January 14, 2015

More old fabrics

Filed under: ◦Antique quilts,◦Fabrics,◦rickrack.com,◦Vintage — sharon @ 11:18 am

Besides quilt blocks, another item we come across from time to time is a bunch of precut pieces for quilts. Sometimes squares, triangles or diamonds, but this time we found a bunch of hexagons.
hexagon patches

All great fabrics from the 1880′s and 90′s, the hexagons measure 3 inches across, and right now are being offered on our eBay store. There are 75 different prints, plus a few extras.
hexagon patches

We have many more bits of old fabric, and we’ll be making up more assortments soon, including more hexagons and of course our perennial scrap offerings.
hexagon patches
hexagon patches
hexagon patches

June 10, 2014

Early Quilt Blocks Galore

Filed under: ◦Antique quilts,◦Fabrics,◦rickrack.com,◦Vintage — sharon @ 8:01 pm

One of the things we’ve been selling a lot lately has been antique quilt blocks. Here are a few pictures of ones that we’ve recently sold:
economy 9-patch blocks
4-patch blocks
round blocks
triangle blocks
star blocks

The variety of fabrics in these early blocks is fascinating; a collector or student of antique cotton fabrics would have to enjoy seeing many of these, as I have.  Among some of the blocks we’ve sold, the same fabrics have turned up repeatedly – in a few cases I believe the blocks were made by the same seamstress.

But we’re not close to running out.  Here are some of the blocks we currently have for sale on eBay:

variable star blocks
album patch blocks

And coming in the near future will be more album patch blocks, hexagon star blocks, and early ones with crescent moons and stars:
hexagon star blocks
moon & star blocks

There are many more still to be unearthed, so stay tuned to our eBay offerings.

And while we’re looking at early fabric, we found some that was never made into blocks – it’s also in our eBay store.
charm squares
Early fabric lovers, enjoy!

September 12, 2013

Two unusual fabrics

Filed under: ◦Fabrics,◦rickrack.com,◦Vintage — sharon @ 5:30 pm

Among the most interesting old fabrics we’ve seen in quite a while are two that we’re currently offering on eBay. One is this early native American print, showing chiefs in front of a tepee with basket and ceremonial pipe. Most of the 19th century fabric we’ve dealt with has been quilt or dress fabric, with some exceptions in the home décor field. But I’m not sure where this one fits in.

Only 24 inches selvedge width, and printed in rich browns, blues and red, it appears to me to be c. 1880. I have not seen another example of this fabric anywhere.
native americans fabric
The eBay listing for this fabric is here.

Our second, also very unusual fabric is this purple on white linen toile print, featuring the two sides of Ben Franklin’s medal celebrating American liberty, and the assistance of the French in the revolution. There is a toile pictured in Pierre Frey’s blog, dating from the late 18th century, that contains the same elements, but with scenes interspersed. Our fabric, while considerably more spare, contains most of the same structural elements without the scenes. Again we find no mention nor record of the existence of this particular fabric in our research.
purple toile fabric
The listing for the toile can be found here.

It all goes to show that when you look at, handle and deal with enough fabric and keep your eyes open, you can find some pretty amazing if not spectacular things.

June 7, 2013

Feedsack Friday – Summer Wear

Filed under: ◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 7:22 pm

We haven’t had any feedsack dresses for a while, but we do still have one feedsack garment (other than aprons) on hand: this pair of vintage culottes!

I can’t imagine wearing them in the garden, so we’re offering them on eBay. There’s certainly plenty of fabric there for anyone who wants to repurpose.

May 24, 2013

Feedsack Friday – New Arrivals

Filed under: ◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦rickrack.com,◦Vintage — sharon @ 10:53 pm

Again, it’s the middle of our busy season, so I haven’t had much time to consider themes for this series, but there are a few feedsacks I’ve just gotten (most of which I hadn’t seen before), and so I thought I’d present a few here.

new feedsacknew feedsack
new feedsacknew feedsack
new feedsacknew feedsack

Several of these are currently available in my eBay store, along with some others – auctions ending Tuesday, May 28.

May 10, 2013

Feedsack Friday – Marking Time

Filed under: ◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦rickrack.com,◦Vintage — sharon @ 5:44 pm

As we’ve seen before, I never seem to have enough time to do everything to keep both this business and my home going, and of course, spring is the busiest season. So today I thought I’d show one of the feedsacks we bought at our spring show, this one is timely.
time feedsacktime feedsack

A border print feedsack that gives you the choice of several times of day, from five of six to three o’clock… and the hands are very nearly the same size, so the readings may be somewhat ambiguous.  I can’t remember seeing another feedsack featuring clock faces, but I’m sure there must be some.  Anyone? 

This one would make really cute kitchen curtains, and along with the other nineteen we bought at the show, it’s mint, still in sack form.

May 3, 2013

Feedsack Friday – Tulip Time

Filed under: ◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 2:30 pm

We had a late spring here in PA Dutch country. But for the last couple of weeks, the sun has been shining and things are warming up nicely, and the grass needs cutting, too. The tulips have already bloomed, but I thought we should show tulips on feedsacks this week.  I’m not absolutely sure that all the flowers we’ve selected are tulips, but many of them are, and the others at least are close. 
tulip feedsacktulip feedsacktulip feedsack
tulip feedsacktulip feedsacktulip feedsack
tulip feedsacktulip feedsacktulip feedsack
 feedsacktulip feedsacktulip feedsack
tulip feedsackplaid feedsacktulip feedsack
As you can see, our selections have run the gamut of realistic and stylized tulips, multiple colorways, a border print sack, and still I’m sure that there are more we didn’t find on the first or second time through. That’s it for this week, see you next Feedsack Friday!tulip feedsackplaid feedsacktulip feedsack
tulip feedsacktulip feedsack<

April 20, 2013


Filed under: ◦Fabrics,◦Vintage — sharon @ 3:28 pm

I think I’ve written before that some of our best finds are things that we turn up right here at home, among the many items we’ve stashed away while accumulating our stock or collection of vintage textiles – items that we bought at auctions, flea markets or privately and put away, not necessarily having an idea of what to do with them. Since we’d been doing that sort of thing for nearly twenty years, naturally we’ve forgotten many of the things in those boxes and containers. So today, when we access an area that we haven’t explored in a while, it’s like an archaeological dig; a history of our follies of the past, some of which turn out not to have been follies at all, but instead rather fortunate purchases.

One of the best examples of this is a group of embroidered pieces we unearthed last year. When we bought them, Chinese embroidery was popular among some collectors, but the value changed considerably with the growth of China’s economy and the resulting availability of cash to collectors in China. Not having a ready market at the time, we put them away. Last year we finally offered them for sale.
Chinese embroidery

There were a variety of motifs, some floral, others figural; most of the items were longer, narrow pieces, known as sleeve bands, apparently from Chinese robes.

Chinese embroidery

Knowing that we didn’t have a large investment involved, I started most of them at about $25 each, and though some went for opening bid, there were others that brought one or two hundred.

Chinese embroidery
Chinese embroidery

But one was different, round instead of rectangular, completely covered in stitching, just magnificent.   This one had to be a cut above the others, so we started it above $100.   And there was some chinese calligraphy on the back, which we also photographed.   Soon our suspicions were confirmed, as we got a message asking if we would sell it outright for $1250, and more requests for instant purchase, to which we politely replied that it was our policy to allow the auction to run its course.
Chinese embroidery

The bidding began immediately, but proceeded slowly, and as the final day began, I was worried that I might have  been hasty in declining the offer made the first day, but hoped that the person would bid at least an equivalent amount.  Finally, when the dust cleared at the end, this one sold for just over $1800.  I still don’t know exactly what it is or why it sold for so much more than the rest, but at least I had made a good investment when I had bought it years ago. 

Most of my timing has not been so good; often I’ll buy things at the peak of their popularity and try to make a little profit, but then if I own them for too long I may lose money.  I own a number of quilts that I bought when the market was better than it is now, some of which will sell for a loss.  But since I’m not buying much at all these days, I’m constrained to selling items that we already own and have stashed away.   Hopefully I can unearth a few more gems at the right time to maximize their potential.

April 12, 2013

Feedsack Friday – Out of Balance

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 3:25 pm

Years ago when I taught fiction writing, I once had in my workshop a member of the famous tightrope-walking Wallenda family.  Now there was a family with natural balance.  Unlike the plaids we’re considering this week.  These are unbalanced or asymmetrical plaids, these set diagonally.
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
We found one in five at least slightly different colorways, another in three along with numerous pairs.  As always, we can probably assume that since I only have about 5000 or so images among the 20,000 variations known to exist, there must be more variations of many of these patterns than what we show here.
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsack
In addition to the 11 pair shown at left and above, there are, of course, a half-dozen or so singles among our collection of images. And since during our exhaustive search we found only three images of unbalanced plaids oriented squarely or with the grain of the cloth, we’ll include plaid feedsackplaid feedsackthose at the end of today’s group, since they probably aren’t justified in having their own week.

Of course that means we’ll have to come up with a new topic for next feedsack Friday, but that’s half the fun of it. No doubt there’s a source of springtime inspiration in there somewhere.
Remember, suggestions are always appreciated!
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack

April 5, 2013

Feedsack Friday – More Plaids

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 5:52 pm

This week we have the last of the balanced multicolor plaids, those oriented square with the grain of the cloth instead of diagonally.  There are four colorways in one pattern,  a number of pairs, and a few singles at the end:

plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack

But we are by no means finished with the plaids,  just as among our friends, there are probably more unbalanced than balanced ones.
plaid feedsackplaid feedsackplaid feedsack

So next week we’ll look at unbalanced plaids, those with different colors and widths of line in different parts of the squares of plaid.  Hope you enjoyed this week’s Feedsack Friday!