Sewing Room is Coming Together

It’s been pretty hot here the past week or so, and unfortunately our AC stopped working 7 days ago.  The repairman is coming tomorrow – as you can imagine this is a very busy time of year for AC companies and we had to take what we could get!  The upstairs is about 90 degrees right now, so needless to say I haven’t spent much time in the sewing room.

However, I have been hitting up the thrift stores to get out of the house and enjoy someone else’s AC for awhile.  Good thing, I did!  People are doing a lot of spring cleaning right now and so there are some great deals out there.

Sewing Box - Exterior
Sewing Box - Interior

The first piece is a wonderful little sewing caddy that for any UFOs.  It’s a perfect fit next to my sewing chair – just haven’t had a chance to sit down with it yet.

Bookshelf with Removable Shelves

Here is a cute little shelf I found at Goodwill.  Each shelf can be removed and used as a tray.  Also, the little “fences” around the shelves can be removed for a different look.

Mr. Peanut Cannisters

No sewing room is complete without a bunch of containers for all your sewing treasures!  Who knows what will actually go in them, but they sure look cute.  First is set of Mr. Peanut jars from 1980.  My grandmother used to go through these peanuts like crazy!  Who knew the jars would become collectibles!

Vintage Rooster Cannisters

Next is a set of wooden canisters with roosters on them.  These were very popular in the 1950’s.  I think there was probably a fourth canister (a larger one), so you had one each for flour, sugar, coffee, and tea.

I have such a good time seeking out these bargains and treasures – wish I could do it full time!

Keep it thimble!

Thrift Store Finds!

It’s time for another edition of Thrift Store Finds.   For awhile there, I was getting disappointed because there didn’t seem to be much out there for a few weeks.  One weekend I visited all my usual thrift stores and a few garage sales and I couldn’t find one thing!  However, that all changed last weekend – I hit the jackpot!

Vintage Fabrics

The first stop was a local thrift store that’s open only on weekends.   For about $10, I walked out with several pieces of vintage fabric, some vintage hand embroidered table linens, a spice rack, and two super cute vintage aprons!

Embroidered Bluebird Table Topper
Embroidered Springtime Table Topper

These embroidered toppers need some TLC, but after I wash and starch them, they should look pretty good.

Vintage Black Checkered Apron
Grandma's Red Checkered Apron

I was especially pleased with the red apron.  When I was little, my grandma’s main form of discipline when she was watching my brother and me was to say, “Don’t do that, or I will have to put on my red-checkered apron.”  To this day, I have no idea what would happen if she actually put it on – but in my mind I envisioned her chasing me around the house with a rolling pin and swatting my bottom with it.  Needless to say, my brother and I were always concerned when she said this and usually stopped whatever we were doing and snapped to attention.  Of course, when I was little, I never actually saw this apron (although I certainly tried to find it).  I remember asking my grandma one time where she kept it and she said it was hidden in the kitchen.    Well, guess what?  I found it!

Hand-pieced Quilt Top

One other treasure I also was excited about was a hand-pieced quilt top.  The piecing is almost complete, it just needs a few more diamonds added to the outside border.  I plan to finish this and use it on my kitchen table. You can’t see it very well in the picture, but the fabrics are vintage and quite lovely.  Luckily, the fabric scraps were also included, so I can finish it up with the original fabric.

Spice Rack

The next stop was a local yard sale.  The owners were cleaning out the attic of all their children’s toys.  They had tons of vintage board games and toys from the 60’s and 70’s for dirt cheap!  She even had an Easy Bake oven (with box!) – which I thought would look cute displayed in my kitchen.

Easy Bake Oven

The last deal of the day was this Kenmore Sewing machine.  It’s about 10 years old, but hardly ever used.   You can always use another basic sewing machine.  Also, I’ve been kicking around the idea of doing offering sewing lessons and this would be great for teaching beginners.

Kenmore Sewing Machine

Keep it thimble!

Flea Market Finds!

Now that the holidays are over, I’ve been hitting up the thrift stores and flea markets again.  People donate a lot of stuff at the end of the year, so I figure this is prime time to check out the local Goodwill and Salvation Army.   I’m still looking for things for the house – I’ll be doing some painting in the next month or so and then I will be able to arrange all the great pieces I’ve found so far.

Schoolhouse Quilt

Schoolhouse Quilt Detail

This is a schoolhouse block quilt I found at the local flea market.  It’s probably from the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.  It is pretty good condition, there is some minor repair work to be done and it needs washed.  The lady who sold it me said I could wash it by hand in the bathtub with Orvus Quilt soap.  It would probably take 5 – 6 rinses, but she thinks a lot of the stains will come out.  The backing is made from old feedsacks and it is entirely made by hand.  I love it!

Storage Bin

This is a funny little wooden storage bin.  It’s solid wood and in good condition, it just needs some TLC.  I am going to use this piece as my test case for learning how to refinish furniture.  It will be stripped and I will either paint it or stain it something very dark and replace all the hardware.  I am also going to sand off the scratches and fix it up.  It will look great in my sewing room!

Child's Rocking Chair
Child's Rocker - Side View

This is the sweetest little child’s rocker.  I found this for only $5!!!  It is handmade and probably about 40+ years old.  The best part is the section on the back where you can store books or other things.  I imagine having a quilt draped on it and some type of prim flower arrangement in the back.  Any suggestions?

Playskool Barn

Another fun child’s thing – an old Playskool Barn.  This is probably from the 60’s or 70’s.  It includes a set of blocks with the Farmer and his wife.  My son wants to know why the wife looks so sad – she has quite a frown on her face.  Maybe the farmer tracked mud all  over the house?

Little Brass Owl

Finally, here is a cute little brass owl.  He’s about 3″ high and is the perfect knick knack for my sewing room.  He looks like a spooky Halloween owl and I couldn’t resist him (he was only 50 cents).

I hope you enjoyed my virtual shopping trip!

Keep it thimble!

Thrift Store Finds

As you can see, the blog has a new look.  It was time for a change, especially since there are big plans for improving it this year!   I’ve been inspired by some other blogs I read and am working on a schedule for when I will be posting this year.  I want to be sure to deliver on my promises for new patterns, book reviews, and everything else!

In addition, the sewing room is getting completely reorganized.   As you can imagine things are kind of wreck after all the holiday crafting!   I am in the process of getting rid of a bunch of yarn that I bought years ago when I thought I would become a knitter.  It’s great yarn, but knitting is not for me.  Luckily, I have a few friends who are knitters and we are organizing a craft supply sale so I should be able to find a nice home for it (and maybe pick up some new supplies myself).  I also have a stash of fabric that I plan to sell on Etsy.  I’ll let you know when it is available :).

One of the big things I am doing is reorganzing my wool.  I find this great little cabinet at the thrift store a few months ago and finally got around to cleaning it up and putting my wool into it.


Wool Cabinet

Since I am getting ready to embark on a wool dying adventure, I need to have things handy and place to put all the new wool I’ll be making.

I also found a few cute sewing baskets at the flea market.  They are both nice handmade baskets out of oak and only cost about $2 each (which I couldn’t believe).  The one with Daffodils painted on it is also fully lined with this funky quilted fabric from the 70’s.  It’s the perfect size for carrying supplies for a wool project.


Sewing Basket
Daffodil Sewing Basket

In other news, a new quilt store has opened in town – Whistle Stop Quilt Shop – and I will be teaching some classes there in a month or two.  I’m really excited and will be posting class information when I have all the details worked out.

Keep it Thimble!

More Bargains!

For the past few weeks, I’ve been hitting up all the thrift stores for furniture and other accessories.  Without fail, I usually find at least one bargain wherever I go.  Here’s just a sample of what I’ve accumulated in the past week.

Small Cupboard

This is a cute little tin-punched cupboard I found at a church thrift store.  It just needs a little TLC and it will look great!


I couldn’t resist these little strawberry canisters.  My grandfather loved strawberries (and so do I) and seeing them always makes me think of him.

Sewing Table

This is a sewing table from the “Standard” company. This one probably dates around the early 1900’s (Standard was eventually bought by Singer).  I don’t need another sewing machine – but the cabinet makes a nice end table.

Sewing Table Unfolded

Here it is opened up.  You can see that it has a test piece of fabric in it from at least 40 years ago (I know this because the woman I bought it from had it for 40 years and never used it as a sewing machine).

Wardrobe Closed

This is a wardrobe that is about 12 feet tall.  My decorator said I needed some bigger/taller furniture for the bedroom to add variety. This is exactly the kind of piece I pictured in my head.  It’s nice solid wood (oak or some other hardwood), and really just needs to be cleaned up a bit.

Wardrobe Open

Here it is opened.  My husband will get to use this for his clothes.  Eventually, when I get more quilts, I will probably take this and use it for quilt displays (which means my husband will have to find something else for his clothes).

Antique Quilt Top

Speaking of quilts, here is an antique quilt I found at Goodwill for $10!  It is in pretty sad condition – lots of holes, but there are several places where there are no tears.  I haven’t yet decided what I will do with it.

Antique Quilt Top (Detail)

I love the colors and the pattern.  I was so excited when I saw this.  As I paid for it, the cashier said – “I didn’t think anyone would buy this.”  I said, “I can’t believe someone didn’t buy it already!”.

That’s all for now – thanks for looking!  Meanwhile, back to sewing for me :).

Furniture Finds

After years of living with the same furniture I’ve had since college (!), it’s finally time to decorate my house and have “a look”.  As you can tell by my projects, I love the Americana/Primitive look (think Country Sampler magazine).  To that end, I have been scouring the local thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales for some furniture and knick knacks that can be used in decorating.  It’s been about a week and I already have several “finds” I am rather proud of.

Quilt Rack

This is a very nice quilt rack.  It just needs to be cleaned up a bit!

Wooden Bench

This is a hand-crafted wooden bench.  This needs to be cleaned and refinished.  Shouldn’t be too hard for me to do (I hope).

Telephone Chair (aka Gossip Chair)

This is known as a telephone chair – probably from the 40’s or 50’s.  I plan to strip off the paint, re-paint it, and re-cover the cushion.  Any suggestions for colors?

Wooden Carrier

I just love this wooden carrier – not sure what it was used for, maybe tools?  It’s in great condition, and I envision sitting by the fire and using this for my sewing projects.  Lots of space to put wool, fabric, and other supplies!