March 13, 2013

January 1, 2009 Happy New Year 2009!

Filed under: General,◦Friends — sharon @ 12:13 pm

Here’s a little guy to wish you all the best this new year!
Happy New Year!

I’m hoping to post a picture every day this month – some silly, some pretty, some curious – of things we have around our house/warehouse. This guy’s the first one!

December 31, 2008 The year that was

Filed under: General — sharon @ 12:10 pm

2008 was an exceptional year, by anyone’s reckoning. As it ends, we are just beginning to feel the effects of the two most historical happenings of the year: the election of Barack Obama, the first African-American elected to the office of President of the US; and the economic crisis of perhaps unparalleled proportions, resulting from lax oversight, greed and poor judgment among other factors. And, wonder of wonders, the Phillies won the World Series. (We know because there was absolutely nothing else on the local news for days on end.

I think, considering how it’s ending, most of us will be glad to say goodbye to 2008. To be sure, many of us will have fond memories from events of this year, but most of us will also remember the fears; watching our investments dwindle, credit dry up, and jobs disappear. Gasoline got more expensive than ever, we paid a fortune for one delivery of heating oil early this fall, and now Americans gladdened by the retreat of oil prices are again at risk of forgetting the need to rethink our use of that limited commodity. The changing of the year (which will no doubt cause me to cross out a few 8’s and replace them with 9’s) will not revive the economy, but it will usher in the new president’s term, and upon him rests the heavy load of the economy, wars and terrorism, energy policy and all the rest. I sincerely wish him the best, it’s the world’s toughest job. May God help him and all of us!

For us, 2008 was not too bad. We both stayed out of the hospital, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of our business, and we started a blog!! We turned up some interesting things in 2008, many of which we’ve shared on this blog. Discovery and learning, we find, are the things that give us the most pleasure – for that reason we also love to pass them along so that others may share in it. We’re looking forward to continued fun with our friends in both business and personal life, and our many friends whom we’ve never met, but know only by their online personalities and kind words.

Thanks to our readers for visiting our blog – here’s to more and better in ‘09!!

March 12, 2013

December 28, 2008 Antique Double Prints

Filed under: ◦Antique quilts,◦Fabrics,◦rickrack.com,◦Vintage — sharon @ 11:58 pm

Over the years we’ve seen a lot of double prints – double “cinnamon” pink, double “Lancaster” blue, and more rarely double cheddar. These favorites in the Pennsylvania German quilter’s palette span a time from the mid 19th century into the 1920’s, and are characterized by a printed pattern in a deeper shade on a background of a lighter shade of the same color, giving them a brilliance and clarity that could not be achieved with one shade alone.

Quilts using Lancaster blue seem to all have Pennsylvania origins, though perhaps some are found from closely neighboring areas. There are so few of the double cheddars found that it’s difficult to make any general observations. But the double pinks abound! For years, the conventional wisdom in our area was that quilts with double pink (a large number, to be sure!) were unsaleable – known as “The curse of Hattie Brunner” after a well-known Lancaster County dealer and folk-artist.

Since Hattie’s passing in 1982, aesthetic sensibilities with regard to quilts have changed somewhat, and double pink is better appreciated for its role in the design of so many Pennsylvania quilts. And certainly, in the late 19th century, double pink must have been very popular in the area. In fact, in the 22 19th century quilts currently being offered in our quilt department, half have at least some double pink, and most of those feature it prominently. Double pink’s popularity may also be attested to by the sheer variety of different prints that were available. In my archives, I find that we’ve offered no fewer than a dozen different ones on our antique fabric page.

double pinkdouble pinkdouble pink
double pinkdouble pinkdouble pink

Just a few examples of double pink are shown above; we’ve found many other different ones. In contrast, Lancaster blue and double cheddar seem to occur in very few variations. The photo below from one of our quilts shows blue and cheddar in a similar pattern (as well as 2 different double pinks).
9x4 quilt detail

If you browse the quilt gallery along the right sidebar of this blog, you’ll see many examples of the pink in quilts, most with different prints. There are 6 examples of quilts with Lancaster blue, and almost all are variations on one of two patterns – the one I call double-dot as shown in the picture above and this one:
rainbow quilt detail

The second pattern that accounts for much of the Lancaster blue is one I call bellflower, as seen here:
let quilt detail

I’ve seen perhaps 5 or six other double blue prints, though the two above and their variations seem to account for the grest majority. Similarly, the even scarcer double cheddar occurs in double dot prints as shown above, and perhaps a handful of others. I know of no reason why the variety of blue or cheddar prints should not be as great as those of the double pink, but in our experience there is a vastly greater number of patterns of pink than of either of the other two. If anyone else knows why, I hope they’ll let me know.

December 24, 2008 Christmas, 2008

Filed under: General,◦Friends — sharon @ 11:56 pm

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices!”

Peace

Peace be with you!

December 24, 2008 A Christmas gift, 74 years later

Filed under: ◦Antique quilts,◦Family,◦rickrack.com,◦Vintage — sharon @ 11:46 pm

Sunbonnet Sue cradle quilt This sweet little cradle quilt from my website was a gift to “Dolores”, December 25, 1934 from “Nanna Smith”.

Nanna Smith is undoubtedly gone now, for all we know so is Dolores, but this quilt is a little something to keep the warmth between them alive in the world, these 74 years later.

You can see more detailed pictures of the quilt here: Sunbonnet Sue Cradle Quilt

I wish everyone would have inscribed their quilts; I’d love to know more of the quilters and their personalities. They’ve left a beautiful legacy.

If you’re a quilter, remember how important it will be to those you leave behind to inscribe the quilts you make with love.

December 19, 2008 Pink Rose Dreams

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦rickrack.com,◦Vintage — sharon @ 11:43 pm

If you’re affected like I am by the lack of daylight, then you can get pretty gloomy as we wind down to the shortest day of the year. And today again we have snow, sleet, freezing rain. First PrizeSo it’s now that I start to dream of spring, and envision the pink roses that will grow in my garden and abound in the offerings on our website and eBay store.

Not that we don’t offer plenty of items with pink roses year round – as I check right now, on eBay we have a pink rose blanket, barkcloth with pink roses, pink roses in petit point, pink rose crochet doily, a duvet cover with pink rose bouquets and even a little girl’s vintage dress or nightie with little pink rosettes in the crochet yoke.

Pink roses abound on the website as well; there are lot of pink roses on hankies, and both quilting and upholstery fabrics with pink roses. Of course, there are tablecloths, towels and napkins, aprons, too! Add to those a few sets of pillowcases and the other odd item or two, it’s obvious that pink roses are in anything but short supply.

But I’ll start now, in these shortened days and lengthened nights, to pull myself toward spring by forcing the blooms: I’ll add a disproportionate number of pink roses and other spring flowers long before spring arrives, to hurry it along a bit. Ive begun with a tablecloth called Tea Rose by Setting Pretty, one of the brands by the makers of famous Wilendur tablecloths.
Setting Pretty Tea Rose

And I’ll be adding these to the Drapery and Upholstery pages:
pink rose chintz
pink rose drapes

So, I know I’m rushing the season, but Happy Spring, everyone!!

December 13, 2008 December 13th

Filed under: General,◦Country Living — sharon @ 11:38 pm

snow
Okay, there’s no snow here yet (though we have had a little on the ground a couple of mornings) – and we’ve been on a crazy roller-coaster ride with the temperatures up in the sixties one day, then down in the teens. But I’m sure we’ll have at least one day like the one shown above from 2006-7.

December 8, 2008 Decorating for Christmas

Filed under: ◦rickrack.com,◦Vintage — sharon @ 11:35 pm

We’ve been lucky this season to be mentioned in an article in Country Living Magazine featuring Christmas linens, and have a selection of them in the Christmas linens department of our website. There’s a lot of variety available in tablecloths, towels, aprons and runners. But there may be one place that you’ve overlooked decorating: your purse or your vanity table – and for this our selection of Christmas hankies are just the thing.
poinsettia hankyholly wreath
We’ve got lots of traditional ones with poinsettias and holly, ones with Christmas trees and more with Santa or snowmen.
mod treesSanta greetings
Then there are the ones with Christmas song lyrics, and the ones with little Christmas angels.
Jingle bellslittle angels
And still more with pretty snow scenes:
snow sceneswinter scene
Additionally, this year we have some really unusual ones, not just red and green – like this one with Madonna and Child
mother and child
Last but not least, designer Emilio Pucci created this large hanky for Christmas, in anything but the usual colors, with a script Christmas greeting (in Italian) in the center.
Pucci Christmas
All of these, and more, are currently available in our Christmas hankies section of our website. Don’t wait till it’s too late!

December 2, 2008 Our oldest quilt

Filed under: ◦Antique quilts,◦Country Living,◦Vintage — sharon @ 8:37 pm

The oldest quilt in our collection, by far, is this one.
American blue resist quilt
Known as American blue resist, this fabric is dyed with indigo using a technique in which a resist is applied to the areas to remain white before the cloth is placed in the dye bath. Lighter and darker areas are achieved by using successive dyeings after removing some of the resist.

It’s called “American” blue resist because, although no documentation exists as evidence for the fabric having been printed in North America, it is found exclusively in the US. While its European counterparts do exist, they are clearly distimguishable from the American product – so we must assume that it was either manufactured here or that the entire production was imported to the colonies. Most American blue resist originated apparently in the Hudson River and Connecticut River valleys during the mid-1700’s, and was originally used as home decorating fabric, typically as curtains or bed hangings. Analyzing the sizes and shapes of pieces in our quilt, we can assume that it was pieced from fabric orignally used as bed hangings, even bound with resist printed strips that were used as trim on the hangings. Assuming a reasonable life for the bed set, we can surmise that it was deconstructed and made into this quilt in the early 1800’s.

Through the kindness of Linda Eaton, textile curator at Winterthur we were able to view a number of blue resist items in their large collection – a considerable education on the subject – which further convinced us of the correctness of our suppositions. I don’t know of any other museum or public holding of such an extensive array of blue resist bed hangings and coverings.

Our quilt has a homespun back, and is not in perfect condition, though considering its age, it’s not bad. Sometime long ago it sustained a small hole, perhaps from a mouse? So it has on each side an inset patch of the type done in the 19th century.
a patch

More images of the quilt can be seen here. When we bought this at auction, it was completely overlooked; it cost us all of $1.00!

November 29, 2008 Local Applique Update

Filed under: ◦Antique quilts,◦Country Living,◦Vintage — sharon @ 8:36 pm

Though some friends I found out today that another of the applique quilts that I posted about previously was sold at auction last Saturday, Nov. 22. Holding true to my expectations, this one came from an estate from New Tripoli, PA in northwestern Lehigh County. Though I haven’t seen the quilt personally, it obviously has the same inspiration – though the fleurs-de-lis on the eight point blocks have a decidedly tulip form. I wonder if this metamorphosis has occurred elsewhere?

It would seem to be a generation or two later than the others we’ve found….
Lehigh Co quilt