Sunday, May 29, 2011

Yard Sale Finds

The Memorial Day week end means a different things to different people. Here, in my neck of the woods, in additon to visiting graves and planting flowers, the Memorial week end means Cochranton's annual community garage sale. Most years I miss it, but not this year.

On my way to work at the Library yesterday morning, I stopped at an interesting sale in the yard of a very old and battered house that I had driven past the day before. It looked intriguing. Of course the first thing my eyes saw was a tumbled quilt tossed on top of a worn out table that leaned. The young guy having the sale told me the "rules" -- fill a back for a buck, a crate for $3, or a tote for $5. My heart began to pound as my brain wrapped around that information. I asked him about the quilt and he said a buck! One single dollar bought me a circa 1900 quilt.

Of course, it's not a valuable quilt -- it's smelly and tattered with holes and wear, but it is an old quilt. It is simply roughly six inch squares sewn together. Hand quilted with black thread and not-so-tiny stitches, and backed with a once-lovely turkey red decorator fabric. Washed and folded just right, it would make a lovely decorative piece in a primitive pie safe. Or, I could salvage the useable bits and create something else -- a pillow, Christmas stockings, a jacket, a wall quilt, or?????? An antique damaged quilt can yield much creativity.

Additionally, as a new fabric designer, I spied several interesting fabrics that could provide inspiration for future fabric collections.

I didn't have enough time to dig in the tons of boxes before work, but a few hours later, my boss offered to watch the library so that I could go back. One my second trip, I adopted an upside down triangular little shelf painted apple green for $1. I also rooted throuhg boxes and suitcases and found lots of vintage embroidered linens as well as few pieces of interesting fabric. A whole back of goodies for a buck.

So what's the moral of this blog? Never pass by a yard sale outside a decrepid old house because you never know what you'll find. 'Nuff said!


  1. I purchased a beautiful old crazy quilt in pretty good condition at a thrift store for $4.50 last week. It washed up well and I'm very happy with it. The embroidery stitches on it are lovely. I also purchased a really cute baby quilt for 50 cents at a yard sale. Can't believe people put such low prices on quilts.

  2. I restore quilts and also love finding old ones...I just cry touching the fabric and knowing what love and life each quilt has...


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Tricia Lynn Maloney,
The Orphan Quilter