Tagged: fabric

ladies board rummage sale: the haul 2014

What would this blog be without a roundup of my finds at my very favorite annual rummage sale? I’ve explained all the details in my 2013 recap, but, in case you missed it, here’s the important information: multiple horse barns full of everything you can imagine; an awesome old guy named Wiley who works the glassware section and prices everything at a quarter; ladies in the fabric section who can’t believe how much fabric I buy. Does it sound good enough yet?

Every year, my mom and I plan our attack strategy in advance. In the beginning, circa 2007, I was all about refashioning clothes, so the “fill-a-bag” clothing was always a high priority. The years after that had varying craft priorities: furniture, screenprinting supplies, books. This year, we approached the sale as seasoned veterans. We knew what we wanted to see, and we knew what to skip. We managed to leave the sale without any clothing, and even skipped the book barn altogether. From there, the logistics were simple. We’d start in furniture (where the coolest things go fastest), run through housewares, then take our time looking through fabrics.

We opted out of the $5 early-bird entry, instead arriving promptly at 8:45am to prepare for the 9am free-admission opening. As we watched the early birds load their vehicles with treasures, we were relieved – nothing super cool had been claimed yet.

When the doors finally opened, we began perusing the aisles of furniture. My apartment finally has nearly all the furniture it needs, and of course my mama doesn’t need much more furniture at her house, but you never know if you’ll find something special. My mom bought a small stool, not quite as adorable as my 2010 hassock but definitely a good $5 find. Pricing was odd this year – many pieces of furniture were hugely overpriced for a secondhand, charity sale: some dressers were running between $100-200, and a few dining sets even exceeded that range. I tend to enter Extreme Bargain Mode on rummage sale day, and anything more than $10 feels like I’m forking over half a paycheck. So furniture wasn’t a big hit for us this year.

rummage sale 2014 - green vinyl bar chairs

But when I saw these chairs, at $10 each, I got excited. Green vinyl bar stools with steel legs – and they have a funny little back? How quaint and comfy! And how within the rummage sale budget, at $10 apiece! But, alas, they were sold to an early bird. No stools for me.

rummage sale 2014 - orange vinyl bar chair

But wait! Half a turn away, a lone orange chair awaits. An even better color, even cuter in its single-ness, and not-yet sporting a “sold” sticker. Great news for Sam! My first purchase of the day.

rummage sale 2014 - soup cracker soup crackers soup mug

From there we headed to housewares, something I can never get enough of. I corralled an armful of (matching!) wine glasses, a big glass pitcher, a meat thermometer, a yellow bowl, and this incredible “soup crackers soup crackers soup” mug (which begs the question, what do I eat out of this?). I approached my buddy Wiley from last year, and went through my pile.

“How much is this?” “A quarter.”
“How much is this?” “A quarter.”
“What about this?” “Hmm, a quarter.”

He’s the best.

I also ended up in that zone at the end of our visit – it’s always worth a second lap since there are many boxes under the tables that only get unearthed once some space has been cleared. I snagged a bunch of wire shelves and wire baskets for my kitchen cupboards (the kind that retail for ungodly prices) and a few similarly useful items. Not as fun, entirely practical, but a big win for rummage sale day.

rummage sale 2014: fabric cuts

I went a little crazy with the fabrics this year. The photo above shows all my big cuts; I also bought a bag full of small scraps. I’m trying hard to buy fabrics that will help me use what I have, so most of my scraps are white, natural, or navy cottons: perfect for linings or interlinings. In the piles above I also have a nice gray blend, a huge cut of navy cotton, and a white and yellow striped lining that I’m hoping to use in a skirt (or coat?!) someday. The white lacy piece is over 5 yards long, and it’s already earmarked for my bedroom curtains.

rummage sale 2014 - colorful fabrics

These colorful fabrics are the best. I want to use the vintagey one to make a cheater quilt, and the big bold checks would also make an amazing blanket. I’ve only been in my apartment for six months, so I still have homemaking on the mind.

rummage sale 2014 - blue floral fabrics

These fabrics are a matching set. No plans yet, but they’re darling and had to come home with me.

The woman working the fabric section asked me, “So, will you have used all these fabrics by the time we’re here again next year?” I laughed a quick, “No way,” but in my head I wanted to say, lady, let me buy some fabric guilt-free… I know I’ll never use it all but it’s just so pretty!

rummage sale 2014 - large quilt embroidery hoops

This giant frame was exactly what I sought for a recent craft project! That’s the best part about rummage sale day: it always sparks new projects, but sometimes it helps finish an old project that’s needed something special. And the giant quilt hoops are destined for wall art as well, of course.

rummage sale 2014 - wall of embroidery hoop art

I decided not to pull inspiration from the embroidery hoop wall art that was for sale in the Crafts barn. I don’t think my apartment is in need of quilted ducks! But, of course, this is always the best part of the rummage sale: laughing with my mom about the crazy things we find… and laughing even harder (sneakily, of course) when we see someone buying such crazy things! I’m sure they laugh at me, too, lugging a garbage bag full of fabric around. “Clearly she won’t use it all,” they say. They’re right. But I’ve got to stockpile for a winter of sewing, and it’s going to be wonderful.

I already can’t wait for next year. Rummage sale day is truly my favorite day.

sewing room tour 2014

I love this room so much I’m not sure how to begin. I suppose we’ll just walk through the doorway. Shall we?

sewing room tour - window light

It all starts with my giant, South-facing window. It lets in so much light. You’ll notice my Cleveland thrift store curtains: I’m starting to grow out of them, but they still make me so happy.

Speaking of the doorway: I removed the door. Don’t tell my landlord, but it’s currently residing in my bedroom closet. The door opened into the room, and since the room was small to begin with, the door only added to the cramped feeling. Now it’s open to the adjacent living room, which makes both spaces look and feel bigger. The only downside? The sewing room can be seen by everyone, so it can’t be a mess. But I love showing off the sewing room, so I would have tidied it for visitors regardless.

The big table was my dad’s homework table when he was in college, and then it was our family’s kitchen table back when I was a baby. I love it because it’s smooth, easy to wipe, and solid – it can hold anything. I’m trying to keep it clear so I can use it for cutting or spur-of-the-moment projects, but that’s always a challenge.

sewing room tour - sewing machine desks

After gazing toward the remarkable window light, if you turn to your right you’ll see my sewing machine wall. I have a small plastic 3-drawer chest of fabric in the corner, then my serger on a loaner desk from my mama, where I sit in my favorite orange rolling chair. A mini 3-shelf bookshelf holds my thread box, supplies, and patterns. Then I’ve got the straight-stitch station, currently featuring the amazing Belvedere Adler that I snagged at the thrift store a few weeks back. $15, 42 pounds of cast iron. She’s a beast and a beauty. She does zig-zag stitches as well as straight, and obviously sews through everything I’ve tested yet. My Husqvarna Viking is on deck for buttonholes, fancier stitches, and walking foot projects.

sewing room tour: serger station with orange chair

Here’s a close-up of the serger station. The tiny desk is perfect, since the serger is relatively self-contained and doesn’t need as many accompanying notions as a regular sewing machine. The Small World art was created by my mama, and the drawing is last year’s birthday card from Brad (they get better every year!).

sewing room tour - belvedere adler sewing machine

I know you were dying for another peek at this 1964 Adler. It’s so cool. And you may recognize this as the reupholstered sewing chair from last year… it’s a good chair.

sewing room tour - adler corner

As you continue to turn to the right, there’s this funny angled wall that hosts the greatest doggie hankie of all time. Then I’ve got an amazing cross stitch by my favorite Hannah, and a small plastic chest of drawers that currently houses my small cuts of multicolored fleece. I left this photo full size so you can see the high ceilings… so much vertical space! Perfect for ideas to float around ;)

sewing room tour - supply shelf

The doorway is just to the right of the fleece bin, and then there’s another wall at a funny angle. This estate sale bookshelf was a great find – it’s shallow enough that it doesn’t interfere with the doorway, or the closet door to its right. The shelf houses some regularly used supplies, and then I took advantage of free wall space to hang my rotary mats and rulers. They’re basically art.

sewing room tour - fabric closet

Continuing around the room, there’s a tiny door that opens to a very petite closet. This closet was literally the LAST thing to get organized after the move. Unfortunately, unpacking takes forever, so I had to prioritize. Kitchen supplies, clothes, toiletries… every room in the house required more urgent organization than my fabric closet. When I finally emptied this closet of the bags and bins I had stuffed in there as “hold space”, I was thrilled to approach it with a better vision.

The goals were: nothing large, since the closet door is significantly smaller than the closet itself; a well-organized space that makes me happy when I open the door; and well-utilized vertical space.

The wire shelving, even though there are only two shelves on the fixture (it was already here), help push everything up. And the shoe organizer holds fabrics at-the-ready: ideally, every fabric in this station is earmarked for a project in the near future. And I’ve already used one of the rolls since taking this picture! Points for me.

sewing room tour: fabric closet gazing with beer

After finally turning the closet into a functional, joyful storage area, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I spent the entire following workday loudly lamenting the fact that I couldn’t just sit at home all day and stare at my closet. When I finally left after 8 long hours devoid of fabric-closet-gazing, I proclaimed that I intended to sit in my sewing room, put my feet up, eat my dinner, and drink a beer while staring at my closet. The iPhone photo above serves as testimony to the truthfulness of that statement. What a wild evening.

sewing room tour - pretty bowls, pretty things

What kind of sewing room tour concludes without showing off some pretty bowls filled with pretty things? The Pyrex is half of the Balloons chip & dip set, a gift from the amazing Bradley one Christmas. The whale pitcher and the Raku-fired pot are my favorite pieces from the semester of ceramics that I took in college. I love displaying pretty supplies.

The best part about this whole tour is the fact that I took these pictures about a month ago, and it’s already even better. I’ll keep you guys posted on the improvements! With each project I work on, I think of yet another way to make the space more efficient. It’s hard to judge the organization of a sewing room until you’re sewing in it… so it’s constantly evolving. And I’m loving it all.

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!