Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cheater Cloth Feedsack Top

As I have stated before, I'm a huge nut when it comes to feedsack fabric.  I think I like its' history the best followed by the grain of the fabric and finally the prints.  Oh, the prints!  There are so many designs to whet a palate that it's hard to decide which one becomes a favorite.

A few weeks ago, we were traveling down I-44 in southern Missouri and stopped at Lebanon.  Along the quaint streets we came upon a shop that was a cross between a flea market and garage sale.  Frankly, those are my most favorite because there are usually deals to be had!

I found an entire aisle full of sewing notions and fabric ranging from recent to vintage.  I piled up a handful of vintage fabric and made my way to the register.  The woman who helped me check out mentioned she had several boxes of fabric in the back and asked if I was interested in looking through them.

You don't have to ask me twice!

I followed her back and started rummaging through boxes of fabric.  She mentioned the woman she received these from was in her 80's and was an avid sewist until her eyesight became too poor to sew.  As I rummaged, I found what appeared to be a feedsack with blue flowers that will need to be soaked but then I grabbed a piece of fabric that I recognized as a "cheater quilt" feedsack.  When I opened it up I noticed it was already cut out and sewn together to be a tank top.  I immediately purchased the piece:

I was extremely excited because this is another use for feedsacks other than using them for quilts.  I can't tell you the number of times I have talked to the older generation who have told me that they grew up wearing feedsack dresses.  Many have said that they hated the feedsack clothes because they were a bit itchy and people knew that the dresses were homemade instead of purchased at a clothing store.  Those same people don't show much interest in the old fabric anymore, but I sure do!

I plan on finishing up this top with some vintage bias trim and then I'll offer it up for sale.  The cheater cloth pattern has some interesting history.  I found this website with some great information:

Cheater Cloth Information

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vintage Religious Plates

I'm going to start a new series of blogs under the label, "Collections."  If you've landed here through a link on eBay, you probably have the collecting bug like myself.  The thrill of the hunt is half the fun and coming home to fit your newfound piece in a current collection is the other half of fun.

Before I started selling vintage items, I was a collector of many things.  Seventeen years ago when I moved into my first house, I started to decorate immediately with finds from antique malls and flea markets.  First came the chippy jadeite-painted post office boxes to hold my porcelain cat collection my grandparents' purchased for me years ago at a garage sale.  Then came the composition dolls followed by DeKalb Corn collecting as well as anything DeKalb, Illinois.  Finally, I started collecting vintage religious items and ended up by loving the sweet plates with the Lord's Prayer on the front and God Bless Our Home plates.

These were easily obtainable and very reasonable.  I'm sure I haven't paid over $5 for any one plate.  I hung my husband's parents' crucifix by the front door with one plate and after filling that area up, I moved to a corner of the dining room.

When we decorated the lake cottage, I started a collection of plates for the kitchen:

This picture is a bit older.  I have since added 2 more plates to the wall area above the counter top.  When remodeling the kitchen, I pondered adding a tiled backsplash, but I prefer the visual interest of vintage plates instead.

This collection is really two-fold.  I enjoy the artwork greatly but more importantly, they are wonderful reminders to lead a God-filled life.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Metropolitan Toy and Doll Company 1924-1929

I mentioned a few blogs ago that this doll would be listed in the shop soon.  She is finally prepared for sale.

The dress she came with was dirty and not original.  After taking off the dress, this prettier, lacy dress was underneath along with adorable silky undergarments.  It was then, also, that I noticed her marking on the neck.

If you look closely, you can barely make out "Metrop".  I searched online for any information about this maker and was pleasantly surprised to come across this website:

Doll Reference

The background information on composition dolls was particularly interesting:

"The early composition dolls are made from glue, glycerin, zinc oxide and Japanese wax and are heavy and dense, the coloring can be almost grey or brown.  Each manufacturer kept their exact "recipe" a secret.  When the doll dried, it often was dipped into a pink tinted glue composition which was a thin layer (but not all dolls have this.)  Then the doll was airbrushed with oil paint.  By 1916 or so the manufacturers began using ground-up sawdust, also called "wood flour", which made a much lighter doll.  Now a "hot press" method could be used, and the dolls dried even quicker, so production of the dolls increased."

I found that this doll was made by, "Metropolitan Toy and Doll Company" which was in business from 1924-1929. As stated on Doll Reference dot com, "Metropolitan Doll Company 1924-1929 - a USA company that made composition dolls and parts, including: mama, baby, hair loop bow, and cries.  Some of their dolls were designed by famous doll sculptor Ernest Peruggi."

This finally explains the hair loop bow which was the first thing that drew me to this doll and is something I have never come across before.  I also assume that the arms, legs and body of the doll is stuffed with sawdust.

Bringing history into each piece is what makes this hobby rewarding.  I hope you agree.

If you are interested in purchasing this doll, she will be listed under the "Primitives" category to your left.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Colonial Quilt 1933 Catalog

I love this resurgence of handmade items.  Perhaps the birth of  Etsy  helped drive the market or maybe many of us long to go back to a simpler time.  A time when there were less distractions.  A time when "keeping up with the Joneses" didn't exist.

Before I became a dealer, I was a buyer of antiques.  My first purchase after my first job and checking account was a jar of vintage buttons from an antique mall in Martin City, Missouri.  I have always been drawn to things related to sewing.  Old embroidered runners, doilies and quilts always makes my heart pitter-patter.

So it is with great happiness I came across this piece in Camdenton, Missouri:

The Colonial Quilts catalog has a copyright date of 1933.  Seventy-eight years have passed since the printing and it's good to know that while so much has changed,  the feelings of putting needle and thread through material hasn't budged one bit .

Nancy Lee states in the beginning of the catalog:

"Join the happy throng of women who are finding companionship, peace, contentment, and above all joy of creating with their own hands a fresh, new quilt of lasting daintiness."

While I do not possess the patience to make a quilt, I do have the knowledge and love of the art. Anytime I have the opportunity to purchase vintage quilts and handiwork, I jump at the chance.  This gives me an opportunity to enjoy my business in passing along pieces of history to someone who appreciates the time and love put into each stitch of handiwork.  What can be better than that?

**This catalog is currently on eBay.  Click the link to your left if you are interested!                                                                                  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Feedsack Yardage

From the Smithsonian, read how feedsacks were turned into clothing:

Feedsack Clothing

With that in mind, finding this bolt of what I thought was vintage fabric but turned into 4 full feedsacks sewn together to make a little over 2 1/2 yards of fabric a pretty special find.

Really, who can resist such a colorful and happy fabric?

When I took it off the bolt to measure it, I then noticed the sewn seams.

It begs the question as to what the original owner's plans regarding this fabric was?  Do you suppose she wanted to make a new dress?  Or perhaps this was the start of a quilt.

At any rate, it's a special find.  Click over to the Vintage Fabric button and read all about it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Just Ducky!

Continuing to list new auctions on eBay including this neat feedsack fabric.  Of all the years I have collected feedsacks, I have never come across one with this pattern until now:

If you are interested in reading more about feedsacks, here is a good reference:

Feedsack History

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's Auction Time!

If you like Black Americana, I listed a pair of hand-embroidered, vintage Mammy towels on eBay.

Do you like Sunbonnet Babes?  I have a pair of panels in excellent condition.  The designs are a mixture of cross stitch, embroidery and hand-sewn fabric.  I can imagine these pieces either framed, or sewn on the front of pillow covers.

Later today I'll be sending to auction the two quilt tops which are listed here at Dancing Bumblebee Cottage.

Very good condition 36 and 9 Patch Quilt Top

Check us out by clicking on the eBay link to your left!