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I'm Samantha (Sam), a mechanical engineer, seamstress, crafter, & entrepreneur. Enjoy perusing photos of my sewing and craft-related adventures. I hope my blog brings inspiration and happiness to your day!

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my favorite rummage sale : the haul 2013

rummage sale in the horse barn

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year: Rummage Sale Day. Every fall, the “ladies’ board” of a local hospital holds an enormous rummage sale. And enormous is quite possibly an understatement. The sale takes over four horse barns – a giant show arena and three smaller structures – and even that much space can hardly hold the amount of stuff up for grabs.

The photo above shows the big arena in the distance behind the trees… and this photo was taken on my way out, so 90% of the cars had left already. Plus there was a ton more parking behind me. It’s a big deal.

rummage sale in the horse barn

The main arena holds furniture, housewares, frames/art/knicknacks, and clothing. The shot above includes a bit over half of the space – that’s the furniture and home side. The other half of the barn has tables and racks piled with clothes. There’s another barn filled with books, another with toys, and yet another small one with holiday decorations. We always skip toys and holiday because we certainly don’t need more of that kind of stuff.

This year, I managed to avoid buying any clothes – or any furniture! And as much as I love a good treasure, it’s a relief to come home without any big new projects.

rummage sale in the horse barn

It’s a completely crazy event, filled with tons of stuff, tons of junk, and tons of people. Sorry guys, I would never buy a couch at a rummage sale. But they sure have a lot of them if you’re interested.

rummage sale in the horse barn - glassware

It’s overwhelming in the best way. My mom and I go back and forth throughout the event from, “oh, that’s kindof cool,” or “oh, that is hideous!” It’s hilarious and wonderful. We spend the whole time laughing at ourselves, at each other, and at the terrible stuff that ends up on those tables.

rummage sale in the horse barn - fabric tables

Since I didn’t “fill-a-bag” with clothes this year, I was happy to see that the fabric selection was excellent. There was another table not shown here, and I had a blast.

rummage sale in the horse barn - my scrap fabrics

After picking out a few of the measured/cut fabric pieces, I found the boxes of scrap under the table. Fill a bag for $1.00, my favorite game! I pulled a bag from their selection and immediately burst out laughing, because the bag I had randomly selected was HUGE. Some of the scraps were quite large, and I was especially thrilled to find lots of wool scraps in all different colors. I’ve always wanted a small wool collection and it seems I’ve inherited one from somebody awesome.

rummage sale in the horse barn - ugly hassock

This rummage sale is also the home of my original hassock! I think the one I picked up was just a bit better than the one for sale this year (shown above), would you agree?

It’s one of my favorite events, for sure. Ready to see my treasures?

rummage sale - fabric cuts

These are the fabric cuts I picked up from the fabric table. On the bottom are a boring gold bottomweight (that should match my favorite gold-and-white stripe from IKEA) and a white knit with cute turquoise motifs. Then two small cuts of plaid wool, $1 each. Finally we have the gorgeous off-white fabric in the back, it’s a really high quality home-dec weight with green birds and peach flowers and the front of the fabric feels like cotton but the back is satiny. Just lovely. And the cool purple/pink/gold stripe on top is only 12″ wide – the picture shows the full width – but the piece is huge and the weave of the stuff is incredible. I can’t wait to turn it into the world’s easiest table runner!

rummage sale - turquoise pendleton wool

And then this is my rummage sale Find of the Year. Nearly three yards of true Pendleton wool, in my favorite shade of perfect turquoise. For $8.

rummage sale - turquoise pendleton wool label detail

It even comes with this awesome label that you’re supposed to sew into the garment when it’s finished so that everyone knows how classy the fabric is. I’m so excited about this. My favorite dress coat (here) is already a wool in this color, so I’m not sure what I’ll make with it, but I have some time to decide… it’s going to take me awhile to work up the courage to cut into this stuff.

rummage sale scrap fabric bag

The fabric fun isn’t over! Here’s my giant, full bag of “scraps”.

rummage sale scrap fabric bag

rummage sale scrap fabric bag

The two stacks of solid colors in the back? Those are all wools. All of the pieces are decently sized, too – a perfect wool collection for me. My mom thinks I should make a quilt… how gorgeous would that be? I have been toying with the idea of a solid triangle quilt for some time, and wool would add a wonderful extra dimension. But that would eat up my brand new wool collection pretty quickly… we’ll see.

Then in the front are a bunch of cottons. On top is a vintage-look (or maybe real vintage, obviously) floral print that has the best colors ever. It’s a half yard and it makes me very happy. Below it is a red-orange, a full yard, with stripes printed on the diagonal. Can’t wait to use that one! Some less-exciting-but-useful pieces, and then some small beautifully textured home dec samples.

The total for all my fabrics: scraps, Pendleton, and cuts; was $20. Considering that’s less than what one yard of the Pendleton costs, I’m thinking I did alright.

rummage sale books

I snagged a handful of books, including that great German for Children and Fashion Tailoring… also a Lutheran Bible in German, and a copy of Vonnegut’s Bluebeard in special hardcover. That was especially exciting for me – I’ve made it a long-long-term goal to collect cool hardcover copies of Vonnegut’s novels, and this is only my second. It was a pretty triumphant moment. $6.10 total in the book barn.

rummage sale - glass canisters

Finally my small selection of housewares finds: four tall, clear glass canisters that are begging to be filled with something colorful; two small snap-lid canisters with pretty plants & kitchen utensils doodled on; and three milk glass snack dishes with the little knob handles that I just love. $3.50. The guy who priced these for me was clearly an awesome old man.

I feel good about this year’s finds. No huge projects, just some good, fun stuff. And of course that Pendleton wool. I can’t get over that one.

A day full of old stuff, fabric, fall weather, and laughing with my mom… it’s hard to beat Rummage Sale Day!


Here’s the site with the details of the Ladies’ Board Rummage Sale, in case you want to bookmark it for next year! Always a good time.

As always, click any image to see it larger!

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