: where do you put it all?
    I buy some of my fabric at the "repurposing" stores and make quilts from bits and pieces. I just love the process and give them away.... I'm not sure how much they will be worth in the future but; I had pleasure making them, enjoyed gifting them and for the rest, I hope, someone will be cuddling them, be comforted by them or just enjoy plain them.... They are to be used washed and eventuall return to dust!
    I do love the new colours BUT it is overwhelming to see the fabric lines by all the new, and old designers. 🤑🤑 They will become past tense too soon... And then we'll use them in strings and crumbs!😉

  18. Nice post today Bonnie. Thanks for photos at the antique mall. Loved your message.

    I get bored of the fabric industry. New, new new, buy this whole line, you have to have it. Can't fault them as it is their business. They need to sell fabric and lots of it.
    Itt squashes the personal creativity in us to just work from one line or one kit. Boring!

    To think of the passion that the one piercer had to create that gorgeous mariners compass to now be offered for $90.
    Not that we are in it for the money, it's just sad to see such a nice piece go for so little.
    Hope someone snaps that quilt up!

    Safe travels to your next teaching gig. You are back up in my neck of the woods on Lake Michigan. Kind of cold here again this year. Enjoy the beautiful view up there.
    Inspire, inspire, inspire those quilters!

  19. This post made me feel a bit emotional about all the work my mom-in-law, mom, grandma, great grandma and I have put into our quilts. Sadly, most are not labeled and it's always my intention to add a label soon. Somehow I don't ever get around to it. You've made me realize that something is better than nothing and I better dig out my fabric pen and at least get a 'made by' label on all of them!!! Or maybe it's my allergies making me a bit teary-eyed, yah, that's it. ;-) Love you Bonnie! Thanks for making us all think and for giving us such wonderful patterns and tips and your time.

  20. Actually a label isn't really necessary. I went back on some of my mom's and mother in law's quilts and with a fabric pen just wrote made by: (name) on the back and a guesstimated year. Didn't take long and now my daughter will not have to guess who made what.

  21. Hey Bonnie,
    I love this post, and I agree there is so much fabric being released and going up in price too! I have loads of fabric stashed in my cabin must be worth a fortune. I went to a local quilt group, only about 10 of us there, and a former member who had passed away had her stash brought in by her husband. I got a bag full for a few pounds, but what was left went for recycling, I could have cried but I couldn't take as I am running out of space myself. This year I'm using up those scraps and stash my only purchase will be yardage for backing.
    I have made a few string quilts too!
    Have a great day,


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