Thursday, July 23, 2015

Vintage Treasures Left Behind

Last week, we showed you our new vintage treasures we obtained on our visit to Hershey, PA. As you can well imagine, there were many more left behind, offering us inspiration through our memories and photographs. We hope you will enjoy this tour through the antique malls with us.

This quilt appeared to have been made mostly from clothing scraps, with many wools from probably men's suits. It is an interesting combination of styles, with patchwork embroidered in a crazy quilt style.

Some wear gives clues to the batting used; this appeared to have been a fairly thick cotton batt.

A more typical crazy quilt, made mostly clothing or decorating scraps, including corduroy, wool, silk.

One of several embroidered motifs

A peek inside; this appeared to have been layered
with an old sheet or piece of bedding. 

This stunning fan quilt made great use of the negative space; the quilting work was exquisite.

This simple nine-patch quilt had a unique charm. We weren't sure what is was that drew us both to it, but it definitely spoke to us. Wonder what its story is? The floral border/backing has an interesting look with the stripes in the blocks.

Who doesn't love an old treadle sewing machine? 
The machine came with the manual, which was priceless. One cannot imagine a manual today referring to user error!
In case you are unable to read the text, it begins thusly: "Do not expect to get along entirely without trouble. Difficulties will arise of a more or less serious nature...and remember, that you yourselves are liable to make mistakes..."

The pins were rusted into the pincushion.

This heavy wool quilt was tied. Quilting would have been almost impossible, as it was nearly an inch thick!

We found an stack of interesting embroidered pieces, unlike any we had seen before. We couldn't figure out at first what the background material was...

...but this one which wasn't framed solved the mystery: stamped paper.

Another simple design...
...with more lovely quilting.

Of course, with our love of stories, we found some inspiration in this old print of Little Red Riding Hood.

Embroidered ugly duckling, perhaps?!

This lovely lady was on one end of a table runner, apparently a stamped kit.
And the man was on the other end.

An ambitious project! Only 48 states at the time.

Quilt top made from feed sacks.

A stack of basted crazy quilt fan squares, some with embroidery, most without.

And a stack of marked cross-stich embroidery squares, some embroidered and some unfinished.

Doesn't every sewing room need one of these!?!

Vintage Treasures Newly Acquired

A few weeks ago, I (Teri) was visiting my parents in Hershey, PA, and found a treasure trove of mid-19th century samplers in an antique store. I marveled at the preserved beauty and history in these artifacts and contemplated whether I should splurge to own one. I snapped photos of them all and determined to study them and possibly return. Truthfully, I felt they should all reside in a museum.

This was the one I thought I would buy; I love the detail and the softness of the colors. Sadly, someone beat me to it.

So last week, Kara and I decided to road trip to the antique stores in Hershey to make a final determination as to which sampler needed a home with me. You see, Kara has this propensity to help me spend my money. Needless to say, we both left with a few new treasures for our collections.

This beauty was definitely in the running. It had much more wear, but the intricate design was just lovely. It would, however, have needed to be reframed and it was a bit more costly.

This is the charming piece that has found a new home in my living room. It is stitched on a sheer silk background with silk and wool threads. To think that these girls were stitching such lovely work at these young ages is humbling.

Growing up, my sister and I (Kara) spent many summers with my Grandmother in Michigan.  My grandmother had a bottom drawer in her spare bedroom full of aprons she had collected in her many travels.  My sister and I have such fond memories of spending hours turning those interesting aprons into even more interesting fashion.  So I've recently decided that I would like to have a collection of aprons just in case the Lord blesses me with a few granddaughters.  I was fortunate enough to pick up three "new" aprons for my collection.

A delicate lace and batiste beauty


Serviceable wool

Here is a tip for shopping at an antique mall.  Check under tables and in corners to see if there are any hidden gems.  Here are four of the the twelve pre-printed bird blocks that I found underneath a covered table.  They are crying out for embellishment with embroidery.

And don't forget to look in drawers of dressers in the booths! You never know what you will find hidden away.

Adorable kittens on a pillowcase

We found this set of two unfinished puppy pillowcases: one for each of us!
Aren't these puppies dear?

Another set to share: we each got one of these embroidered tea towels.

Fabulous French knotted flowers
And beautiful bullion flowers

Bookshelves also hold many special finds. Here are a couple of our new acquisitions, which we will write more about in a future post. Both books are over a hundred years old.

Inspiration can be found everywhere. What a beautiful appliqué and embroidery piece this Staffordshire bowl would make!

What about you? What do you look for when you visit an antique shop? Where do you find inspiration for your stitching?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back

The sun did not shine.
There was lightning and thunder.
My grandson needed
A quilt to sleep under.

His birthday was only
Three weeks away.
I needed a plan...
There was no time to play!

I sat in my sewing room,
Just me and the Cat.
I had all the fabric,
But that was that.

And then
Something went BUMP!
How that bump made me jump!

 "Why are you waiting?"
Cried a voice in my head.
"You've done this before!"
Things 1 & 2 said.

"You need to have fun,
So just start to sew!
Grab some fabric and thread,
And then go, GO, GO!"

So I tried out some borders,
And they looked fine.
I added the alphabet
All in a line.

I measured and stitched
And assembled the rows.
It was almost finished;
There was no time to doze!

The border of course
Was The Cat in the Hat.
The front was all stitched;
It was time for the back.

Thomas the Tank Engine
And some of the others
Would provide some fun
To learn many colors.

Using colorful thread,
The quilting was done.
With Dr. Suess titles,
The quilt was then bound.

Buttons were added
In all shapes and sizes,
And on the Things' heads
Were fuzzy surprises.

Buttons were securely stitched in place.

Pillow cases
With leftover fabric
I whipped up a batch
Of colorful pillow
Cases to match.

The day of the birthday
Was finally here.
I finished the quilt!
Let's all give a cheer!!

Quilt and story inspired by Dr. Suess. To read the story I (Teri) wrote about the first Cat in the Hat quilt, click here to read Thing 1 and Thing 2.