Saturday, February 18, 2017

When Life Throws You Scraps…

When Life Throws You Scraps…Make a Quilt!

How many times have we heard that saying, and can’t help but chuckle in response?

In this case, Mona and I hit the Antique Mall in West Jefferson to spend some time wandering before meeting up with Kathy and Tami for lunch and guild meeting time.

I love having newer quilters in tow.  There really is so much to discover about people from the quilts that outlive them.  And it is rewarding to be able to shed some light on things such as what type of batting was used, what era the fabrics are from, and the variety of fabrics in the quilt are also clues into the maker’s life.  Are there masculine fabrics (stripes, plaids, chambrays, etc) as well as feminine dress prints? It could mean that the maker was also responsible for making clothing for her sons or husbands.

How do you date fabrics?  There are books on the subject – not sure if they are still in print, but they have taught me so much.


Giving Mona fashion advice.


We were rolling here, and I was suggesting that I wear this to the guild meeting just to see what people said.  No.  Couldn’t do it.  But we got a good laugh.  That loopy trim?  nice touch.


There were a couple of 4 patch quilts full of humble beauty.


I love how the dark chains head different directions!


This one in columns.


Amost a self-border but only on one side!

Great inspiration can be found in examining simple vintage quilts.  The quilter evidently ran out of the blue background, but wouldn’t it be great to do this on all 4 sides to frame the quilt?  Add another idea to the idea pile.


This was a ??!???!?

Also short on fabric, that big chunky plaid played a strategic role in the setting triangles in the lone star center, but then was used in very interesting places in the setting simply to make the quilt “big enough” to cover someone.


Sometimes we just make do with what we have.

There are life lessons in that too.


This one I had seen before, but Mona hadn’t.


The piecing is superb.

This quilt has so much variety in these equilateral triangles, but it is SO DIRTY.  We felt the thickness of the quilt, the sponginess of the batting inside, and I told Mona that I was 99.9% sure that it is filled with wool.  Why was it never washed?  Who knows.  If someone bought it and washed it, would all of that grime come out?  That’s another WHO KNOWS…and maybe all of that wool would mat up inside and no one wants to risk this purchase.  It’s lovely though.  Stains and all.


We freed this machine! HA!


The decals are lovely. 

The missing slide plate was found in a drawer and put back into place.  There is a shuttle.  But this machine is in pretty rough condition for the price they are asking.  What brand is it?  we had to look on the back side to see:


New Ideal R!

Love the decals on the back of the pillar.

I had this funny thought, back when a sewing machine was a necessity  and a valuable part of every day life.  When households were often filled with the sound of mom or grandma at the treadle….a whole CHORUS of pedaling with the ticky ticky ticky sound of machines humming.  Fabric going through, stitches being made, what a lovely image that creates in my mind.  I love my electric vintage machines for the speed and ease of sewing, but the love of the treadle goes deeper.


We saw bowties.


Broken dishes
(This would be a great Quilt of Valor in all Red White & Blue!)


Giant Hour Glass blocks, so scrappy!

And oh, that Baptist Fan quilting!


Not enough room to spread this one out!


Folded in half.

This was so unique.  It didn’t have any batting inside, and what you see as narrow white strips on either side of the sashing is bias tape sewn down by machine through all quilt layers.  Kind of a “Quilt as you go” technique I imagine.  Someone came up with an ingenious idea in the 40s or 50s when this quilt was made.  Maybe it was assembled later from already finished blocks?  Who knows.  SO INTERESTING!


Close up of blocks.

Notice the scrappy binding?!



Wool pineapple.  Just wow.


How graphic is this?!

And all of this I was able to share with my friend which made it such a joy.  It was like seeing things through new eyes, and I loved the things that Mona pointed out that I hadn’t caught yet.  We are a good team.

I am filled with ideas!  My fingers are itching to dig into the scraps and try some things these old quilts brought to the surface.

But the funniest part of the day:


The story of the pink glass bowl.

People are crazy! While Mona and I were out antiquing this morning, I found this lovely pink depression glass bowl. The booth had eveything marked 15% off, so I picked it up and put it at the front counter telling the clerk that I would be back to pay for it after shopping the rest of the store.

After we are done browsing we come back to the checkout counter and I mentioned to the clerk that I was here to pay for my pink glass bowl. "That was YOUR bowl?" She asked. "That lady just paid for it and is walking to her car with it." "Excuse me!" I said loudly as I went to track her down on her way out. "I believe you purchased the bowl I was buying."

She looked at me sheepishly and said "Well the clerk rang me up assuming it was mine, and I kind of liked it so I didn't say anything. I paid for it."

The clerk quickly refunded her money and rang me up instead.

Who does this kind of stuff? Just buy somebody else's merchandise because you kind of like it? Now that the bowl is home with me I kind of like that it has a silly story and how Mona and I laughed and shook our heads as we drove out of the parking lot.

Yes.  I nearly tackled her.  LOL! 

Today Rick, Mona, The Hubster and  I are headed up to Quilt Villa VA.  We are showing them the property and cabin, and while the guys are walking the perimeter and figuring out where to put out buildings and make a target practice range, Mona and I will be mapping out the quilting studio area on the lower level and trying to figure out where to put sewing table, cutting table and fabric storage.

We close 4 weeks from YESTERDAY.  This is going to happen rather quickly!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage quilt found in North Carolina.
Strive to become better, not bitter.
I love the Simplicity of this one, and my recycled shirt fabrics are calling my name loudly!
Enjoy your Saturday, Everyone!

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  1. Bonnie - love your pink bowl. It was made by the Jeannette Glass Company. Several of their patterns have the ruffled edge. I believe the name of the pattern is Windsor, but it's a little hard to tell for sure. Windsor was a large line of dishes. My mother collected the whole set in the late 70's, and I now have them. What a neat find and a funny story.

  2. Glad you got your bowl. We have had our things purchased by others several times at estate sales. We have to make a pile by the checkout table or leave fine jewelry for them to hold It is common, sad to say.

  3. Glad to hear that you got your bowl before it got away, :). Have a great weekend and enjoy planning the new quilting room in Quiltvilla VA.

  4. Antiquing with my daughter and my sister and we had all given things to the clerk to hold while we shopped. When we got to the checkout I wanted to pay for my stuff and my daughter's....the clerk said: "That's not yours...it's that redhead's over there." I said: "I think if you tell her I'm paying for her stuff she'll be fine with it."

  5. LOVE the quilts! Thanks for sharing. I noticed the big bow tie in red with the broken dished quilt you suggested for QOV. LOVED the graphic wool pineapple. Love all your thoughts and ideas as you point out antique quilts. I learn so much. Thanks for taking the time to teach us. Sounds like a fun day at the new Quiltvilla! Enjoy!!

  6. Sounds like you had a GREAT time...glad you got that bowl!!

  7. I love your posts from the antique shops that show all of the quilts you find. Out here in California, we're lucky to find one our two at each place I visit. I'd love to make a trip to the East Coast some day to explore the shops for a treasure of my own. Since I'm nearly 74, I guess I should start planning a trip soon.

  8. Yesterday while standing in line for fabric to be cut, a woman came up with a flat folded piece of fabric and asked the cutter how long it was. Another woman standing there said where did you get it? "Well, over there" was the response with a sweep of the hand. The other woman said "I think that is my fabric that I just had them cut and it was in the pile over there with my stuff." Woops.

    The first woman was lucky to find the remaining amount on a bolt and did get some but you all need to keep your stuff in sight. It was pretty funny to all of us standing in line. The store is going out of business so we all had big piles. No problem with the store though since another quilter is remodeling and restocking and starting out all over again. The spot is a great one.

  9. Thanks for the laugh this morning! A girl & her bowl...😉 Also, loved the quilt show! Hope you & the husband have a great drive to Virginia today, & that you are both feeling better soon!

  10. I love how uou can lay out all the quilts. Our shops don't have room for me to do that. You sure found some Beauties! Watching to see which vintage quilt you remake next... and that Bowl story, way too funny. I would love to go thrifting with you!

  11. So glad you and Mona are explorng the world together for a while!

  12. A local quilt shop had felt bean bags on which were written "I'm taken!" that they used to mark your fabric piles on the cutting table while you browsed. Never saw anyone brazen enough to take something from the marked piles. I never trusted leaving an item at the checkout in a junk store - if at all possible I lugged it around with me until I paid - sometimes a difficult task. I remember sidling through a crowded store once cradling a Jewel Tea Autumn Leaf gravy boat and saucer that I was buying for my mother. I had never seen one before and that baby was coming home with me!

  13. I love your pink bowl story. That bowl will be a memory! I am sure my Mother had one of those bowls here in New Zealand.
    Thanks for the quilt show...Loved it!

  14. That reminds of a recent almost purchase I made from Habitat For Humanity Restore here. I saw a picture of the table online, perfect for a sewing machine, I had been looking for forever. (I am in the middle of redoing a room that I have in my dreams.) I called to make sure it was still there and they first said no but about 10 minutes later, they called back to tell me it was still there. "Perfect" I said,"I will be there in 30 minutes." My daughter was out in the area and she said she would meet me there. I arrived and started towards the furniture area and didn't see it so went to the front counter and started to ask and my daughter said "Mom, I think that man was taking the legs off of it for you" as he carted it out the door. Huh?? He pushed the cart back in and I asked if he had just bought the table and he had. When the clerk heard me ask, he looked like he was going to have a heart attack. He assumed I had sent him. Really? Lesson learned. If you think you want it, give a credit card number. You can change your mind when you get there but it will hold it for you. I couldn't blame the young man who bought it. It was a good deal on a great piece. He felt bad, but not bad enough to let me have it and he bought it fair and square. I did find another but not as perfect as that one plus it cost more. LOL

  15. The quilts are beautiful! Thank you for taking the time to show them. I will remember your "bowl experience" the next time I shop in an antique mall. I have several electric sewing machines and use them on a regular basis. You are right. There is something special about the love of a treadle. When I sew on mine, they take me back to the memories of my grandmother.

    Take care.

  16. Hi, Bonnie! I, too, loved reading about your beautiful pink glass bowl treasure, the "one that almost got away"! It reminds me of a an experience I had at a local flea market. I had come to the checkout counter with my own small purchases, just two books on that visit. I noticed that there was a very large purple Barbie dollhouse standing on the counter. The clerk rang up my books for me, and then said, "That will be $38.00. Do you need any help carrying out that dollhouse?" After a moment of utter surprise, I quickly explained to her that the dollhouse wasn't my selection, someone else had placed it there. The clerk blushed and apologized, and we both had a good giggle while she corrected the cash register, and then I went on my way with my two books.


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