Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thrifty Acres: Vacation Vintage Part One

Hello! Recently returned from vacation to parts east: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. It was rather a whirlwind tour, but I still managed to make time for some secondhand shopping. I'd much rather get my souvenirs this way than go to some overpriced tourist-trap place. It's cheaper and more fun besides! 

I lucked out while visiting a thrift store in Ithaca, NY. I happened to be browsing through the wares when a man stopped by with a bagful of stuff that had belonged to his late wife. The volunteer graciously took the bag and looked through it while standing next to me after the man had departed. 

Among other things, out came a small pile of quilt blocks and embroidered linens. By sight and by musty odor, it was obvious these fabrics had been sitting around for decades. I wouldn't have been surprised if the man had said the embroidered linens had originally belonged to his mother-in-law. 

I expressed my approval of these elderly fabrics to the volunteer, and then she went off to show them to the store manager. She came back with the pile and gave them to me for free, explaining that the manager had told her to throw them out. I guess he objected to the musty odor. 

Needless to say, I was pleased with my freebies, so I'll show them off here. I haven't washed or ironed these pieces yet, which will undoubtedly improve their appearances. They're all in pretty good shape other than a few stains. The embroidery on the linens is intact, as is the seaming on the quilt blocks. 

First up, a row of six quilt blocks:

This measures nearly 2 yards long and is a foot wide. With those dimensions, this could become a table runner or even a wall hanging. I'd add a backing fabric first. 

Close-up of one of the blocks:

...and a close-up of some of the fabrics in the block:

Can you tell that I love vintage fabrics?

Another quilt block, and another close-up as well:

I'm not a quilter, so to me, the curved edges of a heart shape would be tricky to piece. Whoever made this block didn't seem to have trouble. 

The last quilt block of the bunch:

The muslin has some staining, but I thought the house shape quite charming. 

Now on to the embroidered linens, which didn't photograph as well. 

Linen that measures 42" by 17". 

Of the two main motifs, one has most of its embroidery completed. 

Above, what the unfinished motif looks like. I found it interesting that the blue and red colors were stamped or painted onto the fabric, apparently to be accented with embroidery. The colored straight lines seen on the fabric are colored threads woven into it. 

Another half-embroidered linen:

This piece measures 42" by 14". 

Its close-up:

Pretty stitching in pinks, green and brown. 

There are two three-piece buffet sets. I don't know anything about embroidered buffet sets, so I'll have to look them up. I only know their intended purpose because each set is labeled as such.

Buffet set #1. Not a three-piece set anymore, as one of the smaller sections had been cut away.


Nicely-done embroidery. 

Buffet set #2, with no sections missing:

A close-up:

Nice job here too! It's not unusual to encounter vintage linens with part of the embroidery missing due to age, but not the case with this work.

I don't know what I'll do with any of my freebies, but I hated the thought of such handiwork being tossed out as if they were pieces of junk mail! 

I thought this was a good vacation vintage haul, but in my next post I'll show off what I picked up two days later in Williamsport, PA. 


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