Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Can You Say..... GOLD MINE??

Well, to me anyway, it felt like I’d struck gold last Saturday.  DH and I were going to go out and hit some yard sales, when I noticed an ad in the paper for an estate sale in our subdivision - about 3-4 blocks away.  We thought we’d swing by there first, not really expecting much.  And at first glance, we were right.

But then I noticed that it was being run by two elderly ladies who were very calmly and slowly bringing things out and fussing about where to put them.  In chatting with one of them, I learned that she was cleaning out her 90+ year-old mother’s things, and some of hers, too.  It was apparent they needed help, so I gently began asking questions and helping carry out things from the depths of the garage to the driveway and lawn.  

One of the ladies took a shine to Bruce (that happens alot; he’s such a sweetie) and they began talking about an old radio in the back of the garage with a bullet hole through it.    She said it was her mother’s pride and joy and was the first radio “back in the day” in Delta, Utah.  One of the men accidentally shot off a gun, it went through the window and into the radio.  Didn’t harm any of the internal workings, but she cried and cried about her lovely radio.  But they had the bullet hole reminder from then on to remind them that they were lucky it was ONLY the radio that was shot!

Then she showed us a couple old sewing machines she wanted to sell.  I took an immediate shine to this one.   It’s a very early electric portable machine.  “Portable” is a relative term, however, because it is heavy enough to pull your arm out of its socket!!  

All the attachments, the foot pedal and the manual were included “for one low price”, LOL.  Yes, it works.  The brand is a Eureka Good Housekeeper, and from the limited research I’ve been able to do, it is circa 1951-1953.  Look at the lovely workmanship on the arm, below.

When she found out I was interested in linens, she grabbed everything she had.  Together we went through them and she pulled a few things she wanted for sentimental reasons, which was fine.  The only thing I lusted for that she kept was her own sweet little baby shoes.  But who could blame her?  

The hot pink fabric in the upper right is a yard of bridal-weight satin, fresh and clean, circa the 1960’s.  The top left shows two vintage sheet sets I snatched.  They’re getting highly collectible because they coordinate so well with today’s bright prints.  I intend to begin cutting them up and selling fat quarters.  Stripes are especially coveted because they are a timeless accent for children’s clothing and crafts.

The crocheted potholders she gave to me as we were leaving.  I really didn’t want them, but thanked her profusely anyway.  After washing, they looked a bit better.  I took them apart and the flip side (that was the inside) of the rings are pristine, so I can hopefully use the crocheted rings for something.

The peacock cross-stitch dishtowel (above and below) charmed me.  I’ll eventually get it listed in either my Etsy or on Ebay.   I also loved the colors in the embroidered dishtowel, but you can barely see the center pink stitching of glasses.  I may just have to salvage the trim off this.... any ideas?? 

Stitched peacock (above) and the tin, which came from England (below)

I couldn’t resist picking up the old indoor clothes hanger.  It’ll come in handy for displaying linens as necessary, as well as drying clothes.  I don’t have an outdoor clothesline, although I covet one.  It’s on DH’s long list of honey-do’s!  But in the meantime, this will be a great place to hang hand-washed items, dyed laces, etc.    Or to show you some more treasures....

I’m no Martha when it comes to staging pictures, and the lovely tablecloths were particularly problematic.  Not to mention I should’ve ironed them first.  The striped one (underneath) is immaculate around the stripes, which were the part that hung down from the table.  The center part is stained.  The vintage strawberry print (what a beautiful, soft feel it has!) is torn and stained in too many places to fix.  I thought of cutting it up.... and the idea came to me that I should fussy-cut some of the motifs and applique them to the stains in the center of the other one.  That sounds like a fun winter project. 

A lovely hand-embroidered linen towel.  The linen is a pale yellow.

 More tea towel, hand towels and an embroidered doily.

I LOVE these bright, festive dishtowels because they remind me of the ones my Grandma Szakal (mom’s mom) used to have in her kitchen.   

 A lovely dresser scarf

An embroidered butterfly to salvage from a dishtowel

Senor Siesta here is in great shape (well, the towel is)

And then the hankies.  Several dozen of them.   This pink one is on its way to a friend.

The white one with green squares is silk.  Mmmm....  Several of these are coming with me to Colorado next month for our Crazy Quilting International Retreat.  One of our classes will be Making a Hankie Quilt, and I’m going to share with those ladies who haven’t been bitten by the HankieBug, or who can’t bear to cut up an old hankie.

When a hankie is beyond redemption because of holes or stains, often the edging is salvageable.  I also find that white hankies are great to layer behind other hankies, because they’re all so thin.  And the white edging is often a great counterpoint to a colored edging or busy hanky when piecing.

My personal favorite in the batch was the hankie on the left with the appliqued roses.  But that embroidered hankie with pansies and lilies-of-the-valley is beautiful too!

Well, that’s it for the pictures.  This morning as I loaded these pictures, I noticed that Blogger has upgraded their picture uploading process.  Wow.  All 17 of these pictures transferred from the clipboard to the blog at once.  NICE!!!!

By the way, if you are into Crazy Quilting, stop by the Crazy Quilting International blog (a couple links on my sidebar).  They’ll soon be announcing a CQ Giveaway contest!  Also, if you’d like to learn more about CQI, check out the post here.

Cathy maroon


  1. Oh my gosh, what great finds. Especially the sewing machine.

  2. Yes, I can say "Gold Mine". And you certainly struck gold. I am blown away by all of the wonderful linens you got--so many different varieties. I am especially fond of the hankies. There are just so many things that you can do with hankies. I don't know if I could cut one up either.

  3. I'd say you hit the mother lode with all your goodies - most especially that wonderful sewing machine. The linens are great fun too. Wonder how come we never see estate sales like that here in Canada!!

  4. Cathy, DO NOT cut your great linen finds until you try this:

    True I haven't had time to try it yet but Suzanne has posted quilts and tablecloths and other linen that she has cleaned. Everything but rust. Love the sewing machine!!

  5. WOW!! you hit the mother load!! What great finds, I'm jealous!!

  6. Thank you for posting all those photos, Cathy - lovely eye candy!
    I guess I'll have to swing by your Etsy shop if I want to have a chance at buying the Peacock! He is different from anything in my peacock collection, so I'll be keeping an eye on your sales!

  7. I am soooooooooooooooooo jealous...what great stuff...

    Gerry K.

  8. Can you say....You were incredibly lucky!

  9. Wonderful finds Cathy and you better keep Bruce tagging along to charm the ladies.

    So many really nice things. Such fun.



  10. Mary Corbett of NeedlesnThreads also has a fab cleaner that she recommends..she spoke of it about 3 or 4 posts ago,so you may wish to check that out. Good luck!

  11. Oh Cathy! What luck! Such wonderful
    finds. That vintage sewing machine
    is too cool. My Great-Aunt had a machine like that. Once it was in it's stayed.
    Have fun with all your stuff;)

  12. Isn't it great when you come across such finds? My sister has a story very same to yours of running across an estate sale type sale. From that story came MY 1952 Singer featherweight machine! She bought TWO that day for around $50 EACH! I love that little machine to death AND my sister too of course! Ha!
    Enjoy the hunt AND the finds!


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