March 18, 2013

November 27, 2009 Feedsack Friday – Doin’ Dishes

Filed under: ◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦rickrack.com,◦Vintage — sharon @ 11:48 pm
Filed under: Vintage, rickrack.com, Fabrics, Feedsack Friday — Bill @ 10:44 am

After the big feast of yesterday, there were a lot of dishes to clean up. Many of us have used dishtowels made of feedsack over the years, but this week we’ll feature feedsacks with dishes, cups, saucers, plates, etc. printed right on them.

But before we get to that, by way of being thankful ourselves for everything that we have, I want to announce our Feed America feedsack give back. For every feedsack that we sell here at Sharon’s between now and Christmas day, we will donate $1.00 to Feeding America, the network of food banks that helps so much to feed the hungry people of our country. The need is greater this year than ever, and I hope we’ll be able to contribute a lot.

Many of the dishes printed on feedsacks appear to be more decorative than utilitarian, but then who wants to look at dull dishes, pots & pans?

dishes sackdishes sackdishes sack
dishes sackdishes sackdishes sack

While some are shown set on a table, others are apparently on display.

dishes sackdishes sackdishes sack
dishes sackdishes sackdishes sack

And some are clearly more appropriate for just beverages, rather than a whole meal.

dishes sackdishes sackdishes sack
dishes sackdishes sack That’s our selection for this week, now that all the dishes are washed, dried and put away we’ll just be thinking about getting ready for the next feast. And we hope you’ll think, when you think of feedsacks, about feeding those who are less fortunate. Make a donation that matters to your local food bank, soup kitchen or shelter.

 

November 24, 2009 Vintage Vintage

Filed under: ◦Fabrics,◦rickrack.com,◦Vintage — sharon @ 11:45 pm

One of the things we’re often asked is “What is your definition of vintage?”

Obviously there’s no simple answer to this one. For years we used the cutoff date of about 1960 to describe fabric as vintage, about the time selvedge widths began to exceed 36 inches. But time goes on, and things change. Many of today’s homemakers weren’t even alive in the 1950’s, or even the 1960’s, and to them, fabric/clothing from as recently as the 1970’s or 80’s seems vintage enough. Often it’s those looks that become popular again, after a few decades have passed, that define any particular person’s idea of “vintage”. In keeping with that trend, we have decided that it’s long overdue for us to add 1960’s and 70’s fabrics to our selection at Sharon’s.

1960 fabric1960 fabric1960 fabric

Some time ago we added a few fabrics from the 50’s/60’s, some of the earlier flower-power and psychedelic prints, hopefully in the next weeks/months we’ll finally get a bit more added to our selection.

Another use of the V word has begun to irritate me more and more. It seems that many marketers out there, from small businesses to large, have realized that there is a market for vintage. Of course, it takes a special variety of insanity such as ours to try to make a business work based on only genuine vintage items; certainly a chain of retail mega-stores cannot find or maintain a marketable supply of true vintage or antique items. So of course the next best thing is newly made, vintage-style items. Take aprons, for instance. A Google search for vintage aprons will bring up a few sellers offering real aprons from the 1940’s and 50’s, but also among the top ten results are at least 4 or 5 companies offering vintage aprons – that are in fact vintage inspired but newly made, with a nod to retro design but often very contemporary. And there are more in the paid listings. Fine, it’s not that these items shouldn’t be available, there might never be enough real vintage to go around if everyone wants them. But to call them vintage aprons rather than retro or vintage-style aprons is at least a little bit deceptive to my mind. What do you think?

vintage apron1960 fabric

When you search for vintage aprons, are you hoping to find ones like these, from our stock at Sharon’s, or something new?

We looked up the term Vintage on the web and found, along with the definitions relating specifically to wine, where the “vint” in vintage comes from, a Wikipedia article on vintage clothing. In saying that vintage is a euphemism for old, they assert that vintage clothing generally dates from the 1920’s to the 1970’s. They also mention the term retro, which they interpret, as I do, to mean in a vintage style, harking back to earlier styles. I don’t believe that anyone refers to new clothing as vintage, no matter how retro the style may be. So somehow aprons have become an exception to this rule, I don’t know why, and I beg to disagree!

I should also mention that a search for vintage fabric also turns up new fabrics in great numbers; here, however, most sellers have the grace to use the term vintage reproduction fabrics, though some few do not. Precision in language is not something for which the internet will receive a high grade.

November 13, 2009 Fishy Feedsack Friday

Filed under: ◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 11:42 pm

Sharon grew up Catholic, so Friday meant fish. One day, you could be cast into Hell for eating meat, then suddenly it’s ok. This Friday we’re featuring fish on feedsacks – you’ll see that most of them are rather tropical looking. We’ve had the one in the center, with the surfers and spear-fishermen in several colorways.
fish sackfish sackfish sack
fish sackfish sackfish sack

I especially like that one with the seahorses; had it once ten years ago and haven’t seen it since.

fish sack Finally, though we have a number of sacks featuring various types of fish, we’ve seen only this one that concentrates on the subject of traditional fishing, in a somewhat abstract and design-y way. Which makes this another of our favorites – you might say we fell for it hook, line and sinker.

Fisherman’s luck on Friday the 13th? Maybe… but join us next week when hopefully we’ll be back on dry land for another Feedsack Friday.

November 6, 2009 Feedsack Friday – Framed

Filed under: ◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 11:40 pm

We’ve always thought that some feedsacks were pretty enough to frame as art, but today we’re featuring feedsacks that actually have framed vignettes, pictures or figures as part of their design. Here are three variations on a fruit theme; I have to say that the yellow bananas are considerably more appetizing than the pink or blue!
feedsack with framesfeedsack with framesfeedsack with frames

These framed tropical scenes might also be the view from the windows of a tiki hut; we also have floral still life pictures on pink walls, and oval cameo portraits.
feedsack with framesfeedsack with framesfeedsack with frames
feedsack with framesfeedsack with framesfeedsack with frames

That’s all we have today, see you next Feedsack Friday!

October 30, 2009 Feedsack Friday – Halloween

Filed under: ◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 11:38 pm

Tomorrow is Halloween, so I guess today is Halloween ee’n….. also the day before our 14th anniversary. For Halloween, I’d love to show feedsacks with jack o’lanterns, ghosts, goblins and witches, but I don’t know of any – nary even a black cat! So barring those, I’ve chosen some sacks in some of the scarcest colors in feedsacks – orange and black.
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feedsackfeedsackfeedsack

Orange occurs rather more frequently in floral and other patterns, but as a background or predominant color, is hard to find. Even less common, though, and perhaps more useful in quilting and other design work, is the black background – so again we’ve also settled for sacks where black is at least the dominant color.
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feedsackfeedsackfeedsack
feedsackfeedsackfeedsack

Have a happy Halloween, everyone!

October 29, 2009 Joy of Quilts

Filed under: ◦Antique quilts,◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦Vintage — sharon @ 7:11 pm

In the world of antique and vintage quilts, you truly never know what you’ll find next. Here in Pennsylvania, we know we’ll always see a certain number of beautifully crafted antique quilts in any number of traditional patterns, and many of these can be truly astonishing in their beauty and workmanship. But we have a place in our hearts for the unusual, and have presented a few of them here in the past.

This week we found a quilt unlike any of the traditional PA quilts we’re used to; in fact, it resembles much more closely those quilts from Gee’s Bend, Alabama that have been so widely celebrated since their discovery a few years back. And like those quilts, this one is delightful for its originality, its exuberance and joy in the use of what were obviously scraps of cast off material to create a thing of utility and beauty.

corduroy reversible tied quilt

It’s a heavy quilt, quite warm no doubt, constructed of mostly brightly colored corduroys. But there are numerous other fabrics included as well, from wool army blanket to 1970’s poly knits. It’s not quilted, but tied with strings or heavy thread in blue and red. And as if it weren’t enough to have pieced all these various fabrics together in these colorful variously sized arrays, rather than finding larger pieces for a backing, the quiltmaker has pieced another joyful top!

corduroy reversible tied quilt

This reverse side clearly shows the ends of the ties, and features a somewhat cooler palette than the front, but is otherwise every bit its equal in originality and creative use of scrap fabrics. On both sides are strips of fabric clearly added in order to make squares of various sizes fit together, and other strips to square off the whole, but there’s a freedom apparent in the sheer variety of fabrics, patterns, shapes and colors that belies the cohesiveness of the final product.

corduroy reversible tied quilt

Because it’s so different from everything else we find here, so unfamiliar to us in every way, we don’t quite know what to make of this quilt. But we can’t help smiling when we look at it, and that’s a good thing. And the more we compare it to those famous quilts of rural southern black communities, the more it seems to us to resemble them, to be representative at least of that tradition. Barring the unlikely discovery of where it originated and how it came to be here, we are left with little else but conjecture. That said, in the world of quilt history we often use a certain amount of conjecture along with our knowledge of fabrics and historical data to determine a probable origin, etc. So while we obviously cannot tell the name, locale, skin color or even the gender of the maker of this quilt, it certainly bears comparison to the housetops quilts of Gee’s Bend and other rural southern communities.

corduroy reversible tied quilt

And as I said, it sure makes us smile to look at it!

October 23, 2009 Feedsack Friday – Jack Frost

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 7:09 pm

We’ve had our first frost here now, the outdoor growing season is at an end. Luckily for those of us who love feedsacks, we’re able to carry our flowers around with us on our fabrics! One other way to keep our flowers and plants past the frost is to have them in portable pots and planters, and these, too, are represented on feedsacks. Here’s an assortment of potted plants:
potted plantspotted plantspotted plants
potted plantspotted plantspotted plants
potted plantspotted plantspotted plants

Potted plants seem to turn up with a lot of other kitchen items on feedsacks as well – I could have included the first two in last week’s post about aprons, since they depict little aprons in their scene…
potted plantspotted plantspotted plants
potted plantspotted plantspotted plants

We’ll probably see a few of these again if we do Feedsack Friday with other kitchen themes, but we thought we’d better get those plants in out of the cold.

October 21, 2009 Fun quilt find

Filed under: ◦Antique quilts,◦Country Living,◦Vintage — sharon @ 7:06 pm

Once again we’ve bought a quilt we weren’t expecting at an auction. In fact, there were several quilts prominently displayed at this particular sale, none of them particularly intriguing. But since we look for a lot more than just quilts at an auction, we stayed for the duration, buying a bunch of tea towels, framed prints and needlepoints, and sundry other textile items. At some point, the auctioneer said, “Now we have a quilted baby blanket.”
Looking up, expecting to see a crib pad or some other machine made cover, we were surprised by this:
Bars crib quilt

Not exactly what we’d call a baby blanket, rather a bars pattern crib quilt. All solid colors, the reds and the black are wools, the blue is cotton. And it’s beautifully hand quilted in dark thread. To us, this looks suspiciously like an Amish quilt, in pattern, fabrics and quilting design. And the fabrics are not new. There’s a little damage – some small moth bites and some whitish paint/glue that we haven’t really tried hard to remove, until we figure out if it’s safe to do so.

It is hard to understand why a Berks County auction would have a quilt like this, practically hidden away, while it openly presented other mediocre offerings. Again, we were able to buy it for practically nothing. Are we missing something? Are little treasures like this one really just a dime a dozen?? If they are, I guess we’ll probably end up with dozens of them!

October 16, 2009 Feedsack Friday – Aprons

Filed under: ◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦rickrack.com,◦Vintage — sharon @ 7:04 pm

Today we got the November issue of Country Living Magazine in the mail – and there’s a feature article on aprons. One of the aprons shown is this one:
feedsack apron

Made from feedsack, this one’s featured as an example of 1930’s style aprons. Aprons were one of the many popular uses for feedsacks, and there were certainly many of them made. Here’s a selection of some of our favorites:
feedsack apronfeedsack apron
feedsack apronfeedsack apron

We think that feedsack probably accounts for a third of the bib aprons we see around here, fewer of the shorties.

feedsack apronfeedsack apron

There are always a few available on our site: Sharon’s Vintage Aprons

October 9, 2009 Feedsack Friday – Autumn Leaves

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 7:02 pm

Missed last week again, but we’re back this week with another edition of Feedsack Friday. This week’s topic is Autumn Leaves. Many, many feedsacks have flowers with leaves, trees with leaves, etc., but we’re featuring sacks this week with just leaves, no flowers or other objects. You’ll find that the color scheme is far more varied than what Mother Nature offers us in the annual north to south redecorating of our woodlands. Here are several colorways each of some feedsacks with smaller leaves:
leaves feedsackleaves feedsackleaves feedsack
leaves feedsackleaves feedsackleaves feedsack
leaves feedsackleaves feedsackleaves feedsack

These leaves are a bit larger, and seem to have picked up some spots.

leaves feedsackleaves feedsackleaves feedsack
leaves feedsackleaves feedsackleaves feedsack
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