Quilts for Sale

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thrifting

My latest vintage textile rescue.

Much to my husband's dismay, I'll do almost anything to keep stuff out of the landfill. It literally hurts my heart to see a still useful object discarded. Besides......I love old stuff, especially textiles.

(I've been thrift store shopping for so long I recently learned it has a new name: Thrifting! To view some very cool finds, read Apron Thrift Girl. Just click on the link in my sidebar.)

I thought a recent trip to my favorite thrift store was going to be for naught. But then it caught my eye - a tiny bit of crazy patch. Amongst a pile of large plastic bags stuffed with fabric scraps was this bit of treasure.....sitting along the wall beneath the socks and belts. The bag was huge and the price tag small, a mere $3.50 for a load almost too heavy to carry. Although I couldn't examine the bag's contents, I took a chance and bought it.

The prize was emptied on the diningroom floor. Out tumbled scraps of bright blue Carribean cotton print - pineapples, oranges and bananas, nearly four yards of an amazing Asian ming tree jacquard upholstery fabric, a hunk of chocolate brown polyester double knit and a piece of early 1970's cheater cloth in the postage stamp design. And then I carefully lifted the crazy patch and was amazed at its size. It nearly covers the top of our bed! Although it is in fragile condition, as crazy quilt silks often are, there are useable areas.

This pretty embroidered basket of flowers could be salvaged
even with the pale blue stain. This is an example of what can happen
when a fabric runs or bleeds and is why I ALWAYS prewash my fabrics.

I love these little naive bunnies sharing a carrot.

This letter 'A' is a clue to the maker's identity. Alice? Amy? Amanda?

The bag also gave me over 20 1940's era patchwork blocks, 25 Sunbonnet Sue blocks which I'll pass on to another, and several orphan blocks. What a haul!

Amazingly, two of the orphan blocks were constructed of a sheer voile fabric. If I researched the 'Arnold Flock' maker, I could perhaps date these. Colors are similar to those used in the 1890-1910 era, but I'm guessing the fabrics are from the early 1950's.

I have never seen this pattern before. The blocks appear to be similar to North Carolina Lily, but...........

then the points were cut off and there you have it!
A completely new design.

Watch for postings of other great finds later this week.

2 comments:

The Queen of Fifty Cents said...

What an absolutely amazing find, and it's so wonderful that this piece of textile history was found by someone able to appreciate--and share!--its beauty.

Ellen Guerrant said...

Dear queen of fifty cents - Thanks for your nice comment. Looks like we might be sisters of the soul. I plan to read your blog tomorrow and check your links to other thrifters. Happy hunting! Ellen.