Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Old-Fashioned Flower Sack Towels

Flour Sack Dishtowels
When I grew up, in an age without automatic dishwashers, Grandma had me dry the dishes with her old-fashioned flour sack towels. These were large, thirsty towels that could get the job done in a no-nonsense way. She would wash and I would dry. 

Sunbonnet Baby from our Redwork Club
As a professional cook, Grandma used flour sack towels for a variety of tasks around the kitchen. When the bread was rising in the bread bowl, she'd lay a cotton towel on top of it to keep it warm. When canning season arrived, the flour sack towels became strainers for fruit. These towels wiped down spills on kitchen counters, were folded up to make pads for hot dishes, and wrapped around bowls of ice to keep condensation at a minimum. If you accidentally burned yourself in the kitchen, Grandma would grab some ice, wrap it in a dishtowel, and place it on the burn.  


Dancing Dishes Days of the Week Design

Grandma had flour sack towels for every day use, and flour sack towels with embroidery work on them that she "saved for good." When she taught me to embroider at the age of 9, she traced a design on a flour sack towel and showed me how to make days-of-the-week sets to put in my hope chest. It was like finding an old friend when we discovered a source for these old-fashioned flour sack towels. I find myself using them almost as often as Grandma did. 

These 100% cotton flour sack towels are designed to be bleached and to withstand many trips through the washing machine. Each towel measures 28" X 28" and is made from Egyptian cotton, a long staple cotton that is super absorbent. 

Flour sack towels are available individually or in packages of seven. Seven may seem like a funny number for a bundle of towels, but not when you consider the popularity of those Days of the Week embroidery patterns for stitching onto these towels.

Grandma's Attic has everything you need to stitching these towels. The towels themselves, Aunt Martha transfer patterns, redwork patterns, transfer pencils and tracing pads. It's a fun, relaxing way to make gifts for family and friends--or to "save for good" in your own hope chest!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Quilt Challenge Winners!

1st Place Award for the Color of Wonder Quilt Challenge goes to Terrie Lynn Kygar, Cheryl Libby and Linda Perry of Dallas, Oregon for their entry, "Color Our World with Wonder." Using color crayon techniques, and fusible web applique, Terrie and Cheryl created the quilt top. They sent it to Quilt Artist Linda Perry for machine quilting. These quilters win a $100 gift certificate from Grandma's Attic. "Color Our World with Wonder" also won the category Best Use of Color. The prize for this category is a basket full of Color Tools.

Debbie Garvin of Corvallis, Oregon won 2nd Place in the Color of Wonder Quilt challenge for her quilt, "The Wonder of It All....Lifecycle of a Butterfly."  She wins a $50 gift certificate from Grandma's Attic. This quilt also won Best Interpretation of Theme so Debbie will also receive 5 yards of fabric.

Brenda Lopez of Auburn, California won 3rd Prize with her entry, "Beautiful Blooms." And while the picture does not depict it very well, this quilt is three dimensional. Brenda wins a $25 gift certificate from Grandma's Attic.

The Color of Wonder Quilt Challenge is a charitable event designed to raise funds and bring awareness to Sable House, a Polk County, Oregon agency assisting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Earlier this year, Grandma's Attic provided applicants with entry packets consisting of five fabrics, then challenged entrants to creatively incorporate these fabrics into a final quilt design. All proceeds benefited Sable House.

Voting took place July 26 through August 7, 2012. The general public was invited to view the quilts on display at Grandma's Attic, then vote for their favorites, plus the categories of Best Use of Color and Best Interpretation of Theme. Winners were selected on August 8. All of the quilts were then displayed at the Polk County Fair in Rickreall, Oregon, August 9-12.

Grandma's Attic is strongly committed to the health and safety of women and children in Polk County and supports various local resources who share these goals. In addition, Grandma's Attic is dedicated to raising awareness of domestic violence and sexual asasult issues through the arts and crafts.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Melissa and Michael's Wedding

Our youngest daughter, Melissa, got married to her long time beau Michael on July 21st of this year. The ceremony and reception were held at Chatoe Rogue Hop Yard in Independence, Oregon--a beautiful setting for the occasion.

5th and 59th Photography did an outstanding job capturing the occasion and I absolutely love their photography. Unfortunately, this company has since gone out of business. If you would like to see more photos, let us know and we will direct you to a facebook page.

The day was perfect and  beautifully memorialized in pictures.

Monday, June 25, 2012

1930s Sears and Roebuck Catalog Ads

Here's a page from a 1933 Sears and Roebuck catalog showing different types of fabrics that were available for a few cents per yard. My favorite pieces are the fabric in the upper left hand corner of the page.

This second advertisement is for Silk Bubble Crepe fabrics from a 1934 catalog. It is a really nice representation of the colors of silk bubble crepe that were available. Crepe was all the rage for dress fabric during this time.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Color of Wonder Quilt Challenge

Our new Quilt Challenge is here! Grandma's Attic is hosting a Quilt challenge to support Sable House, our local domestic violence shelter. Our theme for the past few years has revolved around "The Color of" concept. So far, we've hosted the Color of Peace, the Color of Love, the Color of Courage, the Color of Healing, the Color of Hope, and the Color of Compassion. This year we're hosting The Color of Wonder. Doesn't that sound inspiring?

Entry packets for this year's theme include five theme fabrics, challenge rules, and an entry form. All proceeds from the sale of the packets go directly to Sable House. The maximum quilt size for quilts entered into the challenge should not exceed 180 total inches when all sides are added together; however, there is no minimum size requirement. Each quilt must incorporate all theme fabrics, although the amount used is up to you. The remainder of the fabric used can be quilter's choice.

Quilts are due in to Grandma's Attic by July 21, 2012 where they will be displayed from July 27-30, 2012. The general public will be invited to vote for their favorites. Winners will be selected by customer ballot (one vote per viewer) based on Best Interpretation of Theme and Best Use of Color. (Remember, this is the general public, not professional quilt judges, so don't be afraid to enter!) First Place prize is a $100 gift certificate to Grandma's Attic; Second Place prize is a $50 gift certificate; Third Place is a $25 gift certificate. In addition, Best Interpretation of Theme will win a five yard fabric bundle and Best Use of Color will receive a Gift Baskets filled with color tools.

 Quilts will also be displayed at the Polk County Fair in Rickreall, Oregon held in August, and on display at other locations as well. All quilts will be returned to their owners by the end of August, 2012. If you'd like to participate in this quilt challenge, you can purchase a packet either at the shop or on the web. We can't wait to see what you've dreamed up!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Quilter's Safari Has Begun

Here's a photo of Charlie, Amber's little dog, and I sitting at the Customs Table for this year's Quilter's Safari shop hop. If you're interested in having fun, fun, fun, you'll want to grab your lucky charms and come visit! You'll travel the valleys of Oregon visiting some of the finest quilt shops you've ever seen!

This is the 13th year for Off the Beaten Path Quilter's Safari. This lovely shop hop is hosted by 11 shops that may not be right along the I-5 corridor, but are certainly shops you won't want to miss. The hop started on April 27th and runs through May 5th. You can pick up your passport at any of the participating shops; then work your way through the valley as you collect pieces to a beautiful quilt created by Lou Shafer of Jannilou Creations.

Grandma's Attic is one of the participating shops. Join us and let the fun begin!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

McCall's Magazine - February 1903

Knowing that I study vintage women's magazines from days gone by, a customer brought me this little gem. It's McCalls Magazine from February of 1903. This magazine is in relatively good condition for its age and is chock full of illustrations, advertisements, short stories and advice.

While there are many pages of dress illustrations, this is the only color photo in the magazine. I cannot tell whether it has been hand painted like the ones in Godey's Ladies Magazine or not. In the upper left hand corner of this page, it has a little graphic that says "McCalls Magazine, 50 cents a year, including free pattern." Note the Gibson Girl style up-dos for hair and the room furnishings.

I have been reading through many different women's magazines from the very early part of the 20th Century. If you like seeing them, I will post more.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Oilcloth Prints Have Arrived!

Look what's new at Grandma's Attic! Brightly colored bolts of oilcloth have just arrived, which inspired us to start thinking about the variety of projects we could make with them! I've been thinking about table coverings, lunch bags, dog food mats, high chair mats, book covers, shelf liners, aprons, wallets--just about anything you can dream up that would look good in pretty, waterproof fabric.

Oilcloth is a vinyl that is bonded and supported with a woven poly/cotton mesh. The surface can be wiped clean and the fabric passes the National Fire Protection Agency 701 classification for commercial and residential use. Popular since the 1940s, the fabrics are wild and wonderful. There are classic ginghams and checks, outlandish florals, and everything in between. These fabrics just seem to look best when they feature bright, bold, over-the-top florals, geometrics and prints.

Oilcloth first became popular as an inexpensive floor and roof covering in the 18th century. It was produced by stretching a linen cloth on a frame, coating it with sizing and rubbing it smooth with a pumice block. Afterwards, the cloth was coated with linseed oil and paint pigment. The end result was good, but the process to create it was slow and tedious.

Although oilcloth originated in England, it was adopted by American manufacturers and gained popularity in the 19th Century. The advent of non-cracking plastics and rotogravure printing made oilcloth commercially viable in the 20th century. By the 1930s and 40s, oilcloth was incredibly popular. Since it could be wiped down, it was perfect for covering the kitchen table.

One of the projects I like to make with oilcloth is a table runner or table cloth. Although the raw edges do not unravel or fray, I like to decorate it up by sewing large size rick rack around the edges. Fun! Another oilcloth project that we undertook here at Grandma's Attic concerns the folding and kit making tables in the back room. These office tables are dark brown with worn tops. They looked totally uninspiring until we used a staple gun to cover them with brightly colored oilcloth. What a difference! Now it's fun to sit at the bright colored tables while we create quilt kits for our customers.

If you like working with oilcloth, you will love using our selections in your next project. click here to see our newest oilcloth prints.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Primitive Quilts Magazine

Have you discovered this magazine yet? Although the magazine has only been in production a short while, the contents are amazing. If you like primitive quilts, rug hooking and stitchery, you will love perusing these magazines.

As a Quilt Historian, I am attracted to "old-timey" traditional quilts. Each issue is chock full of quilt and stitching projects inspired by traditional quilts. The Winter edition includes a pattern called Chocolate Mousse, a quilt featuring old autograph blocks in brown and beige. There's also an churn dash quilt made from plaids. Tons of other patterns for bags, pincushions and mug rugs can also be found. I thought the sewing bird pincushion was delightful.

The Fall 2011 edition of this magazine includes 15 different projects, including a quilt called Country Spools made from the old spools block. A penny rug, a stitchery pillow, and a quilt pattern called Goldenrod are featured. Goldenrod is a small version of an old applique quilt and I liked it very much.

We can't wait for the Spring Edition 2012 of this magazine to be published. But in the mean time, if you are interested in purchasing either of these two issues, we carry them at Grandma's Attic. To order Primitive Quilts, Winter 2011 click here. To order Primitive Quilts, Fall 2011 click here.