Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm Thankful - A Vintage Treasure

     I bought an antique feedsack quilt top this week for $1.00.  I didn't inspect it before I bought it because for a dollar how could I go wrong.  When I got it home, I discovered some minor condition issues like a few age stains, and I considered tossing it in the trash.  With closer inspection, I noticed that some of the feedsack fabrics were really cool, some of the fabrics were men's hankies, and the piece was hand stitched.  So, I threw it in the wash thinking that maybe I would keep it.
     Once the quilt was clean, I began to take a closer look.  I discovered that the needle artist from long ago patiently stitched together scraps to make the 3" squares.  She sewed together scraps to make scraps  - which become  3" squares - constructed into 9-patches that become the quilt.
Sometimes 5 tiny pieces or more were stitched together before having a 3" square.
     I decided to name the quilt, "I'm Thankful".  I'm thankful that I don't have to hoard itsy-bitsy pieces of fabric from sacks of chicken feed to individually stitch together to have a blanket for my family.  This quilt was starting to get under my skin.  Now, I am thinking about what to do with it. 

Some patches have a very traditional design.
Many of the fabrics have an art deco look.

There are materials that remind me of my Asian fabrics.
The green and ivory pieces are silk.  The blue and white plaid reminds me of boxer shorts!  

     This 30s quilter was definitely a kindred spirit.  I have a list of possibilities for the quilt.
1.  I could pay someone to quilt it for me as a lap blanket.  When doing hand work, I often use a lap quilt.  I could put this in my new studio.
2.  Next year, I could use it to make porch pillows.
3.  I could embroider and embellish it turning the scrappy quilt into a crazy quilt further avoiding the dysfunctional cat and stupid corners of my unfinished projects.
4.  I could send it to my sister-in-law, Kay.  One of her guild members might like it.
5.  I could put it away for later.
     Yesterday, I looked on ebay to see what old quilts are bringing in online auctions. Little to Nothing.  This quilt top has no monetary value.  But, I think that many will agree that it is priceless. What do you think I should do with it?


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Jewelry Room

     I admit, I'm avoiding my unfinished projects!  Yesterday, I cleaned the jewelry room instead of sewing.  Choosing cleaning over sewing means that I am really stuck with "Dysfunctional Kitty" and "Cantankerous Corners"!

Jewelry Room History

       Upstairs there is a tiny little room that has had many uses over the last 30 years.  It has been the nursery, a playroom, and Amy's studio.  Now, it is our jewelry room.  About 5 years ago, I asked Amy to design a space to be used as a dressing room and storage for our vintage jewelry (junk jewelry) collection.  The economy was taking a downward direction and I had 2 kids in college so the project had to be finished using very little money.
First, stripes were painted on the walls in tone-on-tone taupe.

Next, the built-in cupboard and woodwork were painted white.
       Amy and I have a lot of junk fermenting in the basement.  Whenever we need something, the first step is to shop in the basement.   The basement excavation yielded pieces of antique iron fencing and a cedar chest. Both got a paint- job.  Larry added hooks to the fencing to hold belts and scarves.  We keep blankets and sheets in the chest, and it gives more space for showing off stuff.

     I found a vanity at a garage sale for $50.  The owner had spilled Jean Nate' in the drawers so it took a lot of airing out!  The vanity was painted a distressed light green.  Larry had a piece of old glass in the basement which he cut to fit on the top.  I put a few antique postcards under the glass.  The chair was also a basement find.  I love how the curly-ques in the chair coordinate with the vanity hardware.

     The most expensive piece in the room is the light fixture which I bought on ebay for $125. It was the perfect size for the tiny room so I had to splurge.
The backs of the bookshelves have a product that is covered with fabric so we can pin up our jewelry for display.  We are always moving pieces around just for fun.  I do all of my ironing in the jewelry room. I have been known to wear some of the more gaudy earrings and necklaces while ironing since I don't dare wear them out of the house!
None of our jewelry is valuable.  We just like bold colors and lots of bling! 

     A mirror, floating shelves, and curtains were bought at "Wally World" for maybe another $75.00.  I think the entire room cost less than $350.

Studio/Sewing Room Update
     The dining room furniture is gone!  The walls have been painted.  Larry is refinishing antique cupboards.  I can't wait to use the space and to unveil the finished product.  My sister-in-law, Kay, is a great quilter.  She is very precise.  I have been whining at her to help me finish those darned corners.  I told her that we could even work in my new studio.  I think that she might fly up in July - yeah!