fabulous forties

40s print

These Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt blocks are another find from my recent trip to Magpie. On the shelf they didn't look like much—some of the blocks were missing from the center and some of the fabrics are damaged. But I fell in love with the gorgeous 1940s floral and geometric prints and was able to see past the flaws. All of us who love vintage have that ability, I think.

40s print

I'll take the blocks apart at some point—probably some cold night this winter in front of the television. Part of me feels guilty for watching tv at all—it's such a time-sucking activity—so I like to do something useful while watching.

40s print

Lately I've been watching the new series Mad Men on AMC. Love the costumes (amazing dresses) and atmosphere (cocktails in the office if you can believe that!) And, if you don't get what the big deal is about feminism, watch just to see what things used to be like in the early 60s.


just catching up

Amy asks if I can recommend some online shops that sell white, plain kitchen cloths, pillow covers, baby t-shirts and stuff to be embroidered. I've already mentioned Embroider This as a source for white cotton towels, and they have a good selection of other things to be embroidered, too. Vicki at Pattern Bee did a blog post that listed some of her sources for towels. And some of my fellow crafters have mentioned that Dharma Trading as a good source for baby tees. They also have aprons, pillowcases, tea towels, and a wide variety of what are called "blanks" in the trade.

In other news I'm a sponsor this month at Vintage Indie, a relatively new blog that features the work of crafters and artists who use vintage materials in their work (The Daily Swank), mentions must-visit vintage sources (Reader Shopping Reports), and generally talks about all things vintage and crafty. Thanks to them for the nice Stitch School mention this past week!

And thanks, too, for their mention of Magpie on Main, a shop that I was surprised (and pleased!) to discover, is just ten minutes from my house. Mom and daughter duo, Debbi and Amanda Vonson have a shop filled with all sorts of vintage treasures (including tons of cool jewelry and vintage clothing) and with buttons like these I'll definitely be stopping by on a regular basis!

yellow flower buttons

Magpie on Main, 67 N. Main Street, Carbondale, PA 18407 570.282.1606


#%@%$! computers

The wireless router in our house went down yesterday—the one that hooks all of our many computers to the rest of the world. No email, no internet connection, and no work getting done. We got a new router and were back online last night but things are still a little wonky around here. It made me realize how helpless I am without the internet.

Today I'll be catching up on the graphic design work I wasn't able to do yesterday and will try to get a Stitch School post up later in the week. The good news is that I had time to make two pillows and finish the embroidery on an apron. I even started embroidering a vintage towel that I'll use for another pillow. Hey, I had to do something!


if you can't stand the heat...

...get out of the kitchen (in ten minutes or less)! Thanks to my SIL Patricia for telling me about a great article in Wednesdays New York Times. Titled "Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less", and also available online here, it gives a huge list of simple recipes for those times when it's too hot to cook or you just want something simple. Sounds good to me!

Here are a few that sounded especially tasty:

4. Open a can of white beans and combine with olive oil, salt, small or chopped shrimp, minced garlic and thyme leaves in a pan. Cook, stirring, until the shrimp are done; garnish with more olive oil.

13. Gazpacho: Combine one pound tomatoes cut into chunks, a cucumber peeled and cut into chunks, two or three slices stale bread torn into pieces, a quarter-cup olive oil, two tablespoons sherry vinegar and a clove of garlic in a blender with one cup water and a couple of ice cubes. Process until smooth, adding water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, then serve or refrigerate, garnished with anchovies if you like, and a little more olive oil. (LOVE gazpacho!)

51. Put a stick of butter and a handful of pine nuts in a skillet. Cook over medium heat until both are brown. Toss with cooked pasta, grated Parmesan and black pepper.

I have a folder on my computer for recipes and I saved this list for future reference!


Stitch School: Guilloche

Stitch School has moved to it's very own space on the web! You'll now find the Guilloche Stitch post here. Comments are now closed on this post; if you'd like to leave a comment please do so on the new one.


new items

I reorganized my pattern section this morning, breaking it into three sections and adding a new subcategory for vintage sewing patterns. I have just four patterns listed at the moment—three for dresses and one rare 1930s DuBarry artist smock pattern. This is one of the dresses (McCall's #9572 from 1953) Isn't it cool?

More patterns coming soon!


it's too hot...

..said with a whiny voice like the ones your kids use when there's nothing to do.

Sorry for my lack of blogging for the past few days. The heatwave left me feeling kind of queasy and weird and it was all I could do to get the things done that I really had to do. Like my "real" work (the graphic design kind) and that wholesale order for sachets that I need to deliver on Saturday. I'm working on those today.

Besides that I've been trying to keep the garden from drying out too much, and picking and freezing peas (of which we have a bumper crop this year). Mostly I've been lazy, spending the afternoons in the hammock reading—and under the ceiling fan, which moves the warm air around a little.

No, our old house doesn't have air conditioning. And that's usually OK with me. I don't really like it anyway and this hot weather is an exception where I live. The house was well designed to stay cool with a stone basement and windows placed for good circulation. And I leave all the windows open at night with fans to let the cool air in, then close up the house during the hottest part of the day. My studio, which is upstairs, gets too hot to work in so I try to spend some time there early in the morning and after the sun goes down. I'm so looking forward to the rain that's predicted for today!


Road Trip: Lambertville/New Hope

On July 4th we headed down to the Lambertville, NJ-New Hope, PA area for some flea marketing/antique hunting. I'll admit that this may not have been the best day to do this because a lot of shops were closed and the flea market was sparsely populated with vendors. But both towns are full of historical architecture and it was a pretty drive down along the Delaware River. We still managed to find a few things and had a nice lunch at The Landing, sitting outside on their deck overlooking the river.

Our first stop was the Golden Nugget Antique Flea Market on River Road, about a mile south of Lambertville. There were enough tables for 200 vendors so, on a day other than a holiday, this would be a good place to look for treasures. I saw a lot of jewelry and artwork (paintings, drawings, etc.) so it's good for those things. Not a lot of the kinds of things I look for, but I found a handful of vintage buttons for a dollar—


And from a very nice grandmothery woman who was selling some of her vintage linen collection, a pair of crochet-edged pillowcases ($8), an eyelet embroidered towel ($1.50) and this gorgeous embroidered towel with thousands of tiny cross stitches ($3).

cross stitch towel

Just look at those fruity colors and lollipop flowers!

cross stitch towel

We browsed in several shops (the ones that were open, that is) and I wanted to mention one that I particularly liked. It's called No. 63 and was a mix of antiques, art, and vintage-inspired accessories. Loved the typewriter key charms and fun things for kids! The shop is decorated much like I would do it if I had a shop, so it felt comfortable the minute I walked in.

I wish there had been more places open, especially some of the antique shops. But it's an easy drive so I'm sure we'll be back!

Golden Nugget Antique Flea Market, 1850 River Road, Lambertville, NJ 08530
No. 63, 10 N. Union Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530
The Landing Restaurant, 22 N.Main Street, New Hope, PA 18938


Road Trip: Shupp's Grove Flea Market

Each weekend, the Shupp's Grove Flea Market in Adamstown, PA has a theme weekend. Sellers have the option of bringing things to fit that theme knowing that there will be buyers looking specifiically for those things. For the three years I've been going to this, I've always gone on the Textiles-Linens-Buttons weekend. No surprise there, right?

That's next weekend. This year we decided to try one of their 3 day extravanganza weekends and I'm happy to report that from my perspective it wasn't much different. The same booths I like to shop at were there and the same things I like to buy were there. So I had a good day.

I always look for buttons and I found some great ones (look for them on my web site soon). I got lots of aprons (one with an unusual use of rickrack that I'll show you in a future post) and a couple with chicken scratch embroidery (still another post). The handkerchief lady was there and I bought a bunch with pretty crocheted edgings in bright colors. I'll layer these under all those print hankies I got this spring.

handkerchief edgings

For myself (as opposed to for-the-business purchases) I got a white painted vintage step stool ($25) and two vintage painted folding chairs ($8 each). And my husband surprised me with a vintage painted shelf that he'd found while browsing ahead of me. I think he's starting to "get" what I like :)

The best find of the day? This quilt top (for $25) with what I think may be 1930s fabrics.

quilt top

I love the brightly colored prints that were used on the edges and inner borders—they're actually three colorways of the same fabric.

quilt closeup

I'll have another road trip post in a few days. We're heading to Lambertville, NJ tomorrow and who knows what treasures we'll find there!


Stitch School: Interlaced Running Stitch

Stitch School has moved to it's very own space on the web! You'll now find the Interlaced Running Stitch post here. Comments are now closed on this post; if you'd like to leave a comment please do so on the new one.